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Hawk-lock versus Axis-lock

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Artfully Martial, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. Artfully Martial

    Artfully Martial

    Jun 8, 2005
    But I never said they were crap. I said they were great. I love them and have had many models and have never had a problem or broken spring. I'd buy another one if Benchmade had a design that really appealed to me like, say, my old 960 does.
  2. Brian Sargent

    Brian Sargent

    Jun 6, 2008
    I've definitely owned many an axis and used a plenty ... How much time do you have with the HAWK?

    "the little cylinders that stick out of the side of the tang (the tang is basically a camshaft in hawk-locks) are the only things that touch it, "

    The little "things" are pins with a tiny diameter. The tang really isn't a camshaft because a camshaft is a lobed bearing surface. And being that those "things" are so small they have very little surface area and ramp up super steep ... creates wear.

    To be serious ... you guys are really arguing about the Axis lock reliability?! You are in the minority on this one in my opinion. There are thousands of happy customers ... take their word for it if you don't take mine. That's all good!:thumbup:
  3. Brian Sargent

    Brian Sargent

    Jun 6, 2008
    I posted that within one minute of you ... responding to Kenny.:rolleyes:

  4. Dorito Monk

    Dorito Monk

    Nov 17, 2008
    No-one in this thread has said the axis lock mechanism is crap. I can't understand why one fanboy is getting so flustered about people sharing their (sometimes negative) experiences with the axis lock. :confused: I can tell you like the design, but that doesn't make all contrary opinions invalid and surely to god it doesn't make you the authority on the subject. :rolleyes:

    Sure it is. Of course, I'm sure I don't need to tell you that popularity does not indicate quality (stating that something is good because it's popular is just as asinine as saying that 1 million Justin Bieber fans can't be wrong :p ).

    There's just no talking to fanboys...:thumbdn:
  5. Brian Sargent

    Brian Sargent

    Jun 6, 2008

    I'm flustered .......:D ...... you are the one pointing thumbs down and calling me a fanboy.

    .... cause why ....... I'm supporting the facts and majority?

    Call me what you want ... I'm eating Cool Ranch and enjoying a Belgian Ale!

    This is the INTERNET .... who is flustered .

    You should read the THREAD to see who said crap!

  6. Brian Sargent

    Brian Sargent

    Jun 6, 2008
    You really broke out with Justin Bieber! :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::
  7. Brian Sargent

    Brian Sargent

    Jun 6, 2008
    You aren't much of a reader. Slop in an action and filled with crud are a little different.

    ... and it's pretty simple that if I hear one person with a problem with something I don't get on the internet and condemn it.

    ... but hey ...... I wasn't trying to get personal.
  8. Artfully Martial

    Artfully Martial

    Jun 8, 2005
    I agree that the fact that the axis-lock is currently much more time-tested is a plus. Empirically speaking, it's a known quantity, and the hawk-lock is nearly theoretical at this point (at least, relative to the axis).

    The "pins" have double the contact in the sense that there are two of them, and only one is engaged at a time. Furthermore, like I said earlier, unlike the axis bar, they have no contact at all during the vast majority of their movement, whereas the axis bar will under most conditions (excepting pulling the lock bar all the way down for the entire opening/closing).

    I'm not going to take a stand on which one will wear faster in regard to the pins versus the barbell. That one's going to come down to empiricism.
  9. Dorito Monk

    Dorito Monk

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hahahaha...someone needs to cut down on the sugar. ;)

    Three posts in a row whining about me? Really? :rolleyes: This is getting pretty funny. :p Jesus this discussion's going downhill...

    Please explain, since it eludes me so, how "slop in the action" and "dirt/sand/foodstuffs/lint, etc. in the action" are such wildly different factors. I guess I don't understand the subtle nuances of the word 'slop' or something... :confused:
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  10. Brian Sargent

    Brian Sargent

    Jun 6, 2008

    Bro ... I'm not here to argue with you. If you don't get it ... you just don't. You are the one that brought the bad vibes and the name calling.
  11. Brian Sargent

    Brian Sargent

    Jun 6, 2008
    I agree and it does make a difference.:thumbup:
  12. HKBM45


    May 29, 2008
    Another argument for the Axis. You can replace the springs with guitar strings.

