Balisong Knives Reviewed

Peter Stec
September 13, 2019

Are you looking for an awesome Balisong knife to flip? Look no further, we reviewed 3 top-selling Balisong knives and, guess what, price does not equal to quality!

Balisongs, also called butterfly knives, are a type of traditional Filipino knife that originated in a town called Balisong. In fact, that town still produces Balisong knives today. The legality of these things are sort of questionable but you can buy butterfly knives online with no problem (if you know where to look ;)).

51 Morpho113BTRManilla Folder
BrandBenchmadeBear & SonSchrade
BladeD2 razor sharpDullSharp
Weight3.3 oz5.8 oz7.85 oz

First off, before you buy a real Balisong, I recommend you buying a cheap Balisong trainer. They go for about $8 and some of them can also be used as a bottle opener. It’s a win-win because you’ll save yourself some cuts :). I even have a guide about how to make a Balisong training knife at home if you are so inclined.

So, before we can start grading Balisongs, we must first figure out what we should look for in such a knife.

Things to Look for in a Balisong Knife

  • Blade – some knives come razor-sharp, others are dull (usually the flea market type). Depending on how skilled you are at flipping, you might want to go with a dull, cheap one first ;).
  • Tang – the tang is the part that connects the blade to the handles. Some poorly-made knives tend to break after a lot of use if the tang’s metal is weak.
  • Weight – Heavier butterfly knives are easier to learn than lighter ones. Some people think it is the other way, but this is what I felt was easier.

Some reviewers online complain about how their butterfly knife’s screws feel out after a few days. This isn’t really a defect–it is just them being dumb. Any real knife enthusiast knows that you must take the screws out and place a drop of Loctite in there to protect the knife. This goes for Balisongs, pocket knives, or any other non-fixed blade knife. You can basically ignore those reviews if you see them.

Benchmade 51 Morpho Balisong Butterfly Knife

Benchmade 51 Morpho Balisong Butterfly Knife

The Benchmade Balisong 51 Knife is a larger version of the Benchmade Balisong 32. The 51 Morpho Balisong Butterfly features a premium D2 steel blade with black G10 handles. The hand polished hardware, with awesome blue titanium liners and Ti carry-clip provide the perfect accent to this great Butterfly Knife.  This is definitely a premium bali from Benchmade, and others are available on BladeHQ in the same category of premium knives.  At a pricepoint closing in on $300 it’s not for the casual or curious buyer, but for a serious collector.  It’s 3.3 oz with a 5-inch blade and a flat grind.  Pure joy using this bali for sure!

For a Kydex sheath for the Benchmade 51, click HERE!

Need a Benchmade Balisong Sheath to fit the 51? Pick one up HERE!

Bear and Son 113BTR Trainer Butterfly Knife

Bear and Son 113BTR Trainer Butterfly Knife

This is a decent trainer. It has a better construction profile than the Tac Force so it’s definitely a step up.  The blade is a high carbon stainless steel so it is rust resistant, but this knife is just a trainer. The blade is 3 inches long and the handle is 4 inches long. It weighs 3.8 ounces–on the light side for sure! Have fun and flip away.  It’s not going to cut you …. too badly!  Some reviewers mentioned that while the blade it technically “dull”, it can still pierce a soda can, so it’s best to be careful.

This is a decent trainer. It has a better construction profile than the Tac Force so it’s definitely a step up.  The blade is a high carbon stainless steel so it is rust resistant, but this knife is just a trainer. The blade is 3 inches long and the handle is 4 inches long. It weighs 3.8 ounces–on the light side for sure! Have fun and flip away.  It’s not going to cut you …. too badly!  Some reviewers mentioned that while the blade it technically “dull”, it can still pierce a soda can, so it’s best to be careful.

What I really liked about this knife is that the action is very smooth. The construction is decent.  However, the criticism is the small size.  Tiny hands like this knife best!

This is sort of common with coated knives. Check out reviews.

Schrade USA Manila Folder Butterfly Knife

Schrade USA Manila Folder Butterfly Knife

Schrade is jumping into the balisong market with this very saavy USA made knife.  It’s a smart move because the price falls right between some $300 Benchmade knives, and the budget variety down in the $35 range.

The Taylor Manila folder from the 1980s is a legendary, iconic design, and this is a bit of a throwback to that knife.  Considering this knife has D2 steel, the price and value on this is exceptional.  The skeletonized handles reduce weight, but that brings us to one sticking point.  This knife didn’t make it as our number one pick given the jump in weight from our other choices.  At a whopping 7.85 ounces, it is significantly heavier than our other picks.

