A bit of a different liner failure


Feb 26, 1999
I had an unusual failure of a liner type lock last week. I wonder if anyone else has had the same thing happen. I usually carry a Benchmade 350 in my shirt pocket for whatever cutting chore needs to be done. Usual carry is to clip it inside my pocket, with the top just showing above my pocket. It's hard to tell the difference between the 350 and a pen unless you look very close. Well, certain times I have to remove it and put it inside my pocket, pivot side down. I do this from force of habit, it just is easier to pull it out, spin it around and drop it into my pocket. I did this, so as to hide it while on site at a particular customers location, and didn't think anything of it until later in the evening. After dinner, I removed the 350 to cut open a package, *popped* the stud to open it, and the blade opened and immediately popped back closed. Right across my fingers. What the #@#%@? Being the stupid individual I am, I did it again, just to see what had gone wrong. Same thing. I looked closer at the blade stop and noticed a small piece of lint had become stuck between the blade and the blade stop,preventing the liner from engaging the blade to lock it open. My faith in the liner type lock at this point is totally shot. I can live with a lock that fails in heavy use, it is a folder after all. But one that fails to keep the blade in the open position is worse. I'll still carry a liner lock, I just won't trust it.

Same thing will happen to a lockback if you get a good piece of lint (what my family refers to as a "flurmbus!") stuck in the tang notch. I once walked into a knife store I was friendly with, and the salesperson sheepishly told me he had just noticed that a Spyderco knife he had accepted as a return earlier in the day had nothing wrong with it except for a baby dustbunny stuck right in this spot, preventing it from locking. I daresay even an Axis Lock or Rolling Lock might be disabled by a well-placed and suitably robust flurmbus. Don't let this spoil your trust in linerlocks versus other types


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
I had a similar experience with a new Dragonfly. I had it in my shirt pocket, not clipped but in the bottom of the pocket. I sawed a few boards on the tablesaw. Later when I took it out I noticed it did not lockup anymore. I thought I broke it without knowing how. What happened was a very fine coat of sawdust got on the part of the blade preventing it from locking.
I've had the same thing happen with a liner lock. Also had it happen with a lockback, exactly as Corduroy describes. A little lint in the locking notch and it's all over.

Thanks guys.I believe a lint lizard or any other crud in the works would indeed disable a lock back, rolling lock or any other folder, regardless of lock or lack thereof. A liner type lock found on some of the larger Schrade Uncle Henery's may afford a bit more tolerance, but given enough crud,,,. I'll still happily carry any folder, they are just too handy not to, but in the future, I'll be a little more selective about what I carry for non-tool use.