Taking a Closer Look at the Difference Between Stilettos and Switchblades
- November 09, 2023
- Jermaine Herbert
When people think of automatic switchblades, they’re almost always thinking of a specific type of spring-loaded stiletto knives that became favorites of Hollywood film directors. These aren’t the only kinds of switchblades around, however. To at least some extent, the term switchblade is a legal expression that has more to do with what a specific jurisdiction considers a banned knife.
Nevertheless, knife collectors might live in an area where almost all types of automatic switchblades are at least legal to own even if they can’t necessarily carry them. That makes the term generically refer to any blades that are stored in the handle. These are biased toward being open, so a simple push on a button will snap them quickly. Closing them usually takes a little more pressure as a result.
Stiletto knives could potentially be automatic and fit inside of a handle, but they’re actually a version of a traditional blade that was usually fixed in a single position. Italian knives of the Renaissance-era fit this standard quite well and essentially formed the pattern by which everything else afterward has been modeled. After the Second World War, many soldiers came into contact with fine Italian knives and particularly liked some of the automatic models that they saw while they were on tours of duty in Europe. By bringing these back with them to the United States, they started quite a trend that has never stopped.