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We all wish there was a tactical folder out there that could match the strength of a fixed blade knife. Unfortunately due to physics and common sense a folding knife is not as strong as a fixed blade there are some tactical folders out there that get pretty close to fixed blade strength. Judging from my experience I believe that a balisong style folder has the strongest locking mechanism. I personally prefer either a liner lock or lock back, because I can easily close them with one hand. I have had some pretty bad experiences in the past with frame lock folders. Even though I have had lots of frame locks break on me I am still attracted to their intriguing simplistic design. I recently purchase a SOG Trident and have not had an Arc lock break on me but I still question the design and strength of the locking mechanism. I think that the strongest folder I have in my collection right now is a tie between my Spyderco Tenacious and My CRKT Triumph or Hissatsu. One of these days I will be able to afford a ZT, Emerson, and Strider.

1.) In your opinion which locking mechanism is the strongest and which do you prefer?

2.) Also which tactical folder in you collection has the strongest lock up?

Tags: CRKT, Emerson, Hissatsu, Tenacious, Triumph, ZT, folder, tactical

Views: 1500

Replies to This Discussion

Another +1 for the TriAd lock. I own a CS Spartan and a custom version of the Espada made by Andrew Demko. One cost me $60 and the other was $680. Both are the tightest/strongest folders I have ever owned regardless of price.

Unless you are in a place where the normal laws of Physics do not apply, a framelock would be the strongest.  Though invented by Chris Reeve (originally on the Sebenza) I think the folder closest to a fixed blade when deployed is the Rick Hinderer XM-24.  It uses the identical mechanism to the smaller XM-18 (both the 3 and 3.5 inch blades) but it has a thicker 4" blade and is overall a beefier knife.

18 @ Left, 24 on Right

XM-18 Lock Bar Side

XM-24 Lock Bar Side

I agree with the Axis  lock crowd. It is probably the best folder lock on the market. I have 4 Benchmades equipped with it(BM15020-1, BM581, BM5871 & BM111SH2O-YEL) and they never felt as if they would fail. Same for my Spyderco Manix2, even though it is not an "Axis-Lock", it is as close as you can get without having Les sue you.

I have Liner locks and frame locks also. My ZT350  &  JYDII -CB have solid lock up, absolutely love them due to they are slimmer in the pocket than the Axis-lock knives of the same size. I only have 1 framelock knife and I don't use it for more than opening mail (BM Pinnacle Gold class), so I can't attest to the frame-lock strength.

I have 10 Paul Axial locking knives, bought 8 pieces out of the Prototype vault at Lone Wolf before they finalized the buyout with Benchmade. The other 2 are 1st production run editions. These are all safe Queens, but the lock up seems okay. Definitely not hard use except maybe the Protector, it is a stout knife.

I didn't think about the Triad lock, I too have a Spartan. It locks up so tight, it is sometimes hard to un-lock.

Matt Freeman said:

Another +1 for the TriAd lock. I own a CS Spartan and a custom version of the Espada made by Andrew Demko. One cost me $60 and the other was $680. Both are the tightest/strongest folders I have ever owned regardless of price.

Any quality knife with liner lock- lock back - frame lock - what ever - has always worked for me as long as I held the knife correctly. Cutting edge down.

I have to agree that the ZT 300 series has one of the best locking mechs I have encountered. Titanium framelock gives it great stability and you sure know when it snaps into locked position.

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