Axis Lock safety concern

Oct 3, 1998
About a week ago I handled the new Axis Lock for the first time, at the local knife shop. I like the knife, for the most part (my only quibble with the design is the pointy corner on the thumb ramp--why not round it off a bit, if not flatten it out altogether?). However, in handling this knife, it wasn't too hard for me to imagine myself using the knife in such a way that my thumb might contact the lock release button, and it wouldn't take much pressure to disengage the lock. As long as you keep your hand firmly in a sabre grip, with the thumb planted squarely on the ramp, there should be no problem. But (for those of you who know a lot about knife combatives), how confident are you that your thumb will stay put in an all-out crisis situation? Does anyone like the traditional foil grip these days? If you're like me, you might find yourself wishing you could rest your thumb on the side of the knife, rather than on the back.

Steve Harvey: I know you love the Axis Lock. If you compare an AFCK, doesn't it seem to you that, given a similar amount of thumb/finger pressure on their respective spring access points, the AFCK is the less likely to close on your hand--strengh issues aside, of course?

How do the rest of you feel about this? The knife is new and cool, but is it really safer?

More than just a little curious,
David Rock
David, I have an Axis that I carry frequently, otherwise H2 Mini-AFCK. Have not experienced your problem, although I can see how one could if a fencing grip was used. If you're stuck on that grip out of habit, better stay away. I love mine so much, I'd be tempted to work on the habit. How stuck are you on that habit?

Regards, Chris
I haven't had a chance to thump the model 710 Axis lock yet. All I really can say at this point is that my thumb seems to stay away from the lock button in hammer grip, and seems unlikely to make contact with the button at any time unless the hand slid forward of its regular postion due to a hard thrust. My intuition is that the lock is a pretty safe one.

I can't really comment on the hump in the handle end either, eccept that I don't put my thumb on the blade spine much when cutting hard as it tends to become very uncomfortable very fast, so the hump doesn't bother me personally.

I gotta' find time to really thrash this thing. Right now it looks to me like the reliability of the lock overshadows all other considerations, though I have never collapsed the lock of one of my AFCKs in training, testing, or use.


Actually, I am not loyal to the fencing grip at all. In fact, I haven't done any fencing at all since 1983. Nowadays I prefer the sabre or hammer grip in my (very limited) training scenarios. My concern with regard to the Axis Lock is based not on the fencing grip per se, but rather on the premise that when the caca hits the fan, I don't know where my thumb might end up. The point I'm trying to make is that I only played with the knife for a couple of minutes in a shop, and in that brief amount of time it occurred to me that my thumb didn't want to spend all of its time glued to the thumb ramp. Hence my question: What happens if your thumb comes t rest on the side of the knife near the pivot area, for whatever reason?

Thanks for the response, and mind that thumb!


I am with you about the possibility of a danger.

That is why I am surprised that the Pinnacl is not getting more Kudos, try inlocking it, that will prove to you that it won't unlock unless you want it to...

That is also whay I am of two minds about the slidebat on the side of the ner Rollin Locks...

One may want to keep an Eye out for my review of the Bob Kasper designed, Kevin Gentile modified AFCK and interview of Bob Kasper.

Marion David Poff fka Eye, one can msg me at

Patiently waiting for the Spyderco SpydeRench, Lum Chinese Chopper Folder, Rolling Lock Martial Folder, Shabaria and JD Smith, heck if it si from Spyderco I'm anxious; REKAT Escalator and Pat Crawford design.

"The victorious Warrior wins first and then goes to war, while the defeated Warrior goes to war and then seeks to win" Sun-Tzu

Ah, so two of us are crazy! That makes me feel a lot better. I like the Axis lock, and I may end up buying one, but I'm in no hurry. I'll wait until Steve Harvey has had a chance to thrash the knife, and as soon as the wound heals I'm sure he'll give us a full report. I'm hopeful that if I put off buying it long enough, Benchmade will come out with a design I like better, with a safer axis lock button.

Wow: the thing has hardly come out, and I'm already waiting for an improvement.

David Rock

[This message has been edited by David Rock (edited 26 January 1999).]