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LINER LOCKS VS. LOCK BACKS

Discussion in 'Knives' started by WARFIST, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. saniterra

    saniterra Loaded Pockets

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    I, too, have had liner locks, lock backs, axis locks and frame locks and have never had a failure. I'm not crazy about either the axis lock or the liner lock. The axis locks have springs that can and do fail. At the wrong time, a failure could be very painful. My experience with liner locks has been with several CRKT knives, a Buck Strider (not a cheap knife) and a ZT 0200. The the only one of these that looked as if it were really sturdy and nearly fail-proof is the ZT 0200. I have several Spyderco lockbacks and I love these, even though the knives don't operate as smoothly as the liner locks. The only frame lock I have is a large Benchmade Skirmish and the blade is so large that I can't snap it out with my finger unless I use some wrist snap with it. It at least appears to be the stoutest lock of all. So, the short answer is that I prefer the lock backs to the liner locks.
     
  2. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    I've never had a lock failure on a knife. I prefer lockbacks over liner locks, but I've recently gotten a pair of Benchmade knives with Axis locks, and it's definitely my favorite. I've loved every Spyderco I've owned, but the Axis lock works best for me.
     
  3. Buckles

    Buckles Loaded Pockets

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    I think Benchmade's Axis lock is by far the best locking mechanism on the market right now. I love mine.
     
  4. straightpuke

    straightpuke Loaded Pockets

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    I was always scared to use liner locks because it looked like it would fail on me. But when I bought the Spyderco Persistence, it was awesome! I could open and close it with only one hand :) I still prefer lock backs though. I've never played with an axis lock...
     
  5. aegri_mentis

    aegri_mentis Loaded Pockets

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    I don't use liner lock knives, and I just cannot bring myself to put my thumb into a position where it is in the path of a moving blade.
    I don't put my hand in front of the barrel of a gun, and I don't put my fingers in the path of a closing blade.
     
  6. Rawls

    Rawls Loaded Pockets

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    I asked this question on this forum about 18 months ago and got many similar answers. Having more experience with my knives I can add a few points.

    First I am not in law enforcement or the military. I use my knives around the house during home improvement projects, out in the woods when wandering, and out and about for packages, etc. I do no food preparation with my knives.

    I have had a Kershaw Scallion for a long time. I got it the year it came out. It has a liner lock. I also owned a Benchmade 707 with an Axis lock. I have owned a Cold Steel knife also with an Axis lock. I have a Delica 4 and a Dragonfly with a lock back and then a Tenacious with a liner lock. I also have a CRKT McGinnis with a liner lock. My Skeletool CX also has a blade with a liner lock.

    The Scallion has been through numerous hikes and moves (moving seems to be a good test on a knife, lots of abrasive cutting, mild prying, and slicing tasks) and the liner lock is starting to get a bit wobbly. The contact point between the lock and the blade has been worn down with years of use. I can now move the liner over further than I use to be able to and get a much better lock, but without consciously doing this there is some (a TINY bit) of up and down play in the blade. The Scallion's liner lock is exceptionally thin though. Even with this there is no real fear of it collapsing on my fingers. I also can close the knife with one hand and my eyes closed. The Tenacious on the other hand has a more robust liner lock and it seems to be super solid. The CRKT's liner is as thick or thicker than the Tenacious (despite the fact that the knife is 3/4 the size) and it works very well. The Skeletool's liner lock is unique because there is nothing on the other side (it is exposed to your palm when the knife is open). It is fine as well, but something about the grip on the blade makes me suspicious. The two lock backs are no were near as old as the Scallion, but they lock up snug and have no play at all. As for the Axis lock knives I did not like the opening action on the Benchmade, but the lock worked fine. I was always concerned about dirt getting into the gap where the pin is. The reason why is because this happened to my with my Cold Steel knife and it was never the same. I was wandering on a beach and the vegetation was sandy. As a result, I assume, sand or grit got in the gap for the pin. The knife would still lock up, but not as solidly or with as much authority as before. I have never used a frame lock, but I would assume that given their thickness they would function like a more robust liner lock. My only fear with a frame lock is that it would be bent the other way eventually from repeated opening and closing. I know that the XM-18 and some Strider knives as a bolt or stop to prevent this from happening.

    I would say I like lock backs better, but that a well designed liner lock is fine for my purposes. I like the Axis lock, in theory, but in application it has let me down. Spyderco's execution in both lock types has been superior to other manufacturers that I have experience with.