I was recently in France for a short trip and while there I couldn’t resist heading to some of the knife shops in Paris. I know, I have a problem. While there I got hold of a knife for a few days to quaff my urges and boy, was I happy. Of all of the blades we see in modern cinema the balisong, or butterfly knife, is one of the most recognisable and any blade enthusiast would love to have one in their collection. As I have no experience with balisongs prior to this I cant really give an expert opinion on the blade however, as a beginner and general collector I hope that I can help you decide to chose or pass on this blade if you are already considering this model. So, lets get on to it.
The BF 500/501 are the same save for the finish on the blade. The 500 is black and the 501 is silver. The price for this blade is around £50 give or take a tenner, and for that I can honestly say I’m surprised. The quality for a blade this cheap is incredible. If I hadn’t seen the price and you told me it costs £80-£90 I would believe you. Really the only thing that lets it down are the screws that hold the scales and the rest of the blade together. They don’t sit flush with the scales although they are rounded so are by no means uncomfortable. If I were so inclined then 5 minutes with a sander would sort the screws out.
The blade comes sharp enough to scare you but wasn’t shaving sharp. Its grind lines look close enough to perfect and the coating is flawless. It’s 440C stainless which is less common these days but is still a top performer. Overall a very well finished blade and I cant find flaw with it whatsoever. There are two pins that help hold the whole piece together when open or closed which really do help make it feel secure when in use or stored away. If you want it for a functional folder then a little sharpening may be required but its still sharp enough out of the box.
The handle scales look fantastic. Black with red liners is always a firm favourite. The metal liners are magnetised towards the ends to act as a security mechanism holding the blade firmly open or closed. It’s a really unique feature which I think works really well. While open it feels like a full tang knife. There is no play or rattle at all. It’s amazing. It did make it a bit difficult to do the fancy movements with the knife but, after about 15 minutes to get comfortable swinging it around I found a little technique to help. By pressing the scales away from each other first (causing misalignment of the liners from each other) it meant the magnetised scales separated enough to open and close relatively easily. Never the less my one real issue I had initially (understanding how anybody could do anything with it using only one hand) was laid to rest. You can do it, it’s still fun. You will struggle to get it swinging like a non magnetic balisong, so if it’s for playing with then maybe this one isn’t for you. If its for actually using it in real life then I think the magnets will actually make it more user friendly. The pocket clip is just another hint at it being a functional blade and a helpful reminder which is the safe part to hold.
Overall if you are a collector then this is a perfect knife and if you want a functional balisong again its perfect. If you want it to do tricks not so much as the magnets will cause you some issues. The blade is good quality and overall the knife is a piece of art. I cant fault it for the price in any way and if you can get one then you wont be disappointed. I’m not.
Balisong Training Knife
A balisong training blade is essential if you are looking to improve your balisong knife handling without potentially damaging your digits. There are lots of different types available but its best to choose one that is similar in shape and weight of your bladed balisong.