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Home > Folding Pocket Knife Locking Mechanisms

The folding pocket knife locking mechanism that keeps the blade open and prevents it from snapping down onto your fingers accidentally. Pocket knives rely on several primary lock types.


Liner Lock

The liner lock works with one section of the liner angled toward the inside of knife. From here, the liner is only able to go back to its old position with manual force, thereby locking it into place.

Meanwhile, the tail of the liner lock is cut to engage the bottom of the blade under the pivot. If the user wants to disengage the lock, he has to manually move the liner to the side away from the blade bottom.


Frame Lock

A frame lock works by utilizing the handle to assist in folding the knife. The frame lock is positioned with the liner inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade. It's released by applying pressure to the frame; when opened, the pressure on the lock forces it to snap open across the blade.a frame lock is very similar to a liner lock.



The back lock is one of the most basic and earliest used pocket-knife locks. It works when a locking arm, which sits along the handle spine, is molded with a hook that fits into a notch on the back of the blade behind the pivot.

The hook is dragged by tension from the back spring into the notch, locking the knife with a snap.



A slipjoint is commonly found on traditional pocket knives but it doesn't actually lock the blade in place. Instead, the blade is held in place by tension from a spring or flat bar. Once enough pressure is applied against the blade, it can move back to the closed position.


Mid Lock

Mid locks have refused to buckle under hundreds of pounds of pressure, impressing many knife owners. Mid locks resemble back locks, except for the fact that the release mechanism is in the middle of the handle spine as opposed to near the butt end of the knife.


Ring Lock

Ring locks are cheap, long lasting and easy to use. These locks work when the owner turns a ring wrapped around the pivot of the knife to a position where a break in the ring allows the blade to open. After the blade is open, the ring must be turned again, so that the space through which the blade was opened is blocked.


Lever Lock

A lever lock is locked by a pin near the pivot bolster, which is inserted into a hole drilled in the base of the blade. When the pin is through the hole, the blade is locked either open or closed. Lever locks are often used on automatic knives, such as switchblades.

Axis Lock 

A 100-percent ambidextrous design, AXIS gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar which rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spanning the liners and positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped, tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar it’s inertia to engage the knife tang, and as a result the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself. 


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