Balisong Knives Reviewed

Are you looking for an awesome Balisong knife to flip? Look no further, we reviewed 3 top-selling Balisong knives and, guess what, price does not equal to quality!

Balisongs, also called butterfly knives, are a type of traditional Filipino knife that originated in a town called Balisong. In fact, that town still produces Balisong knives today. The legality of these things are sort of questionable but you can buy butterfly knives online with no problem (if you know where to look ;)).

Name No Name 117S 52 Morpho
Brand Flea Market Bear & Son Benchmade
Blade Dull Sharp Razor
Tang Questionable Good Great
Weight ??? 5.8oz 4.8oz
MSRP Cheap $50 $265
Amazon $10 $44 $190
Rating

First off, before you buy a real Balisong, I recommend you buying a cheap Balisong trainer. They go for about $8 and some of them can also be used as a bottle opener. It’s a win-win because you’ll save yourself some cuts :). I even have a guide about how to make a Balisong training knife at home if you are so inclined.

So, before we can start grading Balisongs, we must first figure out what we should look for in such a knife.

Things to Look for in a Balisong Knife

photo of the parts of a butterfly knife

Blade, tang, and weight are very important parts to a butterfly knife

  • Blade – some knives come razor-sharp, others are dull (usually the flea market type). Depending on how skilled you are at flipping, you might want to go with a dull, cheap one first ;).
  • Tang – the tang is the part that connects the blade to the handles. Some poorly made knives tend to break after a lot of use if the tang’s metal is weak.
  • Weight – Heavier butterfly knives are easier to learn than lighter ones. Some people think it is the other way, but this is what I felt was easier.

Some reviewers online complain about how their butterfly knife’s screws feel out after a few days. This isn’t really a defect–it is just them being dumb. Any real knife enthusiast knows that you must take the screws out and place a drop of Loctite in there to protect the knife. This goes for Balisongs, pocket knives, or any other non-fixed blade knife. You can basically ignore those reviews if you see them.

Some Flea Market Butterfly Knife

photo of a flea market

Would you trust buying your Balisong here?

There isn’t really a name for this knife. I just found it on Amazon and it looks just like the ones you can find at a flea market. Eh, it’s $10 and the reviews online are pretty mixed about it. I most people who buy these are amateurs who are still learning how to flip. If this is you, I totally recommend you buying a trainer knife instead of this. It’ll save you a lot of cuts and most trainer knives are of higher quality than this cheap thing.

By higher quality, I mean that the blade will swing out smoother without any wobble. It’ll also last longer if you happen to drop it. Some reviewers online stated that they dropped their flea market butterfly knife and it just simply broke in half! Peace of crap, right? If you are going to be cheap, you can actually get great, cheap pocket knives.

Bear and Son 117S Butterfly Knife

photo of 117s

Good, great knife. Highly recommended.

This one rocks! It costs $44, which is a little bit of a step up from the flea market one, but it is made with much higher quality. The blade is stainless steel so it is razor-sharp and rust resistant. The blade is 4 inches long and the handle is 9 inches long. It weights a heavy 5.9 ounces–on the heavy side but it makes for really easy flipping. Be careful though, the blade is SHARP!

What I really liked about this knife is that the swing is very, very smooth. Some reviewers stated that their Balisong didn’t swing smoothly at first but, once you break it in, it’ll be great. Others used oil to grease the hinges.

The handle’s material just feels nice in your hand. The handles are made of die cast metal so it feels like a very powerful, heavy weapon. Some reviewers who used their Bear and Son Balisongs a lot said that the coating on the handles might come off after time. This is sort of common with coated knives. Check out reviews.

Benchmade 51 Morpho Balisong

Benchmade Morpho on some leaves

Beautiful, high quality knife.

Benchmade is a huge name in knives. Made by a Filipino-American, Benchmade started out as the first company producing Balisongs in America. Their name and quality soon spread and Benchmade is now known for a wide range of knives.

The Benchmade 51 is the newest model and a replacement to the 42 series. This model is very, very light compared to the above two butterfly knives–4.8 ounces. Instead of using metal for the handles, Benchmade made the handles out of fiberglass. This gives the handles a wood-like feel.

The blade uses D2 steel. D2 steel is a carbon alloy steel that is used in making tools. It is very hard and keeps a blade very well. However, it can rust easily without proper care. The blade also has a mean looking finish.

The reviews online are very positive for this knife. It gets about a 4.5 star rating on most websites. Some reviewers give this knife a lower rating because they are mad at Benchmade for discontinuing the 42 series. I’ve never tried the 42 series so I don’t have a word here. Other reviewers give this knife a lower rating because it feels too light. This, however, is just a matter of taste. The lighter handles swing faster than a heavier handle; it’ll take a few days to get used to the lightness.

Oh yeah, surprise, this model retails for $265–no one said Benchmades were cheap. It sells on Amazon for $190.

Conclusion to What Butterfly Knife You Should Get

photo of benchmade morpho

Another case of you get what you paid for.

So, what bali should you get? First off, stay away from those cheap flea market Balisongs. They might snap in half during a flip and you might just injure yourself. If you are in that price range, consider a trainer since they have better dynamics and some of them look like a real balisong.

If you are on a budget, get the Bear and Son butterfly knife since it is $50 and performs well. The weight will also aid you in learning how to flip. I can’t say anything bad about the Bear and Son. The Benchmade is also another great item but, for $265, I’ll pass. If you have the cash for that, get it, if not, save $200 and get the Bear and Sons.

If you have a passion for flipping, you would also like knife throwing as well — trust me, every knife flipper I know loves to throw. You can also try throwing axes, tomahawks, and hatchets–ok, I’m kidding, you can’t really throw a hatchet.

Like my review? Or, dislike my review? Tell me in the comment box below.

Comments

  1. Shame the Kimura line’s been discontinued. It filled the gap between the Bear & Son balisongs and the Benchmade balisongs. All that’s left in that gap now is the Bear Ops knives, some of which have gotten fairly mixed reviews; negative reviews coming mostly from the issue of the tang pins chipping out pieces of the G-10 handles.

  2. You forgot Dragon claw balisongs now there is a good Bali it is like 20-30 years old and still flips like a barley used Bali I got this from my dad who got this when he was like 13 I’ve dropped it like three times on concrete and it is fine it is what you want if you can find it

  3. Thank god I thought butterfly knifes were illegal in PA!! Im only getting a trainer though

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