by Joshua Speaks
What is a Gravity Knife? A folded sharp-edged blade that is packed in two small handles makes this furious tool.
It is designed to work along with the force of gravity when a hand jerks and wrist twist to get the flip of the knife open.
It is all about mobility and gravitational force. Furthermore, New York (a city where these knives are abundantly used) defines Gravity Knives as Single handed wrist flickers knives.
These knives work differently as compared to switchable knives that use springs to switch the blade in one button push.
Also Check:- What is a Ballistic Knife?
Nowadays, gravity knife has become a commodity. Everyone is commonly using this tool daily, say a trader, a carpenter, a laborer working at the harbor, or a steelworker.
Previously, these knives were banned but the legislation was passed and now these knives are free of legal governance anymore.
Gravity Knife was designed in Germany for paratroops whose parachutes often get stuck in woods. It was designed for one-hand handling in a way that you can easily open and use with one hand. Later it was used in World War II by Germany and was brought to UK and USA by prisoners.
These knives served as a pioneer for the new affordable and switchable knives. Moreover, these knives got their name here as Gravity Knives, because they use gravity to open these knives. Initially, it was known by the name of Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger-Messer in 1937.
For around 62 years, many Blacks and New York citizens were arrested for holding Gravity Knife illegally. This small handheld blade was banned in the USA because of its size and ease of use.
But the law agencies were forced to amend the law. In case many of the common tradesmen, Steelman, and laborers use the knives for their jobs, these knives were designed to operate via centrifugal force and many common men were arrested due to holding centrifugal knives deemed as Gravity knives.
Although these knives were used in World War II, there was no regulation passed and the knives were used openly. From 1950 to 1954 these knives were involved in many knife crimes yet were promoted by media authorities as a symbol of coolness.
This enforces the law to pass legislation and declare small knives as a dangerous tool that is banned in New York. Later, gravity knives join the force and were banned in 1958.
Many citizens during 2000 -2012 were arrested for illegally keeping small knives. But upon investigation, it was declared that nearly all of them were keeping it for their job purpose and most were unaware of the legislation that it is a ban.
So, here they need for awareness arises and a campaign was organized. But after awareness, the law was subject to a major controversy.
Thus the struggle was real and critics made it possible. Hence legislation was passed and holding a Gravity knife was legalized. Many states lift the ban like New York, few are thinking to lift the ban like Ohio or few states that the law is still enforced.
Well, all this legal status is subjected to the state's own enforced rules and regulations. But the knife users and holders can use the tool freely within New York. This was done to abolish the unjustified arrest of workers.
Gravity Knife functions according to the principle of Inertia and gravity. Initially, the blade was placed folded within the handles and the tool was subject to open using gravitational force while the hand facing the earth. Later on, the basic design was modified and springs were introduced.
The major compatibility of a gravity knife is its size. Many other knives work equally great but because of their size and weight, they are unable to outrank Gravity knives.
This pocket knife works in one flip when a blade faces the ground. When not in use, there is a lever that keeps the blade in place and prevents any accident. This is the actual mechanism lying under "what the gravity knife is and how it works?"
To add, the frame of this gravity knife plays an eminent role in safety features. The metallic frame is enclosed in a wooden handle. There is a lever at one opening end which operated to hold the blade at its place.
As soon as we remove the lever the blade flips out of the frame in reaction to the gravity. Similarly, closing the knife is quite uncomplicated. You just have to give a flip and here is the blade lock ready to perform its duty.
Now you can better understand "What is a gravity knife?"- A single handheld pocket knife whose flicker mechanism allures the users.
Gravity knives are categorized based on their blade opening style. These are categorized as:
Standard Gravity Knives are like traditional Folding knives with one end pivoted along with a lever. You just need to flip the lever off and jerk your wrist with the blade facing the ground. This design priorities safety as the lever holds the blade in place and when flicked to open keep the blade in its place- acting as a blade locker. While it too works on the principle of inertia and gravity.
