Reliability of Microtech's Microbar lock?


knife law moderator
Dec 25, 1998
What do you think of the reliability of the Microbar lock?

Dennis Bible

I've got 2 Microtech's with the microbar lock,a Socom Elite and Kestral.I have'nt used the Elite much but the lock seems very sturdy.I carry the Kestral a lot and never had any problems with the lock.Both pass the spine whack test.I think this lock is very underrated.IMO its the best version of the liner lock next to an intregal.
I agree. I have an Elite MA and haven't had any problems. Locks up solid every time.

Seem to me almost as strong as the sebenza lock,but what do I know.

Having two Socom Elite M/As, and using one every other day, I have had no problems with the MicroBar lock failing to lock up. It is my hope that MicroTech adds the MicroBar Lock to the rest of its manual action lineup as this would improve a very good set of product even more.
If I could inject myself into shootist's thread, could you guys give an idea of how you came to the conclusion that the lock is solid. Through use only, or did you use any specific tests, and if so, which ones? Have you ever found a liner lock that failed?

I ask these because the replies so far are kind of along the lines of "it seems good", and I was hoping to hear "I torqued it, whiteknuckled it, spine whacked it, and it absolutely is (or is not) reliable". Even an unreliable lock will usually seem sturdy, it's not until testing that we find failures.
The only test I gave my Microtech's was a spine whack and some everyday use on the Kestral.I really don't understand all the talk about the reliability of the liner lock.Its nice to know how much a lock can take but in everyday use I don't twist or whiteknucle a knife.The only knife I have had that failed the spine whack test was from a famous maker(tactical knife).On this folder you could actually see the liner hardly even reached the back of the tang.I sent it back to the maker and he adjusted it but it had a little play in the blade after that.
Well my knife feels solid and has never closed when I didn't want it to when I was using it to do what I needed it to do. What more is there. Yeah you could spine whack or whatever other torture tests you have, but what does that prove. It closes when I hit it hard on spine, so I won't use it as a hammer. It's a knife, i'll use it as a knife is supposed to be used and I won't have any problems. I think the whole beating the knife in the name of testing is a little stupid. There are other ways to check out a liner lock without beating it.

Thanks for the clarifications, guys. I think it's important to understand whether a reviewer came to a conclusion based on use, testing, or both, and what type of use/testing. Now I understand where you're coming from. Although we obviously disagree on what kinds of tests are appropriate

After reading my last post I realize that I came on too strong and sounded like a moron.
My apologies. I have recently quit smoking and my reality is a little twisted right now.
Joe I have read all your FAQ's and you are responsible for me being able to sharpen an edge to shaving sharp.
When I get a new knife or when I buy one from a cutlery shop I look at the liner and how it locks up. How far the liner goes onto the blade. Are the liner and the blade flush, no gaps or looseness between them. I try to move the blade up and down against the liner. How does the liner "stick" against the blade. Does it slide off too easily, or does it take deliberate movement to disengage. How thick is the liner compared to the blade, does the liner buckle if you try to close the blade against the liner. Will the liner try to disengage if I grip it fullfisted. I know this isn't as conclusive as a spinewhack, whitknuckle, etc, but I am a simple knife using kind of guy and these simple observations are good enough for me.

Joe you're one of the most knowledgeble people on this forum and I respect your opinion.I have learned a lot from you especially the FAQ (sharpening,etc.)I would like to know if you have ever had a liner lock or any other lock fail during use.I know you made a lot fail during testing.

An actual failure in use was what got me looking into liner lock reliability. I don't remember how long ago it was, maybe 7 years ago, and I had been hearing for about a year the first rumblings of liner locks failures. And one of my favorite posters on rec.knives had, little-by-little over the past year, decided liner locks were unreliable. I hadn't thought much about it until my first failure.

That first failure came on a custom knife from an extremely good maker. I had already noticed that when I held the knife firmly, the liner lock disengaged ever so slightly. One day, I was holding the knife firmly and the knife disengaged -- luckily, I was already suspicious of the lockup, so as soon as the lock released, I backed off and didn't get cut.

At that point I re-considered the position of my friend from rec.knives, decided he knew what he was talking about after all, and started paying closer attention to liner locks. I've never had a liner lock failure in use since then, which I attribute to the fact that I test my liner locks so thoroughly (and the fact that I stopped carrying liner locks at all 1.5 years or so ago
). For a while there I was the liner-lock-failure posterboy, so people would send me emails about their particular failures.

I understand that the spine-whack test is not universally accepted, and I understand why, although I feel it's a good test. However, I strongly feel that torquing and white-knuckling are very important tests, unless you only use your knives for very light use, or as a gents' knife. I mean, haven't you ever cut, say, stiff cardboard, gotten the blade stuck, and torqued it out a bit?

Thanks to your sharpening FAQ, my knives never get in stuck stiff cardboard.

Semper Fi

I don't know if the Microbar is absolutely reliable but I have proven through Spine Whack testing the Original SOCOM and the SOCOM Elite with the Microbar that the Microbar is more reliable than the old Liner Lock.

The Original SOCOM failed 3 out of 3 Spine Whack tests while the Microbar passed 3 out of 3.

I was behind the counter of a Chesapeake Knife and Tool at the time and tested both knives back to back. I used a firm tap on the Heel of my shoe and did not feel that the Spine Whack Test as performed was excessive in any way.

AKTI Member No. A000370
Question: What is the lock in the LCC called? It sure is a lot thicker than most of the other liners out there.

Joe: Since you don't carry liner locks any more, what do you usually carry (besides the Calypso Jr. Ltw.)?

Just curious,
Barry H
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Barry H:

Joe: Since you don't carry liner locks any more, what do you usually carry (besides the Calypso Jr. Ltw.)?

Just curious,
Barry H


95% of the time, I carry one or more of: endura, calypso Jr. (micarta), or benchmade Axis. Occasionally, when I want to feel extremely cool
, I carry the Sifu. All other knives get rotated in once in a while..



Barry H:

In answer to your question the lock on the LCC is called a "Liner Lock."
Although, unlike most other companies who skimp on materials to save costs, Microtech seems to understand that a proper liner lock needs to be thicker than say, CRKT's or Emerson's...

Spyderco's liner or leaf lock bars are quite thin, and still as reliable as a liner lock can be. They are not as strong, but just as reliable as any I've seen in terms of accidental release.
Mr44--O.K., so the LCC has a liner lock (like the majority of knives sold today) How does the Microbar differ than the liner lock? Which Microtech blades feature the Microbar?
Thanks, just trying to understand MT's approach to lock-up.
Barry H