The Lightning OTF is an automatic out the front knife clone / knockoff of Microtechs but it’s also the “Microtechs of cheap OTF knives”.

The ‘Lightning OTF’ is a budget automatic knife copied directly off of Microtech’s Scarab in design, function and mechanism.

This is the best automatic out the front budget knife available. The quality is what you get for the price but it works as advertised.

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Tech Specs

  • Out The Front Knife
  • Double Action Method
  • Weight: 3.90 Ounces
  • Made in Taiwan
  • Hollow Grind Drop Point
  • Blade Length: 3 1/4″
  • Handle Length: 4 3/4″
  • Overall Length: 8″
- Lightning OTF Knife Full View -
Lightning OTF Knife Full View

The Lightning OTF is the best of the cheap automatic knives. Perhaps it’s due to being engineered off the best of the best in these types of knives.

These “Lightning” OTF knives are the real deal. They feel solid in the hand and they come out of the handle fast! I’ve had mine about 10 months and it works just as well today as it did on day one. I recommend these “Lightning” brand OTF’s over anything else in the price range. – TMost

“OTF” stands for “Out The Front”. That means the blade rests inside the handle like a folding knife but the blade comes out and locks by moving forward instead of sideways.

This action is actuated by pressing on the button, ejecting the blade by a powerful spring. As a “double-action” automatic knife, pressing the button again will return the blade the same way it came out.

A wide range of Lightning OTF models with different colors are available from $34.99 at

- Lightning OTF Knife Disassembled -
Lightning OTF Knife Disassembled

Due to the extremely high cost of out-the-front automatic knives, most end up being collector’s items or show pieces. But the low cost of these and the surprisingly rugged build of them are great for EDC.

So the Lightning OTF could be the knife you go for in needs of light to medium cutting tasks for everyday tasks. A blade you won’t mind dulling or fear breaking.

A tool you can have fun with and a novelty with a utilitarian purpose. A man’s toy with manly uses.

- Lightning OTF w/ Microtech Troodon -
Lightning OTF Next to the Microtech Troodon

A side-to-side comparison with a $300 Microtech Troodon knife and the $35 Lightning OTF knife. You get what you pay for for each of those knives. But the Lightning OTF still manages to be a formidable and reliable knife even at tenth of the the price.

- Lightning OTF Knife Blade -
Lightning OTF Knife Blade

The blade is a low-end but proper 440C stainless steel with a very impressive and unique profile. All Lightning OTF knives come in drop point blades styles in plain or partially serrated. They’re factory sharp and hollow ground with an acceptable amount of blade-play.

Despite being a “cheap knife”, the Lightning OTF models are an excellent value for their cost, especially since they’re automatic knives.


It’s been 11 months since I’ve acquired the Lightning OTF Taiwan. Although I’ve only used it periodically, each time was for heavy and aggressive use. Even to the extent of using it as a pry. I’ve “fired” the blade over 500 times and the mechanism still works perfectly fine with no misfires.

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