Don't own a Case. Which of these two and why?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by CSG, May 9, 2020.

  1. CSG


    Dec 15, 2007
    I like the traditional look and bone handle choices of the Trapper Lock and Tribal Lock knives and, particularly like the drop point blade on the Tribal Lock vs the clip point blade on the Trapper. Should make it an easy choice, right?

    Well, I've never handled either one and can't find them locally. Where I'm coming from with lock backs is, in particular, the Buck 501's. I own three from across the decades and they all lock up well, have no blade play, and great EDC use (I carried them before I got into one-hand open/close knives. So the 501 is my benchmark (along with the 500) for knives of this type.

    Any thoughts or info would be appreciated. I'm looking for a traditional looking alternative to the Bucks and these two Case Locks would seem to fit the bill.
  2. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    I vote Tribal Lock. The Zulu blade shape is the most useful compromise for a single blade knife, combining the precision of a straight-edge (Wharncliffe) for draw cuts, with the slight belly of a spear for push cuts and slicing.
    Mitchell Knives likes this.
  3. Scott J.

    Scott J. Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 8, 2019
    I vote mini copper lock, I know it wasn't on your list but I like minee way better than my new tribal lock in looks and action. Maybe I just got a bad version of the tribal lock, but mine has a 3/4 stop and no resistance between 1/2 and 3/4.
    Lansky1, CVamberbonehead and jmh33 like this.
  4. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    I own Trappers but not a Trapper Lock. I own a Tribal Lock and a Buck 501. The Tribal Lock is larger and the lock up on mine is quite solid. The mid-back lock makes it super easy for one-hand closing. You can just reach back with your thumb and disengage the lock and use your finger to close the blade. The Tribal Lock is rather slim for it's overall size.

    I prefer mid-back locks to "tail" locks so that i a very nice feature for me on the Tribal Lock. And as I said, it's very solid so I don't think it gives up ground to the 501. The 501 is smaller and more comfortable in my front pocket but the Tribal Lock isn't terrible. It's a great knife.
  5. CSG


    Dec 15, 2007
    Thanks for the replies so far, especially from Eli who owns a 501. I'll check out the mini Copper Lock as well.
    Scott J. likes this.
  6. CSG


    Dec 15, 2007
    Checked the mini Copper lock but I think it's too small and I'm just not a fan of the clip point blades for my needs as an EDC.
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
    chuck4570 likes this.
  7. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    No problem. If you have any specific questions, by all means let me know.
    chuck4570 likes this.
  8. Prester John

    Prester John Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2018
    I don't have either knife yet, but the Tribal Lock is on my short list. So that's my vote.
    chuck4570 likes this.
  9. Don W

    Don W Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2012
    Out of the 2 I would choose the tribal lock every time. I have owned 2 trapperlocks. One that was perfect and one that the lockbar went all the way over and there was a lot of play. It would have been fine in use, but it was easy to let it go. I own 2 tribal locks. Maybe I am just a back lock guy, but I love them. Fit and finish is great, lock up is great. Very nice knives for the money. I also like copperlocks. :)

    pic from when it was new

    Last edited: May 9, 2020
    RDaneel, Eli Chaps and chuck4570 like this.
  10. CSG


    Dec 15, 2007
    Don, that's pretty much the kind of handle I want on one of these. I looked at doing a custom 501 or 500 but not for the prices Buck wants for them. The Tribal lock, in particular, has that old world look with some of the features that are important to me.
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
    chuck4570 likes this.
  11. 5K Qs

    5K Qs Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 20, 2014
    I have a Tribal Lock and like it much more than I'd ever have guessed. I typically prefer multi-blade slip joints less than 4" long closed. But the big Zulu spear is a great blade, and the lockbar in the middle of the knife instead of at the tail works much better for me.

    I've never even considered a trapper lock. Too long, don't have any interest in thumb studs or pocket clips, and not a fan of liner locks (at least the traditional ones I've used).

    - GT
    RDaneel, Don W, Prester John and 3 others like this.
  12. blademan 13

    blademan 13 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 25, 2000
    Tribal lock. F8259BC2-8265-420D-A07A-030C836C72C9.jpeg
    RDaneel, JohnDF, ISKRA and 2 others like this.
  13. mbkr

    mbkr Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2018
    I have both and some Buck 501s. I like all three. If I could only have one, I'd go with the Buck 501, but between the two Cases I like the Tribal lock better than the Trapperlock. I like the blade shape better, prefer lock backs to liner locks, and just like the way it feels in hand. The Tribal lock is a fairly large pocket knife, but its so slim, I find it rides well in jeans pockets.
    Orange Tribal Lock.JPG
    RDaneel, Eli Chaps, JohnDF and 2 others like this.
  14. Peregrin

    Peregrin Traditional Forum Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    Since the Trapper lock, with the liner lock, thumb stud and pocket clip doesn't really fit our definition of a traditional knife, I'm glad it's not getting much notice here. If it was I'd have to move the thread.
    That said, I do have a Tribal lock. Just an all around great knife. You can't beat the blade, and Case has done a great job on these.
    Duper, RDaneel, Pogonasong and 3 others like this.
  15. mbkr

    mbkr Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2018
    FYI there is a Trapperlock with a thumb stud and pocket clip (I have one), but most of them have neither (I have one of those too). So it should be ok unless the liner lock is a problem?
    Prester John and Peregrin like this.
  16. Blue Sky

    Blue Sky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    I’ve been jonesing for a Tribal lock for too long now, this thread is not helping. Tribal it is.
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  17. jstrange


    Mar 31, 2012
    I don’t have a Tribal Lock, but do have the Trapperlock. I’m not a huge fan of the Trapperlock (love regular trappers though). Too much blade play in the locked position. I would go with the Tribal if I were you, I’ve not noticed any bad press on that one and I intend to grab one one of these days.
    Prester John likes this.
  18. hornetguy

    hornetguy Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2015
    I have both, and I'd choose the tribal lock without reservation.
  19. Prester John

    Prester John Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2018
    AND it's a Tony Bose design.
    jstrange likes this.
  20. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    I don’t have either, but I would choose the tribal lock. I love the shape of the blade,, and truth be told, I’m not a big fan of trappers.

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