Whatever type of knife you are looking for there will always be a lot of different ones to choose from and so you need to know what it is exactly that you would want the knife to do; what purpose you are buying it for. If someone is looking to buy a Balisong or Butterfly Knife as it is sometimes referred to, the chances are that they are looking for one with smooth movements, meaning smooth working parts. Although this may seem strange for an attribute to look for in a knife, the reason is that once in the right hands, a Balisong Knife can provide a very impressive array of tricks. Although similar to many other pocket knives in so far as it has a blade which is a little over 4 inches long and the blade folds into the handle, the similarities cease there. What makes the Balisong knife different from the rest is that the handle is divided into two halves and that allows the blade to be inserted into and removed from the handle in numerous ways. In the hands of an expert or at least someone experienced with the Balisong knife, the rapid insertion and removing of the blade in a variety of ways makes for a very impressive sight, one which everyone would like to emulate.
Unfortunately though, when these knives were first introduced to the US by soldiers returning from the Philippines after WW11, too many people cut themselves on the knives whilst attempting some of the tricks which the opening and closing of the blade have become known as. As many of these people that received cuts, received cuts serious enough to have to seek medical treatment, by 1956 the US Government had decided to make the knives illegal which prompted many other countries to do the same.
As mentioned, the Balisong knives made their way to the US via US soldiers, from the Philippines. Although it was once thought that the Balisong knife originated in the Philippines, some now doubt that, pointing out that, what would appear to be butterfly kniveshad had a patent request made in the UK in 1880 and it is thought by some that, in Europe, these types of knives were in use before that, siting the “Pied Du-Roy”, a knife which is on display in France’s Musee de la Coutellarie. Even if these knives were in use in Europe prior to the Philippines, they would not have been known as Balisong knives as it is generally accepted by all that the name is derived from the region in the Philippines where the knives are made: Balisung. It is also accepted that the Philippines made these knives popular after they added their use to their Martial Art Kali and it is the use of the knife in these martial arts that resulted in the fine skillful display that the knives can offer today but today, to avoid injuries, most people use a Balisong training knife initially.