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Thread: Let's talk about locks

  1. #41
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    I have owned knives with most of the lock mechanisms mentioned and I've never actually had any of them fail on me, probably because I've never misused any of them. I think all the locks mentioned are adequate when a folder is used as designed.

    Some locks "feel" more secure than others, to be sure, but as someone mentioned, "feel" doesn't substitute for actual testing, or shouldn't.

    My primary consideration when examining a knife's locking mechanism is convenience in closing the knife, since the accidental closing of a knife is precisely what they are trying to prevent.

    The best design I've seen, hands down, is the original Bali-song by Benchmade. I don't think it's possible to make a stronger lock, or to make one that disengages easier, since all you have to do is open your hand.

    The Axis lock comes in a close second, in my opinion, since it's possible, with a bit of practice, to close the blade with the same "switch-blade-like" action as it is to open it.

    The Arc lock looks like a modified Axis lock, but seems bulkier and more complex, but it functions much the same. I wonder how Benchmade feels about that.

    The lock back on the Chinook seems a bit stiff (though it is loosening with use) and makes the opening of the blade somewhat harder than I would like, and it also makes it hard to close one-handed, but it locks like a bank vault, and is likely to be stronger than just about any other design other than the Bali-song. Of course, I haven't tested it, but as I said before, even lesser locks seem to be adequate when the knife is used properly.

    I've never been much of a fan of liner-locks. I much prefer the mid-back locks on the Endura, Police Model, Chinook, etc. Liner locks seem to work ok, but they also seem to "loosen" somewhat with use, regardles of whether the scales are compromised by abuse or not; and I've simply never really liked the way they feel.

    If anyone's concerned that a given lock will fail when you use a folder knife, I suggest you might be using the wrong tool for the job and you might want to consider using a straight knife with a full tang.

    Edited by - Shang Chi on 10/15/2002 8:15:33 PM

  2. #42
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    I'll just be brief as all the points I'd make have been well covered already.

    1. Lockbacks - Love 'em! The Spydie ones anyway.

    2. Linerlock - The lock I'm most uneasy about using. However I love the liner lock on the Military and Lum Chinese, and light use folders like the Cricket. I also really like the Microbar liner lock that Microtech uses, as it's thickness gives a feeling of confidence. (whether that bears out in the performance or not is another matter).

    3. Axis Lock - Personally I'm not too keen on anything that uses little springs. I just prefer 'beefier' technology.

    4. Frame lock - love 'em. My favourite lock. I wish Spyderco would do one!

    5. Compression Lock - I really like this one too. Simple genius.

  3. #43
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    Quick question is Bob Doziers Tab Lock the same as a compression lock. I haven't seen Doziers 'in the flesh', but it looks like the Ti Salsa's integral compression lock.

  4. #44
    Spyderco Forum Registered User AllenETreat's Avatar
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    Hi Sal :

    For me, it's simple ( maybe even prejudiced ); I prefer the liner lock.
    My view is that unless you're going to torture/abuse the knife, the liner (Walker) lock is relatively safe &amp; quick to deploy ( I can deploy my C29SBK cricket faster than most knives, including switchblades ) the thing is, it lacks ambidexturousness. As for the other mechanism(s)( BOTH new &amp; tried &amp; true ) I've no qualm(s) with'em <img src="wink.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0> Whatever works for the end user.
    That's my view, in a &quot;nutshell&quot; <img src="wink.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>

    ATE <img src="wink.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>

  5. #45
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    I'm not an expert on the subject, but since you are on a &quot;truth&quot; quest I'll add my input. I have owned both style of lockbacks(mid and rear), several Rolling Locks, linerlocks, and Axis Locks. I prefer the Axis lock the most, with the mid lockback second and the Rolling lock third. I don't really care for liner locks and the frame locks. The Rolling lock would be #2 if REKAT could have executed it better. Both the Axis and rolling locks offer ease of use, and in case of the Axis lock reliability. I'm sure all three locks I listed are stronger than the way I use a knife, that isn't an issue. The issue for me is reliability, ease of use, and longevity. That is one reason I dislike both the liner lock and frame lock. I also dislike having to put my finger in the way of a closing blade, yes I have cut myself closing a liner lock! I have looked at your Compression lock and it is interesting, but I feel it shares the same wear issue I have with liner/frame locks. I do want to take this opportunity to make mention about something I have happen with some lockbacks. I have had lockbacks that when doing some heavy cutting the lock would push up against the blade. It never caused any problems because as soon as pressure was released the lock would rengage. Just something I have noticed.
    Sal, thank you for asking our opinions and experiences.

