Black Phantom Tactical OTF Automatic Knives – Hands On Review (Video)

If you’ve never experienced an OTF knife, meaning the blade comes “out the front,” they are great for one-handed, quick access to the blade. OTF knives are commonly called “switchblades” because the opening action is activated by a switch on the top or side of the knife. There are single and double action OTF knives available. All of the knives referenced in this article are double-action, which means the blade deploys with the switch and spring tension, and it also retracts with the same switch and another spring in the opposite direction.

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Black Phantom Tactical Ghost X4 and Conceal Carry OTF knives
Black Phantom Tactical Ghost X4 OTF and Conceal Carry OTF automatic knives with TWS instagram handle

Black Phantom Tactical is a veteran-owned small business, based in Arizona. Their line of OTF knives ranges from small conceal carry models, like the smallest one pictured here, all the way up to high-end D2 tool steel blades and CNC-machined aluminum handles.

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Black Phantom Tactical Ghost-X4 OTF

The Black Phantom Tactical Ghost-X4 is what I would consider an entry to mid-level OTF automatic knife. The blade length is 3.5 inches, made from 440C stainless steel, and the body of the knife is 5 inches overall, made from zinc-aluminum alloy. The total size of the knife when it is open is 9 inches, including the glass breaker. The overall feel is pretty nice – very strong and solid, and the opening and closing action works flawlessly. It’s a great option if you’re looking for affordable OTF knives that don’t use any plastic parts for the building materials.

I have two minor complaints about my Ghost-X4 that should be mentioned. First, the glass breaking pommel did not actually break any of the vehicle windows on which I tested it. Part of my job is teaching military and police personnel how to gain entry into vehicles; and obviously, one of the ways to do so is to break a window. As a result of that job, I have spent a lot of time using various tools and products to break windows. The glass-breaking tip on my Black Phantom Tactical knife simply would not break vehicle side windows, no matter how hard I hit the glass. I even had another instructor try, and he was not able to break any windows with it either. (No, the windows were not laminated. They were standard tempered safety glass.)

Black Phantom Tactical Ghost X4 OTF automatic knife close up tanta blade open
Black Phantom Tactical Ghost X4 OTF automatic knife close up window breaker
Black Phantom Tactical Ghost X4 OTF automatic knife holding the handle and showing the glass breaking tip

If you didn’t know, car windows are extremely hard to break (for obvious reasons). That’s why you see so many products and tools that highlight their “glass breaking” features. Different materials and shapes work to varying degrees, and if your tool doesn’t have the proper geometry and material construction, it becomes very difficult to actually break glass with it. Tungsten carbide tips are the gold standard for glass breaking tools. In the case of my two Black Phantom Tactical knives, the glass breakers are not tungsten carbide, so they have little to no effect on the glass, unfortunately.

The other minor complaint I have with the Ghost-X4 is that the finish on the handle has already started to wear off after about two months of EDC use. I haven’t done anything crazy with it, other than trying to break car windows, so the finish wearing off like it is isn’t a great sign for long-term durability. The good news is that, as of the time of this writing, it’s only $59.97. That’s about five times less expensive than some of the offerings from larger, well-established OTF brands like Microtech and Benchmade. The BPT Ghost-X4 blade is very sharp out of the box, and it otherwise functions perfectly. There is very little blade play, and the lockup feels solid, overall. Black Phantom Tactical offers six different blade choices for the Ghost-X4, ranging from daggers to drop points. The blade on my knife is the plain tanto option.

Black Phantom Tactical Ghost X4 blade options

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Black Phantom Tactical Ghost X4 OTF automatic knife showing finish wear
Black Phantom Tactical Ghost X4 OTF automatic knife showcase

Black Phantom Tactical Conceal Carry OTF

One of the offerings from Black Phantom Tactical is a smaller OTF knife, designed with conceal carry in mind. The blade is 3 inches long and made from 440C stainless steel. The handle is 4 inches and made out of zinc-aluminum alloy. Once again, there are no plastic parts to be found anywhere. This little guy is a good option if you’re looking for something smaller than the 9-inch total length of a Ghost-X4. The overall length of the conceal carry OTF is 7 inches, including the glass breaker. There are seven different blade shapes and styles from which to choose. 

Black Phantom Tactical Conceal Carry OTF blade options

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The blade on my tested conceal carry knife wasn’t incredibly sharp out of the box, but I was able to sharpen it up quickly and easily, using normal sharpening stones. That’s really the only complaint I had on this one – I would have liked a sharper blade out of the box. The owner of Black Phantom Tactical said his blades are normally scary sharp.

Black Phantom Tactical Vs. Benchmade & Microtech

When you talk about OTF knives, you can’t get far without mentioning Microtech. They are the current brand to beat, as far as quality and materials used. The Microtech Ultratech, for example, uses several different options for blade steel and handle material, but all of the options are premium “super steel” and high end. You can find Microtech Ultratech knives for anywhere from $280 to $400 and up, depending on what it’s made out of and where you get it.

Microtech Ultratech tan in the snow

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Benchmade is another big name in the knife world that also makes some solid OTF knives. The Benchmade Infidel, for example, uses D2 tool steel for the blade and CNC-machined T6061 aluminum for the handle. A full-size Benchmade Infidel carries an MSRP of just over $500. Ouch.

Benchmade Infidel

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Benchmade Infidel with black blade and nylon sheath

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And then we have our friends at Black Phantom Tactical. Currently, there are two D2 steel and CNC-machined T6061 models available:

Black Phantom Tactical Phantasm OTF automatic knife

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Black Phantom Tactical Wraith Extreme OTF automatic knife

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A D2 steel blade and CNC-machined knife from Benchmade would run about three to five times as much. Microtech uses higher-grade steel than D2, so the much larger cost is more justified. In the end, it’s your money, and you can spend it however you’d like. 

Since I haven’t physically put hands on any of the higher-end options I just mentioned, I can’t say one way or the other on which one is best. However, this should be some food for thought, at least. 

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

If you’re in the market for a good entry to mid-level OTF knife, I think Black Phantom Tactical is a great option. I have not personally put hands on their higher-end D2 and CNC-aluminum models, but based on how well the two more affordable versions that I currently have work, I’m sure the higher-end models would be great, as well.

Full transparency disclaimer: I purchased my Ghost-X4 with my own money and traded some work for the owner in exchange for the conceal carry OTF. This post and the accompanying video were not sponsored by Black Phantom Tactical.

Legal Disclaimer: Check your local, state, and federal laws before purchasing and carrying an automatic knife. Some states have different laws than others, so an automatic knife like these might be perfectly fine in your state but might land you in prison if you live somewhere like the people’s republic of Crappyfornia.

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