Please, help us prevent you getting ripped off because someone got their account compromised by reusing their email & password. Read the new best practices for using the Exchange FAQ page.

Favorite Lock Type

Dec 11, 2000
I see lots of posts asking for favorite knife, what about just favorite lock type (and why)?

[This message has been edited by Harv (edited 01-08-2001).]
Sebenza and Apogee style "integral" bar locks. Sqeeze hard, and they lock up even further. Downside is that yes, your fingers can get in the way when closing. Mainly, though I just like the design and implementation of them.

The Axis lock is really nice as well, as it allows for ambidexterous use and is fun to play with!
It's hard to imagine it failing under any circumstance I'd personally subject it to.

(although that new Cold Steel "Ultra Lock" looks VERY unique, that might become my new favorite! How do they keep coming up with such innovative designs?

Just kidding Cold Steel fans!

Short answer: integral locks.


Name's Ash......Housewares.
BM Axis lock is really good and appears to be almost "wear proof". On the other hand, a well executed liner lock like the LCC is also very secure and rugged. IMHO there is really no one "perfect" lock. It depends on how it is executed by the maker, either manufactured or custom. Confused? Join the group!
The Rolling Lock. My thumb just naturally finds it. It is convienent for me since I'm right handed. An Ambidextrous lock is not a concern for me. The Rolling Lock is plenty strong, at least for me.
For a knife that's meant for harder use, moderately expensive and up, my choice won't surprise anyone: axis lock. The axis lock is so much more reliable than a liner lock, it seems to me an easy choice over a liner lock. Add in the fact that it's likely much stronger, and ambidextrous, and there have been very very few reports of problems on the axis, and you seem to have a winner.

For this class of knife, these lock types are in my mind competitors of the axis:

integral lock (Sebenza style): the simplicity of this lock is definitely a winner. There are stories of these locks wearing very quickly, and I'm not just talking about the current story on the CRK forum. One reason that this lock format is so good, that white knuckling actually strengthens the lockup, appears to me to increase wear sometimes. But that's an awfully nebulus objection, and I think this lock format is very strong, and very close to the axis in terms of desireability. It's not ambidextrous, small objections.

Rolling lock: on paper just as good a format as the axis. In execution, the recent flamewar in the review forum has me a little wary. There were lots of reports of this lock failing, but on the other side, there's perhaps an economic motivation for these reports. Without taking sides, I'm witholding judgement a bit until I hard-use test one myself. Great format otherwise, though in execution so far it's not ambidextrous, again that's a small objection only for me.

SOG Arclock: Just don't know much about it.
Cold Steel Ultralock: Ditto the SOG.

For inexpensive knives, I feel the lockback works out well. It can be made to work well for more expensive knives as well, BUT it must be made carefully to avoid accidental release. For light-use knives, where accidental release isn't an issue, liner locks are a stronger contender, since their unparalled silky-smooth action is very nice.

One of my favourite locks is the twisting collar found on Opinels and the cold steel twistmasters. Simple, inexpensive and reliable. Definetly not a one handed opening.
I agree with knifenerd that a well done linerlock is my choice. Why? there are so many styles and models to choose from. The axis lock is stronger but you are limited to the choices. Now when the patent runs out....

Art Sigmon
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
Php. 4:13

"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword"
Heb. 4:12
I have never had a problem with any of the locks out now. I always chose other features before considering the lock. Unless you are doing weird things I don't see why a lock would fail.

What is this existential quandry all about anyway?

A dog at play has the mind of a wise martial arts master, a mind capable of perfect focus. - Marc Christophe

I wonder a little why more people didn't mention Lockbacks. I only say this with the popularity of Spyerdco knives. I too prefer a liner lock, but find myself mostly buying Spyderco.

[This message has been edited by Harv (edited 01-09-2001).]
Liner locks are easily my least-favored lock format, in fact I don't buy them at all, although I view them as suitable for gent's folder type use. But, I do like lockbacks. For an inexpensive but reliable package, nothing beats a lockback -- all these other locks are too expensive to leave the knife down in the <$35 range.

