Are Balisongs Legal In Canada?

Balisongs, also known as butterfly knives, have gained popularity as both tools and weapons in different parts of the world. Originating in the Philippines, these knives have a unique design with a hidden blade that is revealed by flipping the handle.

The legality of balisong knives varies depending on the country. In Canada, it is illegal to carry a balisong knife in public, but legal to own and use it at home.

However, some provinces may have specific regulations regarding balisong knives, and it’s important to understand these rules before purchasing and using one in Canada.

Can I own a Balisong in Canada?

Canada does not openly name balisong knives as a prohibited weapon, however, their legal status is often placed under the umbrella of gravity or centrifugal knives.

To own one in Canada, individuals must be grandfathered before this particular prohibition took place. This means that if you were 18 years of age or older when the law took effect, then you can still own a balisong knife.

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Are butterfly knives illegal in Canada?

Yes, butterfly knives are strictly prohibited weapons in Canada. They are included in the list of prohibited weapons under Bill C-68, which is part of the Canadian Criminal Code.

Contrary to popular belief, butterfly knives do not open exclusively by gravity or centrifugal force. They can be opened through centripetal manipulation, in which centrifugal force is an integral component.

This means that even if you own an older, pre-prohibition Balisong knife, it is still technically illegal in Canada. Possessing or carrying a butterfly knife in public can result in criminal charges, fines, and even imprisonment.

However, it is legal to own and use a butterfly knife in a private setting, such as your home or property.

It is important to note that each province in Canada may have its own specific regulations regarding butterfly knives. For example, in some provinces, it may be legal to possess a butterfly knife if it is not concealed and is being used for a specific purpose, such as hunting or fishing.

Therefore, it’s important to understand the laws and regulations in your specific province to avoid any legal consequences.

Balisong knife

Why are butterfly knives illegal in Canada?

Butterfly knives are illegal to carry in public in Canada because they are classified as prohibited weapons under the Canadian Criminal Code. This classification is due to the knife’s potential to cause serious harm or injury to others, and its association with criminal activity.

The Criminal Code of Canada outlines specific types of weapons that are prohibited, including automatic knives, switchblades, and butterfly knives. These knives are considered dangerous because they can be easily concealed and quickly deployed, which makes them more dangerous than other types of knives.

The possession of prohibited weapons is considered a serious offense in Canada and is punishable by law. As a result, it is important to understand the laws and regulations regarding the possession and use of knives to avoid any legal consequences.

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What is the punishment for having a butterfly knife in Canada?

In Canada, carrying a butterfly knife in public is illegal and can result in criminal charges. The specific punishment for carrying a butterfly knife can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, such as the intended use of the knife and the person’s criminal history.

If found guilty, an individual could face fines, probation, or even imprisonment. Possession of this type of prohibited weapon is an indictable offense and carries the potential for up to 14 years in prison upon conviction on your first offense.

The severity of the punishment will depend on the severity of the offense and the discretion of the court. Therefore, it is important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding butterfly knives in Canada to avoid any legal consequences.

How do you carry a Balisong?

There are a few ways to carry a Balisong. Some of the most common methods for concealing a Balisong on the body are:

  • Carrying it in a bag or backpack
  • Concealing it in your pants pocket
  • Wearing it as a necklace
  • Carrying it in a belt or sheath

Each of these methods has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to choose the one that best suits your needs and lifestyle. It is also important to remember to follow all laws and regulations in your area when carrying a Balisong.

How To Carry A Balisong

What are Balisongs used for?

Balisongs are often used as tools, such as bottle openers or screwdrivers, but they can also be used as weapons.

It is important to understand the applicable laws in your area and exercise caution when using a Balisong for any purpose.

Is the Balisong a fighting knife?

The Balisong is not technically classified as a fighting knife. It is usually used as a utility tool or for everyday tasks like opening bottles and cutting rope.

While it can be used in self-defense, it is important to remember that it is illegal to carry one in public in Canada and the consequences of doing so could be serious.

What blade length is legal in Canada?

For travelers flying from Canada, a blade of 6 cm or less is allowed both in carry-on and checked baggage for international destinations.

However, it’s important to note that any type of knife is prohibited when traveling to the US by air.


Balisongs are legal to own and use in Canada, however, it is illegal to carry one in public. If you do choose to own a Balisong, it is important to understand the applicable laws in your area and exercise caution when using it for any purpose. It is also important to remember that even though owning.

I'm Justin, co-founder of AllofKitchen and your knife and steel specialist. My extensive experience ensures accurate and hands-on advice on every topic. Turn to me for insights on selecting the best knife or maintaining your steel tools to perfection. Knives aren't just tools; they're an extension of the chef, and I'm here to guide you to the perfect fit.

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Peter Janjanin

Very helpful! Thank you 🔪🗡

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