Jan 6, 2001
Hello all you knife lovers! I was hoping perhaps some of you could steer me
in the right direction. I'm new to the forums and relatively new to the
"Tactical" Knife world in general, though have been a knife nut for many many years. I was reading last night re the pros and
cons of lock-back vs liner lock and a lot of criticism on the CRKT/CKFF. I have several questions regarding same.

1. I thought $40 was high for a knife, till I got into them. What does one have to pay for a good "Tactical" folder to get one that won't fail? I've got a couple CRKT M16's and both sizes of the CKFF. All seem like quite good knives. I've also got a couple Gerber AF folders and a BM Axis lock all which were in the $100 range. Do I need to get into the $300 range to get one that's "good enough"? What about the auto's and their button locks? I've got a BM 2500(?)and a MT mini SOCOM. Will they fail?

2. There was a lot of discussion about the "wack" test. Does this involve
putting a new knife in a vise and hitting the open blade with some object
till it fails. Sounds to me kind of like driving a new car into a wall to
check if the air bag works. I can't see some of the custom knife makers
allowing their names to be put on pieces of "crap". When they do fail, does the
liner break or does it simply slip off the blade to the open position and
thus the reason for the LAWKS?

3. Seems like most of the knives I've bought so far have a blade design that would transfer most of the force of a "thrust" to the stop pin and not the liner lock, thus incouraging the liner lock to get a better purchase.

As a rookie, I'd appreciate any help in answering these questions. I've
just ordered a new Al Mar SERE 2000. Will this be enough $ for a knife to avoid the
failure of the locking mechanism? Do I need to get a REKT Carnivore or a
Chris Reeve folder to avoid these supposed pitfalls?

Thanks in advance for any advise. It's fun reading from people with a passion for these beautiful and fun tools. The wife just doesn't understand.

Hurry up, folks - there are lots of people with their credit cards out and trigger fingers itching to punch in that 800 number!

By the way, if it's that good, it should never need resharpening, right?

Welcome to the forums!

Man what a question(s)!

The main complaint I have heard with the CRKT is that they are such nice knives, shouldn't they have used a better blade steel? The Kasper probably gets higher marks than the M-16, from me anyway.

The spine whack test, as I understand it and employ it consists of holding the open knife edge up with your fingers out of the blade path and striking the blade several light to moderate blows on the spine to see if the lock disengages on impact. The test is not destructive.

The dollar amount depends more on what you spend it on than on how much you spend. A $150 Microteck or top end Spyderco may be just what you need, Maybe it is a $300+ Sebenza or a $45 CRKT or Spyderco Native. You could make a good case of any of these. (More than a few of us have made a good case for most or all of these

Sharpener? The short answer is a Spyderco sharpmaker. Read the directions, and follow them and you should be in good shape.

Happy Hunting.

Welcome to the forums.
So far you've been making excellent choices in your knife buying.
Rather than categorizing your knives by price, you need to take a look at intended purpose or how solidly their built.
I don't own any of the knives you own but have handled some of them and own a few similar knives along with having read lots of reviews on them here at the forums.
Your CRKT knives are great knives for their price range, consider them sort of economy grade knives. They're not made with the greatest materials available but its all quality stuff in a well executed design. They should hold up fine under normal use on everyday stuff.
I've heard mixed reviews on the Gerber AF. If I remember right, they were spotty on quality control. The good ones were able to holdup about as well as the offerings from CRKT, while the bad ones folded up from light spine wacks.
Benchmade=good. These are in the high end range of production. Especially the axis series. You'll find nothing but good reviews about them here. The only complaints will be that they may not fit a certain person's hand very well, or they may not be very sharp out of the box. If you look at any more BM's, definitely check out the pinnacle. Its my daily carry and I really give it a workout. Its comparable in strength and style to a CR sebenza ($300 +) but can be found for around $100. Its argued to have better ergonomics too

