“Out-the-front” or OTF knives are the modern-day successor of the switchblades of the past. The blades are fixed in these knives and can’t move at all while emerging directly from the top of the handle. Therefore, they are suitable for tactical situations. As a result, having the best budget OTF knife will be one of the crucial considerations for your safety.

OTF knives are durable and have quick deployment making them ideal for self-defense. They can also be used during camping, hiking, hunting, and other outdoor activities for a wide range of purposes. They also have safety mechanisms to prevent unwanted injuries and a comfortable grip for better control.

But are all OTF knives built the same?

The answer is a BIG NO.

Don’t be confused right now. Let’s talk about some of the best budget OTF knives.

Are OTF Knives Useful?

The simple answer is YES.

Modern OTFs are durable, less prone to breakage, and good for tactical situations. These knives are basically designed for survival in harsh and tactical conditions. That is why they can tackle lots of tough jobs efficiently.

Here we shared a few points describing why OTF knives are useful.

  • Compact and small enough to carry in your pocket. As a result, they can be deployed without wasting time when needed. For this reason, many campers prefer to use it for self-defense.
  • The blade of OTF knives is protected by the grip from moisture, rust, dings, and nicks. Thus, it maintains sharpness for many years.
  • OTF knives are made of high-quality materials with excellent temper. Such construction allows you to use it for various purposes, from slicing coarse rope to cutting meat.
  • You can use one hand to open OTF knives. This is one of the biggest benefits of these knives. This way, they can be useful when you need to keep the blade closed until you require it. For this reason, these are a popular choice for camping, fishing, and EDC tasks.

Best Budget OTF Knife Review 2023

The popularity of OTF knives is increasing gradually among campers, hikers, and hunters. Thus, manufacturers are making several models of OTF knives. That is why picking the best one becomes tricky.

However, say bye-bye to your worries!

We discussed the prices, features, functionality, benefits, and drawbacks of our selected OTF knives to give you the best option. All the selected models are budget-friendly choices.

So, keep reading our reviews to put your hands on the best budget OTF knife 2023.

1# Best Overall: CJRB Cutlery J1904 Folding Knife

Best Budget OTF Knife Review: CJRB Cutlery J1904 Folding Knife

The CJRB J1904 is a substantial cleaver-style yet best budget OTF knife that tackles the toughest jobs without trouble. It is designed with a 3.43” long and over an inch wide blade, allowing it to make bigger cuts easily. At the same time, the knife is sharp enough to handle delicate work. Moreover, being a feature-packed OTF knife, its price is affordable.

Do you wonder to know why we choose it as the best overall?

Let’s look at its specifications and features for your better understanding.

Technical Specifications

  • Handle Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Blade Material: AR-RPM9 Powder Steel
  • Blade Length: 3.43”
  • Style: Survival, Hunting, Fishing, Camping, Outdoor
  • Lock Type: Liner Lock
  • Blade Style: Cleaver
  • Clip Material: Steel

Proprietary AR-RPM9 steel is used to manufacture this knife. As a result, it resists corrosion and lets you sharpen easily. Also, it becomes extremely durable, allowing you to deal with your work during adventures.

Carbon fiber in the handle adds a touch of class to this knife. The handle efficiently resists moisture and temperature changes. Thus, you will not face working with it with wet hands.

You must be wondering about its comfortability when handling, right?

Happily, the smooth finish on the handle offers damn comfort in the hand. Also, such a design helps the knife elevate to something with a little more flair.

The blade is constructed carefully, not too thick to bind on materials or get stuck while maintaining a lightweight profile. With 0.13” thickness, it is strong enough for big jobs and thin enough to be worked as an effective slicer.

So, what about its deployment?

Smooth and fast operation is guaranteed with this knife. It is engineered with a ceramic ball-bearing pivot construction for quick, snappy, one-handed flipper deployment. Also, closing action will be smooth.

Do you prefer carrying knives in the lanyard?

We have good news for you. Its large lanyard hole makes it compatible with leather cordage or 550 paracords. This way, you can conveniently carry it in the lanyard. Moreover, the reversible clip keeps this knife well-secured and in place until needed.


  • The excellent design ensures product quality and durability
  • Reasonable structure keeps the blade centered in position when opening and closing
  • Patented carbon fiber in the handle prevents slipping
  • Extremely sharp, feel sturdy, and well-built


  • Its sharpness can be dangerous for your finger 

2# Best Manual OTF Knife: Kershaw Capsule Spear Point Pocket Knife

Best Manual OTF Knife

The Kershaw Capsule Spear Point Pocket Knife is easy to carry and appealing to the eyes. It’s another best budget OTF knife that you can add to your kitchen.

