BTW since I am online here is a article Burton wrote for me. https://jkdunlimited.com/articles/by-burton-richardson/knife-drawing-speed-comparison-switch-blade-butterfly-knife-spyderco-cold-steel-common-pocket-knife/
Knife Drawing Speed Comparison
Switch Blade, Butterfly Knife, Spyderco,
Cold Steel, Common Pocket Knife
I live in Hawaii where there is a ban on switch blades and butterfly (Filipino balisong) knives. Apparently, the reasoning behind these bans is that these types of knives are inherently more dangerous than other legal folding knives due to their rapid, one-hand deployment. I wondered if this distinction was accurate, so I tested the speed of presentation of five different blades: a Benchmade switch blade, a butterfly knife, a Spyderco Delica 4, a Cold Steel “Espada”, and a common pocket knife. The switch blade was legally owned by a military officer. The butterfly knife was a legal, dull-edged training version, while the others are legal to carry in Hawaii.
To deploy a folding knife, one must first pull the blade from a pocket or carrying system before unfolding the knife. The old argument is that a switch blade or balisong is too dangerous to be entrusted to the public because a citizen can pull and quickly open the blade with one hand. But do these two actually have a decisive advantage on speed of deployment? To test the speeds, I started with the knife in my pocket and my hand grasping the knife in a manner conducive to opening. The person timing gave the command “draw” while pushing the start button on the stopwatch. The timer hit stop after the blade clicked into the locked position. In reality, a little extra time would be required to achieve a functional grip, but just timing until the locked position was empirically more accurate since the timer would have to visually judge when a proper grip was achieved. Please note that there is certainly some variance due to the impossibility of having the exact same draw stroke each time, but that variance is minimal. I did only did four draws for each knife as I found that the difference per draw was very slight. Also, I did not go at absolute full speed. I did smooth, efficient draw.
Here are the draw times for each knife, starting in the pocket with my hand on the knife and ending when the blade was open and locked in place:
Switch Blade 0.9, 1.0, 0.9, 1.0 Average = 0.95 seconds
Butterfly knife 1.3, 1.4. 1.2, 1.5 Average = 1.35 seconds
Spyderco 0.9, 0.9, 1.0, 0.9 Average = 0.925 seconds
Cold Steel “Espada” 0.5, 0.7, 0.6, 0.6 Average = 0.6 seconds
Pocket Knife 1.0, 0.9, 1.0, 0.9 Average = 0.95
The Cold Steel “Espada” was by far the fastest. This was due to the “thumb plate” that can catch on the pocket hem so that the blade opens as the knife is pulled. Very quick and legal.
The Spyderco was second fastest. It has a ring at the top of the blade which is grasped between the thumb and forefinger. As soon as the knife clears the pocket a snap of the wrist locks open the blade. Very fast and legal.
Interesting to me is that the switch blade and the pocket knife tied for third. The pocket knife I used did have a stud in the blade so that one can push the blade open with thumb as the blade clears. The switch blade needs to be taken all the way out of the pocket before depressing the button to pop open the knife.
Slowest by far is the much-maligned butterfly knife. I started with the lock open and pinched between my thumb and forefinger for the quickest type of butterfly knife draw. I drew the knife, snapped down and up, the handle swung out and upward into my hand so I ended with a reverse grip. This is quicker than the more common 3-count opening that most people use. For fun, I timed the 3-count opening and got an average of 1.45 seconds.
So why are butterfly knives and switch blades illegal? It clearly doesn’t have anything to do with superior quickness of deployment. I suppose the lawmakers watched a few too many action flicks where the switch blades and butterfly knives were in the hands of the bad guys.