Automatic Knives: OTS or OTF?

If you're caught in two minds and wondering whether your daily driver should be an OTS or OTF knife, this will help you decide which one's right for you. Both these styles of automatic knives are currently hot picks for EDC lovers and so the question is which one is your everyday survival tool. It's a lot liking asking Android or iOS? It's a hot debate and you're about to find out for yourself which one suits your demands the best. Let's first get close to both knives and see what they do before we find out the best pick for you.

OTF: Out Of The Front Knive


When you're planning a scorcher road-tripping, you know you're going to need a dependable automatic knife that's fast and furious. You want it to fire open in an instant and be safely locked within the handle. OTFs are automatic knives with blades sheathed within the handle. A button or lever activates the release mechanism and the blade jumps out straight from the top. These are some of the most reliable knives for EDC purposes.

Note: Check your local knife laws to see whether you can own or carry an automatic knife. (We have all the state knife laws decrypted on this site in plain English).

OTS: Out Of The Side Knives

This is a different school of automatic knives. Here, the blade fires “out the side” of the handle. To many, this may seem like a small difference, but to the bush experts, it's the difference between day and night - a hunt or a miss. What seems like a pretty insignificant difference can be the key to survival for many. Every knife feature is worth considering when your life depends on it.

OTF Vs OTS | Which One's Better?

If you're like one of us, you won't find a clear winner here. Which knife is better depends on your tasks and surroundings. How you want to carry your blade will also decide which one suits you best. Both are great EDC knives and it makes no real difference in day to day carry for daily tasks. Really depends on your taste.
Hunting and Fishing: As an angler and hunter, you never stop learning your knife. So, whether you need an OTF automatic knife or a slider will depend on the game, place, and time. As for me, I prefer a good reliable OTF like the double-edged Tekto Ravage.

It's a gentle push double-edged powerhouse. Perfect for times when I'm perched on treetops or dangling halfway. Also, for pure self-defense, an OTF automatic knife can engage the blade quicker, as there is no maneuvering required to clear the fingers from the blade.

If you're on the hunt for a utility knife, an OTS might be the blade to go with. Because the blade deploys rapidly by the press of a button, this automatic knife has a special dig to it. There’s also this satisfying crisp snap! sound when it opens and locks. The opening action is also extremely responsive in most OTS automatic knives - making them ideal for EDC (Every Day Carry).