It opens with an out-the-front and spear point blade, making it safe and easy to use. This small but compelling manual OTF comes at a reasonable price and features an eccentric design you won’t want to put down.

Technical Specifications

  • Handle Material: Glass Reinforced Nylon
  • Blade Material: 8Cr13MoV
  • Blade Length: 1.9 inches
  • Blade Shape: Spear Point
  • Special Feature: Folding, Lightweight, Pocket Clip
  • Blade Edge: Plain

This compact and portable 1.9” blade allows you to carry it anywhere. It has a handy push button, allowing you to open and close with one hand.  


Press the push button gently. The blade opens in sleek and swift action with the help of its sliding mechanism. This mechanism ensures the blade is quickly ready to put into action. Also, the button lock makes the disengaging process of the blade faster, safer, and simpler,

What about its construction?

The blade is made of 8Cr13Mov steel. This material is well-known for excellent edge retention, superior hardness, and corrosion resistance. Moreover, this knife becomes an affordable option as 8Cr13Mov steel is a budget-friendly option. 

Single-edge is another worth-mentioning feature of this knife. Such an edge produces a sharp and fine edge, making it an outstanding box-cutter in all your adventures. Moreover, since there is only one level, sharpening requires less work.

The handle is lightweight and designed with glass-filled nylon for greater rigidity. The unique texture of the handle confirms a comfortable grip, preventing accidental slippage. In fact, the handle is constructed to give you ultimate comfort during every cut.

Looking for the best budget OTF knife that can be carried easily in your pocket?

It has a deep pocket clip, guaranteeing a subtle and comfortable carry wherever you go. The clip lets this knife sit deeper in your pocket.


  • Manual out-the-front opening with secured button lock
  • 8Cr13Mov steel makes the re-sharpening process easy
  • A stonewashed finish prevents scratches on the blade
  • The handle features a unique texture for comfortable gripping


  • Poor-quality lock button

3# Best for EDC: ARTISAN CUTLERY Tactical Knife

Best for EDC: ARTISAN CUTLERY Tactical Knife

Function, durability, and form – The Artisan Cutlery Tactical Knife is one of the best OTF knives on a budget. The provided performance from this knife is beyond expectation with stunning, almost 4” Wharncliffe. When you are ready for anything in your every adventure, this knife will be your best companion.

Technical Specifications

  • Blade Material: D2
  • Handle Material: Fiberglass
  • Blade Length: 3.85”
  • Blade Shape & Edge: Cleaver
  • Blade Thickness: 0.18”
  • Lock Type: Liner Lock
  • Clip Material: Steel

The D2 steel balances accessibility and performance perfectly. D2 provides awesome toughness and edge retention, lasting many years. You can conveniently use the blade for your day-to-day purposes as well. More importantly, the blade retains sharpness well compared to other blades.

Want to tackle your EDC tasks efficiently?

This budget OTF knife is the answer for you. It features a substantially thick blade, making it far chunkier than other models. The thickness is perfect for tackling the hardest jobs in the roughest conditions. The blade’s perfect height and thickness allow you to complete different EDC tasks comfortably.

Best Budget OTF knife Review

While the design is one of the appealing factors of this knife, it comes with a highly practical and ergonomic design.

What about its safety features?

You will be pleased to know that this budget OTF knife is safe and easy to use under any circumstances. Ball bearing, lock pin, and comfortable handle materials allow you to work with it safely.

Snappy one-handed flipper deployment and smooth closing action are effortless with a ceramic ball-bearing pivot construction. Also, it features a liner lock and a steel pin confirming secure locking. The lock will never fail during use because of these locking mechanisms.

Do your hands sweat a lot while dealing with knives?

No worries! An innovative groove pattern provides a comfortable and well-secured grip in slippery conditions. Moreover, the G10 handle material lets you easily perform under the toughest situations. G10 makes the handle resistant to temperature and water. Also, the handle is non-conductive, non-reactive, and superbly tough.


  • Full liner construction
  • Temperature and water-resistant handle
  • Suitable for EDC or everyday tasks
  • Best choice for your outdoor adventure


  • Unavailability of paracord lanyard or titanium bead

4# Best Innovative Design: Kershaw Interstellar Pocket Knife

Kershaw Interstellar Pocket Knife, Black Manual OTF Tanto Blade with Serrations

Need help to find a reasonably priced OTF knife? 

