How many of you ease the spring tension on the Triad lock?

Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by desmobob, Dec 11, 2020.

  1. desmobob


    May 5, 2003
    I find that bending the spring back a tiny bit on a Recon 1's Triad lock makes it much easier to close (and to some extent, open). But it also reduces the tension keeping the knife blade fully closed. Since I carry in the hip side of my right rear pocket, the blade has room to open.

    I've never had this happen, but it still worries me. But leaving the spring at the full tension really slows and stiffens the action of the knife.

    Do you folks alter the spring, or leave it as is? Just curious...
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2020
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  2. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    ive only relaxed 3 of them and they were Mackinac and lone star hunter ones impossible to unlock without a table edge.

    all I did was leave them half open in a safe place for maybe a few days or more or bit less. cant remember its been awhile. loosened them up fine and easy to open and close.

    I've seen people talk of using a dremel and reducing the spring down and such. also bending spring and such. I see no need for that as I've done it by just leaving half open for a few days. not hours and not just a day. and I didnt go back and forth and check it. just left half open after few days maybe bit more.....loosened up fine. no problems since and that was years ago
    DocJD, desmobob and jlauffer like this.
  3. desmobob


    May 5, 2003
    I've already gone ahead and gently coaxed the springs back to their original angle (I used the unmodified spring from a Recon 1 as a guide). I'd rather have them a touch difficult to close than have the risk of reaching into my back pocket and laying my hand open. :eek:
    jbmonkey likes this.
  4. Mistman68

    Mistman68 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2019
    I've done it to all of mine, took the spring out and loosened it a bit. IMO they were ridiculously tight. My thumb didn't deserve the abuse.
    desmobob likes this.
  5. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    good idear. messing with factory specs can go wrong easily. better safe than sorry.
    DocJD and desmobob like this.
  6. jlauffer

    jlauffer Tempt not the Blade Platinum Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Haven't felt the need on any of mine so far. Only been one so far (a Code 4) that was a bit harder to unlock than I'd like, but not to the point where I felt like it needed modification.
    jux t, jbmonkey and desmobob like this.
  7. desmobob


    May 5, 2003
    I found that with the Recon 1 series, the inside of the handle scales can be rough and the lock lever movement is affected. I smoothed the areas where the lock lever moves with 1000-grit wet&dry and then rubbed it down with a little Teflon-bearing oil. This really helped.
  8. jux t

    jux t Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 10, 2018
    I’ve never felt the need to alter a triad lock, personally. Some are more difficult than others initially, but wear in fine.

    In my experience, any initial lock stick can be worn into being easier by opening it hard repeatedly, which will not damage the knife in any significant way.
  9. cbrstar


    Sep 7, 2015
    I put a tiny bit of graphite grease on where the spring contacts the lockbar. Maybe still hard to push the lockbar down, but in my mind it felt a lot smoother and less sticky.
  10. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    Leave it. I’ve had all coldsteel folders sub-4inch blade, no problem with closing any of them. Carry and use it enough your hand will grow stronger.
  11. upnorth

    upnorth Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    I believe that the old Lonestar and Mackinac where the only super tough openers for me also buddy. I did the same thing, left them half open for a bit. I noticed also that they where really tough to open when heavily mineral oiled. I'm not smart enough to figure that
    One out. Stiction maybe ? They seem to work better with very little oil. Mine anyway. I still like them, and they still take effort to open. But they are built like brick outbouses, so I'm cool with that.
    desmobob and jbmonkey like this.
  12. Mark Spark

