KA-BAR Redraws TDI Flipper from the Ground Up

KA-BAR just released a redesigned TDI Flipper, the folding version of the fixed blade of the same name. This is a ground-up refresh, with a look much closer to the fixed blade predecessor and, for the first time at KA-BAR, a crossbar-style locking mechanism.

There’s a bit of history, and a small family tree, to consider when discussing this knife. The original TDI is a fixed blade designed by John Benner. Purpose built for self-defense, it has a 2.31-inch leaf-shaped blade, canted at a dramatic angle in relation to the handle, itself set at a pronounced curve. It proved to be a popular model, and begat an entire series of related pieces, including the TDI Ladyfinger, a larger version, and, eventually, the first TDI Flipper knife.

The pocket clip can go on either side

Compared to the original TDI Flipper, this 2023 reboot bears a much stronger resemblance to the fixed blade TDI. It has a curve to its handle, and the AUS-8 blade here echoes the leaf-shaped original. But it’s not a 1:1 recreation either: at 3 inches long, it’s a bit larger, with a trapezoidal, oversized swedge dominating the upper half of the blade flat. These qualities make the 2023 TDI Flipper a natural fit for everyday carry without losing the distinctly tactical elements of its fixed blade forefather.

Other changes abound, including a key one that should please the fidget factor fans out there while simultaneously boosting accessibility. KA-BAR did away with the frame lock mechanism that the first TDI Flipper had; and in its place they installed an Axis Lock-style crossbar lock. This swap is a big win in terms of ambidextrousness; combined with the flipper tab, opening hole, and reversible pocket clip, the TDI Flipper is now 100% lefty-friendly. All in all, it’s hard to call this TDI Flipper a revision so much as a complete, top-to-bottom redesign.

The TDI Flipper Folder is available now.

Knife in Featured Image: KA-BAR TDI Flipper Folder

The information provided by KnifeNews.com (the “Site”) is for general recreational purposes only. The views and opinions expressed on the Site are those of the author or those quoted and do not necessarily reflect the views of any entities they represent. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however, we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of the information on the Site. Under no circumstance shall we have any liability to you for any loss or damage as the result of the use of the Site or reliance on any information provided. Your use of the Site and your reliance on any information on the Site is solely at your own risk.