Butterfly knivesButterfly or balisong knives may date back to 800 A.D. Developed in the Philippines, the butterfly knife is both a valued utility blade and one of the oldest weapons of Escrima, the Philippine art of self defense. With a little practice the balisong deftly opens with a flick of the wrist, qualifying the knife as a one-hand opening blade.

The balisong first became popular in the U.S. when American soldiers brought the knives home from the Philippines during World War II. Modern balisong knives are much different than those antique types, with a wide range of quality and some good modern ideas. The type of construction influences the strength of the knife — layered designs built of riveted slabs aren’t as strong as knives built with one piece grooved or channeled handle sections. The operating concept usually is the same as the centuries-old invention, with handle halves that fold back over both the spine and edge of the knife.

Balisong knives feature both traditional materials like rosewood and brass, and modernistic designs of stainless steel and machined aircraft quality aluminum. In the Philippines the knives are common — in the U.S. good balisong knives can be hard to find.

Some of Our Favorites

If you’ve seen guys flashing balisong knives around, you know there’s a trick to handling these knives, and the Ellington training butterfly knife gives you a chance to learn without serious damage.

The action is stiff, but the Cold Steel Paradox is a very solid Americanized version of the standard balisong.

Smith & Wesson’s Folding Tanto Powerglide solves many of the common problems of the modified balisong, at a bargain price.

See All of Our Butterfly Knife Reviews Below


Bear & Son Black Butterfly Knife, Skeletonized | Functional Balisong Martial Arts, Tactical Drop Point

If you’re a martial artist training in the Filipino style, the Bear & Son’s Black Butterfly is a big step up...
JT Hats
54 sec read

Armor Piercing Butterfly Knife, Japanese Tanto | Bear & Son Silver Vein Tactical Balisong Blade

The Silver Vein Armor Piercing Butterfly from Bear & Son Cutlery of Alabama features a high carbon stainless steel blade in...
JT Hats
53 sec read

Smith & Wesson Tanto Powerglide, Plain Edge | Folding Butterfly Balisong Knife

The Folding Powerglide Tanto from Smith & Wesson uses some of the basic concepts of the balisong or butterfly knife, but...
JT Hats
44 sec read

Cold Steel Butterfly Knife Paradox | Pocket Folder Balisong Locking

The Cold Steel Paradox operates smoothly but differently from the traditional balisong or butterfly knife. The modified design was created to...
JT Hats
49 sec read

Butterfly Knife Training by Ellington Manufacturing | Martial Arts Balisong Practice

This inexpensive mock butterfly knife by Ellington Manufacturing is designed only for safe training. Construction is similar in weight and action...
JT Hats
1 min read

Paratrooper 2 Silver Slide Blade Knife | Butterfly Fantasy Knife

There are so many things about this knife that disturb me that I have to remind myself that I own both...
44 sec read

Butterfly Knife Instructional DVD | Mastering the Balisong Knife

Hosted by Michael Janich, an accomplished instructor who specializes in edge-weapon self-defense. One of the only available DVDs devoted solely to...
23 sec read

Butterfly Knife | Damascus Balisong Sword | Replica of “Battle Angel Alita” Blade

This balisong sword is a replica of the Damascus Blade used by Alita in “Battle Angel Alita: Last Order”. The sword...
28 sec read