Balisongs: Minimize getting cut


Active Member
Aside from the obvious things (using a trainer, taping the blade, etc), Using a live blade, how do you avoid getting cut when flipping? About about timing with aerials? Tips on avoiding getting cut?

For me, recently, I do the following:

1 Get accustomed to how fast the knife is able to move and get comfortable with timing.

2 Grip pressure: I used to get cut when I used a tighter grip on the handles. Assuming a grip of 10 (holding the knife with a tight hand as hard as you can), 5 as a firm grip, 1 is lightly holding the knife: I hold the handles with a grip pressure of 2. When doing movements that involve directional changes such as rollovers, ricochets, and twirls, I use a very light grip which keeps me from inadvertently grabbing the blade to get cut. It has remarkably kept me from getting cut with Zen Rollovers, etc. I haven't applied this to a double edged knife but I would assume it would work.

3 Impart momentum to initiate movement and let the knife move on its own. Trying to consciously move the knife in its rotation the entire cycle leads to more energy transfer increasing the likelihood of hitting your hand too hard on Ricochets and cutting yourself on Zen movements. Let the knife move itself using the fingers to guide its path.

4 Keep tempo constant. I still have a problem with this. Certain moves I do fast. Others I do slow. My goal is to have the tempo the same throughout a routine. Changes in tempo, lead to changes in timing which lead to getting cut.

5 Be comfortable holding the handles along the edges not the face. You can't get cut if your fingers are not over the channels.

6 Pay attention and have "edge awareness". Knowing where the edge of the knife is at all times will keep you from doing a ricochet, for example, or Chaplin, with the wrong handle.

7 Lowering the hand down as you catch, minimizing impact of the blade onto your hands. If you are raising your hand as a the blade is coming down, the effect of a cut will be greater.

8 Ensure that the pivots of each handle rotate equally fast. Example is a torx screw is tightened on one handle creating a lag in "timing" during rotation.

9 Ensure your safety by making sure that your torx screws are secured each time you pick up your knife. Sandwich style Balisongs have a tendency to loosen. This has happened on my BM 51, Les Voorhees, Larry Davidson Hornet, Basilisk, Pinoy Knife FHM, Mikkel Willumsen, and CCCs, too.

10 Learn the move with a trainer or taped blade before trying to learn on a live one. Unfortunately, there are no trainers for each model out on the market but the mechanics of combinations and new moves will be the same. Grip pressure, timing, tempo and momentum will be obviously different if you're going from a 6 ounce 29 cm Pinoy Steel FHM trainer to a 4 ounce Benchmade 51.

11 If you're about to lose control the knife or catch it at an angle that may cut you, let the Balisong drop.

12 Wear shoes to protect your feet. A hat to protect your scalp in case of doing aerials. Sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes.


Well-Known Member
Good tips. However, I am of the school of thought that the older one gets, the more recreational pain loses its appeal! I think I'll watch... from a distance.