Learning the different locking mechanisms of pocket knives can be intimidating for a novice owner. Don’t worry; most pocket knife locks are simple. There are a few standard ones that you need to know to open any pocket knife.
All pocket knife locks have the general operating principle – a piece will block the pivot action of the blade and will release it when moved out of the way. The method of releasing the blade depends on the knife, lever, frame, button, section, or any other part of the knife.
If you have a bit of knowledge about working knife locks and know what to look for, you can figure them out. Even a novice won’t require much time to become proficient. The most commonly used locking systems of pocket knives are –
The above locking systems are relatively standard, but there exists a few unique blade locks which a couple of knife models use or single companies produce. If you encounter any lock not covered in this article, don’t fret. Almost all knives work on the same principles as standard locks. So how to close a pocket knife has a pretty simple answer which you can figure out quite easily!
Let us delve into the specifics of closing a slip joint knife properly. With practice, you will grow more comfortable and will be able to close a pocket knife faster and with one hand.
This locking part is used in traditional pocket knives and relies on the downward pressure applied by the user from closing the knife. As these knife blades have no proper locking mechanisms to keep them closed, you have to lift the blade out of the handle when you want to use it. Similarly, except for the pressure applied by you, no system is present to keep a slip joint knife blade open. Thus, be mindful and keep on putting sufficient pressure to keep it open.
The locking systems of slip joint knives are very straightforward and exist that easy to operate. But you run the risk of incurring grievous injury if you aren’t careful. For example, you might accidentally close a pocket knife by putting downward pressure. This is very dangerous.
Many pocket knives have frame locks, so you will benefit by learning how to work with this locking mechanism. The particular steps are given as follows –
A solid but straightforward concept, this locking part can be opened and closed easily. The part that holds the blade in place when open or closed is the extension of the knife’s outer frame. When closing and opening a frame lock, move a framed piece to the side, allowing free pivoting of the blade. Any movement of the knife blade is prevented when the portion of the frame moves back into place after you release it.
It bears similarity to the frame lock, though the liner lock knives mechanism is a bit less vigorous but found in many different knives. Given below are the steps to close the knife –
There is only one difference between a liner lock and a frame lock –the part of the knife holding the blade in its place. In the case of a frame lock, the outer frame of the knife holds the blade inside the handle cavity. But in the case of liner lock, an extra piece (not a part of the frame) is inserted to do this job.
A liner lock is less durable than a frame lock as it isn’t an extension of the frame. But both locking mechanisms are tough and incredibly durable; you won’t be able to tell the difference when using a pocket knife for regular or heavy-duty tasks.
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The Lockback system is a well-known mechanism used on decorative knives, folding hunting knives, etc. But it is less prevalent than other systems mentioned here. Read on to learn about the motions of closing a Lockback knife.
This locking mechanism is very robust and doesn’t get unlocked by accident, typically used on traditional-style hunting folders. Significant effort and thought are needed to close a Lockback EDC pocket knife. It makes them apt for intense tasks that could prove dangerous if the blade were to open unintentionally.
Although having more or less a simple closing mechanism, Lockback knives are highly reliable. There is a metal piece running along the back of the handle which holds the blade open or closed with the help of a strong string.
When you use a compression lock, release on the knife’s handle, the spring gets released, which lets the blade sway open or closed. However, it is kept in place by the spring when the release isn’t compressed. So, you can use this knife without worrying about unexpected closing.
A button lock is a novelty locking system found on spring-loaded folders or stiletto-style knives. Most people find them flashy and desirable. To close a button lock knife swiftly and cautiously, follow the instructions below –
Button locks are famous as the blades are quick and easy to deploy. But there are safety concerns as only a button stands between you and your knife deploying in your pocket. Therefore, this locking mechanism is mostly used on numerous switchblades.
Pressing the release button releases a spring that flings open the knife blade quickly. The speed at which button lock knives open depends on the spring’s strength. Due to its fast release, button lock knives are illegal or restricted in numerous areas due to safety and practicality concerns.
Do checkout our post on Sharpest pocket knives.
If you want a pocket knife for regular use, search for a folder that easily fits your pocket or belt when in a closed position. The knife should be light enough to carry comfortably; the blade and handle need to suit your hand. Folding knives are a safer choice as they don’t close the knife abruptly while in use. In addition, the locking blade is stiff enough to be manipulated according to the task at hand. Also, consider the metal spine of the blade. The most common are stainless, carbon, and tool steel.
To keep the knife clean, you should wipe it every time after use. If you don’t want to put in so much effort, periodic cleaning will suffice.
You need to be diligent when using a pocket knife. Never cut towards your body and hands. Take a break when you get tired of using your knife. Have a first aid kit nearby while working with a pocket knife. Avoid walking with an open knife; keep it folded shut.
External toggle, snap lock, fulcrum action are a few miscellaneous blade lock types.
Strange and unique locking mechanisms are brand-specific and relatively hard to find. Although various locking systems are available in the market, the best way to learn how they work is to consult the brand’s website. You can also gather the information from your seller or watch videos online.
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