The Kershaw Interstellar Pocket Knife comes at an affordable price with exquisite craftsmanship and robust design. It is the best OTF knife under $100.

You can’t go wrong with this one of the best Microtech OTF knives. It is based on lightweight material while solid and durable at the same time. The knife can handle the roughest jobs without showing any weakness.

Technical Specification

  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Glass Reinforced Nylon
  • Blade Shape: Tanto Point
  • Special Feature: Bottle Opener, Pocket Clip
  • Weight: 3.1 oz.

Like other OTF knives, this budget OTF knife is also easy to carry and use for compact and small designs. The sliding mechanism enables this knife for one-hand operation, making it easy and quick to use when required.

Is durability your preferred factor when buying an OTF knife?

Thanks to its 8Cr13MoV blade and robust construction. The durability of the knife is simply unbeatable. The 8Cr13MoV is a type of steel that features high hardness. This material also makes the knife budget-friendly. Moreover, the sharpness of the blade remains efficient for many days due to the 8Cr13MoV. 

Do you know 8Cr13MoV is easy to sharpen?

You will also love to know that the re-sharpening process of this knife is a breeze. Moreover, this material helps the knife maintain the required edge for a long time. It means this knife will remain sharper for much longer than other knives.

Furthermore, the BlackWash finish prevents scratches on the blade when used. The handle is constructed with glass-filled nylon, increasing wear resistance.

In addition, you can carry it comfortably in the pocket with the help of a deep-carry pocket clip. It also has a bottle opener, allowing you to open a bottle effortlessly in the camp or at night parties.


  • Eye-catching and practical design
  • Legal in almost all jurisdictions
  • The deep clip lets it hide well in your pocket
  • Completely manual opening and closing


  • Slower opening

5# Best Value for the Money: Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS OTF Knife

Are you a knife collector or a first responder?

Give the Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS OTF Knife a try. This knife is ready for every situation. Also, you can trust it for any conditions. Some unique features are the M.A.G.I.C. assisted opening technology, 4034 black oxide stainless steel blade, and rubberized handle.

Technical Specifications

  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Special Feature: Folding Knife, Pocket Clip
  • Blade Length: 3.6”
  • Blade Shape: Drop Point
  • Weight: 0.2 lbs.

We liked it most for its excellent durability. The blade is made of 4034 black oxide high carbon stainless steel. Such a structure increases edge retention, tensile strength, and hardness. The knife is also resistant to wear, corrosion, and abrasion. Moreover, the materials give the knife an aesthetically appealing look than other steel knives.

Additionally, the aluminum handle features rubber inlay, ensuring hardness and protection. Aluminum makes it super light, strong, and corrosion-resistant. The black rubber inlay is practical and helps you work in a foul environment without hassle. Even the handle guarantees excellent traction for your fingertips if you use it during hunting sessions.

Wanna know whether it can be carried easily for everyday use?

Yes, you can do it without a problem with its convenient pocket clip. The knife can also be hung on your belt for easy accessibility. Moreover, M.A.G.I.C. assisted opening facilitates the everyday carrying of the knife.

When it comes to safety, it is a CHAMPION!


The liner lock and safety lock prevent accidental slippage of the blade. So, you will barely experience an injury while using this knife.

Besides, the knife features a glass breaker and seatbelt cutter. As a result, helping you escape from your vehicle in the case of an emergency.


  • Safety lock and liner lock
  • Affordable price range
  • 4034 black oxide high carbon stainless steel blade
  • Suitable for everyday carry


  • The trigger to deploy the blade is a bit stiff

Are OTF Knives Legal?

Before buying an OTF knife, knowing whether it is legal in your state is important. OTF knife simply means out-the-front knife. The blade comes out from the front and then retracts. There are some laws regarding using and owning standard knives in the USA. Since OTF knives are switchable sliders and knives, the same rule and regulations are used for them.

According to the American Knife & Tool Institute, only 7 states disallow manufacturing, purchasing, owning, and using OTF knives. Other states have restrictions. Here we shared a chart for your convenience.

