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Balisong Knives


Balisong Knives and Butterfly Knives

Origins of the Balisong

The history of the Butterfly knife, also known as the Balisong, is veiled in mystery and riddled with intriguing theories. While there's no definitive account of its birth, several captivating narratives swirl around this iconic blade.

Tales of centuries Past

Some contend that the Butterfly knife sprouted in the Philippines around 800 CE, and its roots intertwined with Filipino history. Others suggest a different tale, proposing that French inventors gave birth to the design in the 1700s before introducing it to the Philippines in the late 1800s. There's even a notion that the Butterfly design may have European ancestry, dating back to approximately 1600. Spanish conquerors could have played a role in its migration to the Philippines.

Lack of Concrete Evidence

Regrettably, the Butterfly knife's enigmatic origins remain cloaked in uncertainty, with no definitive documentation or archaeological evidence to decisively support any of these theories. Nevertheless, one thing is certain: this is an age-old tool that has woven itself into the tapestry of history and has gained popularity throughout the knife communities. Today, you can see Butterfly knife contests sprouting up at knife events all over. One in particular is the contest at Blade Show. 

The Unique Name "BALISONG"

The name "BALISONG" is a testament to the linguistic heritage of the Philippines. It derives from the Tagalog words "baling sungay," which translates to "broken" and "folding horn." This moniker harks back to the knife's traditional construction, featuring handles crafted from intricately carved carabao and deer horn, and sometimes even bones. In the Philippines, the traditional Balisong is affectionately known as "veinte y nueve," or "twenty-nine," due to its 29 cm (11 in) length when fully opened. (source)

The Arrival of the Butterfly Knife in the United States

The term "BUTTERFLY knife" didn't gain widespread popularity in the United States until the 1980s when Benchmade knife company, played a pivotal role in shaping its American identity. The iconic butterfly image was forever etched into its history, an image still embraced by Benchmade today.


The Butterfly knife's origins may remain a puzzle, but its enduring appeal, rich cultural connections, and distinctive design continue to captivate knife enthusiasts worldwide.


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