Nevertheless, it’s an overall excellent knife for the price, and it even comes with a steel latch for securing in both the closed and open positions.

Conclusion to What Butterfly Knife You Should Get

So, what Bali should you get? First off, stay away from those cheap flea market Balisongs. They might snap in half during a flip and you might just injure yourself. If you are in that price range, consider a trainer since they have better dynamics and some of them look like a real balisong.

If you are on a budget, and you’re still in the learning stage, get the Moon Boat practice knife.  I didn’t feature it in our reviews above only because we don’t need anymore practice bali’s.  However, the Moon Boat received TONS of excellent reviews, and at a price point around $10 as of this review, it’s hardly a bad deal!   The Benchmade is featured here because it’s a contrast to the lower priced practice units on Amazon.  It’s a very high-end tool (over $300)!  I’ll pass. If you have the cash for that, get it if you’d like an elite balisong.  If not, save your cash and get a great pocket or survival knife, and grab yourself a practice butterfly knife for fun!

If you have a passion for flipping, you would also like knife throwing as well — trust me, every knife flipper I know loves to throw. You can also try throwing axes, tomahawks, and hatchets–ok, I’m kidding, you can’t really throw a hatchet…. or can you?

Like or dislike my review? Tell me in the comment box below.

About The Author
Hey Knife Up gang! I'm Pete, and I'm just another man like you in a small rural town who loves the outdoors as much as the other million internet users that cruise sites like every day. The difference is that I like to share what I know and research what I don't totally know so that YOU can have all the info you need to feel confident and prepared for all things outdoors-related! And, for those who care, I have 42 years of wilderness canoeing and bushcraft experience in Northern Ontario and spend most of my Summers covered in mosquitos and fish slime, but hey, it's a lifestyle choice, eh?

19 comments on “Balisong Knives Reviewed”

  1. Shame the Kimura line’s been discontinued. It filled the gap between the Bear & Son balisongs and the Benchmade balisongs. All that’s left in that gap now is the Bear Ops knives, some of which have gotten fairly mixed reviews; negative reviews coming mostly from the issue of the tang pins chipping out pieces of the G-10 handles.

    1. a brand new company to me is combative edge. they make balisongs of very high quality. 2017 is their 1st production run of 3 blade types. and i mean VERY HIGH QUALITY.

    2. i saw an ad for the Bradley cutlery mayhem ,, bought 1 ,,, was hooked on quality , phosphor bronze washers smoothness , and the handy spring loaded button latch . i forgot what i paid for them but over 1 and a half years collected 9 and 2 of the kimira spear point. I am set for life. I tried collecting the usual classics from the 70s and 80s benchmade and pacific cutlery but they were ALL gone to people like Zenghost and others. I saw the possibility of this 1 day becoming the classic and holy crap , , I was right.

  2. You forgot Dragon claw balisongs now there is a good Bali it is like 20-30 years old and still flips like a barley used Bali I got this from my dad who got this when he was like 13 I’ve dropped it like three times on concrete and it is fine it is what you want if you can find it

    1. you should have tried the quartermaster knives balisong Marty mcfly. it has a change out blade system to switch from trainer to d2 steel sharp blade. As of late 2016/2017 the company came out with a different blade shape to give a choice from the standard tanto tip. AND KEEP THE BAND AIDS REAL CLOSE . THE HANDLES ARE LIGHT TITAINIUM , BUT THE BLADE WEIGHS A TON . ITS HARD TO STOP A FREIGHT TRAIN ONCE IT STARTS GOING

  3. Jeff

    Bali Songs are worth the investment. I try to look at the purpose of the tool and the price of failure.

  4. I love my Benchmade (the kind they don’t make anymore with the stainless handles with holes all the way down the handle) mine is a Bowie profile worth every penny of the $400, as far as “flea market” balisongs or ANY “flea market” type knife that costs say $5 – I generally pose this question to foolish people who buy these blades. “How much are your fingers worth to you? If your fingers are worth more than you paid for that cheap POS knife, then throw it in the garbage before it fails on you taking a finger with it!”

  5. any one know if the 3d printed balisongs are legal in NJ ? they are plastic and cant be sharpened to ANY great extent.
    and what about the popular balisongs that have combs or forks , spoons or the very popular bottle openers? the latter are made of metal although probably cheap, also they cant be sharpened very well at all.

  6. Of course you can throw a hatchet — or scissors, or screw drivers or awls or almost anything with a handle and a point.

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