"Secret" Trapdoors (Photos)

Nov 27, 1998
There's been a lot of talk about alternate methods of firing an automatic, usually with an emphasis on the surreptitious. These trapdoor release autos by Jeff Harkins rely on superb workmanship rather then trickery. The large trapdoor release button is easily fired, unlike a few scale release autos I've
tried, and yet is almost invisible. While some of these are full-blown "art" knives, Jeff also makes these designs in basic solid stainless with the same undetectable trapdoor. What do you think?


An absolute work of art. Those knives are cooooool..

"Earth has its boundaries, but human stupidity is limitless."


Does Jeff Harkins has a website?? And how much for a basic one with trapdoor release??
"A thing of beauty is a joy forever". I don't know who said that, but it's certainly true in this case. Awesome.


When the world is at peace, a gentleman keeps his sword by his side.......
Sun-Tzu 400 BC

Jeez guys, thanks for all the kind words.
Its stuff like that that drives me to the drawing board.

I should have my new website up in 4 or 5 weeks. If anyone has any questions about my
knives please feel free to ask. Thanks again.

J.A. Harkins
Well, I guess it's time for me to show how brilliant I am.... AGAIN... Butttttt.....

How does the trapdoor work?

IMHO, those are the nicest knives that I've seen, bar none.
How about another one? Here's a Gamma with ivory inlays.
BTW, these are fairly large, substantial knives, not fragile little gentleman's folders. They have a serious feel to them.
My very first custom knife was a Harkins manual folder. One of the black ones with the grooves on the spine so you can flick it open like a bic lighter. To this day, people look at my collection, with much newer and more expensive knives, and many people still pick out that $225 (at the time) harkins folder as their fave!

Jeff, did you ever figure out a way to get those long elegant lines you like on a smaller folder (say, 3"-3.25" blade)? I'd love to pick up a smaller version for carry as a little gent's folder. I already have the bigger version, obviously!
Hi Joe
How have you been?
Well I have do have a smaller version of what your knife has evolved into. Actually there are two. One with a 4.4" blade and
a smaller one with a 3" blade. These are interframe knives but I've tried to keep the lines of my older folders. Drop me an E-mail and I'll send you a photo. Good to see your still collecting
Take care

Fireprez, the trapdoor seems to work like the firing button on many kick spring autos, except that it rocks on a central pivot. You press the bottom half of the button, which retracts a spring-loaded blade catch.
It's interesting to watch the way the button seems to appear when pressed, and then vanish when released.
Well Mr. J.A. Harkins,

I am not so patiently standing in line for mine. I can hardly wait. Rick turned me on to your knives a while back and they have been an obssession every since. However please take your time, don't start rushing them out. We know you can't. They are too beautiful. Your website is also a thing of beauty.

illigitimi non carborundum
SAS motto: He who dares wins.
Never bring a knife to a gunfight.

I just have one word for all the knives--WOW!! I better really start saving all my pennies, maybe I can buy a Tac-T someday!!
Yes!! someday!!