Flip Out: Four Balisongs To Trick Out Your Collection


Known By Many Names, The Balisong Is A Flipper’s Favorite Knife. These Four New Balis Are On The Cutting Edge Of The Style.

The balisong presents knife manufacturers with an excellent opportunity to express their design creativity and material preferences in a style that promotes pure enjoyment among flipping enthusiasts.

Long popular amid the knife-buying public, the balisong—aka bali, butterfly knife or simply butterfly—is a favorite of those who appreciate its mechanics, good looks and the sheer fun of flipping. With safety in mind, the manufacturers whose stock in trade includes the balisong provide new and innovative models on a regular basis. 

Along with these, training versions are often available, while seminars, videos, instructional courses, and online conversations are always at hand for those learning to use the balisong for the first time, as well as seasoned veterans who want to broaden their horizons.

Squid Industries Krake Raken Bowie V2.5

Lucas Cao, president of Squid Industries, is excited with the performance of the company’s Krake Raken Bowie V2.5. 

“It’s wonderful that everything about it is highly optimized for the best flipping experience possible,” he said. “Some notable special features are the machined handle texture and its unique balance profile. The mechanism is a combination of stainless-steel bushings and phosphorus bronze washers. What makes the bushings special is we manufacture them in-house on our own Citizen Cincom L12 Type 7 Swiss lathe with extreme precision. Our expert assemblers use the bushings to then create the glassy smooth swing that the Krake Raken is known for.”

The Krake Raken is available in both live and training versions, allowing users to become familiar with its operations without the worry of an injury, according to Cao. And reliability is a watchword from the factory floor to the buyer’s hand.

“All of our balisongs go through rigorous testing across a long period of time and with many different users,” Lucas explained. “Balisong flipping is highly subjective, so we make sure that the feedback we gather is from both beginners and experts inside and outside of the organization. While Squid Industries has several top-tier flippers in our own ranks, we also work with top flippers around the world to hear their thoughts on our latest developments.”

An accomplished flipper in his own right, the Squid boss sees customers in the balisong universe always on the lookout for excellent ergonomics, grip, balance and durability. The ideals are addressed at Squid with continuing revisions and upgrades to its balisong line that are generated through robust customer feedback. 

Finding Squid in the marketplace is easy, and its commitment to the education and popularization of the balisong is evident in its sponsorship of the West Coast Flipping Championship, a 32-person-event live competition held each year at BLADE Show West. In addition, YouTube is well stocked with flipping and maintenance tutorial videos.

Knife Specs

Blade Length: 4.5 inches

Blade Steel: AEB-L stainless

Blade Closure: Latchless design

Handle Material: 7075 T651 aluminum

Weight: 4.33 ounces

Closed Length: 5.625”

Country of Origin: USA

MSRP: $284.99

Premium Alpha Beast Kukri

The Premium Alpha Beast Kukri is the latest from Bladerunner Systems and is another example of the continuing outreach the company provides relating to balisongs. 

“Spreading the word has been part of our primary focus,” commented Bladerunner’s Edward Anthonis. “We have been active in the community, hosted online tournaments, provided video content, and partnered with retailers to spread the word about balisongs and what a fulfilling and amazing hobby and sport it is and has become.”

With the Premium Alpha Beast Kukri, Bladerunner puts its best foot forward. 

“What makes any knife transcend being just a knife will always be the attention to detail given from a maker or designer that truly understands what makes a purpose-driven knife the best in actual application,” Anthonis remarked. “Our balisongs are built not only to be great knives but also to be great for balisong manipulation.”

The bushings of the Premium Alpha Beast Kukri are something special, and Edward says they are an integral component of most Bladerunner folding knives. 

“We use bushings in most of our knives, and we find the action of a balisong on bushings works best for the intended application,” he stated. “Having the critical dimensions of a balisong in place combined with a well-tuned bushing system makes for the best flipping experience.”

For Anthonis and company, testing is always a part of a quality manufacturing process, particularly since he and co-owner Lawrence Ho are flippers themselves. 

“Since we both flip and have our feet firmly planted in the balisong community,” Edward related, “we can test the products and also get them into the hands of other flippers to solicit their feedback.”


Blade Length: 4.5 inches

Blade Steel: 154CM stainless

Blade Closure: Latch

Handle Material: Titanium

Pocket Clip: Yes

Closed Length: 5.375 inches

Weight: 5.3 ounces

Country of Origin: USA

MSRP: $439.99

Kershaw Moonsault 5050

“Our butterfly knives utilize four KVT-ball bearing systems,” explained Dominic Aiello of Kershaw/Kai-USA. “On each side of the two pivots is a ring of ‘caged’ ball bearings that enable the blade and handles to move quickly and smoothly.”

So it is with the Kershaw Moonsault 5050. Customer appreciation and response to knife offerings help move the company forward, and with its latest balisong the reviews have been quite positive.

“When we develop our butterfly knives, our goal is simple,” Aiello related. “We want to offer a high-quality USA-made product that is affordable and fun for everyday knife users and flippers. With that said, smooth flipping, comfortable handles, and good weight balance are keys with butterfly knives.”

For beginners interested in learning more about the fun of flipping, Kershaw offers the Lucha trainer. It closely replicates the size, weight and design of the original Kershaw Lucha bali.

Knife Specs

Blade Length: 4.6 inches

Blade Steel: 14C28N stainless steel

Blade Closure: Latch

Handle Material: Stainless steel

Weight: 6.1 ounces

Closed Length: 5.65 inches

Country of Origin: USA

MSRP: $249.99

Benchmade 85 Billet Ti Balisong

The Benchmade 85 Billet Ti Balisong is the product of modern technologies, processes and materials applied to a very traditional knife, says Vance Collver, company director of product line management. The knife’s best attributes include smooth, consistent action, and those who experience it are the best judges of that slick performance.

“If a balisong has any drag or ‘sticky’ spots in the rotation, it can affect timing during flipping,” Collver reasoned. “Durable materials—think about how often these knives get dropped when flippers are learning or trying out new or complex tricks—and style since it must look good too, are important factors. A balisong must be ‘cool,’ solid and function flawlessly.”

Benchmade folks take pleasure in walking customers through basic, fundamental flipping techniques at shows and various customer interactions, and several balisong enthusiasts and experienced flippers on staff at Benchmade put the company’s new product offerings through their paces.

“This knife is not available in a trainer version and is intended for experienced flippers or collectors only,” Collver advised. “Balisongs are part of our DNA at Benchmade. Our company was founded in the pursuit of the balisong, and to this day our logo remains a butterfly harkening back to our origin.”

Knife Specs

Blade Length: 4.4”

Blade Steel: CPM S30V stainless

Blade Closure: Latch

Handle Material: Titanium

Weight: 5.28 ozs.

Closed Length: 5.6”

Country of Origin: USA

MSRP: $750

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