States NameLegal/IllegalRemarks
New MexicoIllegal 
New JerseyIllegal 
MarylandIllegal to manufacture and sell 
VermontLegal with restrictionsBlades need to be under 3”
New YorkLegal with restrictionsCan be used for fishing, hunting, or trapping
CaliforniaLegal with restrictionsBlades need to be under 2”
MassachusettsLegal with restrictionsBlades need to be under 1.5”
ConnecticutLegal with restrictionsBlades need to be under 1.5”
WashingtonLegal with restrictionsPossession is limited to law enforcement and emergency personnel
IllinoisLegal with restrictionsUser will require license to use
KentuckyLegal with restrictionsUser will require license to use

Now you have got the basic facts about OTF knives. Make sure to check the legalities before buying one. If you are unaware of the rules, buy one for your personal use, and later find it illegal in your state, you can be fined, jailed, or anything based on the situation.

What to Consider Before Buying the Best Budget OTF Knives?

In order to find the best and perfect OTF knives, you will have to consider many things. Consider reading the below factors to buy the best out-the-front knife for your needs.

Blade Material

One of the critical parts of a knife is the blade. It is no exception for OTF knives as well. If your selected OTF knife blade quality Is poor, other features like handle, price, and additional features will become irrelevant.

The blades of most OTF knives are made of carbon steel or stainless steel. Other types of materials won’t offer the required performance. It means the blade can chip, damage, or break easily and will get dull after a few uses.

Stainless steel blades are inexpensive, durable, and give a nice appeal. Maintaining them is also effortless. Whereas carbon steel blades are expensive and need more care. Choose the one that meets your requirements.

Single Action vs. Double Action OTF Knives

You will find 2 types of OTF knives in the market based on the deployment mechanism: single-action and dual-action. 

Single-action OTF knives deploy the blade only. It means after opening the blade, you will have to force manually to put the blade into the handle again. On the other hand, double action OTF knives deploy the blade and retract it into the handle itself.

Generally, double action OTF knives are more functional, easy to use, safer, and expensive. But they are prone to malfunction. While single-action OTF knives are cost-efficient and don’t usually malfunction. However, you are risking cutting your finger when retracting the blade manually.

Consider the benefits and drawbacks and buy one that fulfills your needs.

You can find double action OTF knives under $100.

Handle Material & Structure

The handle must have to be robust, strong, and lightweight. Knives handle goes under a lot of stress when used. So, if the handle is of inferior quality, it may break or cause hand strain upon use.

OTF knife handles have springs inside them to withstand vibrations. The handle will prevent you from using the knife efficiently for poor-quality springs. Moreover, a poor handle can greatly affect the deployment mechanism. More dangerously, poor-quality handles can fail to protect your hand and fingers.

Aluminum is the best material for handling. This material makes the knife lightweight, resists vibration, and ensures durability.

Safety Features

Safety features for OTF knives are generally used to prevent accidental opening of the blade. When buying the best OTF knife on a budget, you must not overlook this factor.

The liner lock and safety pin prevent the blade from unwanted deployment. These features are beneficial to stop unwanted injury.

Additional Features

You can find OTF knives with or without additional features like a glass breaker, pocket clip, bottle opener, etc. However, these features offer extra benefits. You should opt for a model with these features as they don’t have any drawbacks. You can use these features when you need them.

Best Budget OTF Knife FAQs

Are OTF knives effective?

OTF knives are a great choice for self-defense. They are effective for a variety of reasons including durability, extreme sharpness, easy to carry in the pocket, and rapid deployment.

Is an OTF knife automatic?

OTF knives are a type of automatic knife. The blade is designed to be deployed “out the front” of the handle.

What are OTF knives called?

The other names of OTF knives are sliding knives, angel blades, telescopic knives, etc. These pocket-size knives can be opened and closed through the hole in one end of the handle.

Are OTF knives durable?

OTF knives are made of durable materials like carbon steel or stainless steel. With proper maintenance and care, OTF knives will last for a lifetime.

Final Words & Top Pick

The best budget OTF knife will be a long-lasting tool. All the selected OTF knives in this guide are intended to do their tasks well. You can use them for outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, and other EDC works.

We are impressed with the quality, design, and safety mechanism of the Kershaw Capsule Spear Point Pocket Knife. 8Cr13Mov steel construction makes it much more durable than other OTF knives. Also, it resists corrosion and regular dings and nicks to give you many years of efficient service. The unique texture of the handle confirms a comfortable grip. It also has good deployment. Go for it!


Oliver aka Arannyk Monon is a versatile content writer, editor, and content strategist. He has been writing for the last 10 years to help people get the actual information that they are searching for on Search Engines. He has proven expertise in Kitchen, automotive, camera, hosting, and other technical topics.

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