Top 7 Best Butterfly Knife & Trainers – How To Pick One?

The Butterfly or Balisong is an unusual knife gaining in popularity due to the rotating handles that hide the blade allowing for concealment. Due to the unique nature, users can engage in a multitude of masterful hand movements or trickery with the piece as depicted with martial arts.

There are debates pertaining to historical origins regarding the Balisong. Most believe the language portrayed in the name determines a Philippines’ birthplace as it is a Filipino term.

The intended purpose was initially pragmatic, as well as a form of self-defense. The item was infamous for quick deployment allowing for single-handed use and optimum efficacy. The tradition continues in the Philippines today, especially in Batangas, a province known for the sale of a vast range of these.

The remaining history relates to ties to France, Spanish merchants, and sailors, as well as a few tales relating to Germany and the United Kingdom as potential originating regions. None seem to precede the earliest form which has been traced back to 800 AD within the Philippines

The Seven Best Butterfly (Balisong) Knife

There are many names designated for the butterfly knife, including ‘Batangas,’ ‘Manila folder,’ ‘fan knife,’ and ‘Balisong.’ These terms denote what appears as a folding ‘pocket knife’ featuring handles capable of rotating around the blade.

These deem illegal in many countries, including Canada and many states within the United States, as it can be dangerous in the wrong hands. But the piece shows as beautiful and quite mesmerizing to watch when being flipped with someone experienced in its technique.

Sadly, because of the novelty and the subsequent reputation from their portrayal in movies and media, they are often mass-produced with lesser standards through manufacturers who hope to achieve fast cash.

Quality brands, however, have designers to ensure tools with excellent standards worth consideration by collecting enthusiasts and those interested in practical purposes. Check out these outstanding designs:

1. Benchmade 87

For the true, enthusiastic collector, a Benchmade 87 is among the most coveted for the elevated price point considered to be well worth it.

It offers a unique appearance compared to other butterfly knives available based on the blade shape of ‘reverse-tanto.’ That is only one of the components that sets it apart.

The design is such that it comprises only premium materials such as CPM-S30V for the blade construction and a handle of billet titanium.

It is 10″ all total with a 4.50″ blade and a weight of 5.37 oz. (0.2 kg). The claim is that every detail on this piece is beautiful with brilliant components. It almost makes it difficult to use, making practicality a question.

The only real downside is investing the incredible cost puts a question on practicality and function. People who collect may find it a display piece more, but those who need a piece for utilitarian reasons may not want to go so elaborate.

Why This Knife:

  • Tanto, Wharncliffe,  blade
  • Milled titanium handles
  • Magnetic latch

Keep In Mind: 

  • High price point creating the question as to functionality or collectability.

 2. Brous Blades B3

The Brous was designed to honor the tradition of the original blades keeping as much of the classic styling as possible. The unique signature of the creator was meant to add flair.

These can be seen in features like the modified recurve ‘tanto’ black-finish blade along with the beautiful cerakote “burnt bronze” handles. The claim is that when closed, the piece resembles almost any butterfly knife, but it notes to have been designed to pay homage to those classics before them with the brand’s signature style blended in.

They could not forget the swinging action iconic to those before them. Still, it offers interesting standouts, including a 4.25″ blade construction comprising D2 finished tool steel and cerakote ‘burnt bronze’ handles of stainless steel finish.

Why This Knife:

  • Appeals to the modern style with classic traditions
  • Attractive in its appearance
  • Practical in its usefulness
  • Affordable

Keep In Mind: 

  • Downsides are hard to find with this piece. It meets all criteria for functionality, appeal, quality, and character

3. Bear Song IV

Bear Song is a new collaboration with BladeRunner and Bear OPS. This knife was designed for use and function, making it a practical choice. The affordability makes it ideal for those looking for a pocket knife for everyday use. It’s attractive with its aluminum handles that are blue anodized with raindrop overlay graphics. There is a swappable latch and spacers of stainless steel material. The blade comprises a stainless steel black finish clip point.

Bear Song’s design is specific for use as opposed to collecting. The issue with this piece as far as function is the blade is not sharp. So while it notes of being an ‘ideal pocket knife,’ it may be difficult to do specific tasks with it.

Why This Knife:

  • Affordable
  • Functional for everyday use
  • Nice appearance
  • Swappable latch and spacers
  • Excellent flip capability/sturdy

Keep In Mind: 

  • The blade is not designed to be sharp making it difficult to use in all situations.

These may not coincide with other opinions but show as popular choices on the market for a great majority of consumers.

4. Benchmade 62

This knife is similar to the Schrade Manilla as far as the traditional design with a blade classic in shape alongside handles that have been skeletonized with the metal material.

The construction is it’s distinguishing feature with the D2 alongside the stainless steel making the United States manufactured butterfly more durable and reliable as many in the classification which would be expected from what is the most impressive of brands.

What designates this as a top category is a fact that it can be strong in length at 9.2” but weigh little at only 6.33 oz. (0.24 kg) making it an incredibly sought after choice for those who want to carry it as a practical tool.

Why This Knife:

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Classic in style
  • Utilitarian
  • Screw head pivot pins allow blade change out
  • T-latch lock mechanism

Keep In Mind:

  • Weight
  • Lack of ease of flip and opening
  • No pocket clip

5. Squid Industries Squiddy-G Butterfly

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Squid Industries has a legendary reputation for making the best butterfly knife training options on the market today. This particular model is one of their flagship options, carefully made out of high-quality materials that are precision manufactured with CNC machining.

