The balisong knife other wise known as the batangas knife, fan knives click clack, and most known it the U.S. as a butterfly knife. Is a knife that would be considered a pocket knife it has two handles that are both on a hinge and the knife itself folds in to the handle and in the hands of someone that knows how to use it and be flipped open every quickly with just one hand. For the most part these knives are pocket knives size but are also make in sword size and can be over three feet when fully opened. These bigger blades are not surprisingly called baliswords.
All those now on is really sure where the name balisong comes form that are a few thoughts as to what it is referring to. In the Tagalog language balisong or Baling sungay means broken horn, and because the first knives where made of animal horns many think that is where the name comes from. Others think that they are called balisong for the reason the they are thought to first be invented in a town called balisong. These pocket knives origins are from the Philippines and though discouraged now for hundreds of years where once used to fight in duels.
These pocket knives where not known to western civilizations until the Spanish came and governed the Philippines and then made these knives popular. Though evidence suggests that Balisong knives have been apart of the Filipino fighting arts since 800AD. Balisongs where brought back to the states after WWII when troops that where fighting in the pacific came home and brought these handy pocket knives back with them.
A balisong is mainly made up of ten parts. The edge, swedge, choil, kicker, pivot pins, tang, tang pin, bite handle, safe handle, and latch. The edge is the sharp blade of the knife. The swedge is the back side of the blade that is made to look sharp but is not. The choil is a curve above the kicker to help you to sharpen the blade. The kicker is what stops the blade for hitting the inside of the knife when closing to help keep the blade sharp. The pivot pins are the pins that the knife pivots on to open and close. The tang is where the blade come in to the handle. The bite handle is the part that closes on the sharp side of the blade. The safe handle is the part that closes on the back side of the blade, the part that is not sharp. The latch, this is what keeps the knife closed.
There are now a number of knives makers in the U.S that make balisongs or butterfly knives. One of them is Benchmade. Another well known knife make is Emerson. Emersons very first knives where balisongs that he made while studding Filipino martial arts in California. Because of the nature of these pocket knives many countries have them outlawed. But are very sought after by collectors.