From collectors to avid outdoorsmen (and women), day laborers or simply those who like having a versatile tool ready at hand, spring assisted blades have skyrocketed in popularity.

Also known as assisted-opening knives, these blades are revered for their fast and reliable deployment while reducing the risk of human error and injury.

Many of us have been there, with even the most well-practiced knife-wielder experiencing a misfire from time to time with manual flipper knives. The same cannot be said for spring assisted openers. Short of catastrophic mechanical failure (a rarity), these blades deploy with unparalleled reliability.

One misconception about these blades is that you have to spend an arm and a leg to get any half-decent blade. In this guide, we dispel this myth, covering six of the BEST budget spring assisted knives on the market in 2021.

So kick back, grab a drink, and let’s dive in.

Best Budget Assisted Opening Knives

In no particular order…

1. CRKT LCK+, 3.31″ Assisted Blade, Black GRN Handle – 3801

CRKT LCK+, 3.31

Manufacturer

Made by none other than Oregon-based Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT), this company has been producing high-quality blades since 1994. Since its inception the company has built a reputation around integrating cutting-edge designs and equipment into its knives, maintaining superior quality control from the production line to the customer’s hand.

Overview

Versatile, powerful, compact and ready for anything, this blade deploys lightning-fast. As an everyday carry, the knife’s rapid and smooth deployment, combined with a low-profile lightweight design make it a favorite in a wide variety of applications.

Features

  • Spring-Assisted Opening: for rapid deployment
  • IKBS™ Ball Bearing Pivot: delivers unbelievably smooth performance
  • Glass Re-enforced Handle: offers a perfect blend of durability and strength without adding unnecessary weight
  • Low profile: deep carry clip enables the knife to ride securely and low in the pocket

Specifications

  • Overall Length: 7.47”
  • Closed Length: 4.16”
  • Blade Length: 3.31”
  • Blade Finish: Satin
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV
  • Blade Thickness: 0.13”
  • Weight: 2.80 oz.

2. Kershaw Ken Onion Leek Pocket Knife (Classic Plain Edge)

Kershaw Ken Onion Leek Pocket Knife

Manufacturer

Known for producing knives that are truly ‘a cut above the rest’, Kershaw is a pioneering knife manufacturer known for high-quality blades that offer superior utility.

Overview

The Kershaw Ken Onion Leek Pocket knife is the brainchild of the youngest ever inductee into Blade Magazine’s Hall of Fame, none other than Ken Onion himself. Ranking among Kershaw’s most popular series, the Onion offers superior versatility, coupled with a slim design and modified drop-point with impressive slicing ability. With an adequate 3” blade, reliable SpeedSafe deployment mechanism, and anodized handle, this knife is a versatile EDC that gets the job done, and quite possibly makes this one of the best budget spring assisted knives.

Features

  • Versatile Sandvik Steel blade: delivers increased hardness, edge retention and resistance to corrosion
  • Slim Design: offers a sleek visual style while making the blade easy to EDC
  • SpeedSafe Assisted Opening: a pioneering assisted opening mechanism
  • Bead-Blasted finish: results in enhanced aesthetics and non-reflective surface
  • Stainless-Steel Chromium Blended Handle: offers superior durability and stability in hand

Specifications

  • Overall Length: 7”
  • Closed Length: 4”
  • Blade Length: 3”
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Steel: Sandvik 14C28N Blade
  • Weight: 3.1 oz
  • Point: drop point

3. Ontario RAT 1A SP, 3.5″ Assisted Blade, Black G10 Handle – 8870

Ontario RAT 1A SP, 3.5

Manufacturer

The Ontario Knife Company is one with a storied past and a documented track record of producing quality knives dating as far back as 1889. For those of us bad at math, we’re talking about 125 years of experience in the industry.

Overview

The RAT series is among Ontario Knife Company’s most prized models, offering a blend of affordability and versatility that makes it an ideal EDC blade. The RAT 1A AP is capable of taking a lot of abuse and is a good option for both survival and tactical gear. Featuring an ergonomic G10 handle, silky-smooth action and a reliable safety lock, the blade is easily maneuverable in a wide range of scenarios. Once a standard folder, the RAT 1A AP is now outfitted with the company’s proprietary Tactical Assisted Opening (T.A.O.) technology for rapid assisted deployment.

Features

  • Tactical Assisted Opening Technology (T.A.O.): a proprietary assisted opening system that is silky-smooth, lightning-fast and reliable.
  • G10 Handle: Offers superior grip and ergonomics for enhanced maneuverability
  • 4-Position Pocket Clip: Makes it easy to adapt positioning for EDC
  • Dual Thumb Studs: ideal for ambidextrous use
  • Hardened Steel Liners: improved durability, stability and build quality
  • Lanyard hole

Specifications

  • Overall Length: 8.5”
  • Closed Length: 5”
  • Blade Length: 3.5”
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Steel: AUS-8 Stainless Steel, 57-59 HRC
  • Weight: 5.1 oz.
  • Handle: G10

4. Gerber Highbrow, 3.25″ Assisted Blade, Onyx Aluminum Handle – 31-003674

Gerber Highbrow, 3.25

Manufacturer

Founded in 1939 by Joseph Gerber, the company is known for its unique styling, high production standards, and collaborations with renowned knife designers. Today, Gerber specializes in rugged and reliable outdoor recreation products and blades.

