How to Flip a Butterfly Knife

Two Methods:Performing the Basic FlipPerforming a More Complex Flip

Real Butterfly knives are very dangerous. However, messing around with fake knives can be a lot of fun. Flipping the knife open is a fun test of dexterity and skill that can improve your hand eye coordination. Again, make sure you use a fake knife - they are legal and the blade is not sharp or pointy at all which completely eliminates the risk. If you need to learn how to flip a fake Butterfly knife for a role in a film or you just want to learn for fun, it isn’t too difficult.

Method 1
Performing the Basic Flip

  1. Image titled Flip a Butterfly Knife Step 1
    Hold the knife from the safe side. Make sure you start with a closed knife. If the knife is already open you should find someone who understand a Butterfly Knife to close it for you. The knife has a dull side and a sharp side and you always want to keep your fingers away from the sharp side. Look at the anatomy of the knife and determine which direction the sharp side would close into. The knife slips into a groove inside the handles on both sides.[1] You want to hold the handle that would house the dull side of the knife.
    • Even if you are not using a sharp knife, this is the proper technique.
  2. Image titled Flip a Butterfly Knife Step 2
    Flick your wrist back. Hold the knife directly out in front of you pointing forward. Now flick your wrist back. The flick of your wrist should be similar to the reverse motion of casting a fishing line.
    • When you flip your wrist back the knife will open and the handle of dangerous side will hit you between your thumb and your forefinger. [2] Keep your hand where it is. [3]
  3. Image titled Flip a Butterfly Knife Step 3
    Flip the knife back forward. This time flick your wrist downward so that the knife closes again. The knife should be a similar position to when you started now.
  4. Image titled Flip a Butterfly Knife Step 4
    Open your thumb and flip the knife up again. The last time you flipped the knife up the handle hit you on the thumb and forefinger. Flip the knife up in the exact same way but open your thumb and move it to the side this time. This will allow the handle of the dangerous side to smack into the handle that you are holding, engaging the knife. [4]
    • Once you have flipped the knife up into place close your thumb over both handles.

Method 2
Performing a More Complex Flip

  1. Image titled Flip a Butterfly Knife Step 5
    Use your dominant hand. Start with a closed knife to avoid cutting yourself and to complete the trick. You'll be flipping the knife open so you need it closed to start with. Hold out the hand that you use when someone hands you something or when you throw a ball. When holding the knife, stick out that hand.
  2. Image titled Flip a Butterfly Knife Step 6
    Curl your thumb under the catch. Place the knife, lengthwise, along the second joint of your fingers. Now curl your hand in, placing your thumb just under the catch. Flick upward with your thumb against the catch to open it.
    • Make sure to maintain not a necessarily strong grip, but a firm one as it is easy for the knife to fly out of your hand when flipping it quickly if you have no practice. Do not crush the knife in your grip, but do not hold it loosely either.
  3. Image titled Flip a Butterfly Knife Step 7
    Flip the catch to your dominant hand. [5] Flip the catch to your right if you are right-handed or to your left if you are left-handed.
  4. Image titled Flip a Butterfly Knife Step 8
    Flick the first blade up, letting the safe side hit your fingers. [6] You only need to make a slight jerking motion Pinch the back half of the knife against your thumb and fingers, letting the front half and the blade drop down. Now give a flicking motion and let the front half fly up and hit the back of your fingers.
    • Knives that are heavier may require more than just a slight jerking motion and you will have to rotate your hand as you flick it to bring the piece up quickly and fluidly.
  5. Image titled Flip a Butterfly Knife Step 9
    Flick the second blade up. Remove all but your forefinger from the knife as it moves up by holding them straight out.[7] The front piece will fly up and hit the back of your forefinger. It is now the back piece.
    • If you do it wrong, when you flip it closed, the blade half will hit the back of your forefinger. It is recommended practicing with a dull one. Once you get good at it, sharpen the knife.[8]
  6. Image titled Flip a Butterfly Knife Step 10
    Re-curl your fingers holding the back piece in place. Slip your forefinger out the top and re-engage the latch with your thumb. Repeat the flicking motions to practice.


  • Real butterfly knives are usually illegal to carry.
  • Obviously be careful of the blade but also be careful not to pinch your skin in the top joint. This will sting and probably cause you to drop the knife. This will ruin the cool effect of flipping a butterfly knife.
  • Lower quality or older knives may not flip as smoothly.
  • With practice, you will be amazed at how quickly and fluidly you will eventually be able to flip it.
  • The safety latch should not get in the way.

Article Info

Categories: Self Defense