  6. #46
    Spyderco Forum Registered User dialex's Avatar
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    There's also a new guy in town. Its name: &quot;ball lock&quot;. I wonder how reliable is that coil spring.


  7. #47
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    The first &quot;Ball bearing locks&quot; that will be shipping will be the Worlld Trade Center project pieces. We will begin shipping those next month.

    The &quot;Dodo&quot; is scheduled for early 2003. We are having fun with the lock.

    We're still refining and developing the Compression lock.

    The concept of catastrophic failure, IMO is possible on any folder. Some argue that the linerlock won't, but if the lock is not made incorrectly and it disengages rather than bends, boom! If there is too much lubricant on a linerlock, it can also slide off of the ramp, if not made properly.

    Even the butterfly knife knife is secured with pins. Pins that are about the same size as pins used for lock pivots on many knives. When we break knives (a regular habit at Spyderco), more often than not, it's the pins that go first. If the pin on a bali goes, that blade will come down on your fingers as fast as any folder that fails.

    The key is reliability and strength, which we do by painstakingly testing all models all of the time.

    sal


  8. #48
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Sword and Shield's Avatar
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    After writing my first post in this thread, I think I can maybe add a few more little tidbits that come to mind.

    Lockbacks- In general, quite good. Some people may not like the Buck 110-style backlock, viewing it old-fashioned, but still plenty secure. However, I have finally found one I can open strictly with holding it. It's a Paki POCrap, with fairly decent looks. Oddly enough, it has kind of a &quot;reverse Boye indent&quot; on the lockbar, a hump sticking up. With big hands, it closes as easily as a slipjoint-no impedance.

    Linerlock- If it's well executed, I like. My feelings here still haven't changed, as I don't use that particular knife for dirty/grimy work. However, I also have a poorly executed linerlock that is truly shameful. Loads of play, and a paper-thin liner. Why Camillus put this out is beyond me.

    Walker LAWKS- I've only seen this on one knife, and could only form superficial thoughts on it in the store. My thought- The lock seems strong. However, if &quot;ease of deployment/unlocking&quot; is a factor, this knife is a bust. An entirely new range of fine motor skills are needed to use it, and it simply isn't worth the trouble.

    Never underestimate the impossible.

  9. #49
    Spyderco Forum Registered User cougar337's Avatar
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    found this post while browsing the forums and thought I would bump it up for newbe's that could find this info useful, like me.

    it is possible to have picture examples of each lock? I can't seem to visualize what each lock looks like. Even if pictures are too hard to get a hold of, maybe give an example knife for each lock type

    Edited by - cougar337 on 5/21/2004 5:23:18 PM

  10. #50
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Sword and Shield's Avatar
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    Which haven't you seen?

    Going from memory on the ones starting the list:

    Back-backlock- Try the Buck 110, or any of its clones.
    Mid-Backlock- Native, Endura
    Front-Backlock- Al-Mar put one of these out, I think.
    Linerlock- Kershaw Whirlwind
    Compression lock- &lt;img src=&quot;spyder.gif&quot; width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0&gt; Salsa
    Butterfly lock- &lt;img src=&quot;spyder.gif&quot; width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0&gt;Fly, Benchmade BM42.
    Axis lock- Benchmade 910
    Ultralock- Cold Steel Recon 1
    Arclock- SOG Sculptura
    Framelock- Chris Reeve Sebenza, Camillus Dominator

    I'll see if I can dredge up any more examples. <img src="smile.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>

    The Man's Prayer- I am a man. But I can change. If I have to. I guess...

    Edited by - Sword and Shield on 5/22/2004 7:58:36 PM

  11. #51
    Spyderco Forum Registered User cougar337's Avatar
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    The ones I'm interested in is:

    Compression Lock
    Axis Lock
    Ultra lock
    Arc lock
    Frame lock

    Your examples are great and I will research them so I have an idea of what these locks look like and can do. It seems like the Axis lock is a favorite of the crowd from the responses in this post but I have never had the opertunity to try one myself. Does Spyderco have a knife that has a Axis lock?

    Pictures are a ++++ in my book because I'm a visual person, so if you find any please post them here for me

  12. #52
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    I think Joe summed it up pretty well. I do tend to think on the lock back style, that the front lock(Al Mar, Rescue etc.) is more profecient. It seems to lock up better, and it is defenately more user friendly. I commend Sal for this discussion, this is why <img src="spyder.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>co is the best knife manufacturer! RKBA!

  13. #53
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    Sword and Shield,

    Did you mean the 710? It was the first to carry the axis lock.

  14. #54
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Sword and Shield's Avatar
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    Oh, that's right. It's the 710. Pardon me. <img src="smile.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>

    The Man's Prayer- I am a man. But I can change. If I have to. I guess...

