framelock/linerlock or lockback?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Quy4n8, May 18, 2007.

  1. Quy4n8


    Nov 27, 2002
    For less than ideal environments, what lock would you trust most. Not only for not failing, but also for long term operation. Environments, such as dirty, dusty, wet conditions; in a word, outdoors. I like the history of the lockback, but it has more places for dirt and moisture to get in and is more difficult to thoroughly clean. Liner/framelocks are usually open and easier to clean, but don’t always have the best reliability.

    I am looking for a medium to large folder (3 ½”-4” blade) with some heft and strength for general use. It will see use when camping, fishing, hiking, work in the garden, etc. What are your experiences or thoughts. Thanks.
  2. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    Frame locks are tough to beat for seeing visible debris in the way of the lock. I'd go with that as a dirty or muddy environment folder over a lockback personally. Lockbacks can be prone to junk building up in the lock or the cut out and no one needs to be using their Swiss army knife to pick out mud from that in the field in my opinion. Even still there are some fine tactical lockbacks out there and if you keep them clean you can use them equally well with great results. The Fulcrum II or Manix are two that come to mind.

    For the frame lock though I'd look seriously at the Zero Tolerance 301 or 302 or maybe an Emerson CQC12 and use that. There are things about both of them that I feel could be better but they do work and are in fact working as I type for many people in war situations in great extremes of all that nature dumps on them.

  3. T.K.C.


    May 7, 2005
    I trust frame locks the best under all conditions that you mentioned.

    If you can get your name on a dealer list for an XM-18. That is a very, very tough knife. It would serve you well!


    Apr 4, 2007
    the thing is too me this question cant be answered in a general fashion. All of the locks you mentioned are proven to be reliable on the right knife. and and only if it was made the right way. alot of people dismiss liner locks. well its not liner locks in general that are bad its just some manufacturers have more attention to detail than others and some liners are better than others. I really feel this is a question for a specific knife.
  5. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    There are other type frame locks also or liner locks like those found in the Para Military folder from Spyderco or the now discontinued ATR.

    I trust either of these style locks as much as any axis lock and they are certainly strong.

    Maybe a Kershaw/ZT MUDD knife would be worth looking at also.

  6. zulu45


    Jul 14, 2006
    I'd honestly vote for the right liner lock to being the best, or a framelock. A very strong and dependable liner lock is easy to clean, and won't fail you IF you know how to use and maintain it.

    Of course, I'm partial to the AXIS lock, for the most part.
  7. rosconey2


    Jun 19, 2006
    sounds like a fixed blade would be a better fit
  8. Boats


    Aug 7, 2003
    I second a fixed blade, even if it is a relatively short one. Folders are nice for nice conditions, but a liability in less than ideal environments.
  9. Blue Sky

    Blue Sky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    As time goes on my preference for lockbacks is growing. Simple, reliable and proven. Much less likely to disengage in use, if the history of posts/complaints in this forum are any judge. Not always one-hand friendly, but that wasn't your requirement. They are lefty-friendly, which is a plus for me.:thumbup: They won't lock up properly if crud gets into the notch but that's easy to see and clear imo, and when that does happen it almost always feels funny when opened so there's a clue somethings not right. I don't get that feeling from frame locks under similar circumstances. My personal preferences aside, choosing between a well made lockback or framelock is almost splitting hairs.
  10. ginshun


    Apr 6, 2004
    For the conditions you are talking about, and assuming a fixed blade is not an option, I'd go with the frame lock
  11. Quy4n8


    Nov 27, 2002
    Thanks for all of the replies. I like the XM-18, but out of my price range. I am debating between a Greco Folding Falcon and a SOG Tomcat II. I like both and they are certainly heavy enough and not to costly to replace. If you have any other thoughts or suggestions, let me know.

    P.S. I also strongly prefer fixed blades (Fallkniven F1 in this case), but in this particular situation it isn't possible.
  12. zulu45


    Jul 14, 2006
    I didn't think of it, but a fixed blade is a great idea. When you want reliability, you can't go wrong with one.
  13. cutter17


    May 16, 2006
    Zero Tolerance 0200. Do a search and you can dig up some good info on it. Cost is $160.00 and from what I've read, well worth it! I do not have one........yet.
  14. rosconey2


    Jun 19, 2006
    i have a xm18 and a few other ti framelocks-a few of my views

    zdp mini cyclone-pretty tough knife-above average steel-ti framelock-solid ergo's-

    also the much maligned bradley alias knives-above average blade steel(s30v)- ti framelock- male, female standoffs instead of threaded into the other handle-good ergo's-smooth as butter-doesnt get enough credit imho

    a camillus dominator if you can find one-is a real beefy piece also

    strider pt-after buying im not sure the cost is worth it-it does the job fine,very good heat treat,decent ergo's because of the choil-just not sure if its in the sebenza range price wise-to me its a 200-225 price range not 300

    the factory ones are getting very close to the heavy duty customs at a very nice price -buck makes some nice ones also-
  15. kamkazmoto


    Sep 14, 2002
    If you are lucky enough to be in a state where you can carry one I recommend a balisong.
  16. samhain73


    Mar 5, 2005
    Where can you get other than the Whisper Greco folders?
  17. HJK

    HJK Moderator Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
    You are safest with a fixed blade, or two.
    My strong preference in a folder would be a framelock, but if you are careful, there are excellent liner locks and lockbacks of all kinds that work very well.
  18. Quy4n8


    Nov 27, 2002
    My mistake, it would be a Whisper, not a Falcon
  19. Barrabas


    Feb 8, 2005
    If you are leaning toward a folder, I would go with a Framelock as well.
    If your in the field, the less moving parts, the less things to have concern over, but then again if you are taking a day trip/ short excursion you'd be able to clean up whatever you had when you get back.
    Depending on the manufacturer of the frame lock, a Choil on the blade base is a great +.

    If possible get a chance to handle whatever you are considering before purchasing.

    Good luck.

  20. Quy4n8


    Nov 27, 2002
    Greetings Barrabas, on a folder with say a 3 3/4" blade, what is the advantage of the choil?

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