As the name indicates, these knives are designed in a way that their blade opens out in the front with just one push. These knives normally come along with a sliding button that slides to open the knife instantly.
You just need to draw the shaft in opposite direction and here is your blade out of it. These knives need more precautionary measures to use in comparison.
As these Gravity knives were used by Germany in World war, many prisoners brought the tool to Uk and the USA and here it gains its popularity. In 1950-10957 these knives were the hottest tool among young gangs.
Looking into the matter, the Uk produces=d the British version of these knives which they think is similar to butterfly knives too. But in actual the butterfly knives are somewhat different.
The British Version of the knife was designed in a way that the sharp-edged blade was enclosed in two-sided- plastic or metal-made handles that open their wings like a butterfly when in use. However, these knives are nor=t handy as we need two hands to open both wings of that crispy shiny blade.
Gravity Knives and Switchable knives, these terms are used interchangeably by the layman but Switchblades and gravity knives are often interchangeably used, as they both are much similar. Some people consider a gravity knife to be a switchblade type. However, they both are different.
The main difference is how they both operate. Both knives indeed have their blades inserted inside their handles. Nevertheless, the opening mechanisms each although both of the knives keep the blade folded in their frames but still there is a difference technically in their mechanism of opening.
The Gravity knives use a blade lock system via lever and open by flicker's gravitational force movement. On the other hand, switchable knives also known as the OTF knives have a spring inside that pushes the blade outward as the button is pressed.
But, nowadays a mix of gravity and switchable knives are introduced in the market. These folding knives open via wrist flip because of gravity but use springs too to get the blade out smoothly in no time.
Initially, Germans made this knife for the aviation industry. The main purpose was to help parachutists to handle awkward situations gracefully. It was observed that mostly parachute threads tangled in trees whilst landing so the gravity knife was designed to fit in the pocket well and compatible enough to be handled with one hand.
These knives were not meant to be used in fights, but their compatible size and handy weight make them outrank any other knife. From 1950 till 2000 these knives were immensely used in street crimes.
On contrary, being easy to use, these knives are now to cut ropes at marine sites. Moreover, during hiking or camping these knives are used along with awl to prey, pierce or fix weapons.
When paired with a marlinespike, this tool can unravel strong knots or splice the synthetic fiber rope as well.
Being legalized in 2019, now gravity knives are available in many e-commerce stores too. But still, there are certain legal restrictions. Many states of the USA like California allows only 2′ blade knife to carry along while it is mentioned in the law that keeping a blade above 3′ will be a criminal offense. In Connecticut, only a blade of 1-1/2" length is allowed.
Thus, before buying a Gravity knife, you must check the state laws in whichever state you are and must decide accordingly. Otherwise, you might subject to serious consequences.
Hence, to summarize "what is a Gravity knife" - just think of a small pocket blade that is folded in a safe metallic and wooden frame with a lever.
Here lever serves as a safety lock and prevents any accif=dental opening as the knife uses gravitational force to open up in a flip. To open it up, give a jerk to your hand, flip the lever with the face of the blade towards the ground, and here your tool is ready to operate in a nanosecond.
Nevertheless, the gravity knife is still a dangerous tool and being the gang's companion for many decades. It is being legalized to use in New York but still, there are many USA states where it is still banned.
No matter being legalized or not this sharp tip is still a controversial matter in the ammunition industry.
About Joshua Speaks
Can’t think of a day that that Josh didn’t have a beer or two. Be it a long day of work or of nothing. Sometimes, it is a few packs even. Especially when there are familiars over.
His fridge is packed with beers: Heineken, Corona, Guinness, Budweiser, and all other wierd brands in between. He had to get a secondary 30 cu. fridge off Craigslist for more beer storage.
Sometimes he wonders if a day truly starts only after the first sip of beer for the day. Enough talk about Josh and his passion; that’s the reason for this beer blog and related items. Feel free to hit on him. Start with something like: “hey beer head!” You got the idea!