What exactly are OTF and OTS knives?
Automatic knives have been ingrained in American culture for decades now. Even if you've never used one – heck, even if you don't know anything about knives – you're probably familiar with switchblades from classic films such as West Side Story. But automatics aren't just associated with street hoodlums or gangsters (in fact, please don't use them for this purpose). Regular, everyday users enjoy these kinds of knives, including those in the vast Kershaw Launch series. Why are they so popular? One of the big reasons is the "cool factor" and the aggressive style of opening.
Speaking of opening, did you know that there are various types of automatic knives? Blade Magazine explained one of the big distinctions: OTS vs OTF. The difference basically boils down to how the blade is opened. OTF blades are deployed "out the front" of the handle. Kershaw doesn't currently make these kinds of automatics. But we do make OTS knives, including the Launch 2 shown in the article. These models feature blades that come "out the side" of the handle.
Blade Magazine concluded that one style isn't clearly superior to the other. What's certain is that Kershaw OTS knives are built with high-quality craftsmanship in the USA. Their sharpness and reliability make them perfect for utility. Just make sure to check your local knife laws before you carry one. If they're overly restrictive, the smaller, California-legal Launch 4 may be a good option depending on your city/state regulations.
What do you think of automatic knives? Let us know in the comments below.