    I don't own a Hawk lock, but always thought it looked interesting. However I think there is a good reason why most of Benchmade's product line has Axis and only 1 (I think) current production KAI knife has the Hawk.

    I like that you can put a stick or bolt through an Axis or use different material for the springs if it breaks. Also easier to clean/oil and less complex than the Hawk looks. You can just rinse the Axis with water or blow with compressed air. Axis is also fully ambidextrous.

    Also the placement on the Hawk means it could be disengaged if being used hard. And if you watch the video where it is opened up, you see that during the course of opening the stud on the tang has to defeat the spring twice as opposed to the Axis' once (Axis should be easier to flip).

    These are the reasons I have many Axis knives and no Hawk locks.
  13. ibute21

    ibute21 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 26, 2010
    In all honesty, how many Hawk Lock production folders exist? I can only think of two, the RAM and the ZT 0500. Now, how many production axis locks exist?

    I love my RAM but I consider my Axis lock knives to be far superior to it. I haven't had an axis lock failure yet (knock on wood). And as for all the complaints about the Axis lock springs breaking are only because of the omega springs breaking, not the steel bar. And as for the Hawk Lock, it sounds like it wears faster and is harder to fix. In a recent ZT 0500 thread, someone was talking about how his 0500 developed blade play relatively soon and even after being serviced by the factory multiple times, it still had the blade play. I think the Hawk Locks major problem is that it does not self adjust, unlike the Axis and other locking mechanisms.

    Just good for thought, I'm having trouble sleeping so sorry if this reply doesn't make much sense.
  14. HKBM45


    May 29, 2008
    The ZT Mudd was discontinued. And probably not because they couldnt keep up with demand.

    Im not really sure that the Hawk lock is much competition for the Axis... Spyders caged ball bearing lock might be a better challenger.
  15. cutter17


    May 16, 2006
    There are two production Hawk Lock knives to my knowledge, The ZT0500, and the Kershaw Ram. While neither have been around as long as the Axis Lock, they are a good lock. They work in a different way from the Axis lock.
    The two coil springs are compressed when closed and when opened they spring forward to drive a hardened steel plate forward that engages two steel studs on the blade. When closed the plate moves forward to again engage a steel stud in the blade. I had onr for two years and used it outdoors, and used it hard. Never had a problem with the lock, nor the pivot. I have another one coming at months end.

    I also have 3 Axis Lock knives, one is the Auto Axis, and have never had one to fail yet. I haven't used the Axis Lock knives as hard as I did that first ZT0500, but I suspect they would do the same job the MUDD did.

    As far as being discontinued, it had to do with the cost of building the knife. Kershaw used the highest grade of aluminum ( 7075 ) for the frame, while most other aluminum framed knives use 6061, which is a good alloy itself, but not as tough as the 7075 alloy. The 7075 alloy is also more expensive and I think it was more difficult to machine.
  16. cziv


    Nov 24, 2005
    I don't even know what a Hawk lock is, but I don't like it. The sheer number of Axis locks we hear about points to an occasional failure an that's only in a thread like this.

    I had about 15 benchmade axis locks - have trimmed that down a bit - flicked them all to death and never had an axis lock fail.

    I think one piece of spring steel is far superior to a single or double coiled spring method. The reason why is the track record of Kershaw's SpeedSafe that uses the single or double piece of spring steel. They just flat out work.

    Bill Deshiv who I trust on springs and autos posted that the quality of the spring steel is what you want to consider. Benchmade's Omega spring has an awesome track record. Also, don't most axis lock models have one on each side, which gives you back-up?

    I may not know about it as much as you guys but I'll stick with what my experience tells me - Axis Lock all the way! :D :thumbup:
  17. dillon_b12


    Dec 23, 2009
    In my use, the Hawk-Lock is easier to use with one-finger. The Axis certainly works fine when only using the thumb, but the Hawk is a little easier IMO.

    I would like the Hawk-Lock much better if the button was a double stair case design like the prototype had. It would make actuating the lock much easier. I still love it though.

