7 Handy Small Assisted Opening Knives – Reviews Guide

It is difficult to find a good Assisted Opening Pocket Knife of any size.

American thumbs felt a lot better after the invention of the spring-assisted knife. The spring assisted knife allows knife owners to easily open their knives with a simple flick of a finger. Some people still have concerns about the legality of assisted opening knives (yes, they are legal), or simply want a quick-open knife that fits easily in their pocket. The problem is to find a knife with both an assisted opening and small size that will last. Here are seven assisted opening knives that have blades less than 3 inches.

You don’t need to be a specialist in the assisted open concept. Just skip to the bottom and get a quick overview of the details.

Assisted Opening Knives

  • 420 HC Steel
  • 420 HC Steel
  • 7Cr17MoV Steel
  • Aus-8 Steel
  • 8Cr13MoV Steel
  • 420HC Steel
  • CPM-S30V Steel


Blade Length 1.9”
Overall length: 4.8”
Steel: 420HC
Blade Style Clip point
Grind: Hollow
Handle Material Stainless steel
Type of lock: Frame
Carry: Tip-down

This little knife has a big punch, designed by Ken Onion. The Kershaw Chive is a unique piece. Although it is the smallest knife on the list, the Kershaw Chive is a unique piece. It features a hollow grind edge and a recurve-shaped design.

It measures just under 2 inches in length, which means it will ride under 5 inches. This makes it very easy to bring around at work. You can put it on your keychain. This is another way to say it’s easy for you to lose. However, there’s plenty of utility in this small thing. If you are interested in that type of thing, it also comes in rainbow colors.


Blade Length 2.49”
Overall length: 5.75”
Steel: 420HC
Blade Style Drop point
Grind: Hollow
Handle Material Aluminium
Lock Type: Liner
Carry: Tip-down

Although the Scallion has the same design as that of the Chive, many people love the Chive and wish Kershaw had a larger model. This is the larger model. The overall design is the same, with some minor adjustments beyond the 2.5 inch extended blade.

The handle of the one is made from polymer, although you can now find stainless steel handles on some models. A liner lock is also necessary for the plastic-y scales. Although this seems to be a more comfortable option to the Chive, you might find that the extra inch of blade is just too much for your needs.


Blade Length 2.8”
Overall length: 7.0”
Steel: 7Cr17MoV
Blade Style Wharncliffe
Grind: Hollow
Material to Handle: GFN
Lock Type: Plunge lock
Carry: Tip-down

Gerber’s Fullback was intended to be small and strong. It’s made from Chinese steel, which is a great choice for those who want it to be low-cost. The blade stock is also quite thick considering its size.

This knife is probably the most comfortable of all the knives currently on the list. The handle is thicker than normal. This knife is something you can take outdoors and use rough. It’s a good camping knife, I would even say so. The Fullback would be a much better choice as a work knife, but it is.


Blade Length 2.65”
Overall length: 6.2”
Steel: AUS-8
Blade Style Drop point
Grind: Flat
Material to Handle: Rosewood
Type of lock: Lockback
Carry: Tip-up

SOG made a rare move towards a classic, traditional look with their Twitch 2. The handle is simple with a blade that measures 2.5 inches in length and a point at the end that drops to 2.5 inches. It’ll fit comfortably in your hands, even if you don’t have large hands.

The lockback mechanism is also used, which makes it feel odd to use an assisted open. It’s not because it has any practical problems, but it feels almost like you are putting on tires from a 40-year-old jalopy on your Prius. This version also comes with an anodized aluminum handle. I personally prefer the feel and look of wood.


Blade Length 2.78”
Overall length: 7.0”
Steel: 8Cr13MoV
Blade Style Tanto
Grind: G-10
Material to Handle: G-10
Type of lock: Frame
Carry: Pocket clip (all 4 positions).

This is one of the refreshing designs by CRKT. They’ve chosen to keep it simple. These simple folders are a good bet as they feature tough, economical materials and don’t add any technological features that would interfere with a knife just being a knife.

It is a solid blade design with soft steel and an ambidextrous-assisted open. It is quick to get out and rides easily, while the framelock gives it an extra bit of ruggedness. Although the tanto knife may look more intimidating than the others, it’s actually quite useful.


Blade Length 2.75”
Overall length: 7.0”
Steel: 420HC
Blade Style Drop point
Grind: Hollow
Material to Handle: Polymer
Lock Type: Lockback
Carry: Tip-down

The Quickfire is manufactured in Buck’s American factory. It has a polymer handle made of plastic, but its overall quality is very high. Polymer handles are a great low-cost option for knives, and Buck did it right with this one. It was also given a tough steel to ensure it holds its edge well.

The hollow grind makes it difficult to sharpen. This knife is great for left-handed people because it has a thumb stud. It looks like you will have to remove the pocket clip completely. It doesn’t seem to switch over to the left-handed position.


Blade Length 2.91”
Overall length: 6.91”
Steel: CPM-S30V
Blade Style Drop point
Material to Handle: G-10
Lock Type: Axis
Carry: Tip-up

We can only recommend the Mini Barrage as the best recommendation. Anybody who is familiar with knives will tell you to get Mini Barrage if you ask about an assisted open knife that has a shorter blade than 3 inches.

It’s hard to beat the quality of S30V steel in terms of quality. And, Benchmade being Benchmade means it will come sharp, and you can be sure it will stay sharp. You don’t really need the Barrage milled G-10. There are better materials, but it doesn’t matter. It’s tough stuff and helps to keep the knife prices down. This is often a great thing for Benchmade knives.


An assisted open knife pushes the blade to deployment when it is partially opened. An AO knife will come with a tension mechanism. This mechanism pushes the blade back into its handle until you deploy it. The tension mechanism then moves the blade the opposite way so that it is pushed the other direction.

Two methods can be used to do this: the coil spring and the torsion bars. Different knife companies will patent variations of these two methods. However, they all follow the same principle. Let’s take a look at the two types and which companies use them most often.

  • Kershaw: Speedsafe – Torsion bar
  • CRKT “Outburst”, – Torsion bar
  • Benchmade “Axis” – Coil Spring
  • SOG N/A Coil spring
  • Gerber: N/A – Torsion Bar


A Torsion bar, a curved metal part that runs up the edge of a knife’s blade or near its spine, is called the tang area. From that point, the torsion bar pushes up on the blade until it is fully open.

The hole that is completely closed will allow the blade to remain inside the handle if the push force the blade out of the handle. As you open it, the hole is moved down and over. This coils the torsion bars until they pop back on the opposite side. The blade then escapes from the handle and goes into the open position.


This spring is coiled around the pivot screw. This is the same thing as automatic knives except that the coil is not secured by a button but rather by tension in the housing. This system requires that you wind up the spring before you close the knife.

After it is closed, the tension shifts from blade to spring housing. It doesn’t push the blade again until it is opened to the point where the spring tab contacts the slot in the blade’s base. You will find a second mechanism to secure the blade, whether it is a spring tab or horizontal bar.

About the author

Hi, my name is Jaba Ray. I'm a knife expert and researcher. I am the creator of thesandwichknife.com, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I love people who need suitable steel or knife for their cook because I'm also a food lover. I work with a team of people who've always had a passion for knives and blades on this site.

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