Microtech also = good. They're among the best of production knives on fit and finish. They rank right along with spyderco as some of the best production knives( benchmade falls in this category too)
The Sere 2000 you've got ordered has also been forumite tested and knife knut approved. Its gotten lots of great reviews here. Some even prefer it to the spyderco military.
The spine whack test involves tapping the back or spine of the blade in different places at various angles with different levels of force to see if it will fold up. The idea is that some locks may perform well under a constant load but fail quickly under impact or fast application and release of pressure. You don't have to ruin the knife. Jsut tap at it until your satisfied that it will holdup under the amount of force you think your likely to apply while your using the knife.Keep the path of the blade clear in case you should be surprised and the lock does fail.
Hope that helps some. You can also do a search in the reviews and testing forum on knives your interested in or to get mroe info on knives you have.

I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer... but I've got the sharpest knife in the room.
No you do not have to spend $300.00. You have already made some excellent choices in knives. Just keep on doing what you are doing and I am sure you will do fine.
That does not mean that you should not spend $300.00 or more on a knife. I have, or have on order three knives that are over $500.00 and believe every one was, or will turn out to be, a great purchase.
Thanks for the information. I'm looking forward to the SERE 2K. Probably should have saved some of the $ from various lower grade folders and put it toward a high $ one. Could have easily purchased one by now. Didn't know Spyderco was that well respected as I've read in the forum. Will definately keep the lower $ items for "casual" use at home and work. Will start saving for some of the upper end. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of shows or stores around here that carry the good stuff to see up close and personal. I'll keep on reading and enjoying the forums. These forums are wonderfully educational even for an old guy like myself. Thanks again!
Hello Bsquare, and I understand how you feel and your questions were the same ones I was aksing just in the past month.

1. I have several mini socoms and two mini socom users have not failed several different spine taps/moderate whacks. My BM 730 is also a great knife. The MT LCC MA I have is also very sturdy - like your 2000. Mine has not arrived yet either! Can't wait. Seems to me the price range of 100-180 (180 being the fullsize SOCOM elite) in Benchmade, Microtech, Al Mar, Spyderco (they are actually a little cheaper) you will not go wrong. I have not read much about Emmerson and others. The customs are not any "safer" than quality knives from these dealers. You pay for the workmanship and handmade materials/process. They are works of art in many respects. Many of them make great users. I just wanted to start a modest collection with quality production folders before jumping into the custom race. This is in my most modest, newbie, humble opinion.

2. I have not had a liner lock fail so I don't know. I have whacked the LCC, and SOCOMS very hard - nothing happened.

I would love to have a CR, however, that's two Microtechs or 3 benchmades I could buy. Very soon though. They are great knives. Handled several at a show. WOW. Some consider them production now. Are they? Anyone?
Welcome to the forums. You have found the best source going for knife related information. Just listen to other's opinions (learn from their mistakes), do your homework, and handle as many different knives as you can get your hands on. You'll figure out what works best for you in no time at all.
Before long you will be helping others with your experiences. Good places to start are CRK&T and my personal favorite, Spyderco. For now, Chris Reeve is just a dream for me. There's just so many to choose from. Have fun.


[This message has been edited by Paul Work (edited 01-19-2001).]
B Square, if you are paying those kind of prices, I dont think you know about northern kentuckys greatest secret. email me to find

You can tell a knife nut by their hairless arms....
bsquare, welcome to the Forums.
Sounds like you're doing fine in your selection of knives. I own the CRKT/KFF's and I think they are great knives for the money. I often wonder why all the concern about locks failing from quality manufacturers. These knives are designed and tested to withstand normal stresses that a knife is supposed to be used for. I've never had a knife close on me, not even a slipjoint.

What you may want to consider if this is a major concern for you is a a good fixed blade. To my knowledge no fixed blade, even the cheapest POS has ever failed the spine whack test.

"Will work 4 Knives!"
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