Most of you have likely marveled at the balisong knife. You’ve watched it flip open and close, almost like a butterfly spreading its wings. 

Well, you’re not alone. These bad boys, often known as butterfly knives, have captured the imagination of knife lovers, martial arts practitioners, and weapon collectors around the globe.

Whether you’re a seasoned flipper with a couple of scars to show for it, a beginner just dipping your toes in, or someone fascinated by the intriguing world of these twirling tools, you’re in for a treat. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

We’ll plunge headfirst into everything balisong – its origins, different types, practical uses, and even a quick detour through the murky waters of legalities. Because we’ve got to keep things above board, right?

The Birth of the Balisong 

There’s a bit of a cloud regarding the balisong’s origins. Some historians trace its lineage to around 800 AD, making it a knife with a pedigree older than most. 

They argue that it was a design brought by early migrants from Indonesia, where similar-style knives also existed for hunting and farming. However, others say that the balisong is a relatively recent invention, coming to life sometime in the early 1900s.

No matter its birth date, the balisong started as a workhorse in the rugged terrains of the Philippines. Imagine a humble farmer in Batangas, a province known for being the heartland of balisong production, using one to cut a thick piece of rope or a ripe piece of fruit. 

Its practical design, allowing for one-handed operation and easy storage, made it an essential tool in daily life.