Overview

Featuring a seductive luxe design, the Gerber Highbrow assisted blade sets the standard high. Its smooth opening mechanism is easily activated with the flip of a finger, yet snuggly secure to prevent accidental deployment. Its ambidextrous design aids in its versatility, as does the alternating pocket clip capable of left or right-hand carry arrangement.

Features

  • Onyx Coated Handle: As visually stunning as it is weather-resistant
  • Rugged Spring Assistance: Offers strong reliable deployment
  • Integrated Safety Catch: Prevents accidental pocket deployment
  • Built-in Lanyard Hole
  • Ambidextrous belt clip

Specifications

  • Overall Length: 7.9”
  • Blade Length: 3.25”
  • Blade Edge: Plain, drop point
  • Blade Steel: 7Cr17MoV Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 6.7 oz.
  • Handle: Onyx anodized aluminum

5. Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS M&P Linerlock Knife with 2nd Generation MAGIC Assist

Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS M&P Linerlock Knife

Manufacturer

Iconic Smith & Wesson ranks among one of the most recognizable brands in the personal safety and protection industry, offering unparalleled solutions used across military and police departments the world over. The company’s history with law enforcement and battle-ready tactical solutions dates as far back as the 1800s.

Overview

As intimidating as its firearms, the styling of the S&W SWMP4LS LinerLock Knife is both practical and visually impressive. The M&P series (short for Military and Police) is a tactical combat folder with integrated assistance deployment. Utilizing a MAGIC assist (Multipurpose, Assisted, Generational, Innovative Cutlery), this duel-patented mechanism represents the pinnacle of assisted opening innovation. Touted as the easiest single-handed opening mechanism on the market, it is something you truly have to experience to fully appreciate.

Features

  • Dual Patented MAGIC deployment system
  • Conveniently designed pocket clip for everyday carry
  • Non-slip security liner lock for safety
  • Integrated ‘glass breaker’ in case of emergencies
  • Ambidextrous design
  • Part serrated part plain edge and drop point blade with utilitarian design for versatility in the field

Specifications

  • Overall Length: 8.6”
  • Closed Length: 5”
  • Blade Length: 3.6”
  • Blade Edge: Straight and serrated
  • Blade Steel: 4034 Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 7.4 oz.
  • Handle: Rubberized

6. Kershaw Brawler, 3″ Assisted Blade, Glass-Filled Nylon Handles – 1990

Kershaw Brawler, 3

Manufacturer

A dominant force in the tactical and field knife industry, Kershaw is known for producing some of the most exceptional working tools and knives on the market, all while maintaining an affordable price point that is accessible for the masses. Blending craftsmanship with innovative and utilitarian designs, its easy to see why Kershaw has shown up twice on our list of the best budget spring assisted knives.

Overview

A spring-assisted knife doesn’t get a name like ‘Brawler’ without coming ready to put up a fight if need be. With a strength matched to your own will, and a reliability that you can count on when things get tough, the Kershaw Brawler offers a lot in a compact size perfect for EDC.

Featuring a 3” modified Tanto style blade with a slight curvature, this blade is as effective as it is versatile, offering a longer edge to slice in one pull. Adding to the knife’s allure is Kershaw’s own SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism, offering smooth deployment at a moment’s notice.

Features

  • Quad-carry pocket clip: capable of transitioning from tip down to up, or from right to left-handed setups
  • Steel liner lock: offers superior safety to securely lock the blade in open position
  • Integrated ‘flipper’: positioned like a fin on the back of the blade to easily move the blade in and out of the handle
  • Black oxide coating: enhances aesthetics and reduces light reflection
  • SpeedSafe Deployment: delivers quick one-handed deployment of the blade
  • Glass Nylon-filled Handle: provides enhanced strength and reliable grip

Specifications

  • Overall Length: 7.125”
  • Closed Length: 4.125”
  • Blade Length: 3.25”
  • Blade Edge: Straight and serrated
  • Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV, black oxide coating
  • Weight: 3.9 oz.
  • Handle: Nylon-filled glass handle

The Best Budget Spring Assisted Knives for Any Situation

There you have it. Our 2021 picks for the best spring assisted knives on a budget. These affordable blades meet the highest of quality and performance standards, utilizing innovative approaches to design, utilitarian features, and high-quality materials to help you get more done safer.

From tactical to field applications, these spring assisted knives are favored around the world and well worth adding to your own tool chest.