It really is a simple question and the answer might seem even simpler, but nonetheless, many people do have difficulty closing their folding knife safely without hurting themselves and damaging the knife.
Before you try to force your knife into closing, you have to know what kind of folding knife you are dealing with.
The most common types of folding knives are:
- Liner Lock
- Compression Lock
- Frame Lock
- Axis Lock
- Slip Joint
How to Close Liner Lock Folding Knife
Liner lock folding knife is one of the most common types of a folding knife. It gets its name because as you unfold the knife, a linear piece of metal/lock mechanism holds the knife in place. Usually, the lock is on the front side / the blade edge.
In order to close a liner lock knife, simply displace the piece of metal to the left by applying pressure on the lock and start folding your knife.
Once the lock is displaced to the sides, you can take your hand off the lock and proceed to close the knife.
If you are thinking of buying a liner lock folding knife, make sure to get THICK stainless quality steel, because rust can damage the integrity of the lock mechanism. It needs to feel sturdy and tight all the way through.
How to Close a Compression Lock Folding Knife
The compression lock is pretty much exactly the same as a liner lock, however, the lock is on the back side / opposite the blade edge of the knife.
Compared with the liner lock, compression lock folding knives feel smoother and cooler to unfold.
In order to close it, it’s the same as the liner lock folding knife. Simply displace the lock towards the side and fold the blade back in place.
Be careful though, since the lock is on the back, it is easier to hurt yourself by accidentally pushing on the blade with too much pressure too quickly.
How to Close a Frame Lock Folding Knife
A frame lock folding knife uses its frame to lock the knife in place. It’s like the liner lock, but the frame of the knife becomes the lock and keeps the blade in place.
In order to fold it, push the frame lock towards the side and fold the blade back in place.
I however would not recommend this type of folding knife because it’s easy to hurt oneself and the handle won’t be as comfortable as other knives. Frame lock folding knives have to be made from hard and heavy metals. They weigh more and you can accidentally release the lock while holding it.
How to Close a Lockback Folding Knife
A Lockback folding knife is the easiest to fold and maybe one of the most dangerous…
The lock mechanism is on the backside/spine of the knife and by pressing it you can release the lock. Be very careful though with lock backs. While they are simple to fold and unfold, you can easily cut yourself since the blade snaps to almost 90 degrees after you release the lock.
These types of folding knives are durable and can take quite a beating though, so as long as you are very careful with it, maybe it could be worth the risk.
How to Close Axis Lock Folding Knife
Another risky, but cool folding knife would be the axis lock folding knife.
You simply pull on the axis as if you are reloading a gun and fold the blade or unfold the blade. Be careful though!
Don’t grip your knife with your hands full when you are folding and unfolding. Use your thumb, index finger, and pinky to hold on to the side of the knife while you fold or unfold. You might need to practice a little to get the hang of it.
Once you do get the hang of it, unfolding and folding this type of knife will feel very satisfying.
How to Close a Slip Joint / Friction Folding Knife
A slip joint/friction lock is not necessarily a locking mechanism. You push the back of the blade up and it releases itself for folding.
Make sure to brace with your index finger because if you apply too much pressure with your thumb on the release and not brace with your index finger, the blade can fall on your other fingers.
Which Is the Best Type of Folding Knife?
I personally prefer the lockback because those types of folding knives are sturdy, durable, and feel like quality steel on your hands. My least favorite is the frame lock as I find the build and frame of the knife to be not to my liking, but it depends on the individual for the most part.
For beginners knife enthusiasts, I would advise a liner lock since it’s rather sturdy and safe, but axis lock folding knives can be quite fun too once you get experienced with handling knives.
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