An assisted-opening knife is a type of
knifewhich uses an internal mechanism to open the blade from a closed position when slight pressure is applied to the thumbstud or the flipper. [Butch Winter 'King of the Assisted Openers', Blade Magazine, August 2004]
When the knife is in the closed position, the blade is held in place by means of 1 or 2 torsion bars. As the user applies manual pressure to the thumbstud to open the knife, a mechanism such as a torsion bar moves along a track in the liner and rotates the blade into the open position. ["Ibid", Blade Magazine, August 2004]
Although commonly confused with
switchbladeknives, there is a difference. While a switchblade can be opened usually with the push of a button, the user of an assisted-opening knife must apply some pressure to the blade at the thumb stud or flipper.
Because the blade does not open by the push of a button or force of gravity, the assisted opening mechanism is normally not considered a switchblade. [Jim Gardner,'Sweet Onions', Guns Magazine, June 2004 ] Once the knife has been opened about one-quarter of the way (45°), the mechanism opens the knife the rest of the way. ['Kershaw's Latest Tactical Folders', Knives Illustrated, February 2007, by Pat Cascio ]
The side-opening switchblade differs from the
assisted-opening knife- an assisted-opening knife is a knife that is opened partway by the user before a spring takes over and propels the blade open. Easily used and quickly opened with either hand, they are similar to switchblades, but have one main difference. While a switchblade can be opened, usually with the push of a button, the user of a spring-assisted knife must open the blade partway themselves with a thumb stud and the mechanism does the rest. Because the user's hands are free from the blade during opening they are far safer than a traditional knife where the user's hand must come into contact with the blade, and easier to operate (especially left handed) than many of the popular easy-open knife designs. The simplicity and rapidity of assisted-opening knives have raised questions about their legality, but they remain legal at this time.
Other names for assisted-opening knife are: A/O Knife, Torsion Assist Knife, Assisted Knife, Spring Assist Knife, Spring Assisted Knife, Quick Release, Quick Draw, Alternative Automatic and the Semi-Auto.
[http://www.uspto.gov/ US Patent and Trademark Office]
[http://www.assistedknife.com/index.cfm/fa/pages.main/pageID/5 AssistedKnife.com by RoadsideImports]
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