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Bullet Points – Know These 5 Different Styles of Knife Lock

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Knife lock styles are often hotly debated by people who use and collect them.  Some prefer them for perceived strength, others due to local law.  We figured we'd go over a couple different types in case you wanted to be better informed.

Bullet Points – Know These 5 Different Styles of Knife Lock

1. Slip Joint

Like an old friend, the Swiss Army knife has always been there for your pocket.

One of the most common types of folding knives is the slip joint.  You might remember it from such films as the Swiss Army Knife.  It doesn't actually lock though, so it's not technically a locking blade — friction and spring pressure hold it open.  The one good thing about this style of knife is it can be used pretty much all over the world legally.

2. Friction Folder

The Tops Tac-Raze is the EDC form of a friction folder which should also be legal most places.

Friction folders aren't something many people carry on them regularly, but there are a few set up for EDC.  The friction folder is something you would see more in an old style barber shop.  The tight scales hold the blade open by friction alone.

3. Barrel Lock

The Opinel No 12 is one of Opinels modern style knives packing a few suprises.

The barrel locks is not a common lock style and is used primarily on Opinel knives.  We mention this because the knives are sharp and inexpensive.  They've also started coming out with more modern versions, like the EDC.  In this tool the barrel is rotated and the ramp wedges under the blade holding it open.

4. Liner Lock

One of the best regarded liner lock knife makers is Emerson knives and their CQC-14 is pretty damn slick.

The liner lock is certainly one of the most popular styles of modern folding knives.  Between the scales a metal liner is bent so that when the blade opens it locks under the blade.  This is not to be confused with the next style of locking knife.

5. Frame Lock

The knife in the cover photo is a Strider SMF and so is this one. The beefy frame lock is easy to use and very strong.

The frame lock uses the same idea as a liner lock.  A metal chunk springs under the blade holding it open.  The difference instead of a scale the bar that holds the blade open is part of the frame.  Some people prefer frame locks for the amount of material that contacts the blade.  It tends to be thicker then a liner lock and people perceive this to be stronger.

There are plenty of other locking styles for knives out there.  Like most things they are largely up to personnel preferences.  Some of you may just want a fixed blade.

What is your favorite locking method let us know in the comments?

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