Tried the new Spyderco Power Lock?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by maximus83, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. maximus83


    Nov 7, 2011
    Has anyone tried the new Spyderco Power Lock system, can you give any review of it?

    • I love the Spyderco Chinook knives. The blade shape is not super practical, but extremely cool. :cool: I own the Chinook 3.
    • Spyderco is releasing the Chinook 4, which will have this new Power lock system. I can't find many details about it, and interested to get how it works and the advantages it will offer over the existing back lock.
  2. SpySmasher

    SpySmasher Lead Guitar

    Sep 1, 2016
    It is, essentially, a back lock with a cam between the traditional lock bar and the tang. Now, apart from that, I can't say much. The tang-cam-bar interface geometry is way too complex for me to intuit exactly what is accomplished by adding the cam. But it looks cool and Spyderco says it's stronger (in some way) than a normal lock back.

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
    Dadpool and 3fifty7 like this.
  3. AmosPaul

    AmosPaul Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 17, 2014
    With normal backlocks, a heavy cut will cause the lockbar to flex slightly. You can feel this in your hand sometimes, and definitely see it if you look close.

    I don't think Spyderco's Powerlock will do this due to the pinned cam. I haven't used it myself; I'm looking forward to hearing from those who have.
    kniferbro likes this.
  4. palonej

    palonej Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Isn't that the lock Sal designed and put in the Tatanka??
    Lapedog likes this.
  5. maximus83


    Nov 7, 2011
    So, using a little google fu, here's a miscellaneous collection of descriptive comments, or user reviews I found about the new Powerlock. Going from the marketing slogans and user reviews, it appears to me that the entire rationale for the Powerlock itself is equal strength to a backlock, while adding smoother opening/closing. Concerning the Chinook 4, what differentiates it from previous versions is the addition of the Powerlock, and a thinner, longer blade profile.

    Spyderco's description:
    User review of the Tatanka:
    Knife Informer site comments:
    Tatanka review on Candlepower forums: (note: there are lots of detailed pictures and description in this review, very useful)
    SpySmasher and Comeuppance like this.
  6. SpySmasher

    SpySmasher Lead Guitar

    Sep 1, 2016
    This makes a lot of sense to me for two reasons:

    1. I suspect that a lot of the lock's additional strength when compared to a traditional lock back comes from the addition of a stop pin rather than the cam.

    2. Since (when looking at the cutaways) the cam seems to function as the detent, you should really be able to "tune" the detent action by precisely engineering the shape of the cam. The Hawks have done a cammed detent (I believe) in their new Orbit flipper.

    Obviously, as I said before, I don't actually know anything. :D
  7. Comeuppance

    Comeuppance Fixed Blade EDC Emisssary

    Jan 12, 2013
    I have no experience with it either, but I do like that it seems to both make for a smoother-operating lockback and also enhances the lifespan of the lock by eliminating the square-notch-lock-interface aspect of lockbacks. It honestly reminds me of ball bearing locks - which, much in line with the user review Maximus83 posted, have also had some jamming issues in certain knives. That was a pretty serious lock jam that the guy experienced, though.

    It might take a few generations before they get it dead-nuts perfect.

    I think the problem with debuting a new feature on a megafolder is that the market for that knife is too small to get useful volumes of feedback. We'll see how the Chinooks pan out, though.
    snapshot2017 likes this.
  8. bearfacedkiller

    bearfacedkiller Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2014
    The cam is not the only difference from a standard lockback. This lock also uses a stop pin.

    A standard lock back works by using the "hammer" on the lock bar to stop the knife from both closing when locked and opening too far. This is why so many of them have a little wiggle. The tolerances have to be very tight between the hammer and the cutout to prevent play.

    The triad lock for example adds a stop pin so that this can be avoided. The pin stops it in one direction and the lock bar hammer stops it in the other. This creates a tighter lockup. The Spyderco Chaparral uses an internal stop pin to accomplish something similar.

    This power lock also uses a stop pin to control how far the blade opens. On the power lock instead of the hammer dropping into a cutout like other lockbacks this one has a cam that is pinned that engages the tang. The force when trying to close the knife is vertical, perpendicular to the knife. For the power lock to fail it would have to blow that pinned cam out the top of the handle. The force when trying to close a lockback is inline with the knife and it will usually fail by pulling the hammer off the end of the lock bar.

    Also, if I am understanding correctly the Powerlock will require less spring pressure to be safe. A standard lockback to some extent needs a bit of spring pressure to hold the hammer down into the cutout and that the more pressure there is the more secure the lock is. It looks like the power lock relies more on geometry so it may not need as much spring pressure.

    This is just the ramblings of a geeky guy so take it for what it's worth. :)
    Nullity, Beansandcarrots and palonej like this.
  9. palonej

    palonej Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    I, for one, appreciate geeky rambling BFK!!
    Sounds like a very interesting locking system that I'd love to check out, but the 2 models it is offered on don't really interest me that much.
    Hopefully they use it on some other models.......yes, I am a lock geek.

  10. bearfacedkiller

    bearfacedkiller Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2014
    I like locks. :) There are many things you can nerd out on when it comes to knives. I am a steel geek and a lock geek among other things. The thing is, I don't even care that much about lock strength for my own uses. I could be quite content just using slip joints but the design and engineering of locks fascinates me.

    I am also trying to ease into GKD. After a long time hanging out in a couple subforums I just started poking my head in here. This is like the public pool and for now I am mostly just watching and dipping my toe in here and there. ;) There are some knowledgeable folks (and the opposite) around here so I don't want to talk too much and run my mouth like I know what I am talking about. :D
    Nullity likes this.
  11. Comeuppance

    Comeuppance Fixed Blade EDC Emisssary

    Jan 12, 2013
    My good sir, geeky ramblings are the bread and butter of Bladeforums. Without long-winded nerdy posts, this place would be boring.
    ArchVV, Lapedog and lieferung like this.
  12. Sergeua


    May 1, 2016

    go to 8:40 and check it out
  13. lieferung

    lieferung Basic Member Basic Member

    May 24, 2016
    Shut it down folks, Sergeua answered OP's question with this video :D
  14. Sergeua


    May 1, 2016
    Just stumbled upon this yesterday and remembered this thread.:)
  15. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    I would like to see how this powerlock compares to the stop lock which I know nothing about.

    What was the name for the wire "lockback" on the Spyderco Q that functions sort of similar to the Buck Marksman stronglock?
  16. V-1


    Apr 14, 1999
    Great info. The need for a new Chinook 4 grows!

Share This Page