Buyer Guide to Butterfly Knives
1. Edge. The edge is the sharp side of the butterfly knife. Some butterfly knives have two sharp edges, but the vast majority just have one.
2. Swedge. The Swedge is the non sharp side of a butterfly knife.
3. Choil. The Choil on a butterfly knife is the un-sharpened section of the butterfly knife blade right in front of the guard on the blade.
4. Kicker. The kicker is the area on the sharp side of the blade that prevents the actual sharp part from banging against the inside of the handle and being dulled as a result. This is sometimes replaced with an extra tang pin above the pivot pins.
5. Tang. This is the base of the blade where it attaches to the handles with the pivot pins.
6. Pivot Pins. These are the pins used to attach the blade to the handles on a butterfly knife. Some butterfly knives have pivot pins that aren't adjustable. Some are adjustable. If you buy a butterfly knife with adjustable pins, you will be able to adjust the tightness of your butterfly knife. It also means you will need to check these periodically to make sure they aren't loose. Most high end butterfly knives have adjustable pivot pins.
7. Tang Pin. The tang pin or tang pins in some cases keep the handles from banging excessively against each other when the butterfly knife is being manipulated. The second pin (the pin closer to the tip of the blade) is actually there to prevent the blade from hitting the inside of the handle and becoming dull as a result.
8. Bite Handle. This is the handle that closes on the sharp side (the edge) of the blade.
9. Safe Handle. This is the handle that closes on the non-sharp side (the swedge) of the blade.
10. Latch. The latch is used to close the two handles and "lock" them in the closed position. Some latches have springs that propel them open when the handles are squeezed. A Batangas latch is one attached to the bite handle. A Manila latch is one attached to the safe handle
So you have decided you want to use a butterfly knife. The butterfly knife, as you probably already know, is commonly called a balisong knife. To use it, remember that the balisong is a knife--not a game or a toy. If you aren't careful, you can hurt yourself or someone else. Like any sharp object, be careful. Once you learn how to use a butterfly knife, they are very quite easy to use. There are several hundred different tricks that you can learn to perform. To become a master, you will probably spend quite a bit of time learning. Get ready. First, when you are learning a new trick, it is a great idea to put a little bit of electrical tape on the sharp edge of your blade. This will prevent you from cutting yourself if you do the maneuver wrong a few times. After you have your new move down pat, then take the tape off and begin to impress your friends.
The first step is to hold the two handles in one hand. Flip the latch off of the lock position. It is easiest if you hold the butterfly knife as if you are about to shake someone's hand, with the bite handle (the handle that covers the sharp edge of the blade) farthest from you. Then, release the bite handle and allow it to fall open. Now, instead of going all the way, just flip the handle back up to your hand with a slight down and then out flick of your wrist. As the bite handle comes up, grab it. You once again have the butterfly knife in your hand--in a closed position. Easy enough, right? Do this a few times to make sure you get a feel for the action and the speed of the butterfly knife you are learning with.
This time, take the butterfly knife in your hand with your palm facing up. The butterfly knife should be resting in your palm with the bite handle at the top. Swing it out so the bite handle swings outwards from your body and comes around and softly hits your hand on the back of the knuckles. Now, do this a few times. Now you are used to the action holding the butterfly either of the two standard ways.
This time, swing the bite handle out and as the handle lightly taps your knuckles on the back of your hand, spin the safe handle in your hand 180 degrees. This places the butterfly knife so that the safe side of the blade is against (or at least could be against) the back of your knuckles. Now, swing the bite handle up and allow it to hit the safe handle. Close your hand over both handles. You should have the blade with the sharp side pointing upwards and the butterfly knife open. Do it in reverse to close the knife.
This is a basic open maneuver to get your butterfly knife open. Now, the rest is up to you. Watch videos, watch your friends, and read all you can to learn new moves, or tricks, for your butterfly knife. Remember, be safe and have fun.