There are a couple of reasons for Balisong taping,one is to protect the balisong (butterfly knife) the other is to protect you! The following post will cover the how and why for Balisong taping and give other options for protecting your knife.
Balisong Taping for Balisong Protection.
Some of us collect Balisongs (butterfly knives),some of us flip and/or use our Balisongs and some of us fall somewhere in between. I personally fall in between, I`m not a balisong “collector” but I collect balisongs. I`m not an expert manipulator but I like to flip. So when I spend the money on a nice flipping balisong I want to keep it in great condition but there is no way I`m going to put it in a safe or on a shelf and not flip it!
Areas that seem to need the most protection are the latch, areas that the latch can come in contact with the handles and the blade. Some Balisong builders are helping in this area by adding a latch block (gate) as seen in the first two photos of this BM 51.
In the next photo you see a cheaper balisong with a floppy latch, these and some older (not so cheap) balisongs have latches that can definitely do some damage to the knife. In the last photo,one of my favorites the BRS premium replicant. Its latch also hits the handles.This is a high quality balisong for flippers made by flippers, so its not just the cheap knives that have this issue. There are people that will tell you if you were doing it right centrifugal force would keep the latch from hitting. Though this is true not all of us are experts and even the best drop their knife or slow down a routine to learn a move.
Though the post is titled balisong taping (and I will show examples)I also want to show what I feel is a better option than taping. Balisong taping works but it can be a hassle to cut the little pieces,change often due to use and the sticky residue. Depending on the type of Balisong (Brass?) the tape would need to be removed often as explained by The Balisong Collector http://www.balisongcollector.com “Brass handles will develop a patina with age and handling. If it’s nice and even, this enhances the appearance and value of such a knife. This is why it’s very important to thoroughly wipe off a brass-handled balisong after you’ve handled it so that the oils from your hand don’t damage and discolor the brass. Fingerprints left on a brass handle quickly become permanent. And, tape covering part of the brass will keep that part from aging to match the rest. So, I don’t recommend leaving tape on brass handles or latches very long”.
In the pictures above I`m using black electrical tape.This tape is rubber instead of paper,is thicker than painters tape and more flexable. Tape the top of the latch,the inside and outside area of the safe handle where the latch may come in contact. I also use a flex spray (plastic dip) for the blade. This will help prevent scuffs and scratches on the blade in case you drop it. It will not prevent blunting the tip or knicks on the blade edge if dropped on hard surface.
There is another option that is cheaper,less hassle,less mess and easy to do. Using an “O” ring around the latch. “O” rings can be found at hardware stores, Home Depot, etc.. They cost under a dollar for a pack of 10,look cleaner and no residue to clean off. Find the right size for your latch,you will want one that is tight enough not to slide up the latch while flipping.
Balisong Taping for your Protection.
Again,you will hear people put down taping and or using trainers. The “die hard” no cuts no glory people. If that works for them fine. I have used trainers,tape and live blades and my opinion is if you have the cash, buy the balisong you want (live blade) and tape it. This way you are getting use to the weight and feel of the knife. When using a trainer then converting over to a live blade you have to get use to a whole new knife again. If your short on cash then do what you have to do,trainer/cheap CCC whatever. I used tape on the blade to learn new moves and after I seem to have the motion down removed the tape to continue practicing so that I didnt depend on the tape protecting me too much. Do what feels right for you,even the expert Jeff Imada recommends Taping for practice in his books.
Taping the blade is pretty straight forward. Cut a strip the length of the blade,place the tape on one side with half of the tape hanging down and fold over the blade. Again,I think the rubber electrical tape is best, its a bit thicker. Know that even with tape if the blade come down on your finger hard enough you can get bit.
When Balisong taping change every few months and you can use rubbing alcohol to get rid of the residue.
Dont forget if you do use the Dip or spray to protect the blade you should change that every few months as well. Stay safe and Keep Flippin`
For more tips,tricks and Balisong taping info check out Jeff Imadas Book,click image for more info.