    Also, since the Hawk-Lock is contained inside one single scale, it is superior for flippers since you get crap out of the way so you can get a good swing on the flipper.
  18. Artfully Martial

    Artfully Martial

    Jun 8, 2005
    Well, I think there's a variety of non-technical reasons why axis locks are so much more prevalent. First, it's been out much longer, and second, it's IP owned by Benchmade so they can use it as often as they want. I doubt Kershaw has unrestricted access to use G&GH technology, so it's limited to a single designer's models.

    I agree that the placement on the hawk is less than ideal, but that's not something integral to the lock. They could have moved it upwards--I'm not sure why they didn't. As per accidental disengagement, I doubt it's any more likely than the axis--there seems to be a lot more resistance to the lock.

    Also, for combat knife use or self-defense knife use, the lock is hidden in your hand during a struggle, where the axis lock is exposed and theoretically could be disengaged if it goes to the ground or in the clinch.

    As per engaging the spring twice, this is actually much less often than the Benchmade's arguable infinite touching--unless you hold the lock down during an entire opening or closing, the tang and lockbar are in contact the whole time. This is probably why the RAM is so much more flickable and smooth than axis locks.

    I'd definitely encourage people who are interested in this discussion to play with a RAM so they can feel what I'm talking about--people have assumed, with good reason, that the axis lock is the smoothest mechanism out there, but this I consider undeniable, the hawk-lock is both smoother and lower resistance (to the blade in motion). Just playing with it will give you an idea of what I'm talking about. I completely don't mean that to be condescending, I think it's just something that people would go "ohhhhhhhh that's what he meant" if they played with it.
  19. Artfully Martial

    Artfully Martial

    Jun 8, 2005
    As per debris in the lock and cleaning, I certainly agree that the axis is much easier to clean, but I'd also argue that the hawk-lock is much less likely to need cleaning. And I don't just mean the MUDD, which theoretically shouldn't need cleaning in the usable lifespan of the knife. Even the humble RAM is nearly sealed--I'm sure dust can get in still, but I rather think that wouldn't be a problem.

    As per the number of models with the hawk-lock, this is more a product of it just being from one design team--sort of like how the stud lock is extremely rare, but that's merely because the designer wanted it to be rare.

    As per the demand for the MUDD, it seems quite high too me. I had to seriously hunt to get one, and everyone I talked to on the way said they wished they had carried more because they get requests for it a lot. A well maintained MUDD will sell for $200 within two years from now on ebay, I have no doubt.

    On this I'd actually have to disagree. The springs in AOs break relatively frequently, although seemingly randomly. But of course, there's more to a spring than its shape, so that could be because of a certain steel etc.

    I'm sure he's right, and I can't really offer any data on the quality of the steels used in either version. However, both models utilize redundant springs, so both should have a "backup." It appears to me, however, that the knife industry on the whole has chosen to go with coil springs over omega springs when they copy the axis lock. That might be for legal reasons though.

    Like all locks, as far as I know, the hawk-lock is fully ambidextrous although it's not symmetrical. I have no more or less trouble opening/closing with my left than with my right. I find the same to be true for liner/framelocks.

    As Cutter suggests, there is a lot more to the MUDD than just a hawklock. The materials and gaskets supposedly greatly increased the complexity of manufacturing and lowered their returns. It is certainly not because the knife was unpopular.

    I agree. The flat plastic lock on the RAM too course and small. That's not a problem with hawk-locks in general, but the RAM could have implemented it better. The good news is that it uses a stepped design on the MUDD's lock.

    That's an interesting point about clearing the way for flippers. I hadn't thought of that, but you're right--and that's why they can move that flipper way up there in the RAM for more torque.

    Good discussion going on here.
  20. ibute21

    ibute21 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 26, 2010
    Oh definitely, the RAM is the smoothest opening production knife I have ever owned. If you disengage the lock and just flip it open or shut, it just glides into place. And on top of that it has ridiculously fast opening, I dare say its faster than most of the autos I have handled. It also opens faster than my BM 580 and that is an amazing fast assisted opener.

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