The channels on this knife trainer are made out of PVC-C to keep things lightweight without sacrificing strength and stability, and every single one of these trainers is assembled by hand in California to guarantee a high-quality fit and finish across the board.

Perfectly balanced, this trainer has a handful of integrated steel weights that are pressed into the ends of each handle (along with a steel “nose pin”) to give you the authentic feel of a traditional butterfly knife when you are flipping it around.

Like other trainers, though, you won’t ever be able to sharpen the “blade” on this tool – which allows it to be ordered over the internet and shipped through the mail to customers in all 50 states without any headache or hassle.

Why This Trainer::

  • Precision Manufactured
  • Lightweight
  • Impeccable Balance
  • Smooth Action
  • Legendary Warranty
  • TSA Safe

Keep In Mind:

  • Cannot Be Sharpened
  • Feels Plasticky In the Hand

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6. MARCOLO Trainer

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This butterfly training knife is manufactured almost entirely out of high-quality stainless steel material, giving it a strength and durability that plastic or synthetic training knives do not.

Fair 100% safe to use (as the blade cannot be sharpened), this trainer feels solid in the hand but has a smooth butterfly opening action that you will be able to use to train effectively without risking getting caught.

The balance of this trainer is exceptional as well, and that’s thanks in large part to the fluting and rescission cutouts that eliminate a bit of extra stainless steel to cut down on weight without sacrificing stability or performance along the way.

Why This Trainer:

  • 100% Safe
  • Made of High-Quality Stainless Steel
  • Silky Butterfly Opening Action
  • Won’t Cut or Bruise When Training
  • Easy to Maintain

Keep In Mind:

  • Cannot Be Sharpened
  • Lacks Dedicated Locking Mechanism
  • A Little Stiff at First

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7. Kakasogo Dragon Totem Practice Butterfly Knife

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Manufactured from high grade 440 C stainless steel materials (similar to the steel used on legitimate butterfly knives), this trainer has the weight, the feel, and the action of a traditional butterfly – without the razor-sharp blade.

Measuring 9 inches when fully opened it’s a little bit bigger than some of the other options out there, but that guarantees you’re able to get used to the smooth operation of most any butterfly knife you’ll use later on.

tractive, easy to use, and with intelligently located cutouts to keep the weight of this trainer down without sacrificing the quality of materials used, this is a trainer that will help you get up to speed with using butterfly knives safely and effectively.

Why This Trainer:

  • Adjustable Screws for Tightening and Tension
  • Smooth Opening Action
  • Reliable Manual Lock
  • Lightweight
  • High Quality 440 C Stainless Steel Material

Keep in Mind:

  • 9 Inches Long When Opened
  • Requires Manual Adjustments Every Now and Again
  • Cannot Be Sharpened

Read More Customer Reviews on Amazon

How To Pick The Butterfly (Balisong) Knife To Suit Your Needs

With any product, a collector or someone interested in utilitarian practicality has its own set of criteria, a purpose, and characteristics that may be key in choosing a piece. Making a list of the best of something is pretty subjective as each person’s list will be different. But in creating this list, there was effort incorporated to designate pieces of varied price points, different purposes including training, and each with their own unique set of characteristics. So we’ve broken down the list of knives with the following ratings: best overall, best Mid-range and best budget.

Questions People Want To Know

There seems to be growing interest and increasing popularity with the Balisong knives away from the novelty of the film and TV world and more towards collecting and everyday uses. People of the newer generations are curious about the unusual pieces and hope to find more information through a variety of questions posed, some of which include:

What Is the Point of a Butterfly Knife?

The original intention for the knife in development (believed to be in the Philippines) was for practical purposes as in a unique version of a pocket knife. However, this piece comprises handles that have the capacity to rotate in a manner that allows the blade to be hidden, deeming it ‘concealed.’

Are Butterfly Knives Practical?

These claim to be the most practical designed folding knives with rugged simplicity and single-handed opening capability with locks boasted as the strongest on the market.

Why Are Balisong Knives Considered Illegal?

These have unfortunately developed a stigma as a potential weapon with much representation as such in films and media, where it’s generally shown in a threatening nature with the easy flip and rapid deployment. This has caused many countries to ban its use. There are trainers, included on our list, that are legal in areas where the actual knives are outlawed.

Are Butterfly Knives Safe to Use?

A butterfly knife, sometimes called a balisong or a flip knife, can be just as safe to use as any other bladed option out there – but you need to know what you’re doing.

You should always start with a knife that has an adjustable action (usually adjusted through tensioning screws) that lets you dial in the speed of the opening/closing of the knife.

Start rather stiff (and rather slow) until you get the hang of things and you’ll be good to go, loosening and speeding it up as you get more comfortable.

Is It a Good Idea to Practice with a Trainer?

If you don’t have a lot of experience flipping open and shut butterfly knives it’s always a good idea to grab a trainer.

These are much safer to use tools that train you how to flip a butterfly knife, trainers with completely dull (and impossible to sharpen) blades that won’t cut or bruise you when you make the inevitable mistakes as a beginner.


I’m Ahmed, the guy behind I’ve owned several types of knives and sharpeners over the last few years and have become obsessed with everything to do with knives. I’m always trying to improve my cleaning and sharpening process, and always on the hunt for the next best knife. But when I’m not spending time with my hobby, I’m here, writing about Knives and Sharpeners on KnifePulse to share with you what I learn along the way.

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