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Your choice of locking mechanism ?

Jan 19, 1999
A question for the folding lock-up folks . . .

Do you have strong feelings about the choice of locking mechanism used on a "practical" folder? Mechanisms I'm thinking about are backlock, frontlock, linerlock, etc.

Note : I'm am refering to the mechanism, not the strength of the mechanism.

Is it important to be able to close the blade without changing your grip (i.e. with a linerlock), or is the primary importance to be able to get the blade open easily and keep it open?

Regards, HILTON
For me the lock on a folder is simply a safety feature. It might prevent a folding blade from folding on my fingers. I have no interest in using knives as weapons so I'm not bothered at all by the need to use two hands nor is speed of opening an issue for me. I generally choose a locking folder for almost any other reason than the type of locking mechanism it has.

Don't mistake me. I own and use some very modern tactical knives. That's because I like them not because I expect to use them "tactically." My EDI Genesis cuts packaging materials with the best of them. Take care.

Knife Outlet

It is of no real use if I can open and close it without altering my grip or being forced to use it with two hands for opening and closing. I am only interested in it from a utility point of view so that has no attraction. Of course if it is possible to get without a trade-off then that is fine, but I don't want to have to give up something in order to get it.

What I do what is a lock strong enough to resist the forces I am going to put on it and one that is stable enough so that I will not unlock it during use. Right now I am looking forward to getting a Mission MPF. There are some other locks that might be stronger in certain planes like the rolling lock but I would wonder about overall strength and security.

I want a lock that meets my basic requirements for the knife in hand. That differs from knife to knife, but for my general-use knives I want the locks to meet some basic requirements for strength and reliability. I also like my locks to be one-hand opening (and often one-hand closing as well). However, there are exceptions, e.g., I'm happy with my two-hand-opening Gerber Paul, which I use strictly as a gent's knife.

I tend to shy away from liner locks; they are strong, but as a % way too many are unreliable for hard use. However, there definitely are liner locks that were executed and tested well enough to make me happy. I have a few liner locks I trust. But in general, I'll pick a stout lockback over a liner lock. I'm perfectly happy with lockbacks provided my palm doesn't hit the lock release if I squeeze hard, and that varies depending on handle ergonomics.

I'm happy with the few Sebenza-style integral locks I've carried, they are outrageously strong and reliable.

The Axis lock and Rolling lock haven't been out long enough for me to draw really strong conclusions about, but both also seem to be outrageously strong and reliable. The Axis lock has the further advantage of being totally ambidextrous.

I'm looking forward to EDI's Rock Lock.

There are various button locks that seem well done. I haven't tested GT's or Speedtech's button locks hard, but I bet they'd both easily pass muster for strength and reliability.

I guess that other than being suspicious (but not totally phobic) of liner locks, I'm happy with any lock that meets my strength, reliability, and opening/closing requirements.

I have no love for linerlocks. I have yet to see one I'd trust.

I stick mostly to lockbacks. Tried and true. A good lockback has never given me grief. Even a few Pakistani ones aren't too bad. Main thing is, it's a time-tested lock that has proven itself in the field for decades. Some of the new exotics might be as good/better. Time will tell. Right now, they don't make any knives with such locks that intrest me.

This whole two-hand/one-hand opening issue is so silly. In a utility context we've been opening and closing lockbacks since before thumbstuds and bladeholes and linerlocks existed. In a self defense context, there is no situation where you'd be able to open your one-hander and not be able to use two hands to open your lockback(which isn't neccesary because you can open them one handed). However, it is a really bad idea to open your folder one-handed in a scrap. You will cut your thumb off.

You'd think knifer's were all a bunch of pistoleros, what with all this quick-draw silliness going around.

Actualy, there a few situations where it would be advisable to open your knife one-handed;

you only have one arm

you only have one hand

you have two arms, but one is caught under the wreckage of your car and you have to get free before the Terminator catches up to you

The closest to a plausable one-hand scenario is that you are carrying a bag in one hand and are attacked. The problem is, the bottom falls out on this one real quick when you start thinking about it logicaly.

Are you going to fight off the attacker one-handed so you don't have to drop your groceries? No. Instead, drop your groceries as soon as your attacked, fend off the attack with one hand, pull your knife with the other, make an opening with empty-hand techniques, then use both hands to open the knife so when the badguy tackles you while you open you don't slice your finger off.
Snick -- Definitely disagree on the one-hand opening issue. Sure, we've had two-hand-opening folders for a long time, but sometimes progress really is. I mean, we've been carrying knives in sheaths for years too, doesn't mean pocket clips aren't tremendously convenient for some uses.

There are a number of times when one-hand opening comes in useful, and these conditions seem to come up a lot. One is where I have the work in my hand, and don't want to let go to draw and open the knife. Another is the pattern where I cut something, close the knife and re-clip it to a pocket, only to need it a couple minutes later, return it to the pocket, etc. Two-hand openers are just plain inconvenient an awful lot of the time. Not that I couldn't get along if all I had was a two-hand opener, but the one-hand opener deserves its popularity.

I interchangably use linerlocks,rolling locks, slip locks, lock backs. I prefer the rolling lock or the liner lock due to being able to present the knife do the chore with two fingers manipulating the blade and a secure grip on the frame. I also do prefer pocket clips so I can wear the knife pants pocke,shirt pocket,waistband, overall strap. I can get to it and use it without fumbleing or searching.A knife should be the extenison of your body.You should know where the blade is at all times without having to look. I've laerned this through most of my life working on a farm.

Two of the most useful modifications to the folding knife are the clip and a convenient one hand opening design. I don't like all your patterns. But I like your style. Hats off to Sal Glesser.



"Cet animal est tres mechant;quand on l'attaque il se defend."("This animal is very mischievous: when it is attacked it defends itself")