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Liner Locks?


Sep 17, 1999
Hello again, it's me the newbe with another question. On an earlier post I asked for advise about a couple of knives I am considering. Being a newbe both to the forum and to a little more expensive knifes ($100.00 range) than I have formerly been accustomed too, I have another question. What's wrong with liner locks? I had asked about the Benchmade Leopard Cub and the SpyderCo Wegner for hunting usage, mostly small game and whitetail deer, field dressing and skinning. The few replies I recieved to my post didn't seem to favor liner locks and I've noiced in my short time on the forum there seems to be few that like the liners, why? I appreciate your ideas and opinions, thanks in advance.

I suspect that alot of the people who don't like liner locks had bad experiences with them. A poorly fitted liner lock can slip and really cause great damage. Some knives have liners that can fail from hand pressure if sqeezed too tightly. All things considered, I don't think that liner locks are that bad, you just need to check them out thoroughly before you buy one or else you need to order one from somebody who will allow you to return it if it is not to your liking.
Liner locks seem to be prone to stability problems more so than traditional lockbacks. They need tighter tolerances it seems and without them they tend to disengage rather easily. Joe Talmadge has discussed this (and lots of other things) in detail in the FAQ's :


I tend to avoid them as well, though on a smaller knife like the Leopard Cub, I would worry less about it. Anything that is going to be used for hard work or self-defense on the other hand...

Clay Fleischer
AKTI Member A000847

Specialization is for insects.
I've posted way too many words on this subject
So I'll just give you the reader's digest version: Liner locks are very easy to make. But they are very difficult to make well. As a result, there are a lot of bad ones out there, and even the good ones are difficult to make reliably every single time. Moral: test your liner locks!

Personally, I like liner locks (well made ones, that is). Which is not to say that I would buy one for my wife. I may trust myself to remove my thumb from danger before actually closing the knife, but she might just remove a piece of her thumb.
For the most part I have not had any problems with liner locks, but I am selective and test all before buying.
I am by no means an expert and defer to those with more experience in this matter, but if I like it and it works I stick with it.
I am still waiting for that Rolling Lock Military though(drool, drool).

"Worst of all my foes, I fear the enemy within"
*John Wesley*

Romans 10:9-10

"Military" Fans Unite!!

Well made liner-locks are a joy to use.
I think the Wegner is at the top of this list along with several other high end Spydercos. Go to the Spyderco forum and you'll see what I mean.
Not-so-well-made LL's can be downright dangerous.
I've yet to have a problem with a Spyderco liner-lock. Check'em out before you make up your mind about liner-locks.
I have to add that I don't hunt so I don't know if a folder would be your best choice since you did mention your uses would include game processing. If it helps, the Alaska Game and Fish Commission uses the Wegner for their game processing chores, or so I've read.
Hope this helps!

If it's stupid but works, then it isn't stupid.

[This message has been edited by misque (edited 23 September 1999).]

[This message has been edited by misque (edited 23 September 1999).]