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What Is a Switchblade?

Learn about switchblade knives in this Howcast video about knives with expert Dan Delavan.


Hi, my name's Dan Dullivan. I'm the owner operator of Plaza Cutlery in Costa Mesa, California. We have a great selection. We also have a website, And today we're going to be talking about knives.

Okay, a switch blade is a knife where you press the button, and the blade pops out. In a lot of states now, switch blades over two inches are illegal. So if you are going to have or carry a switch blade, you do have to check with your state, and make sure that it's legal or not. For example, we're here in California, and switch blades are only legal for law enforcement and military. And bringing them across state lines can also get you into a lot of trouble too.

There's all different qualities. These particular ones are bench made, (?). They are the higher end ones. If you get a lower quality one, the springs are going to break on you, and the locks aren't going to work. And you want positive workings on that. You don't want it opening in your pocket. There's also the out the front, where you push it and it comes straight out. They're pretty cool, but, you got to make sure that it's secure. And usually, if you're going to carry a switch blade, you want to make sure that nothing else is in your pocket. Otherwise you're going to get a surprise.

Most of the switch blades started in the early 1900s. Shwade [sp ?] Walden, Case, a number of the pocket knife companies all made them. And they've been used for military, which a lot of these current ones are geared towards military and law enforcement. But a lot of them were just regular knives used.

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