Recommend me a traditional lockback in high end steel

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by manleyk, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. manleyk


    Oct 12, 2009
    I'm looking for a knife for my father. He opens everything with two hands, and due to age and finger size, lockbacks work best for him. So...anything good in a high end steel with a lockback?
    Dadpool likes this.
  2. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    Assuming you don't mean traditional as in "counts as traditional for the Traditionals subforum here," Spyderco makes excellent lockbacks in a wide range of steels. VG-10 is good stuff, H1 is rust-proof, S30V and even more exotic stuff can be had (K390, etc.).

    Although not technically a traditional lockback, because the Tri-Ad lock functions a bit differently, the Cold Steel AD-10 is fantastic and operates exactly like any other lockback -- and, based on your request, might be one of the best CS knives to choose. It has the smoothest, easiest to disengage lock of any CS knife I've owned. Second easiest is probably my 4-Max Scout, but that knife is a monster rather than a more general-purpose tool. :)
    jlauffer, Twindog and manleyk like this.
  3. manleyk


    Oct 12, 2009
    Thanks, Dadpool! He'd really like something like a Lionsteel Bestman or JE Made Lany's in style, but they just don't come with locks. On the more modern end, I've been looking at the Native in Elmax. I'll check out the CS.
    Dadpool likes this.
  4. Lee D

    Lee D Basic Member Basic Member

    May 27, 2013
    I’d say look at Moki but I wouldn’t necessarily call their choice of steel “high end”. Still, mine were both well made and easy on the eyes.
    Pogonasong and Dadpool like this.
  5. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
  6. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    I carry a Buck 501 pretty much every day... usually a DLT exclusive in s35vn. If you're okay with s30v, the Buck Custom Shop has some nice scale options for the 501.
  7. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Buck Custom Shop 110 or 112. Buck's S30V is great, or you could go with 420HC.
    skyhorse and manleyk like this.
  8. Clem Fandango

    Clem Fandango Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 3, 2020
    DLT's exclusive Buck 110 in S35VN. Decent steel - reasonable price - big and easy to handle.

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  9. jlauffer

    jlauffer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Could also look at the CS Ultimate Hunter...similar to the AD10 but not quite as bulky.

    Not a lockback, but the AD15 may be even easier to unlock, since you can basically grab the whole lock bar, rather than having to use one finger. And also a bit less bulky than the AD10.
    Twindog and manleyk like this.
  10. Fire Beard

    Fire Beard Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 1, 2013
    How about a Fallkniven TK3? I love mine and carry it often. Extremely well made (by Moki in Japan), excellent 3G laminated steel.
    jux t, Getting older, Twindog and 3 others like this.
  11. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    Buck makes a 110 Slim in carbon fiber and S35VN steel that is very nice, made in the USA and has a phenomenal warranty. I really like the Slim Ranger Pro with the green micarta and S30V though too. I would be ecstatic however the coin toss between these two came out.

    Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, I find the FFG Spyderco Delica in VG-10 to be one of the finest EDCs available today.

    To be honest though, to hell with a lock. That Bestman is just plain badass. He's not gonna be demolishing buildings with it.
  12. CyberRacer

    CyberRacer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 28, 2018
    Buck is certainly your best bet if "traditional" is a high priority. Most of the Case/GEC type options don't support the "high end steel" side of things.

    Depending on what you are looking for size wise the LionSteel Opera series might also fit the bill.
    manleyk likes this.
  13. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Buck 501 in S30V. It comes with a small belt sheath, but I carry mine in a CollectorsKnives medium pocket slip.

    Lee D likes this.
  14. Phil in Alabama

    Phil in Alabama

    Oct 31, 2005
    What about a Boker W.C. Davis Hunter II Lockback? 4" closed, 3" blade of S30V, and burgundy linen micarta on a stainless frame. I think that they're discontinued, but they are often on eBay. Other places probably would have some too. I know I really like mine, and the slipjoint version too.
    manleyk likes this.
  15. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    The Civivi Rustic Gent is a looker too. D2 isn't particularly high end any more, but it is good stuff in my book.

    The carbon fiber bolster is a nice touch, and there's plenty of micarta scale colors to look at and even G-10 if you cotton to that.

    I'd bust out the super gent in me and spring for the Damascus blade though. I'm all fancy like that. And a pic to boot:

    Lee D likes this.
  16. FLMacKnife

    FLMacKnife Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 24, 2020
    I agree with the Buck recommendations, either 110 or 112 is my preference but there are some other great patterns and now made with premium steel options. I think there 'regular' steel is darn good, but if I am reading you correctly you want something a little special. Buck as a brand, I would recommend making sure it is a USA made buck if you decide to go away from the 110 / 112.

    Bear and Son makes a good Damascus steel lock back folding knife that is very unique with some different handle options, it is also USA made and reasonably priced, even for the Damascus which is a custom grade steel and I think gets overlooked.

    Also like Boker as others have said, but make sure its a Solingen made version, 440C at least.

    I will also recommend Puma and their German made lock backs, they are excellent as well and unique, not designer steel, but very good steel that is tempered correctly and are well made knives if you stick with the ones made in Germany, the price tag will tip you off as well, if it seems too good to be true, its probably not an authentic Puma knife.
    manleyk likes this.
  17. fishface5

    fishface5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    Rustic gent is great but maybe small?
    Lionsteel opera or big opera are worth looking at
    manleyk likes this.
  18. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    OP, if you expand to consider slip joints you have some fantastic options! I carried and still have/use numerous locking knives, to include that Buck I posted, but I've also become very comfortable with slip joints. Especially quality ones with good back springs.

    The lionSTEEL Best Man, Dom, Roundhead, Shuffler, Bolus along with the Viper Key, Swayback, and Sowbelly are great examples of modern traditional slip joints with good steel and very good fit and finish.

    The lionSTEEL Thrill and Gitano have clips. I have a Gitano in olive wood and love it!

    Have a look around here:
    manleyk likes this.
  19. SALTY

    SALTY Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2000
    Wow, there some sexy, beautiful stuff in this thread!
  20. Ron Sabbagh

    Ron Sabbagh Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    Within the next few weeks Viper Knives are going to release their “Turn” knife. Built on an integral titanium frame/bolster with M390 Clip blade. It is said to have an “advanced lock back” mechanism.

    Lee D likes this.

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