Favored locking mechanism?

Favored locking mechanism?

This is a discussion on Favored locking mechanism? within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; For a defensive knife (folding only, obviously..), what is your favorite locking mechanism? I'm looking to invest in a new tactical blade in the next ...

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    Member Array jgilbert's Avatar
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    Favored locking mechanism?

    For a defensive knife (folding only, obviously..), what is your favorite locking mechanism? I'm looking to invest in a new tactical blade in the next few months, and would like to hear the positives and negatives of the various lockups out there


  2. #2
    Member Array jwinkeler's Avatar
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    Lock back, it's ambidextrous and I've never had or heard of one failing


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    Member Array jgilbert's Avatar
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    That's what I'm thinking as well.. I want a Native 5, but I think I might like something slightly larger. I would consider an original Spyderco Manix, not sure how I feel about the Manix 2 as it locks up differently

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    I kinda like the triad locker on newer cold steel folders. I carry a recon-1 most days and when it locks, it's locked tight. There are "nicer" folding knives but these are a decent value, pretty tough and I wouldn't shed any tears if it was lost.

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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    I like the Axis system on my Benchmade Griptilian. It's ambidextrous and I haven't had any trouble with it over the past year.
    mfcmb and Rock and Glock like this.

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    Member Array jgilbert's Avatar
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    Has anyone compared axis lock to lockback or framelock? I don't care to spend the money for a high quality knife, but if I'm going to, it'll be the best knife I can get for my money.

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    Member Array jwinkeler's Avatar
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    I own an several axis lock knives but they lose to my spydercos for a couple of reasons but I don't trust the axis lock to stay closed while folded if I carry my knife AIWB


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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    My favorite lock is the Benchmade Axis lock. It's rock solid and very easy to open and close. I don't worry about it opening in my pocket since all my knives are Tip Up carry only. The blade rests against the seam of my pocket so there is no chance of it opening. That being said, I usually carry framelock blades since I carry converted Emerson knives. I also have several lockbacks from Spyderco, which are also very nice. My only problem with lockbacks is that they can have a slight amount of vertical bladeplay.

    If you buy a quality knife, I wouldn't worry too much about the strength of the lock.
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    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    I own Axis lock Benchmades but prefer a solid frame lock. It's very secure as you grip will usually hold it tight, at least for me.
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  10. #10
    RKM
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    Distinguished Member Array RKM's Avatar
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    For a defensive knife, I'd image some kind of lock back would be the strongest, like Cold steel's. But I'm personally not a fan of them. I'd have to jump on the bandwagon and say Axis lock is my favorite lock of them all. I like Spyderco's compression lock too. Other than that a simple liner lock with do... although I chopped the tip of my thumb off on my Emerson CQC15 closing it once... A lot of blood and band-aids. It eventually grew back. I didn't get into the bone, just chopped the fleshy part off. I learned to respect the liner lock.

  11. #11
    Member Array jwinkeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKM View Post
    For a defensive knife, I'd image some kind of lock back would be the strongest, like Cold steel's. But I'm personally not a fan of them. I'd have to jump on the bandwagon and say Axis lock is my favorite lock of them all. I like Spyderco's compression lock too. Other than that a simple liner lock with do... although I chopped the tip of my thumb off on my Emerson CQC15 closing it once... A lot of blood and band-aids. It eventually grew back. I didn't get into the bone, just chopped the fleshy part off. I learned to respect the liner lock.
    Ouch and glad to hear your ok now!


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  12. #12
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    Benchmade's Axis lock or a solid frame lock are the top of my list. CRKTs Auto LAWKS comes in next for me.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array cockedlocked01's Avatar
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    Locks that are ambidextrous: Axis, back-lock, Compression lock (Spyderco), & Triad lock (Cold Steel). The Axis & Compression locks will probably be smoother to open/close, although the back-lock on Spyderco's new Native 5 is an improvement in that area over previous back-locks. Cold Steel's Triad lock is quite possibly the strongest of the ambi locks, but is probably not as smooth to open/close. I will say that some people apparently don't feel the Compression lock is ambidextrous, so it might be a personal thing. All I can say is that it is for me. On that note, I think Spyderco's Paramilitary 2 & new Yojimbo 2 are excellent examples of a Compression lock folder.

    Nothing's really wrong with BM's Axis lock. I've read that the spring can break, but I haven't had that happen to me. The Axis-lock is a very smooth open/close system.

    The Back-lock & Triad lock are very similar & not as smooth as the other 2 locks (Axis & Compression).

    Now, having said all that, I typically carry a frame-lock, but I don't worry about them being ambidextrous because I carry a small FB weak-side.
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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    If you buy a quality knife, I wouldn't worry too much about the strength of the lock.
    Bingo - there's your answer. A good knife, from a reputable maker, with a proven design, will serve you well. The type of locking mechanism shouldn't be a dealbreaker.

    Knives are very much like guns in that there's no perfect model - you're always making compromises. Length, weight, type of deployment - these all factor. So if you're like me, you've got dozens of them - from switchblades to heavy-duty fixed blade models. Don't buy cheap Chinese junk.

    Some people are averse to liner locks, claiming that they've personally seen hundreds of thousands of liner locks fail in the field. We can laugh at such persons as being creative writers with fanciful imaginations. Technology has moved on from the Buck knife and you've got a lot of choices. As for liner locks, check out this variation on the Cold Steel Ti-Lite:



    I trust that as much as any of my lockbacks. Here's the liner lock on the Elishewitz Horus:



    Again, that ain't goin' nowhere. Locks up like a tank. Anyway, if you're using a knife properly, you'll be working in the direction of the blade, not the lock. Buy quality. Maintain your tools. Treat them with care and respect and they'll return the favor.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Phillep Harding's Avatar
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    Don't go cheap.

    Lock backs /can/ fold; I had a Buck 110 fold on me from being really abused. That was probably a rare event because the 110 has been around for a real long time and it would have been discontinued if it folded easily. (I also stopped trying to force knife points on folders into cracks or punch holes in cans.)

    Cheap liner locks I've used have all allowed the point to drift out because there's no spring holding it in. The best you can hope for there is curled toe nails as your hand scratches along that point. I have stopped using those because I prefer uncurled toe nails, thank you.

    My current favorite is a Bench Made, I think it's a 585 but cannot tell from what's online. Axis lock. I might replace it with a longer blade, some day. No more cheap knives. I'm amazed I still have all my fingers.

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