The genius of folding knives lives on and continues to expand and grow. These knives dominate the market and are beginning to make the other types of knives feel a little bit jealous. Everyone likes a little spark or danger or fun, and this is where folding knives have become so successful. They bring out our inner child.
People want to stay young at heart, and there’s nothing better for a small boy to feel like a champion than by messing around with danger. A sharp knife or a blade springs open, making you feel like a ninja warrior. Guns and ammunition are what they’ve termed it. Children need it because it makes them feel alive, and that’s the brilliance of the folding knife.
So how do they work? What makes them open, and what keeps them open? The key to this type of blade is the locking mechanism, and so we’re going to dive into it, explaining what’s the strongest lock on a folding knife so that you can experience danger while having the peace of mind to know that your knife will support your fantasies.
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What Is a Lock Knife?
A lock knife is another way of saying folding knife. A folding knife is a knife that has a lock inside it. It’s not the type of lock that requires keys but the type of lock that locks the blade in place when it’s open. Folding knives can come in two fashions; the automatic switchblade or the manual folder have to have locking mechanisms; otherwise, when the blade is opened, it will flop around like a leaf in the wind.
It’s essential to understand how locks work to ensure that when you buy a folding knife, you’re buying the right one. Locks range from mid-locks to frame locks and liner locks all the way to back locks, all having a different locking design and a different unlocking design. Often the unlocking part of the process is what people would recognize, and that’s because that’s the part that you interact with.
The locking part happens inside the interior of the knife, and all you can sense to know that the process has taken place is a small and satisfying “click.” A lock knife has a system that jams the bottom of the blade up so that the blade doesn’t rotate after being opened; this gives the blade all the support it needs for the tasks you’ll be performing. Hence why they are so important.
Types of Folding Knife Locks
There are loads of types of folding knife locks, but what’s the strongest lock on a folding knife? You have the mid-lock, which has a thick piece of steel that runs along the knife’s spine, locking the blade in place at the base of the blade. It has a minor groove that the lock sinks into after the knife is opened, and when it’s locked – you won’t move it out of there unless the steel rod snaps out of the back of the handle.
To unlock the knife, you press down on the spine in the middle of the handle hence the name mid lock, which releases the lock. You also have the button lock, which is fairly self-explanatory. This mechanism works by a button that releases the blade to spring open, and when the blade is open, the button that runs across the width of the knife blocks the blade from moving around.
The button, which is more like a steel pin with a spring, sticks out while the blade is open, and when you’re ready to close, the blade can be pushed back inside, which paves the way for the blade to break free and rotate back to the closed position. These are great designs, but we don’t feel that these are the strongest. The strongest is the liner and back lock:
Liner Lock Folding Knife
This lock is similar to what many people call the frame lock. The liner lock has a steel liner on the inside of the handle, which is securely bolted down. The liner is made to bend inwards across the width of the blade, and because the steel is molded this way, you have to push it out the way quite aggressively to unlock the blade.
The blade is opened and then locked in place when the liner naturally moves to its original point from manufacturing. This holds the blade in position with formidable strength and is not likely to jump out under any circumstances. To unlock the blade, you have to slide the liner back towards the side of the frame to allow the blade to move downwards.
The liner is corrugated at the top so that you know where to apply pressure on the liner to make it move and to give you a thumb grip when pushing on it. The liner lock system is so strong because the steel that lines the handle is very tough and is, in a sense, part of the knife, so there are fewer moving parts in the knife, making it more sturdy.
Back Lock Knife
The back lock might just be the strongest type of locking mechanism out in the market. It is a straightforward and classic design that requires minimal energy to lock and unlock. Back locks, as they were formerly known, have a thick piece of steel that runs along the back of the knife, similar to a mid lock.
The back lock knife has a pivot in the middle of the rod, which creates a rocking effect so that if you push on the back of the rod, then the front lifts. The back has a spring that pushes the front of the rod down into place when the blade is open. This is where the locking takes place, and so to remove the lock from the groove, you must push on the back notch to lift the lock up and out of place, allowing the blade to fold up again.
The reason for its incredible strength is the thickness of the steel and the size of the locking mechanism that holds the blade in place; you don’t have much chance of breaking it unless you put the knife against a 10-tonne vice grip.
All lock knives are strong, and they show great character in all of their respective designs, but some have been known to give out or get damaged with vigorous use; remember, the more moving parts you have, the weaker the lock support. So dive into a few more details regarding the type of knife you want and find out as much as possible because there are excellent pocket knife lock types, but not all will go the distance.
So you want to find the strongest knife lock. What’s the strongest lock on a folding knife? Well, that’s up to you in the end, but we found the liner and back locks to be fantastic. Please don’t take our word for it because your experience might differ from ours, so go for it and try out different styles and types; the ball is in your court.