what is gravity Knife? how does it work?

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The knife having a blade that functions due to the gravitational force is known as the gravity knife. The blade is placed in the handle of the knife. As the blade comes out due to the gravitational force, or the spinning motion to take it out of the handle, therefore we call it a gravity knife. But there’s a difference between a gravity knife and a switchable knife.

A switchable knife has a spring and a button or a switch in it which pulls the knife out of the handle. On the other hand, the gravity knife doesn’t have a spring in it. Both types work perfectly but the main difference that makes the gravity knife the best knife is that it can be taken out freely with a single hand in case your second hand is occupied. 

Use of Gravity Knife:

This Knife is used by the parachutists to cut off their parachute or ropes if, due to any circumstances, they are stuck somewhere. This gravity knife makes their work easier since it pops out without any effort. The only thing you need to do is just press the trigger or a fulcrum liver and the knife will come out itself without pulling the knife out manually. The gravity best knife has an edge over other knives that it has the ability to release the blade from both sides, open and closed position. This makes it the best knife that is widely used in the military. 

Overview of the Gravity Knife: 

 The Fallschirmjägermesser was the first gravity knife invented in 1937. It was first provided to German soldiers and parachutists. Its main purpose was to cut the ropes of the stuck parachutists in case of tangled ropes in trees of parallel circumstances. 

The Best gravity knife contains the sliding blade which is fitted with smooth scales. The blade is sharp which cuts out hard ropes or aluminum with just a stroke. 

In Fallschirmjägermesser, the side blade is originally fitted with a smooth wooden scale. To open the blade, you only need to point the knife downward, the gravity works the rest. The button releases the blade and it comes out of the shell. 

History of Gravity Knives:

This knife was first used in the world war by the parachutists and the fighter jet pilots. If the jet crashed for any reason, the pilot would use the gravity knife to cut aluminum to escape from the wreck. If they somehow managed to eject off the jet, and after landing, the knife helped them to cut the ropes since it’s the comparatively faster process then getting out of the parachute in order to save the life from the enemies. 

The gravity knife was also used to fix the jammed weapons but it was never intended to use it in straight combat. 

Types of Gravity Knives. 

  • The Fallschirmjägermesser:

The Fallschirmjägermesser was used for almost 40 years until the British forces manufactured their own gravity knives. The British Government hired Geroge Ibberson & Co. to produce gravity knives similar to that of German’s. These knives were manufactured for military use as they found it very lethal for close combat.

  • False Gravity Knives: 

The knives that were intended to freeze their position when their blade came out of shell while having no closed position lock are referred to as false knives. Some knives who don’t have a lock in both of the positions are also known as false knives. 

In 1958, it was considered that the U.S was importing stiletto knives without a spring mechanism without pronounced blade heel in the central area. This made the blades to easily flick out of the body. 

  • The Conversion Gravity Knife: 

The Conversion of this knife is a standard folding knife. The knife is a false gravity knife because it does not lock closed. It is a comparatively light weighted knife having a light but sharp blade that swings easily. 

  • Luftwaffe Gravity Knives: 

This is the earliest version of the German gravity knife (LGK). It was used by the parachutists to cut the tangled ropes. It had a wood scale handle. The restriction was there that this knife would only be used to cut the tangled ropes.

Gravity Knife and a Switchable Blade:

Since the this knife functions the same as the switchable blade, therefore they categorize gravity knife as a type of switchblade. But there are differences between these two blades. 

The main difference is the mechanism of opening the blade. Thought in both the knives, blades are hidden inside their handles but the gravity knife functions due to the force of gravity or inertia. When the lever of the blade is removed, the blade falls due to the gravitational push. On the other hand, a switchable blade possesses a spring inside the handle of the knife which automatically takes out the blade when the lever is pushed. 

Some other blades possess the similarity with the gravitational knives. They are butterfly knives, out-the-front knives (OTF), and penny knives. 

The legality of the Gravity Knife: 

Since the gravity knife was first used by German for the military’s necessity, later it was exported to various countries, especially in the USA. Until 1950, this knife was considered legal to carry a knife either a person belongs to the military or a civilian. After that, small blades similar to gravity blades became very popular among the civilians especially youngsters. They used to carry knives to look cool. This later became extremely popular among the gangs. Knives were also used in movies and other media to make them look more dangerous. 

This turned out to be a very dangerous act. Gravity knives turned out to be silent killers. A person would sneak out silently and stab the knife in the neck which caused the ultimate death. Many people fell victim to this small deadly weapon. 

In 1954, a law was passed by the state of New York. The law made the switchable blades illegal but the knives were exception until 1958. New York was the first state to announce the illegality of switchable blades and later Colorado and other states also joined them. These states believed that these knives were too dangerous to be carried by the civilians. Because it made it hard for the police of special forces to distinguish between a civilian and a criminal. 

Some people were unaware of the law of illegality of pocket knives. They kept keeping pocket knives with them which made countless arrests by the police. The law was never taken out and still exists but some states have amended the law over but there are still some cases of arrest due to keeping pocket knives. 

In March 2019, the New York federal district court repelled the law of banning the gravity knives by giving the statement that “this is too vague”. As a result, the gravity knives were legalized again in May 2019. Though carrying a gravity knife might be legal in New York but it is still illegal in the rest of the states. New York is the state that introduced the law of banning gravity knives and now is the only state who has taken off the law. 


  • What is the future of gravity knife?

We don’t know what will happen in the future but currently certain states have made the use of Gravity knife legal like New York. But still most of the states still hasn’t legalized yet.

  • Can gravity knife also called switchable blade?

Gravity knife is considered to be a type of switchblade but its function differs it from other switchblades.

  • Is the gravity knife legal in Germany now?

The law is quite funny. It is illegal to carry a knife of 5 inches or more but you can carry a knife of 4.72 inches. There is not any restriction on foldable knives.


The gravity knife has its own history from World War II till now. This weapon has been evolved till the date. Many restrictions have been applied to it but is again legalized in New York. This knives are well named by the function they work. 

Abide by the law your state has implemented. Don’t use gravity knife if you are restricted by the government. But if your government allows then carry it with care. 

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