The Ultimate Guide To Why Are Butterfly Knives Illegal

Do you know what is a balisong or butterfly knife and why are butterfly knives illegal in so many countries including some Us states? Let’s dive into the history, the danger, and all the reasons that led to the bad of butterfly knives.

Butterfly knives are one of those knives that need ultimate skills and precision. Also known as a balisong, this knife is used for fighting, tricks, and many other things. It is mainly a folding pocket knife, but with a unique mechanism. The Butterfly knife has two rotating handles that rotate over a pivot and wrap around the blade. Butterfly knives are really small in size but still deemed dangerous.

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History of Butterfly Knives


The basic mechanism of butterfly knives has been the same, and there are different theories about its place of birth.

Many researchers believe that butterfly knives originated from France. It is believed to be invented between 1500 to 1700s. They can trace this mechanism to a tool called “Pied Du Roi. This was a measurement tool that had two handles with marked measurements, and a blade that unfolds. This tool resembles a modern-day butterfly knife.

A hypothesis suggests that after the invention of this butterfly knife in France, the Spanish started using these knives and brought it to the Philippines when they sailed there.

The most well-regarded place of birth for butterfly knives is the Philippines. Are you interested to know the differences between Alison vs butterfly knife? Let’s clear the confusion. Balisong is an alternative name for the butterfly knife. In the Philippines, balisong is the more popular name for this knife among these two.

The root of balisong knives is considered to go all the way back to 800 AD, and it was used as a weapon and for regular utility uses like a kitchen knife.

The Philippines is the country where balisong is the most popular among all other countries in the world. A limitless number of shops sell balisong in the Philippines, and they still carry their heritage of handmade butterfly knives.

Most of the world can connect their introduction to Butterfly knives from the Philippine culture, and therefore the claim that the Philippines was the birthplace of balisong is very popular and a strong argument. But there is no historical proof or evidence of balisong being invented in the Philippines. Therefore, the debate remains among researchers.

In the USA, balisong knives started arriving in the late 70s, mainly from the Philippines. It quickly became popular due to a wide variety of blade designs. Even now, there are thousands of companies making or importing butterfly knives in the USA. But, a lot of states have deemed butterfly knife illegal to carry.

Why Butterfly Knives Are Illegal in United States?


After arriving, butterfly knives became popular in the United States. While in the Philippines, it was used for fighting but also as a regular kitchen knife, even for things like, to filet a salmon, as a cheap chef knife, etc. The USA took fighting as the only use for this knife.

Butterfly knives are not only illegal in the USA, but in some other countries too. Every knife is a dangerous weapon for offense. But for butterfly knives in the states, its only purpose is to be dangerous and be used in fights.

The Butterfly knives fall in the category of switchblades or gravity knives. Along with the potential danger from a person carrying butterfly knives, these knives are dangerous to the users too. The mechanism and the characteristics of the balisong possess great chances of accidents while carrying., and countless have been injured while trying to use one or showing off.

In some US states, butterfly knife is classified in the same class as dagger, switchblade, gravity knife. These kinds of knives are prohibited for carrying in public. If you want to know butterfly knives illegal in what states, there are a lot of states.

Around 26 states allow to own a butterfly knife, but it is illegal to carry it outside in public upon some conditions. In some states where it is it is a criminal offense to own, possess or carry. All the other states have given butterfly knives full legality.

However, it is completely illegal to mail butterfly knives via US postal services. If anyone or any company is caught while mailing butterfly knives via USPS, they will face serious charges against them and will face a court case.

Why Are There Laws for Butterfly Knives?


The main reason why some states are happy to let the citizens own and carry butterfly knives while some others have conditions, restrictions, and even a full band, is because of the negative image and the potential danger of these knives.

In the early 80s, lots of shipment of butterfly knives started coming to the states, and with this arrival, the crime rate took an increase. It was a common weapon to be used for all levels of crimes, and the criminals loved the unique mechanism of this. To reduce the crime rate, many states implemented knife laws, which made butterfly knives illegal.

Another thing that helped create the negative image of not only butterfly knife, but also gravity knife and switchblades is the movies. A lot of times when the bad guy of a Hollywood film used a knife to fight or to commit a crime, it was either of these knives. Also, a lot of massacre or gory scenes in the movies are portrayed with butterfly knives in the scene, and these things created a negative image of these knives, especially butterfly knives.

Most importantly, butterfly knives are unsafe for users to use. It is used by trained professionals and experts to show tricks, and in most cases, the general users try to learn and recreate the moves by the expert. But, due to the danger a butterfly knife possesses, things often get ugly and users get injured by the knife.

There are a lot more things that played into the role of making butterfly knives illegal in some states, and most of them are pretty solid with no counterarguments. Therefore, the chance of these bans being removed is very slim.

FAQ‘s: Why are butterfly knives Illegal


Why are butterfly knives illegal in California?

Answer: Butterfly knives are really dangerous, and even the users can get hurt while using them. Pairing this up with a very negative image in the general public mind, butterfly knives were deemed illegal in California.

Are butterfly knives illegal in UK?

Answer: Yes, butterfly knives are illegal in the UK.

Is a butterfly knife a gravity knife?

Answer: Technically it is not, but a butterfly knife shares the same philosophy as a gravity knife, hiding the blade under the handle.

Where are butterfly knives illegal?

Answer: Butterfly knives are illegal in the UK, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, some states of the USA, and many more countries.

Final Words


Though Butterfly Knives have come a long way, it still carries the same principle, design, and mechanism. The reasons why are butterfly knives illegal may sound minor, but to protect people from harming themselves and from criminals with offensive thoughts, it is an understandable decision made by so many countries and states. Despite being banned to carry, it is a glorious souvenir to possess.


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