How to Close a Pocket Knife? Step-by-Step Guide (2022)

Even though it’s often on the small side, there’s no doubt a pocket knife is still capable of doing some damage. So, it makes sense that you know how to close it just from a safety point of view.

But hold on a minute because if you thought every pocket knife would be the exact same, then you are wrong. Instead, you have so many different pocket knives (check our review of the 8 best EDC pocket knives!) out there on the market that come with different closing mechanisms. So, we need to take you through the most common ways to close a pocket knife.

Put simply, we don’t want you to get hurt, and those blades are razor-sharp as well. So, let’s go through our step-by-step guide on how to close a pocket knife. It could end up saving your fingers as a result.

But First, an Important Point

Just before we go ahead and do that, we should point out that there is one immediate major difference to be aware of with pocket knives.

When it comes to making them nice and secure, some come with locking mechanisms, and some do not. That does mean you have some subtle differences when it comes to closing and securing everything in place.

But don’t stress if your pocket knife doesn’t come with a lock because a quick check of the overall working mechanism of the knife should let you see that everything is nice and safe.

However, that does mean we need to start things off by getting you to look at your pocket knife and checking if it does indeed have a locking mechanism. If it does, then you can skip past the first part as we are going to begin by looking at those without a lock.

How to Close a Pocket Knife Without a Lock?

When it comes to closing a pocket knife that does not have a lock, then you do have several important steps to run through. It goes without saying that you do need to take some care when closing any pocket knife, as it’s all too easy for things to go wrong and you end up hurt in some way.

Here’s how to close a pocket knife without a lock step by step:

Step 1: Holding the Knife Correctly

First, you need to hold the knife and blade in the correct way to prevent any mishaps. Check where your fingers are situated with regards to the hilt. You need to ensure your fingers do not cover the slot that will hold the blade when folded.

Telling you this step may sound crazy, but it’s surprising how easily you can make a small mistake such as this. Also, you must always have the blade pointing away from you. Just imagine what would happen if your hand slipped and the blade was pointing in the other direction.

So, hold your knife by the actual sides of the hilt. Grip the knife firmly in the palm of your hand and have your thumb on one side of the hilt, and the pads of your fingers on the other side.

At this point, you should feel that the knife cannot really slip around thanks to your grip.

Oh, and an extra tip here. Hold the knife in your less dominant hand. That’s because you need to use your dominant hand with the next step.

Step 2: Moving the Blade

The next step is to start to deal with the blade. Look at the blade, and only ever grasp the back of the blade.

This clearly makes a lot of sense as you don’t want to be holding onto the actual cutting side. That’s insane and leads to cuts.

So, hold the back of the blade using your dominant hand. That way, you keep the maximum amount of control over the blade at all times. To hold it correctly, have the blade between your thumb and other fingers. Depending on the make of pocket knife, you may even feel ridges on the top of the blade designed to give you a better grip.

Step 3: Closing the Knife

Onto the closing part now, and this is where you need to take your time. Don’t make sudden movements and make sure you have not moved any of your fingers. This is the point where you do run the risk of cutting yourself if any body parts are in the way.

The key here is to slowly push the blade part into the slot. The knife has a hinge mechanism at the base of the blade which allows it to fold back into the slot.

With this, push the blade back until it is completely in the slot. If you have pushed it in far enough, then it should not simply spring back out when you remove your hand from the blade. However, we do recommend checking it cannot be pushed any farther into the slot before you let go.

A Couple of Useful Tips

If you are not used to this entire concept of having to close a pocket knife, then we don’t want you to stress about potentially hurting yourself, so we have a couple of useful tips.

First, if you don’t want to use your hand to push the knife closed, then you can place the blade on a solid surface in order to close it. Make sure the back of the blade is against the surface, and then move slowly until it folds into place.

The other tip is to forget the idea of just using one hand to close your knife, as you may have seen others do, when you are still growing accustomed to closing it. Focus on using both hands until you feel extremely comfortable. Actually, it’s just safer using both hands at all times, although it may prove useful in some circumstances if you can use one hand in the future.

How to close a folding pocket knife

How to Close a Pocket Knife with a Liner and Frame Lock?

So, that is how to close a pocket knife that doesn’t come with a lock, but what’s the difference when your pocket knife has either a liner or frame lock? Well, some steps are the exact same as above, but with something extra thrown in for good measure.

But first, you should know the difference between a liner and a frame lock.

The difference is all to do with how the hilt houses the blade. In the case of the liner lock, a portion of the actual inner lining is used to hold the knife blade in place. For a frame lock, the difference is it uses a portion of the actual outer casing instead.

