Compression Lock Patent Expires this Month

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by OrangeBlueOrangeBlue, Feb 3, 2021.

  1. Spyderco's patent on the Compression Lock expires on February 22, 2021, which is 20 years from their initial patent application in 2001.

    It didn't take too long to see other brands make their own versions of the Axis Lock when Benchmade lost that patent, so I'm curious to see how long it takes before we start seeing some competitors making compression lock knives.
  2. jstrange


    Mar 31, 2012
  3. lieferung

    lieferung Basic Member Basic Member

    May 24, 2016
    It's a very hand friendly lock design, it will be nice to see it more widespread but it will always be a Spyderco thing to me.
    sabre cat and Lee D like this.
  4. kylemiller


    May 18, 2016
    When Spyderco decided to make more comp locks the past few years I've noticed that getting the geometry right is trickier than it seemed. The PM2 worked so well that I, like many others, assumed you could throw a comp lock on darn near any knife. Well, it looks like it's not so simple. The Tropen, Sliveraxe, Kapara, Mantra 3, and even the Shaman had to make what I'd consider compromises to get the lock in there.

    Tropen - you gon die
    Sliveraxe - flipper hits your finger before the blade seats
    Kapara - risky one handed close unless you have very slender digits
    Mantra 3 - the funky recurve added to avoid a Tropen fate
    Shaman - same as Sliveraxe, but it's the choil nub that gets ya.

    I'm curious to see how other designers are able to work around this. I like the Smock approach so far.
    Workingsloth777 and NINJIOM like this.
  5. singularity35


    Mar 1, 2010
    Open season then. May the best one succeed. Or rather the best implementations
  6. c7m2p3


    Apr 20, 2018
    If we see the implementation as widely as we are seeing it for the loss of patent for the axis lock its going to be a great thing. Some of the issues with the compression lock in the Shaman as kyle pointed out above is the typical spyderco insistence on using a choil with a guard. I can think of some designs already that sport an unguarded finger choil that would be fantastic as a compression lock so long as the rest of the geometries are worked out. Looking forward to seeing some companies try their hand at models sporting this kind of lock.
  7. lieferung

    lieferung Basic Member Basic Member

    May 24, 2016
    I don't have a Tropen or a Mantra 3, why does the Tropen kill you lol?
  8. Billy The Hungry

    Billy The Hungry Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 11, 2020
    With respect, I don't care for the compression lock. I'd be happier with a liner lock. That's just me personally! The compression lock on my Paramilitary 2 feels ackward to me, and cramped. My fingers have to tightly grasp the sides of the knife if I'm to close it one handed.

    It's hard to explain well. But for me, the comp lock is very ackward for my big hands. I thought I would get used to it, but I never did.

    I still adore my PM2 though!

    Anyway, I have a gut feeling I'm not the only one. I would take a stab in the dark here and say that it won't take off like the axis lock did for other brands.
    IUKE12 and evilgreg like this.
  9. jstn

    jstn Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    The Comp lock is my favorite locking mechanism so the more the merrier! There are a lot of frame and liner locks out the I would buy if they had a Comp lock instead.
    awsimpson likes this.
  10. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    ;) Almost any decent lock would be welcome to displace the vast oversupply of these . :rolleyes:
    mdrgn79, jstn and Workingsloth777 like this.
  11. evilgreg

    evilgreg Why so serious? Gold Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    You're not alone, it's my least favorite locking mechanism.
    Durham68 and Billy The Hungry like this.
  12. kylemiller


    May 18, 2016
    Live edge to the finger that's disengaging the lock.

    It's actually my favorite model of the ones mentioned and doesn't bother me personally, but there probably shouldn't be live edge where your finger goes. Watch any review of it and they'll make mention.
    Billy The Hungry likes this.
  13. c7m2p3


    Apr 20, 2018
    Basically the blade is exposed. The issue with models like the Shaman that people notice is that that finger choil guard is coming back and hitting the finger that you are using to pinch the compression lock. For the Tropen, there is no guard there to hit you, but this time it is just part of the blade. This has two problems. One, your finger that you are pinching the lock with can be easily cut if you are trying to flick the blade shut instead of using two hands. Two, it leaves a portion of the blade exposed in the compression lock cut out on the spine area. Unfortunately, that is also the area most likely to come in contact with your hand when you are reaching past the blade for something else in your pocket if you are carrying it tip up (which is how the clip is mounted from the factory).
    cali and lieferung like this.
  14. lieferung

    lieferung Basic Member Basic Member

    May 24, 2016
    That seems like something that should've never made it past QC :D
    mdrgn79, cali and Billy The Hungry like this.
  15. It's not really a QC issue though. The knife was made perfectly to spec, it's just that the design was questionable to begin with.
    The Tropen is the only "normal" compression lock knife with a sharpening choil, so it's the only one where the heel of the blade is a sharpened point (the Smock also has a sharp heel, but your fingers being in the way isn't an issue because of the button). The Lil Native is a model where the blade enters into the finger cutout, but it's the blunt ricasso, so there's no danger.
  16. Easyrider

    Easyrider Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2000
    I actually like a frame lock myself. I do like the simple button lock and the old R.E.K.A.T. Rolling Lock as well. I still have an old Pioneer model.

    I have had a couple of Spyderco Compression locks; a Lil’ Native that I sold and a Salsa that I still have. Not a bad lock just awkward for me to use.
  17. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker

    Feb 28, 2011
    I think the compression lock is likely more difficult to implement properly than the axis lock, so I don't know that we'll see quite so many versions hit the market right away. That said, I certainly wouldn't object to more compression lock knives, as I'm very fond of the mechanism.
  18. Snacktime

    Snacktime Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 18, 2019
    It will be interesting to see other manufacturers takes on the design. I know the compression lock is a big reason I have so many Spydercos.
  19. sgt1372

    sgt1372 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    Yes, there's a small part of the blade on the Tropen that's exposed in the compression lock slot but it is NOT as serious a risk as you make out.

    Personally, I've never gotten cut closing/holding/manipulating my Tropen (which I have carried daily on occasion) and I've also not had any such problem w/the Ikuchi that is also criticized for a similar reason.

    It's all "much ado about nothing" IMO.

    Frankly, there's always a risk of getting cut w/any knife regardless of how it is designed and, if you get cut by one, I would attribute that to USER ERROR, not to any design failure provided that the knife will not cut you if held/used in a "normal" matter.

    So, if you are getting cut holding/using a Tropen (or the Ikuchi), I'd question how you are holding/using it.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
  20. SteelPanther


    Nov 9, 2019
    why does everyone whine about the shaman bumping their finger? doesn't bother me. if it was a flaw then it wouldn't of been produced with the choil. sure all the whiners know more about knife design than sal does. pocket everybody gets comp locks...courtesy of spyderco. but oh the humanity if a knife bumps your poor delicate finger

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