  15. #55
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    Sword and Shield,

    No problemo. If I don't make over 700 errors a day, it means I'm coming down with something (and it's usually a sinus infection or cold; never a clue <img src="wink.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0> ).

    Memory fails me, but over at the bladeforums place (anyone ever hear of it?), Sal mentioned that Spyderc<img src="spyder.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0> has some even newer locks in the works. I'm very happy with the compression lock and various backlock/midlock/frontlock lockbacks, but it'd be cool to see 'em.

  16. #56
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Sword and Shield's Avatar
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    Guess you need hit with a clue-by-four, that'll cure you. Hold still... <img src="wink.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>

    The Man's Prayer- I am a man. But I can change. If I have to. I guess...

  17. #57
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    Owee! And still I'm stupid!

    My pal, Kuanomar, has come up with a new lock, but he doesn't post on this forum yet. When it comes out, you'll see it. It's very cool.

  18. #58
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    Hi everybody,

    I have some questions on locking systems.

    Currently I own only lockbacks, balis and a few Opinels -those simple French knives with the wooden handle.

    For some reason I had always had some perplexity on liner locks; basically it was the feeling that a liner, even if made of good steel, could have a “memory” and break after years of usage, or simply that it could break while cutting something hard, causing harm to the hand holding the knife.
    Then I thought that a titanium liner, being titanium elastic and thus much more “forgetful” than steel, could be the answer, and work fine “forever”.
    I liked the idea of a folder that could be opened and closed with one hand, I liked the fact that liner locks can be more stylish than the good, old, bulky lockback. To tell it short, I had convinced myself that linerlocks were as solid as lockbacks, and that with a linerlock I could cut thick ropes or even big branches or bamboos (as I sometimes do with my serrated lockbacks) without fearing for my fingers.

    Then I read the discussion on this forum and... The Horror! Great disillusion and disappointment! It was as if someone had told me that the beautiful girl I see every day at the train station (the one I’ve been secretly in love with for the last two years, but never had the courage to talk or even get close to) trusts Bearlousconey (1) and her breath stinks of rotten minced meat and garlic.

    Can anyone restore my already weak faith in linerlocks? Where do you think I can read some tests or measurements of liners strength and resistance to daily use?
    The linerlocks I had in mind to buy have either double 420C tempered steel or Titanium liners: are these good materials?

    I live in Italy and here it is difficult to find Spydercos or Benchmades or any other good American knife for a reasonable price. They usually cost almost double than in the U.S.-I’m talking about online-stores prices- so my choice will be restricted to European knives. If anyone knows of a European online store selling Spydercos for reasonable prices, please tell me!

    Thanks a bunch!

    Pietro.


    1) Not many of yis will get the joke. It's an Italian thing.

  19. #59
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    Hi and welcome Petorro,

    My experience is with lockbacks, but I don't think that lock is that bad.

    Why don't you repost in the general section? The forumites there will fill you in on their experiences with the reliability of that lock very quickly.

    Shards

  20. #60
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Pyrochazm's Avatar
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    I just gotta throw my pennies in.
    I have had limited experience with some of the newer locks, and zero experience with the ball lock. but here are a few impressions.

    Axis lock: My favorite, hands down. My Benchmade 805 goes through punishment everyday; Lots of lightning fast openings and the stabing of cardboard. I have had zero problems with that lock. you can even get a wealth of pocket lint in it and it seems to lock up just fine.

    Compression lock: I love this one too. I have had limited experience with it, but the Paramilitary I handled was superb; Glassy-smooth wrist flick openings. Just looking at it, I knew it was pretty tough.

    Liner locks: Hate em. simple as that. A year ago I owned an M16 CRK&amp;T that failed on me and cleaved right to the bone of my right pinkie. I'm sure that they perform just fine on anything but a hard-use knife,but I will never again buy one.

    Arc-Lock: Again, limited experience with this one. But I gotta say I like it. I have handled an &quot;X-Ray ~~~ion&quot; that featured this lock and came away impressed. Obviously almost identical in concept to the Axis lock, but with slightly diffrent excecution.

    Back lock/Mid lock: Another old favorite. You can operate one entirely one handed (On my endura and police at least) with a little practice. I have had one fail on me, but it was an old buck 110 that went through a tortureous life. It's now more like a slipjoint.

    In short, I despise linerlocks, but they work, and If the military had a Compression lock and was tip uo carry, I would own one right now.

    "My parents dropped acid back in the sevendies in an attempt to "Expand their conciousness" and then turned around and gave me Ritalin in the nineties to supress mine"

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