Feb 21, 2001
Being a bit slow in many areas, it took me a bit to recognize what I consider one of the better design elements of my Spyderco Wegner. Even took me longer to see that, than it did to recognize that the Wegner has no stop pins, but instead uses the backspacer, much like a lockback.

What I'm talking about is an essentially flat ricasso that extends back nearly an inch from the rear end of the edge. The ricasso is the full width of the blade, which is thicker than most. The significance of this ricasso is that should the liner lock fail, it means that the flat ricasso is going to be coming around to make contact with the holder's index finger. Yeah, that could hurt a bit, who knows? Might even break the finger, tho I doubt it. But, one thing is sure, that finger isn't going to get cut.

I certainly haven't seen all the liner lock folders out there, by any means. But, I know that only a couple of my other liner locks have anything similar that assures me I can avoid a cut and probably a broken finger as well. A few have a shape that a little bulge of steel comes down on the finger, without the edge touching. But that, of course, is without any force propelling the blade down. Only my large CRKT LUS would protect me for sure, of the knives I own.

My question is, why haven't other manufacturers chosen to use such a great design, given all the criticism of liner locks, and the widespread opinion they're almost guaranteed to fail at some critical juncture? Or have they? Are there a lot of knives which I've not handled, or looked at their pictures carefully enough, which have a similar ricasso?
Is that kind of like the way the significant ricasso/choil on the Spyderco Native keeps the blade edge from cutting you if you accidentally close the knife on your hand? I've always liked that feature in a knife, especially when I lend it to a friend who's not used to one-handed knives and hear him mutter, "oops"... ;)

I'm not sure, but I think the Strider AR folder has the same feature, and it's a liner lock. There's a picture <a href="http://www.striderknives.com/products/images/ar_mainpic.jpg" target="_blank">here</a>...
Hi Bugs,

I've never thought of the choil as an insurance policy against lock failures on folding knives. Rather, I've used them (on fixed blades) to choke up on the handle, putting my index finger into the cutout for more forward control. This is more popular on fixed blade knives.
Bugs - Great observation! I never noticed that about the Wegner before. I have some knives that I'm sure would take off a finger if they folded up on me. Now I'm not as scared.
I noticed this with the Spyderco lockbacks like the Endura, Matriarch and Native. As they are lock backs, the only way to close them one handed is to change the grip, press the button/indent with your thumb and place the pointy finger nearest the thumb under where the riccaso will swing. You then shake the knife to begin the blade movement and with a downward swing, it will move into your finger. It is then simple to change grip and close the knife the rest of the way. A great design.
Interesting point, Bugs. I think that the answer may lie in the desire of the designers to get and squeeze the most amount of usable edge into the handle. This will of necessity leave your finger more vulnerable if you slightly "mishandle" the closing of the blade.

BTW, if you want to have some fun, try looking up some of these esoteric knife terms such as ricasso, choil, etc. in the dictionary--they're not even there.:eek:
I haven't handled the Endura or Matriarch/Civilian. My Native has just enough that I think the choil might break one's finger, but not cut it. Like I said, the Wegner's is nearly an inch long.

I know that they're more common on fixed blades, but surprisingly few of them actually have a long enough ricasso to actually choke up on the blade. Some which do are the super-long Bowies, with blades so long one probably can't control the blade if the handle is let go of. (Didn't want to use one's twice in a sentence)

In the case of most folders, the tang ends opposite the point. I don't pretend to understand folder design enough to know why so many simply cut away the next half inch or more. But many do. I just tend to think that maybe more could leave the ricasso level with teh blade edge a ways, and give the index finger a chance if the lock fails.

I'm not one who has worried as much as some about lock failure, but I do have to say that the Wegner's design is very reassuring.

And yes, I do think Sal Glesser is one very smart man. Tho in this instance, it may be Tim Wegner who is the smart one.