Balisong question

Jun 16, 1999
With my older butterfly knife the closing latch does not stay in the latched close position. This is greatly irratating because it always comes open very easily(even when you hold it upside down). This is also happening to my knew butterfly knife which was fine when I bought it. What causes this, and how do I correct it? Also, how would I go about learning new balisong techniques? Thanks.
Simple wear or poor fit will cause the problem you describe. To correct it,at least temporarily, you can wrap a rag around the end of the handle (the end that the latch drops in when closed) and gently sqeeze the opening tighter with a vice, creating greater friction between the latch and the handle. You have to be careful not to tighten it too much, though.

Yeah be real careful using the vise. I managed to create a small cracked split on my BM. I thought I was being extra careful. It doesn't affect how the knife works but knowing it's their bothers the hell out of me.
I have a method of creating an adjustable latch for your balisong. You need a dremel cutoff wheel, a drill press, and a 2.5mm (or comparably sized standard) screw tap. You use the dremel to cut off one side of the "devil's tail" on your latch, drill the appropriate hole in the cutoff side and tap a cap-head screw into it. Once the screw is in and tightened with Loc-Tite, you simply file the side of the screw head down that contacts the handle when engaging the latch. This way, if further play develops in the future you can replace the screw with another and file it less to fit. Sounds confusing, but it worked for mine.

I would not recommend the vice technique on a knive that has one-piece solid handles. The potential to fatally crack the handle is just to great. However, you said this is an older knife. Many older knives have handles made from sheet metal bent into a U shape and then some other material secured to the sides to give width, a grip surface, and, of course, for decoration. In this case, the vice technique, carefully applied may work.

Otherwise, if your knife is a Benchmade, return it to the factory as they do have a life-time warranty. My guess is that they'll replace the latch.

If it's not a BM, then you can look around for a custom maker who can replace the latch for you.

As for learning new techniques, there are several books and videos, but if you've been flippin' butterflies long enough to wear out the latch on two knives, I'll be those will have little to teach you.

I find tricks two ways. First, I often put on music and try to keep the knife going to the beat at all costs (fingers, that sort of cost) and with minimal repetition. In trying to keep the knife going, I sometimes find some new thing I'd never done before. Isolate it and work it.

For example, Jeff Imada's books and videos will show you several manipulations that begin in "forward" grip (blade pointing away from you), and end up in "reverse" grip (blade pointing toward you). But, he shows no manipulations that being in reverse and end up in forward. Those are, apparently, left to the reader as an exercise. This creates terrible problems in if you want to manipulate the knife continuously for several minutes. I had to develope those techniques myself.

My second technique is simply to think about how I want the knife to look when it's moving. Then, I work at finding a way to achive that.

If you get really bored, try working on on toss-and-catch tricks.

Professor, Why not leave the tail intact? Screw in from the outside and use a small file to take off what needs to go from the end of the screw inside the tail.

"Every Dog Has His Day"

Another approach: when the handle is closed it contacts two points on the tang -- like the kick in other folders but there are two of them. Cut a piece of matchbook cover and push it into one of the handles where the kick contacts it. That'll spread the handles apart more in the closed position and tighten up the latch. If you cut it just the right size to wedge in there you don't need glue. Color the paper black with magic marker before you put it in and it'll be practically invisible in a black handle.

I put a brass stove bolt through one of the holes in the latch handle on one of mine to hold a clip on. Tightening that screw tightens the pivot of the latch and keeps it from flopping around so much, but I still like the piece of matchbook cover at the kick to make it really latch up tight.

I made the clip out of a large paper clip, by the way.

That screw squeezes the handle in the same way as the vise method above. It has cast zinc handles and the handle hasn't cracked, but YMMV.

-Cougar Allen :{)