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Most proven folder locking system that's not CS.

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Houlahound, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. Houlahound


    Aug 2, 2017
    I am very scared of folder locks failng and the blade closing on my fingers. I trust CS tri-ad lock etc but would also like to view other brands.

    What are the most proven systems/brands of big folders other than CS.

    SAFE locks are my top priority in a folder.

    Beastchopper and GIRLYmann like this.
  2. knoefz


    Mar 20, 2009
    Some Lionsteels and DPX folder havea framelock with rotoblock, fixating the lockbar.

    Super solid imho

    Organic556, ErocSD, K.O.D. and 2 others like this.
  3. 115Italian


    Nov 13, 2015
    Real steel has a locking mechanism for their frame lock to prevent the lockbar from moving over. Extreme ratio has a secondary lock in a lot of their folders too.
    Houlahound likes this.
  4. Monofletch

    Monofletch Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    I believe any modern folder from a well established company will be strong enough for most use. If you cause a lock to fail you must be doing something wrong or the most unlucky person alive. If you are that worried buy a fixed blade.
    That being said I like the Axis lock. It gives the knife symmetrical sides and maintains the ergonomics a little better than a frame lock. Which is important too. Go out and fondle some folders at the local knife shop. Buy one you like and enjoy using it. You will gain confidence in it soon enough!
  5. Shorttime


    Oct 16, 2011
    I just want to put on my "that guy" hat for a moment.

    Is there a way you can carry a fixed blade knife? There are a couple of pocket-sized offerings (besides the Izula, which is still a good choice), and this would seem to address all your concerns.
    bikerector likes this.
  6. Houlahound


    Aug 2, 2017
    Keen to look at anything really, what you got in mind?
  7. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    Have you seen the torture videos of the CS vs Spyderco Tatanka power lock system, they both withstood an insane amount of abuse?

    The power lock is also available on the Spyderco Chinook.
    Houlahound likes this.
  8. danbot

    danbot Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    What are you doing with your folders to be so scared?
    Keep your fingers out of the path of the blade when doing spinewhacks.
  9. afishhunter


    Oct 21, 2014
    Then again, if you're using your knife for knife tasks, a blade lock isn't really needed.
    Look at how many centuries a friction folder or slipjoint have been used, without loss of fingers or cut fingers. Using a folding knife properly forces the blade open.
    cbrstar, Houlahound and James Y like this.
  10. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    Only forty-five years in my auto service ..............slip joint made in Sweden ,gift from Scania to my father .......all finger on place , only god knows what it was used for all this years :)
  11. dalefuller

    dalefuller Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    Bradford Guardian 3, Dozier Personal from A G Russell, Little Creek from Bark River, Patriot from L T Wright...
    Shorttime likes this.
  12. Fanglekai


    Jan 7, 2007
    What are you doing with the knife that would cause the lock to fail?
  13. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    The axis lock.
    BenchCo Spydermade likes this.
  14. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Unfounded fear can ruin this as a hobby for you. If you cannot get past it, take up a "dull" hobby.
    I've owned and used over three hundred folders of various brands...for casual EDC...and have never experienced a lock failure... favorite locks: frame-lock, compression lock (Spyderco), liner-lock...ALL are excellent.
    My preferred manufacturers are in the order listed:
    Chris Reeve knives...model 21 Sebenza
    Spyderco knives
    ZT folders
    This assumes that you don't buy the bottom of the barrel. Each of my knives is generally in the $175-$375 region.
    Cross-draw fixed blades are wonderful. I carry one plus a pocket-clipped folder every day. Dave Ferry of Horsewright Leather makes wonderful crossdraw rigs, as does D. Puckett.
    Generally, you are well served by a Bradford Guardian 3..in their own leather cross-draw sheath.
    I've had about 8-10 of them in various steels, and they're all excellent. price is about $170.
    Knife is held in close along your belt, easily covered by any t-shirt or even a tucked in shirt that's pulled loose enuf to cover your belt. (could wear unseen in an office environment). Generally is a 7" OAL knife with 3"-3.25" blade.
    Here is one link to something I've written earlier: Will look for pic under "wearing" condition.
    Bradford Guardian 3.jpg
    various other fixed blades can be excellent for cross-draw carry.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  15. Shorttime


    Oct 16, 2011
    All of the options that Dale brought up are excellent choices. If you need "more", Busse has a reputation for making very hard to break knives.

    Busse Combat Bear Cub HACK (picture might be huge)


    If you're still not satisfied, TOPS makes the Lil' Roughneck:

    Beastchopper likes this.
  16. solman

    solman Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    I like the axis lock and lockbacks myself. Never had one close on me. I am more concerned about a solid lockpin than a failed lock. Again with your big name brands (Spyderco, Benchmade, Etc...) it shouldn't be a problem.
  17. bikerector

    bikerector Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 16, 2016
    Honestly, sounds like you should stick with fixed blades if locks scare you. Locks only help with pressure on the spine or tip, pushing the knife closed. When cutting stuff, the stop and/or tang takes all the force for most knives and the lock does nothing to that part as the shear force of cutting keeps the knife open. Slip joints and friction folders are just as effective at staying open if pressure is not placed on the spine or the tip. In most applications folders are put into, lock strength is not a concern at all.

    Now, some of us will abuse folder, and that's fine IMO, but that's not the locks fault for failing in that situation. Batoning or stabbing into hard objects are the only two scenarios or types of forces I see lock strength being applicable, maybe prying but side-load isn't something locks really help with either, that's pivot strength. If you baton with a folder, unlock the knife and then no need to worry.

    Chopping with a folder can wear out the lock from the rattle but the force is being transferred into the stop pin and knife frame so the lock is just along for the ride and wear.
    WValtakis likes this.
  18. James Y

    James Y

    Feb 18, 1999
    Any type of lock will be reliable if made right. Any type of lock can also fail under the right circumstances.

    I've used Swiss Army knives and various other non-locking pocketknives since the 1970s, and I have never had a slipjoint blade close on me. As others have mentioned, if you are using a folding knife as they were intended, the force you'll be using will be keeping it the open position, even without a blade lock.

    The only folder that actually closed on me (but NOT through lock failure) was a Cold Steel Tri-ad lock, when I was trying to one-hand close it, and the blade swung down onto my index finger like a guillotine. Cut the tendon and I lost 4 months of work. User error? Yes. But there is more to lock safety than sheer brute strength of the lock when in the open position. My personal solution? I either 2-hand close a Tri-ad lock knife or don't use one at all. I'm certain others one-hand close them no problem, but I won't try it again with a Tri-ad lock.

    My favorite folder locks are Spyderco's lockbacks and compression locks, and CRK's frame locks.

    If someone has a chronic fear of a lock failing and closing on them during use, a fixed blade is a better choice. Because a blade lock, no matter how strong, is only a safety feature and not foolproof. The only knives that will not fold on you are fixed blades.

  19. chiral.grolim

    chiral.grolim Universal Kydex Sheath Extension Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 2008
    LOL - what a chunker! At least it looks like you gave it a nice edge :thumbsup:
  20. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    How are you using your knife and do you do a lot of stabbing / piercing of hard materials?

    In my experience with normal knife use cutting forces the blade towards the opened position unless you're piercing harder materials in which case I pinch the blade towards the tip.
    Not just for lock purposes but I want only a little bit of blade to have to control and deal with if it slips off the material or pops through unexpectedly easily.

    Trust no lock and treat every knife like it has none.
    afishhunter and Beastchopper like this.

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