    Mark Spark

    Jun 1, 2020
    On all my triad folders I give them plenty of time to see if they will break in smooth. If they are gritty and hard to open after the high parts are worn on the tang-lockbar interface, then I know it won't get better. A metal-metal interface will gall (transfer metal back and forth and form a rough surface) if the pressure is too high for the hardness. If it galls, lubrication only helps briefly. Even dissasembly and polishing won't fix it, it will just gall again. This is not rocket science, it's well known. In old slip joints you would let the metal wear until the pressure dropped and it got smooth. Not an option here. As for fatiqueing the spring by leaving it open, that's only in your imagination. CS springs are not junky enough for this to work.
    If you can't accept a gritty action, the only option is to thin the spring. Most are 0.040" thick. To reduce force by 1/3, thin by 13% or to 0.035" with a dremel. Do it slowly so you don't overheat. If it doesn't discolor you're good. Reblue the spring with some gun store blue in a bottle so it won't rust in there.
    By the way, due to the angle of the locking notches in a Triad lock, lockbar spring pressure doesn't make the lock stronger. It self locks. Read the patent description. This is not true for an ordinary backlock.
    I've noticed the big folders never cause a problem. It's the 3.5" and 4" folders which have springs too stiff.
    This problem reminds me of the fiberglass-in-sheaths problem. No reason for them, a little care would fix it. I would bet money Cold Steel doesn't have a single employee with an engineering degree. This is always a problem with small companies. Unfortunately, I don't see GSMO helping. They're just financial engineers.
  13. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    it does work. not in my imagination. I've done it 3 times and seen it firsthand. it isnt made up that leaving a tri-ad half open over time does ease the spring. it does.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2020
  14. strideruser

    strideruser Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 1, 2008
    Never felt the need to do it, but sounds good idea/ solution if you need to.
  15. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    Just my two cents, but I don’t like messing with the spring tension. The toughest locks I encountered were on my AK-47 and Spartan, and they eventually “broke in” over time (or my masochistic hands just got used to it). A decent detent in a folder is very important to me.

    I find that using the spot where the thumb bends (joint between distant and proximal phalanx) makes lock disengagement easier. It can be a real pain pressing that lockbar with your thumb pad repeatedly.

    This is what works for me though. This may not necessarily be the best option if say the user has metacarpal syndrome.
    jux t and insta9ves like this.
  16. Bigfattyt


    Jun 23, 2007
    All my triad locks are "just right" for my tastes.

    I have a Black Rhino that I had to fix a spring issue on. The sprint would walk forward and the edge would hit it. It was coming loose from the pocket, and the locking bar had no little hump/stop to keep it from doing so, like newer triads have.

    I took the locking spring, tweeked the end that sits in the pocket to make it a press fit. Then for good measure, added a dab of steel reinforced JB weld to the pocket to keep the spring from moving.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  17. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    Yes, very underrated comment here. I see many people using the tip of their thumb to disengage the triad lock, that wont work well, for most people. Alway the joint either on the side of the pad of the thumb.
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  18. desmobob


    May 5, 2003
    I did the same. I also think adding some lube there helps. I have a small tub of high moly content grease from my air rifle hobby and use that.

    When I get a new knife, I use that moly grease to lube up all the moving parts, then work everything a hundred times or so. Then, I flush with Hornady One Shot solvent/lube. It's an aerosol solvent that leaves a light, dry lube coating (and has excellent rust-resistant qualities). The moly grease is black and nasty. I think the aerosol flushing washes the vast majority of that messy stuff away but leaves a tiny bit where it has worked in and is helpful.

    It's not an issue of hand strength, it's a convenience issue. If compared with my other brands of lockbacks and my other Triad locking CS knives, a few are way more stiff, to the point of being inconvenient. Speaking of "hand strength" and "inconvenient" makes me think of my new Pocket Bushman... :rolleyes: (I love it, BTW.)
    cbrstar likes this.
  19. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    Also try heavier weight lube. Nano oil 85wt does wonder. I’ve tried KPL, KPL heavy, Nano oil 10wt and 85wt, i found that for triad lock and backlock, the 85wt works the best. I guess the heavier metal to metal contact part of backlock requires heavier wt oil.
    I know there are a couple of models that’s outlier when it comes to the spring tension, holdout is one example, but I honestly wouldn’t mess with the spring tension. It’ll get better with time.
    desmobob likes this.
  20. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    Storing with blade 1/2 open works and only mimics normal break-in .

    I won't bend or reduce the spring , might be unsafe , IMO .

    Note this works only to ease opening , not for lock stick .
    nephron, desmobob and jbmonkey like this.

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