Butterfly Knife Tricks: From Easy To The Complex

Bear & Son 5-Inch Pink Butterfly

Opening A Balisong Is One Of The Funnest Things You Can Do With A Knife. There Are Numerous Butterfly Knife Tricks You Can Learn To Up Your Game.

Opening most knives is either wholly forgettable or simply a fun way to fidget. Nail nicks, thumb studs, and opening holes like those on Spyderco blades are all common ways to open a knife that don’t leave much of a mark.

However, the butterfly knife stands alone. It’s so dynamic to open and manipulate that there are professional competitions showcasing new and exciting ways to make the knife dance in the hand. Once you know how to open and close the knife safely you’ll be able to build a skillset of more and more difficult, exciting butterfly knife tricks.

How Do I Open A Butterfly Knife

Before opening a butterfly knife it’s important to know which handle you’re holding. Every balisong has two handles: a safe handle and a bite handle. The safe handle is straightforward; holding this handle will protect your hand from the sharp edge of the blade. 

The bite handle is one the side of the sharpened edge. Early on it’s incredibly important to keep your hand off of that handle lest you slice off a finger. More advanced tricks will have you switching handles, but you should only do that once you’ve mastered basic skills and can move the knife safely.

Luckily, there are many different types of trainer butterfly knives available to learn the moves safely without even having to worry about a sharp edge. These knives are made from steel, aluminum, and even plastic. We have a whole primer on finding the best trainer butterfly knife.

What Are The Different Butterfly Knife Tricks?

Just like other sports like skateboarding and figure skating, where tricks involve spins and flips, the names of balisong tricks all have fantastical names. From the more simply-named rollovers and aerials to the blender, the Van Gogh and the Neck Catch, and the Ladder Aerial to Reverse Chaplin, the names are as fun as the moves themselves.

And everything builds off basics. Once you can smoothly and confidently open the knife, you can learn rollovers (which involve rolling the knife around your thumb) and keep escalating until you’re throwing the knife in the air and catching it again in one smooth motion.

In the video below, professional knife flipper Corbin Lovins goes in-depth into all things balisong tricks from the basic to the complex. The young Hoosier won the balisong flipping tournament at Blade Show in 2019 and debuted his own line of Butterfly Knives, Strix, at the most recent Blade Show in Atlanta.

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