Alternatives to the Liner lock

Mar 29, 2000
I sent this e-mail to Joe Talmadge; I thought other members may be interested also.

Hello Joe,

I have been following your posts with great interest. We agree on a lot of things. I want
a folder in the 3-4 in. range. Spend $100. plus or minus. The Benchmades seem frail to
me, but I love Axis. REKAT seems sturdy, but I like fit, finish, and smoothness. Would
have any reccomendations concerning these or other alternatives? I respect your
opinion and look forward to your reply.

Thank you very much,

Hey James, I think the easiest thing for you to do is to do a search in this forum for either the Rolling Lock or Axis, and I gurantee you'll get all the info you can stand on those to locks and a ton of others people like.


Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me?

I hope that after I die, people will say of me: "That guy sure owed me a lot of money."
Thanks for the reply, Flesh Gordon. That name makes me laugh, too. You are telling me that rolling and axis are the only alternatives? I have done exhaustive searches on everything I can think of. A search of the word-lock- gets 200 hits. Read 'em all. I love this stuff! I will not give up.
BTW as you are from Dallas, I am looking for local dealers. Any Ideas? I also noticed several other KnifeKnuts from this area. Help with dealers?
Thanks again, Jared
Seems, there's 6 basic types of locks currently used:
--lock back i.e. Buck 110
--Mid lock back i.e. Spyderco Endura
--Locking Liner i.e. Emerson's or BM's
--Axis i.e. BM 710
--Rolling Lock i.e. REKAT stuff
--Frame lock i.e. Sebenza or BM pinnacle

From a strength perspective, the Axis and frame Locks are tops. I don't like the Rolling Lock, as it seems to complicated. A lot of liner locks aren't made correctly, but I feel Spyderco's military and Starmate have the best liner locks going. The Axis, i feel, is the best mechanism currently. It's simple, accounts for wear, is super strong and is simple to operate. It uses to small springs to actuate the locking bar, which transverses the back of the blade tang, and the lock will still operate with only one spring, without noticable strength loss.

Try a BM 705 Axis lock. I have one and there does not seem to be anything frail about it. Many have testified to the strength of the lock. It's a handy size, too.

For an idea out of left field, try a Gerber A-F Covert. It's a liner lock but has a "safety" to keep the liner in the lock position. It has a very comfortable handle.
Hey James! No, what I meant was the Rolling Lock and Axis lock are the 2 most prominent locks and a search on both usually pulls up a bunch of post that also list some other options, like the ones Dan listed. I don't have either the Rolling lock or Axis, but when I have some extra scratch, I will get an Axis. You cannot beat the design for simplicity, and strength. The only thing I hear better things about is the Mono-lock, check out "frank aka rage" post in the General Forum.

My dream is an Emerson CQC8 waved with an Axis lock, now that would be a folding knife I could be proud of!!!!!

Yep, I live in Dallas, actually the 'burbs. I don't know of ANY good dealers around here. Just a bunch of over priced "mall stores". I heard about one good store in Ft. Worth, probably can't get to it right now
, but I am too lazy to drive that far to check out knives I can't afford!!!

Have you ever seen the movies Flesh Gordon, or the sequel? Now THOSE are funny!


Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me?

I hope that after I die, people will say of me: "That guy sure owed me a lot of money."
Perfect Dano. That's just what I needed-a list of what's available. As Mr Zimmer says-
"An informed consumer is our best customer. And I guarantee it."
Thanks for all the replies.
I'm surprised the Benchmade Axis lock knives seem frail to you -- which ones have you handled? I have the 710 and a Pardue, and both are rock solid, and I mean rock solid. I haven't handled the Ares yet, but expect similar good quality. So far I believe the axis lock to be an excellent lock, and the two Benchmade knives that I've handled that use the axis lock are absolutely top quality.

You should also look at the Pinnacle, Benchmade's integral lock. Again, excellent lock format, superbly executed, from the 2 or 3 samples I've handled.

The third interesting lock type to me is the Rolling Lock. The lock seems excellent, though REKAT fit & finish isn't quite up to Benchmade's, with less refined finish and a rougher action being the norm.

There's two up-and-coming locks I'm looking forward to. Spyderco's new lock, whose name I don't remember, and EDI's new Rock Lock.

At this time, if I wanted a 3"-4" knife in the $100 range and with refined production values, I'd be looking almost strictly at Benchmade: Pardue Axis, 710 Axis, Ares, and Pinnacle (not coincidentally, I have 3 of those 4 knives). And I'd buy an endura as my inexpensivebeater.


PS I never got your email -- good thing you posted here!
ah, one lock that seems to be missed is the most reliable of all. The twisting collar lock, for lack of better description. You find it on opinel kives and the better steel but tighter twisting CS twistmasters. It doesnt fail , any wear is compensted for and if it gets loose, you just pry off the collar and give it a whack on an anvil and it is tight again. Darn near fail proof and easy to build. Mind you I do like my axis lock BM 720. I would have bought a rolling lock but I couldn't find one that locked up without either lateral or vertical play. No thanks.
I agree with Joe completely and want to add my $0.02.
I have BM 730 Ares, it is awesome! Rock solid and so smooooooth! I don't know why but it is noticeable smoother than my BM 710. You can trust BM 750 Pinnacle by all means - Mono Lock is very stable and reliable. Saying shortly you definitely can't to go wrong with either BM knife.

Some improvements on well-known Michael Walker's liner lock you can find on Columbia River Knife & Tool new models, Crawford/Kasper and Point Guard. It is very simple safety device which prevents locking liner from unintended disengagement. Their Frame Lock on S-2 is also very stable.

You can't go wrong with classic Liner Lock if you will choose this one from a good manufacturer, SPYDERCO Starmate, Miltary and Tim Wegner are proving it hands down.

Some upcoming locking devices more:
  • SPYDERCO Compression (?) Lock
  • SOG Arch (?) Lock

[This message has been edited by Sergiusz Mitin (edited 04-01-2000).]
I just thought I'd throw another lock type that has not been mentioned into the game. The Button Lock ala SpeedTech Synergy. Extremely strong and very simple.

Why do you say that the Rekat Rolling lock is complicated? I have taken many Rekat's apart to modify them and the Rolling Lock is about as simple as they come. Lock actuator(slide release), spring , lock lever, and pin. Very simple and very reliable.

C.O.'s-"It takes balls to work behind the walls "
Thanks again for all the replies. A knife purchase is a very personal decision. It pays to be armed with all the info possible. I have BF and it's members to thank for the wealth of knowledge. Now, I'll stop gushing.

Jailhack-Speedtech? very nice, but $250? I think I might call Allen Elishewitz first or another talented maker. Get something really tuned for for more $$

I'm going today to buy the BM 710-but hope they also have the 730 if I could get past the psychedelic slabs. Kinda reminds me of PB&Jelly all in one jar and swirled around. I'll let Ya'll know.
I think tghe Rolling Lock looks complicated, based upon the line drawings i've seen, as well as its description of operation...I've never taken one apart, but it just seems a bit complicated...

Originally posted by jagpics:
I think I might call Allen Elishewitz first or another talented maker. Get something really tuned for for more $$

James, if you do decide to try Allens work, consider the Bolster Lock for the knife you choose. Very well done, allows a variety of handle materiels on a Frame Lock design.

James Segura
San Francisco, CA
Or if you're going to go custom you could get a Gene Osborn scale release. I just got mine, and it's pretty sweet. Basically it's a lockback variant that one of the scales actuates just a bit to release the blade. Very cool.