For years I have been carrying the Kershaw Leek. Its thin, light, quick assisted opening, and has a safety retainer. However I have had to own two, because the safety retainers keep breaking, they keep partially deploying in my pocket, and then cutting up my pants and stabbing me in the leg. I keep two because when one safety breaks I send it in and use the other one. But after just receiving one back from Karshaw with a pre-installed loose retainer, I am done and ready to move on.
Any recommendations for a small, thin, light EDC knife with assisted opening but safety retention?
Personally, I'm not a fan of anything that requires a lock.
I've a small Kershaw AO that's my dress knife, a 3 in. Benchmade auto, and a larger Pro-Tech auto that all have locks.
I tend to forget to re-engage the locks. Plus it's another thing you have to manipulate to get the knife open.
My favorite small carry knife is my Spyderco Cat G-10. With a less than 2-1/2 in. blade it's legal in just about any jurisdiction in the U.S. (and many foreign countries). I find it as easy to deploy as any of my other knives.
If auto-knives are legal in your jurisdiction, the Bokor Mini-Kalashnikov, with a 2-1/2 in. blade is very nice. The release button is recessed just enough, and is just stiff enough that accidental deployment is unlikely, w/o the need for a lock. It's not exactly thin, though.
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I have several folding pocket knives - including dozens of Leeks - that have safety retainers, and I almost never use the safeties. I can do with or w/o them.
ensigmatic knows his knives. The Boker Plus Strike series is a good option. They are autos w/ safety switch levers. Full size have 3.25" blade. Mini have 2.6" blade. The switch will lock the blade in closed & open positions.
CRKT Ripple is a knife that was designed by Ken Onion, same guy who designed the Leek. It's a flipper design w/o spring assist that rotates on ball bearings. It will open only when you want it to, and w/ the ball bearings, it opens just about as fast as a Leek even w/o a spring.
Kershaw Overdrive (model 1775) is very similar in size & shape to a Leek. The opening mechanism works differently than Speedsafe spring-assist, but the motion of your finger to open is the same. It doesn't open unless you want it to. It's out of production, and pretty hard to find.
There are a lot more out there that meet your needs, but those are a few off the top of my head.
ETA: SOG Twitch & Twitch II are perfect gentlemen's knives that have the features you want: flipper, spring-assisted opening, thin, and safety switch.This message has been edited. Last edited by: iron chef,
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It's not quite as robust as the Leek (but the price is significantly less, too), but give the Kershaw Clash a look. It uses a similar speedsafe opening system, but has no lock. In my experience it doesn't need one. The clip is reversible which allows you to set the knife up to keep the back of the blade pressed against the edge of your pocket, which would prevent if from opening even if it tried. I also find that this orientation allows for a smooth draw and deployment of the blade from the pocket. I can index my finger along the spine of the knife and depress the flipper as it clears my pocket. I've never had mine open inadvertently, and I've been carrying it daily for almost 7 years.
The price is right (I picked up a spare recently from Kershawguy for $25), but it does use Chinese steel, if that's an issue for you. It does take and hold a decent edge, but it's a bit brittle to use as a pry bar if that's a common thing for you. I had to spend hours with my Lansky stoning the blade past a nasty chip one time from using it in a manner that I should not have.
Overall, mine has had a pretty rough life, but it's been very dependable and still going strong.
Would the SOG Aegis AT or the Aegis AT Tanto be to large?
They have the assisted opening and a safety you are looking for.
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I have one of these and it's become my most carried pocket knife. I carried a Leek for a long time but this feels better in the hand to me with a hair longer and thicker grip.
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I am curious what you are doing that deploys the knife in your pocket?
I have carried a Leek for probably 12-15 years now and I have used the safety exactly zero times and had the knife deploy in my pocket exactly zero times.
I also carry on the strap of a fanny pack exposed and have never had it deploy.
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