Folding Blade Locks Guide

Knife LockMost folding blade knives come with a trusty lock these days. Nobody wants their knife accidentally closing at the wrong moment. Those little finger piggies won't be going to market. Read below and find out what type of lock is right for you before buying your next knife.

Folding Blade Locks

Liner Lock: Liner locks hold a blade in place through the use of a lockbar (leaf spring) which butts against the tang of the blade when it is drawn to prevent it from closing.  To close the knife, the user must press lockbar back toward the handle side, at which time the blade is allowed to close.  When the blade is closed the lockbar rests beside the blade.

Frame Lock: Frame locks use the handle to aid in folding the knife. It’s situated with the liner inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade.  When pressure is applied to the frame, it’s released. Similar to the Liner Lock except that with the framelock the liner is the handle itself.

Back Lock (Lock Back, Spine Lock): The design of the back lock features a locking arm sitting along the spine of the knife.  The locking arm has a hook that fits into a notch on the back of the blade behind the pivot. The back spring from opening the knife draws the hook into the notch, snapping the blade into place. These locks are very strong and popular among knifemakers.

Mid Lock: A common and powerful lock, similar in design to the back lock.  The difference being that the release mechanism is located in the middle of the spine as opposed to near the butt.

Ring Lock (Twist Lock): Ring locks work by turning a ring around the pivot of a knife to a position where a break in the ring allows the blade to open. Once open, the ring must be turned so that it blocks the space through which the blade is opened.

Lever Lock:  Lever locks work by inserting a pin into a hole placed at the base of a knife’s blade. When the pin is through the hole, the blade is locked either open or closed.  Lever locks are common on switchblades and other automatic knives.

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