Compression Lock Review Requested

Aug 23, 2000
I was wondering if somebody has already played with Spyderco's compression lock. I'd like to find out what this is about and how it compares with the other types of locks.
Jul 22, 2000
Serguiz Miten has first hand knowledge, but he's staying tight-lipped!

Is it safe to say that it is a variation on the Axis/Rolling/Arc lock configuration?

I speculate this since I've read at these forums that Spyderco was in negotiation with REKAT to use the rolling lock. Unfortunately, negotiations fell through.

I think the COMPRESSION means that the lock uses a compression spring, rather than the Omega springs on an Axis.

I've read rumours about a Military with a compression lock. However, will this work? One of the Military's trademark features is it's slim profile. Adding SS liners for the lock system would fatten the profile by a noticeable amount.

Therefore, I've put the "kaibosh" on my order on a Military until I find out if their line-up of knives will be revamped soon. Afterall, nobody wants an obsolete new knife?

[This message has been edited by Full Tang Clan (edited 10-05-2000).]
Jan 26, 1999
I haven't put the compression lock through any torture testing, but I can briefly describe in my interpretation, the mechanism.
It is not like the axis or rolling locks. The mechanism is similar to a liner lock, but it's application is different. It wedges a portion of the liner between a heavy pin and the tang of the blade, 'compressing' the wedged portion of the liner. It appears to be very solid and it uses Spyderco's arc ramp and eccentric pivot pin for extended wear adjustment.
IMHO, if you like linerlocks, I think you could get accustomed to the compression lock real quick. However, if you are into the side-slide mechanisms like the axis and arc locks, this may seem a little odd at first.
Doing a search on the Spyderco forum may turn up more detailed descriptions.

As for using the compression lock on the Military, the compression lock shouldn't affect the slim profile at all. Spyderco has a compression lock on one of their prototypes which has dual 'nested' liners, maintaining a slim profile. IMO, almost any current linerlocking knife with nested liners or not, could be retrofitted with the compression lock.


Cliff Stamp

Oct 5, 1998
I have two Gunting prototypes one that has seen much use and one that is close to NIB. Both pass spine whack tests, both light and fast, and slow and hard. I have ripped cardboard apart with them (they don't have an edge) and twisted hard to check for disengaging because of torques, this does nothing. The one that has been used has wore very well and the net result is that the liner has moved slightly across the arc ramp. There is no play, or wobble of any kind present.

The ultimate or break point strength is probably high, ask Sal Glesser for specifics. I pressed on the used one hard enough to cause a Cold Steel VG to get mauled (pins sheared through the handle and it basically came apart), and it withstood it fine with no play resulting. Can't break one unfortunately as they are not mine. Will probably buy one to benchmark against the Busse folder when it comes out.

White knuckle security is much stronger than a liner lock, but still not perfect. I can disengage it with a heavy grip but the blade has to be tip up and facing towards me, like you are going to use it as a draw knife. It takes a very strong squeeze and thus its not really a functional problem for me as I don't use that heavy of a grip when actually using a knife in that grip. My hand position is critical and even a slight variance will remove the possibility of a disengagement. I did some random grabs and the necessary grip does not happen very often (less than 1/10 or so).

These are prototypes so there may have been changes, but I am not aware of any.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 10-06-2000).]
Jul 22, 2000
Wow! Gentlemen, thanks for bringing some detailed info out on the new compression lock.

I'm sure Serguiz will have a full review, and detailed photopoint pics soon; as usual!

I think I've seen this lock on the Gunting pics posted in the Spyderco forum. Is it the one with the release on the spine of the knife? Kinda looks like a lockback from a distance?

How is one-handed closing on the knife executed?
Mar 9, 1999
Simple: in the GUNTINGS case... ( my compression lock is mounted mirror image from other SPYDIE knives!)its very simple.
Just move your thumb over a little and "push" / squeeze the lock off to the side. KEEP YOUR FINGERS IN PLACE on the knife. The Blade has a notch that falls right onto your index finger.Then finish closing it by:
using your index finger in the hole
using your thumb in the hole
closing it on your leg
very simple......