How To Carry A Balisong: The Butterfly Knife

The art of flipping a butterfly knife, or balisong, is an impressive skill that has captivated knife enthusiasts for generations. 

The swift and fluid movements of the blade are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also practical for self-defense and utility purposes. 

However, learning how to carry a balisong safely and responsibly is just as important as mastering the tricks. 

In this article, we will discuss the proper ways to carry and handle a balisong, as well as some safety tips to keep in mind.

What is a Balisong?

A balisong, also known as a butterfly knife, is a folding pocket knife that originated in the Philippines. 

It is a unique type of knife that has two handles that rotate around the tang of the blade, allowing the knife to be easily opened and closed with a single hand. 

The balisong is a versatile and dynamic tool that can be used for various purposes, from utility tasks to self-defense.

Types of Balisongs

There are two main types of balisongs: the live blade and the trainer. 

The live blade balisong is a functional knife that can be used for various tasks, while the trainer balisong is designed for practice and does not have a sharp edge. 

The trainer balisong is often recommended for beginners, as it reduces the risk of injury while learning how to handle the knife.

How to Carry a Balisong

Carrying a balisong can be done in a few different ways, depending on personal preference and comfort. The most common method is to carry the knife in your pocket, with the clip attached to the top of the pocket. 

This allows for quick and easy access to the knife when needed. Another option is to carry the balisong in a sheath or holster on your belt, which can be more secure but less discreet.

Balisong knife

Legalities of Carrying a Balisong

Before carrying a balisong, it is important to understand the legalities surrounding the knife. In many countries and states, balisongs are considered illegal to carry, due to their potential use as a weapon. 

It is important to research the laws in your area and ensure that you are allowed to carry a balisong before doing so.

Handling a Balisong

Learning how to handle a balisong takes time and practice, but it can be a rewarding skill to master. It is important to start with the basics and gradually work your way up to more advanced tricks. 

Some basic moves include the opening and closing of the blade, as well as the basic flipping motion. Always practice in a safe and controlled environment, away from others and potential hazards.

Balisong Safety Tips

When carrying and handling a balisong, it is important to prioritize safety above all else. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Always assume the blade is sharp, even if it is a trainer.
  2. Never flip a balisong near others or in crowded areas.
  3. Keep your fingers away from the blade and avoid putting pressure on the spine of the knife.
  4. Use caution when flipping with one hand, as this increases the risk of injury.
  5. Always close the blade before putting the knife away.


Are balisongs legal to carry in the United States?

Balisong laws vary by state. In some states, they are completely legal to carry, while in others they may be restricted or illegal. It is important to research the laws in your state or country before carrying a balisong.

Can I carry a live blade balisong for self-defense?

While a balisong can be used for self-defense, it is important to consider the laws in your area regarding carrying weapons. In many places, carrying a weapon for self-defense is illegal, and using a weapon in self-defense can have serious legal consequences.

Is it possible to sharpen a trainer balisong?

While it is possible to sharpen a trainer balisong, it is not recommended. Trainer balisongs are designed to be safe for practice and do not have a sharp edge. Sharpening the blade can increase the risk of injury.


Carrying and handling a balisong can be a rewarding and impressive skill, but it is important to prioritize safety and responsibility. Before carrying a balisong, be sure to research the legalities in your area, and always handle the knife with caution and respect. 

Practice in a safe environment, and never show off or flip the knife in crowded areas. By following these tips and guidelines, you can enjoy the beauty and utility of the balisong while minimizing the risk of injury or legal trouble.

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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