How strong/reliable are the Microtech Mini SOCOM locks?

Joined
Sep 30, 2000
Messages
2,480
I just want some feedback from Microtech users. How strong are their locks on the Mini SOCOM?
 

tw

Joined
Sep 20, 2000
Messages
117
The lock on my M-SOCOM is actually one of
the nicer, and stronger, liner-lock variants
I've come across short of an integral lock.
The locking bar is thick and contacts the
blade not at the outside, like too many low
cost liner-locks, but centered perfectly. I
have played with the blade and there is no
play with regards to the lock-up.

FYI, This M-SOCOM is dated late '98 -- YMMV.

AFAIK, Microtech machines blade and lock as
a pair at the factory to insure the lock-up
is second to none.

T.
 

bfm

Joined
Mar 10, 2000
Messages
777
No problems with mine either. I have had to plunge cut (stab) through some fairly heavy plastic sheeting. I have done this with several knives and the Mini SOCOM has held up as well if not better than the rest of the knives I have used (which includes two Spyderco and a Benchmade). The plastic tends to grab and bind the blade so a good lock is important if you like you fingers where they are.

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It is not the fall that kills you. It is the realization that "yes, you did something that stupid."
 
Joined
Oct 9, 1998
Messages
1,767
Microtech liner locks are thick and very well made. My full sized SOCOM locks up solid. I would trust it for hard use almost as much as I would trust an Axis Lock.

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Chang and the Rebels of the East
(Southern Taiwan Shall Rise Again!)
 
Joined
Oct 3, 1998
Messages
4,842
I'm not a Microtech user, but if you'll excuse that ... of the Microtech liner locks, the mini-SOCOMs are the ones that I most often see problems with, on inspection (that's inspection, not use -- I don't own a mini-SOCOM). I've gone to shows where I examined 4 at a table, of which 2 (that's 50% for the math impaired) had locks which seemed questionable, just from light inspection and playing at the table. I've heard the exact same story about this knife from a number of other people.

It's a cool little knife, I highly recommend testing it out and making sure you have one of the good ones.

This is concerning reliability, not strength. I have no comments on their liner lock strength, I'd assume it's very good.

Joe
 
Joined
May 28, 1999
Messages
2,606
I have a mini, there was a big fuss lordy be, about a year ago about their reliability. These locks need to be "set" if they are new. Do this via the spine whack test. It will fail a few times, when it stops failing (should be after 2-5 whacks) yer good to go. Good luck.
 

tw

Joined
Sep 20, 2000
Messages
117
I'll give that a shot. I admit that I have
not actually spine-whack tested my M-SOCOM.

T.
 
Joined
May 28, 1999
Messages
887
I got a 98 mini socom. And yes it did fail the spine whack test. So I decided to sent it to Microtech to fix. No fee just shipping now the lock is super strong.I heard there was a problem with the early mini but microtech will stand behind thier product. The fixed the problem. Now I can spine whack it. It is true that new liner locks have to be broken in. I have never had a problem with the Vector or the full size Socoms. They are great knives.

Liong

------------------
Follow The Path of Fantasies.
 

Kodiak PA

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Joined
Dec 3, 1998
Messages
2,445
I consider the M-Socom lock unreliable. Mine would fail the spine whack test.

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~Greg Mete~
Kodiak Alaska

Buck Collectors Club-Lifetime Member
JKM-Chai
KnifeKnutt@aol.com
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by AncientSUL:
I got a 98 mini socom. And yes it did fail the spine whack test. So I decided to sent it to Microtech to fix. No fee just shipping now the lock is super strong.I heard there was a problem with the early mini but microtech will stand behind thier product. The fixed the problem. Now I can spine whack it. It is true that new liner locks have to be broken in. I have never had a problem with the Vector or the full size Socoms. They are great knives.

Liong
</font>

I have heard in the past, from several sources, that Microtech believed the spine whack test was irrelevant, bordering on abuse, and wouldn't take warrantee action based on that test. It's good news if they don't actually have that view. Thanks for letting us know.

Joe
 
Joined
Oct 16, 1998
Messages
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Almost all liner locks fail the spine whack test, one way or another, sooner or later. If you have one that doesn't, ever, it is the exception, not the rule, in my opinion. You can make up your own mind about how much the spine whack test means to you, but there is no getting around the fact that the majority of liner lock folders can't hack it. I do have a couple of liner lock knives that have never failed any lock test, but that's like two out of the dozens I've owned.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 1999
Messages
4,025
I have been using a mini for a few months now and have experienced no lockup problems. I have not given it any spine whack tests as I do not abuse its intended purpose nor do I use it for life or death situations. I' ll always have a fix blade or a full size folder if that need arises. Or a nine iron for that matter...

The lockup is for sure consistent (rests on the same lower part of blade tang), tight with no creaking nor any movement in a white knuckle grip. That is an important consideration when torquing the blade.

I wish though its handle shape does not taper towards the butt. I prefer a round butt anyday. But for its size and intended purposes and mine, it is quite a good folder.

L8r,
Nakano
 

TOMBSTONE

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 31, 1998
Messages
3,011
I don't have much experience with liner locks,but from what I understand about the spine whack test is that it doesn't neccessarily judge the locks integrety as being bad if it fails and it is said that it may actually damage the knife including it's lock.Maybe a light tap on a padded carpet,but to beat the crap out of it seems silly to me.If the liner lock was made properly it should function correctly.If a lock needs to be "set" which I feel should be working properly from the factory,probably just opening and closing it many times might wear it in.I'm no expert,but thats my take on liner locks.
 

TOMBSTONE

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 31, 1998
Messages
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One more thing to mention.I've owned a few Micro-techs,and of all the liner locks I have seen,they seem to have the best sturdy locks,nice thick liners.
 

C4

Joined
Nov 30, 1999
Messages
816
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I prefer a round butt anyday...</font>

Nakano 2,

We're sure you do!! ...and we're right behind you...

[This message has been edited by C4 (edited 12-20-2000).]
 
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Oct 3, 1998
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by TOMBSTONE:
One more thing to mention.I've owned a few Micro-techs,and of all the liner locks I have seen,they seem to have the best sturdy locks,nice thick liners.</font>

Tombstone,

A couple brief notes. How sturdy a lock feels, and how thick the liners are, are not good predictors of whether or not the lock will fail. Thicker liners help, but are not a cure-all for questionable lock geometry.

Next, when I talk about the spine whack test, I am not talking about beating on it hard, as you mention in your previous response. I do a medium-hard-at-most, whippy motion. Steve has seen me do this in person, he can attest to the fact that it's not very hard. I believe it absolutely is an excellent test of the fundamental lock geometry. Note that far from damanging a liner lock, in many many cases, it actually "sets" the lock, after which it stops failing the test. This isn't a rare occurrence, it happens often. There's no evidence at all that just opening and closing to wear it in sets the lock this way, as you suggest. I've tried the test with worn-in liner locks, and still had them fail the test, but get set in the process and stop failing. It seems like a more radical step than just opening and closing a lot is needed for the set, for some knives.

That's the irony of the spine whack test -- people argue about how applicable it is, but meanwhile, it in many cases it really does make the lock safer, in my opinion.

 
Joined
Sep 23, 2000
Messages
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So how exactly is the spine whack test done? Where do you hold the knife and what do you hit it on, etc . . .
 
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