An interesting twist on the lockback comes with Spyderco's Keating-based model (forgot the name). It's supposedly very strong, which overcomes one common lockback objection. And, again supposedly, the release button is carefully placed so that it won't be released accidently by palm pressure -- another common lockback objection.

My favorite locking mechanism would definetly be one of the ones that don't need them like fixed blades and balisongs. once you get a bali open short of the handles breaking (yes sometimes I carry a bear) the lock just isn't going to fail.

Anxiously awaiting my BM 42A
The best lock is the full tang fixed blade. Because of sheeple and being stuck in PC environs much of the time we are relegated to lesser designs such as folders.

Of these, the lockback rules. For the neuvo set I would go with the integral lock, ala Sebenza. Axis is good and I like mine.

Last on the list would have to be the fragile finicky, chancy but very cheap to produce Linerlock. They have a place. Several knives that I really like, (AFCK, SERE 2000) have a Linerlock, but I relegate them to light use and no dirt, no lint, high maintainance uses. They have their place, but they are my last choice.

[This message has been edited by Nimrod (edited 01-09-2001).]
If I were going for strength I vote for the butterfly-knife latch or the Opinel ring-lock. But for simple convience I like lock-backs. I still don't really trust liner-locks too much.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nimrod:
The best lock is the full tang fixed blade...

...Last on the list would have to be the fragile finicky, chancy but very cheap to produce Linerlock...

[This message has been edited by Nimrod (edited 01-09-2001).]

Two very interesting comments to consider.

Regarding fixed blades: To be fair, the thread is really about folders. However, carrying a fixed blade as a daily carry is becoming realistic as more and more manufacturers are producing smaller fixed blades with 3.5 inch blades or less.

Regarding lockbacks vs. liner locks. I was always under the impression that lockbacks were considered a cheaper alternative, and the liner-locks were more expensive to produce. However, Spyderco's lockbacks haven't suffered any reputational harm inspite of all the new locks. Therefore, is the lockback an inferior locking method as many manufacturers and knife knuts imply? Or perhaps, that's what we've been lead to believe by companies that cannot design a lockback properly.
Realistically speaking, I think the integral frame lock(sebenza, BM Pinnacle)is hands down the best. It is extremely strong and very simple. IMHO, there is nothing that you could do with a folding knife that would snap an integral lock. So, the only lock that MIGHT be better is the Axis. Now I ask you this, if you were in the field and you got your knife all gunked up, would you want it to be an integral or an Axis? The simplicity of the integral makes for easy cleaning.

I think it's incredible strength coupled with it's simplicity, makes the integral the BEST lock yet, hands down.


Louis Buccellato
Knives, Weapons and equipment. Best prices anywhere.

"only the paranoid will survive"

[This message has been edited by TheMartialWay (edited 01-10-2001).]
For strength and reliability, nothing beats the classic balisong. Lock failures, which have been reported on even the best-built examples of every other lock design, are unheard of on quality balisongs.

Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
Well, mostly or actually, I only carry lockbacks. Spyderco lockbacks.

I do not care for liner locks at all, one of my biggest problem is the way the release cut-out throws my grip off.

While I think the Axis Lock is a fine idea, I have never met a knife that had it that I wanted to carry.

The Arc-Lock did not impress me, not surprising, since I have yet to meet a SOG product that I had to own.

The latch on a balisong makes that knife the strongest folding knife, but the latch is manual, and I have yet to meet a balisong that I could not live without, though I like the idea.

The Integral lock is cool, and stable, but not real great on the less expensive models. I have owned a Sebenza, and I probably will again.

As some have mentioned, if you live where they acknowledge your liberty, a fixed blade is never a bad idea.

Thank you,
Marion David Poff aka Eye mdpoff@hotmail.com

My website, guided links, talonite/cobalt alloy info, etc....

&gt;&gt;---&gt;Bill Siegle Custom Knives&lt;---&lt;&lt;

"To wait for luck is the same as waiting for death." -Japanese Proverb

"Place you clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark." -Lazarus Long