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Side Opening Automatics
Dual Action Automatics - These knives can be opened two ways: automatically, or manually. There is usually a thumb stud or thumb hole which allows the knife to be opened manually. To open these knives automatically, there is a hidden scale release.

Here is a video example of this type of knife:

Another example:

Hidden Scale Button - These knives have a secret firing button that you can push, and the knife will fire automatically. The hidden button is usually found somewhere in the middle of the scale. For an example of this type of knife CLICK HERE.

Out the Front Automatics
Dual Action OTF - These OTFs both fire and retract automatically. These knives are prone to get off track from time to time. This can usually be fixed by pulling the blade out completely. This will reset the knife. If your knife is having this problem you can also watch the video below.

Single Action OTF - Single action OTFs automatically extend, generally by pushing a button, but must be manually retracted (usually there is a way to push or pull in the blade). Single action knives are generally sturdy and inexpensive (compared to a similar double action knife).

Spring Assisted Knives
CRKT Outburst - These knives can be a little bit tricky to open. You can watch the video below to see how to open one if you are having trouble.

Spine Flippers - To fire the knife you must push a flipper on spine of the knife; then the spring takes over and the knife flings open quickly. These knives are not automatic.

Italian Style Knives
Stilettos - To fire the knife, press the silver firing button. To retract the blade, press against the right (as opposed to left) bolster and it will pivot. This will unlock the blade- press the blade until it locks back into place. Your stiletto will come with the locking mechanism on- to unlock the knife slide the smaller silver button in the down direction.

If you are having trouble closing your stiletto please WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:

Lever Locks - To fire the knife, press the lever down (toward the knife, while in open position). Top close the knife press the lever down and push the blade back into place.

You can watch the video below to see exactly how the knife works.