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Which should I get.

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by Easyrider, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. Easyrider


    Jan 31, 2000
    I am looking to pick up a Lil' Native prior to any price increases next year. My question is should I get the back lock or the newfangle compression lock? I have some of Spydercos excellent back lock knives but I do not own a compression lock.
    How does the compression lock compare to the back lock?
  2. AF

    AF Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    I have both. I prefer the back lock. I also discovered that I like carrying it in my back pocket. I normally carry front pocket but the knife is small enough that back pocket carry is perfectly comfortable when sitting.
    Compression lock can be more fun to play with but my example is quite stiff. If you want to check out a Compression lock I'd recommend the PM2.
  3. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    I like my back lock G10 Native ... it's easy to operate one handed because of it's size and locks up solid as any locking knife I own.

    Like it so much I am considering a Manix II in the back lock model.
  4. ric75


    Jun 2, 2017
    Compression lock.
    Easy open and close with 1 hand.
  5. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    Which lock a person prefers is largely subjective. Both are good locks.
    Kreyzhorse likes this.
  6. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    It's really personal preference. I hate compression locks so I'd choose the back lock. But you'll see there are lots of fans of the compression lock. Best to try them out and see which you prefer. I don't think you can go wrong with either.
    353, 5-by-5 and Horizon7 like this.
  7. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Better hurry, those are discontinued and aren't easy to find!
    MarriedTheMedic and JJ_Colt45 like this.
  8. PeteyTwoPointOne

    PeteyTwoPointOne Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 10, 2014
    My main attraction to back locks over liners, comps, and frames is that it is easier to tell when your backlock is working positively and properly than with the others.

    This is not an so much an issue when you can deploy your blade in a mindful, careful manner...but if you get distracted while deploying it's possible to start cutting without your blade fully engaged. That can happen with any lock type, but I've found the very positive *CLICK* of a lockback yields great tactile and sound feedback.

    Maybe even more importantly, this holds true for blade disengagement also.

    The detent and "snap" close on a back lock is very positive. I cut my left thumb very badly with a Bradley Air because I thought it had fully seated in the closing detent when pocketed...boy was I wrong. :eek:

    Plus, it's possible for liners, frames, and comp locks to "work" even though they may be compromised by having a less than ideal lockface to lock engagement. You could be working away, oblivious to the fact that your lock up is not clean.

    With backlocks, it becomes evident pretty quickly if the blade is "out of battery" because of pocket lint or grit, letting you know you need to service it almost immediately.
  9. Easyrider


    Jan 31, 2000
    Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I think I may have come up with my answer.
  10. Sigsog226

    Sigsog226 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 3, 2013
    I would vote comp lock, but that's just because i prefer comp locks. Funny you should start this thread, because i also have been thinking about picking up a lil native(the all black one) and got to mess with both side by side a couple weeks ago. Both locks work well on this model imo.
  11. Horizon7


    Jun 16, 2018
    Can't go wrong with either.
  12. sgt1372

    sgt1372 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    I've got Spyders with all kinds of blade locks. They all work fine.

    As between a compression lock and back lock, the main differences are the ease and quickness of release. The compression lock being easier and quicker to disengage than the back lock and the ability to close a compression lock blade w/only 1 hand. On the other hand, I have no proof of this but my impression is that a back lock is (or may be) stronger than a compression lock but if you're not banging on the spine of your knife w/a hammer to split logs, it really shouldn't matter.

    I really have no preference between a compression or back lock because I always take my time closing a blade and always use 2 hands doing it.
  13. Easyrider


    Jan 31, 2000
    At first glance I suspect that the back lock is stronger. The lock bar is in tension if you try to close the blade while the is engaged. Steel is typically stronger in tension that compression. It is one reason we use steel rebar in concrete structures and remember steel is rated in part by its tensile strength. The compression lock tries to compress a piece of steel that is not too wide; not the strongest attribute of th material.

    With that all said both locks are complicated enough I suspect design has more to play with the lock's ultimate strength than simply the material's attributes.

    I know where a compression lock Spyderco is sitting to try out and from that I will decide with lock to go with.
  14. Kreyzhorse

    Kreyzhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    I prefer compression locks, but my lock back Lil Native is a pretty sweet knife.

    Like Lapedog pointed out, lock choice is more or less totally subjective. Neither one in this case is better or worse than the other.
  15. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    This may be interesting to this thread.

  16. 5-by-5


    Oct 13, 2016
    What I love about this video is the back lock is the best! I thought I would hate the content of it.
    Lapedog likes this.
  17. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    With a back lock in the center of the grip such as Spydercos they can be operated very easily and safely one handed ... so it's kind of personal preference I guess
  18. Chris "Anagarika"

    Chris "Anagarika"

    Mar 7, 2001
    As lockback fan, I can close compression lock with one hand the same way how I close lockback (thumb operates the lock, index in the hole guiding the blade close).. Not much difference, but lockback has stronger closure bias and a symmetrical lock (more suitable for ambidextrous and left handed people).
  19. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    Lol the knife broke before the lock did.
  20. 353


    Feb 20, 2015
    I love the back lock myself.

    But for the the back lock that test is invalid..

    The wire is holding the lock in place..

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