So, here’s how to close a pocket knife with a liner or frame lock:

Step 1: Identify Your Lock

So, the first step is to identify the type of lock on your pocket knife. The key is to look for a sort of saw-toothed piece sitting right behind the blade itself. Of course, you could also just look up the manufacturer and check what their listing has to say regarding your own particular pocket knife.

Step 2: Push the Lock Up

This saw-toothed piece must then be your sole focus for the next step. What you need to do is to push it up with your thumb so it is away from the blade. When you do this, make sure the sharp side of the blade is facing up. It makes it easier for you to keep track of where the dangerous part of the blade is situated.

When you move this locking mechanism, you will probably then feel that the knife doesn’t have the same level of tension. However, don’t worry as that’s what you are looking for in this instance.

Step 3: Closing the Knife

Holding the knife in your non- dominant hand, you are then ready to close the blade and fit it securely into the housing. The reason why we say to hold it in your non-dominant hand is to allow your preferred hand to control the dangerous part, the blade.

As you fold the blade down into the handle, make sure your thumb is not in the way. Holding the back of the blade, fold it down until the blade disappears into the casing.

But a word of warning. The locking mechanism is designed to keep the blade secure when it’s out and being used. The liner and frame lock are not intended to hold the blade in the casing when it’s not in use.

That means you need to check the blade is fully inserted into the casing, or it can spring back out.

Folding pocket knife partly closed

How to Close a Knife With a Button Lock?

We can move onto a different type of pocket knife here with the button lock. This particular knife uses a spring loaded mechanism to take the blade out of the casing when it’s going to be used. However, that does then pose a potential risk if the button is mistakenly activated at some point, so care must be taken.

Step 1: Holding the Knife

Even though the design of this knife is for one hand, we do recommend using both hands when closing. It just makes things safer.

This time, hold the knife in your dominant hand, and hold it closer to the top of the hilt than you would do with the other options. Do make sure your other fingers are clear of the slots in the side of the hilt to prevent them getting in the way of the actual blade.

Step 2: Pressing the Button

The next step is to press the button lock with your thumb. This is key as pressing the button actually deactivates the lock that is holding the blade in place. You must do this to then be able to close the blade.

Step 3: Closing the Blade

With the button lock pressed down, now take your non-dominant hand and push the blade closed. Always apply pressure to the back of the blade for safety reasons. If you have pressed the button down, then you should notice the blade feels loose and easier to move.

Simply move the blade down until it is completely in the hilt of the knife. Check if you cannot push it any more to know that it is fully closed.

But one final point regarding this type of knife.

Some models of the button lock pocket knife do state that the button lock will then hold the blade in place when it is inside the casing. Check if this is the case with your model, and then follow the appropriate actions depending on your model.

How to Close a Knife With an Axis Lock?

The final option we are going to look at is how to close a knife with an axis lock. This option is slightly different to the button lock mentioned above as it uses a pin on the side of the knife rather than a button.

Step 1: Activating the Pin

The first step is to activate the pin, and you do this by sliding it along the hilt. This will always be toward you, and you should use your thumb to move the pin.

By doing this, you release the tension on the blade of the knife. We recommend keeping the blade parallel to the ground for safety reasons. Also, you need to hold the knife in your dominant hand to allow you to better control the pin.

Step 2: Folding the Pocket Knife Closed

With the pin activated, use your other hand to push down on the back of the blade. This should be relatively easy to do thanks to releasing the tension via the pin.

As you do this, just check your fingers are not in the way at the hilt. This blade is coming down, and its sharp side first, so you don’t want to cut yourself.

Step 3: Release the Pin

Once the blade is fully in the casing, you need to release the pin. This will effectively lock the blade in place making the knife secure for transportation.

Closing a Pocket Knife: Overall Summary

And those are the different ways in which you can close a pocket knife. We have tried to cover the main types of pocket knife to make sure you know exactly what you need to do no matter the version you own.

Knowing how to close a pocket knife in the correct manner is essential from a safety point of view. Always make sure you use your dominant hand for the part that needs the most control. This reduces the chances of slipping up and causing your hand some damage in the process.

But we do also strongly suggest checking your pocket knife is in fine working order from time to time. Make sure the knife is capable of holding the blade in the hilt when not in use. Mechanisms can tire over time, and the last thing we want is for the blade to spring back up on its own.

However, if you follow our steps as outlined above, then you should have no problems whatsoever. You are then all ready to transport your pocket knife around without having to worry about hurting yourself.

If you want to enrich your collection of pocket knives – check our review of the best pocket knives and choose among our top 10 picks!

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