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Cold Steel Tri Ad Lock Stiffness

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Mike51772, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. Mike51772


    Mar 3, 2017
    i just got a Cold Steel Golden Eye Elite Folder. I really like the knife in every way except for how stiff the lock is and how hard it makes it to disengage. Can it be adjusted to soften it a little? Will it soften up over time....with use?
  2. jlauffer

    jlauffer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Have heard that leaving the knife half open (blade at 90deg to handle) for a while will help loosen it up. Haven't had that problem with any of my Tri-Ads yet, so no first-hand experience, but have heard that it works from a lot of people
    NG VI and jbmonkey like this.
  3. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    They tend to get softer with use. Also, your thumb gets used to it.
    NG VI likes this.
  4. Sosa


    Feb 6, 2014
    They do soften. But I love it when someone I show it to has to hand it back open cuz they can’t close it lol
    NG VI and marrenmiller like this.
  5. eugenechia1989


    May 15, 2017
    I read a good tip on this forum (or was it Cold Steel's own advice?) to leave it half-open for a week or two. My American Lawman went from borderline unusable to quite usable. It's still noticeably stiffer than my Code 4, but I can at least carry and use it one-handed now. No actual modifications necessary.
    NG VI likes this.
  6. Comeuppance

    Comeuppance Fixed Blade EDC Emisssary Gold Member

    Jan 12, 2013
    I haven't experienced this problem, but, I do disengage my lock differently than most. I actually turn the knife around in my hand and disengage it by squeezing the lock with my middle finger.

    In addition to leaving it partially open as others have mentioned, you might toss just the teensiest bit of lubricant onto the lockface, which will reduce the friction between the lock and the tang.
    User27 likes this.
  7. Man with no name

    Man with no name

    Jun 24, 2015
    I have a Counter Point XL that becomes a virtual fixed blade when wrist flicked open! You have to depress the lock by pressing the torsion bar against the edge of a table to unlock it. This is no exaggeration. But opening the knife slowly using the thumb post or two handed and closing it becomes manageable. I did the whole leaving it open at 45 degrees when not in use and it helped but didn't completely solve the lock stiffness.
  8. ecallahan

    ecallahan Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Leaving my newly acquired (NOS) mini recon half open overnight was all it took for me. It was very hard to disengage before that. It is fine now and I believe with more use will keep breaking in.
  9. BenchCo Spydermade

    BenchCo Spydermade

    Feb 10, 2014
    My counterpoint xl so was also particularly stiff, even for a triad. But with no autolawks, I cant quite say it was a virtual fixed blade :)
  10. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    as @jlauffer said. I've done it. it works. leave for few days half open or longer if needed.
    jlauffer likes this.
  11. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    bought my 12-yr old gdson an Amer Lawman. He couldn't operate the lock. I couldn't either. His dad, who is 225 and lots of muscle, had all he could do to make it work. We called it lots of names; didn't help.
    The kid threw it in a drawer and forgot it exists.
    My last Cold Steel.
    JDRanger, mdrgn79 and trevitrace like this.
  12. razor-edge-knives

    razor-edge-knives Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 3, 2011
    You can also disassemble it and lower the spring tension slightly. I've done it before and it works like a charm.
    craytab likes this.
  13. Blue Sky

    Blue Sky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    Most of my tri-ads close very easily, my Counterpoint I can be sticky. When that happens I’ve found that if I pull on the blade as if trying to open it further, then the lock will then release easier. It has gotten better over time with use. I assume a little polish on the lock bar would help, but have not tried that yet to date. Love the tri-ad overall.
    Man with no name likes this.
  14. Irish_Iron_Spring

    Irish_Iron_Spring Gold Member Basic Member Gold Member

    Jan 3, 2019
    Mine have always loosened up with use. Never had one be unusable.
    rje58 likes this.
  15. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    This is what I did with the aus8 recon1 I had. Worked great. Didn't need to do it on the xhp version.
    razor-edge-knives likes this.
  16. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    This is what I have done on several.
    Mine have not softened / weakened in use. Do car springs soften and weaken with use ? As little use as opening and closing a knife a few hundred times compared to driving a truck down a wash board road for years .
    If that doesn't make sense look up the fatigue limit for spring steel.

    But this is what I do . . . basically over travel the spring to the point it bends permanently and can't apply as much force on the lock.
    Does that make sense. Look up elastic limit and plastic limit.

    Anyway get in there and smash the sheeeet out of it. See the link at the bottom of this post. That is a valve stem clamped against the lock bar in the photo. I used it because it is about the right cylindrical size and the rubber coating protects the knife from getting marred up but has a brass core so it isn't just squishy rubber. I suppose there are all sorts of things you could clamp on the lever to push it down inside the handle enough to change the shape of the spring permanently by pushing the lever way in.

    I also disassemble some of my triads and change the way the latch works.
    I do these sorts of things for a living. YMMV

    Any way this is a Link>>>>> to my old post with photos
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  17. Minnesota Man

    Minnesota Man Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 30, 2014
    I own many a Tri-ad lock and I've never had a problem, my Recon1 XL had a little stiffness but the leaving it open trick helped.
    rje58 likes this.
  18. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    My first Cold Steel, a Mini Tuff Lite was so dambed difficult I could not unlock it with my thumb period I had to cram my finger knuckle against the lock bar to budge the thing. That's what got me looking for solutions.

    Huh . . . the Buck 110 was never ever a problem. I just used it.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  19. eugenechia1989


    May 15, 2017
    I think the Tri-Ad lock is like a good pair of leather boots. It needs to be seasoned in. Patience is key. Though not all of them will be difficult from the start. I'll admit that the American Lawman is the only knife I've risked buying after struggling with it. Heck, I've handled a Spyderco back-lock that was difficult, I've also handled a ZT 0550 whose blade seemed to be jammed shut!
    DocJD likes this.
  20. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    Mine are stiff too. I found that, rather then them getting less stiff over time, I just got used to them.
    rje58 likes this.

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