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How to Open and Close a Tactical Knife

Deployment and closure methods are vital to take into consideration when choosing a tactical knife. It's important to select a folding knife style that you feel comfortable opening and closing, especially if you're faced with an emergency situation. In this article, we're going back to the basics and covering various deployment and closure techniques that you'll commonly find in knives. Before we dive in, it's important to note that you should always be sure you have a steady and secure grip. Also ensure that your fingers are not in the way of the blade, regardless of whether you're trying to open or close the knife.

Thumb Studs

Let's start with the thumb stud deployment method. To open, simply apply pressure to the stud and push towards the opening direction. Use your wrist to flick it open the rest of the way.

Thumb Holes

If your knife has thumb holes, apply pressure to the hole using the finger pad you're most comfortable with, and push towards the opening direction. Just like the thumb stud method, flick your wrist to open it the rest of the way.


Next up is the flipper deployment method. Using your index finger, swiftly push down on the extended piece of metal on the back of the knife.

Nail Nick

To deploy a nail nick knife, you'll need both hands. Use one hand to hold the knife, and a fingernail on the other hand to dig into the groove and pull upwards.

Liner and Frame Locks

Most folding knives use a liner or frame lock, which you'll need to know how to disengage in order to close the knife. Carefully push the lock to the left using your thumb. Then, use your pointer finger to slowly push the blade down.


To open a lockback knife, simply lift the blade into the open position, it will lock into place. Closing a lockback knife requires two hands. Push down on the exposed part of the spine with one hand (this will disengage the blade), and swing the blade closed using the other hand.

Regardless of what style you choose to include in your EDC, the most important factor that should always be taken into consideration is your level of comfort. When an emergency situation arises, the last thing you want to do is waste time struggling to deploy or close your knife. Making an informed buying decision is always the best thing to do, that way you don't regret your purchase later. Learn more about choosing a tactical knife in our buyer's guide.

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