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Steel Lockbar Inserts - Question

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Anarchy84, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    Since Titanium Carbide is much harder than Titanium it has much less tendency to gall.
  2. marthinus


    Dec 10, 2006
    I have not posted this in a while.

    This is a compilation of resources and discussion on angles, lock interface, steel vs. ti etc. that I have compiled over the years.

    Here are some comments from a very well and respected maker on the forums that has tested numerous locks. I will not post his name as this was a private conversation and let’s keep it that way.

    "I've done some steel inserts in mine. The wear rates are not far off from titanium to steel. Both wear very well. Heat anodizing helps to form a deeper near ceramic hardness on the titanium since heating it by a torch anodizes the ti from the inside out as opposed to using a DC current which is from the outside in or the outside layer only. That ceramic hard oxide layer wears pretty well against even the hardest blades. If it didn't people would have stopped using ti a long time ago.

    The real factors as I see it is impact strength not wear resistance. In my own testing for Kershaw and other companies that sent me product to beat the snot out of on their behalf I found that the steel frame knives held up better to sudden shock impacts like spine and overstrike whacking as opposed to the softer ti which could indent easier and deeper scarring the surfaces more. So to me this is the key factor behind it but there is a draw back since steel is less forgiving than titanium. Ti tends to gall or stick to itself and dissimilar metals and this sticking effect has been seen forever by makers as a real benefit.

    Not to sound bad but you can be off some on contact angle and get by with it by using ti since it can make up for your short fallings here whereas steel would just slide right off the contact. Steel will demand the contacts be spot on and if they are not well, you'll see locks sliding off the contact toward release easier than ti when the contact angle is not right.

    I've used inserts of steel in a couple folders I did a while back. To me having to do them the way I did they were more trouble than they were worth. Most of my folders give me very little trouble as it is. However, I am low key and not selling what is being marketed as a 'hard use' knife either. We'll see how long this lasts but it could be the beginnings of a trend in the hard use category if people start testing them and find they hold up better. It will depend on the steel used. I really fail to see much benefit if the steel they are using is just 410 stainless at 45 Rockwell. Ti is 39 Rockwell or so and although softer by quite a bit technically it wears at such a slow rate that in normal use most folks are not going to notice any diff or benefit to this insert at all. It’s just the guys beating on them that will pick up on it probably.

    Now that goes to another issue. What happens when the insert dislodges or falls out? The screws will have to be very secure for some of these guys beating on them and if they think the knife is supposed to take it they will do that. Again time will tell. My thoughts are that overall there are some benefits from the stand point of repairs.

    It’s much easier to replace an insert to refresh a lock that has worked its way all the way across the contact. This beats the hell out of making a whole new lock or peening the contact like Emerson, Kershaw and many other companies do to repair theirs. Don't get me wrong that’s an old cutler trick as old as the liner lock itself and it works. Heck many makers do it as a part of the process along with heat treating because they believe peening compresses the molecules making it denser so it wears better.

    The point is that is not as precise as people like to be whereas a new insert would be, well, new and just like it was before theoretically. It may even be something the user can do themselves in the field or at home. We'll just have to see how this develops. "

    :peening the contact is a technique used by cutlers to 'refresh' the actual physical contact area on the lock where it connects to and wears against the blade in use. Since the lock is technically supposed to connect and support the blade at the bottom of the lock at the point far enough away from the mid line of the pivot barrel or pin to prevent 'blade roll', (bottom being the area many refer to as the top since its up by the thumb grooves where one depresses the lock to release and free up the blade to close it. Think bottom of the blade when opened and that is technically the bottom of the knife and the where the edge runs with the spine of the blade when opened being at the bottom running along the full length of the folder)

    So again since the lock connects at the bottom you have a triad or three points to support the blade when opened. The stop, the pivot in the middle and the lock. If the blade connected to the lock more in the middle or at the top of the lock down where the detent is on most then you would experience blade roll. This is when you have vertical type play but what happens is the blade actually rolls on the lock because the lock connects in the wrong place.

    The lock should also be flat not angled at a pitch like the contact is on the blade. Some makers make them and the blade is not quite right so they adjust the lock to fit the blade instead of the blade to fit the lock. This is incorrect and it can cause a 'stepped' or angled pitch to be formed on the lock and that in conjunction with a pitch on the blade is a sure fire way to lead to lock defeats.
  3. marthinus


    Dec 10, 2006
    When a lock wears and works its way across the tang to the opposite side liner or when it develops blade play many times the maker or the manufacturer will correct this not by bumping up the size of the stop pin but by peening the contact area. This again if you picture it is the area showing signs of wear marks on the lock itself and it should be somewhere on the bottom third of the lock far enough from the mid line of the pivot to make a rock solid contact for no play in the blade. Peening means a ball peen hammer and a 3/32 flat end punch placed precisely at a the area just to the left of the contact on a right handed knife. You swing the hammer hitting the punch so it physically 'squishes' out the contact more toward the blade. When done this creates a little 'bubble' sticking out just a few thousandths of an inch and it refreshes the contact as well as compresses the material. This can be done on steel, ti or brass locks and requires different touches or pressures to do it right. It’s been done on compression locks and lock backs also to peen the usually softer area of the rocker arm just a micron or two to adjust the lock for fit before they ship it out the door.

    Anodized ti is usually surface only. Heating with a torch usually brings the ti lock contact up to a straw colour or at the least a cherry red orange colour. Letting it cool on its own and repeating this three times builds up quite a bit of anodizing that at times can be resistant to even bead blasting it off and it can harden the metal to the point that it is much more wear resistant in that spot that was heated. Most are done and then blasted afterwards cleaning off the surface that is seen. Others simply don't treat it knowing that titanium is technically a 'self healing' metal that creates an oxide layer on its own as soon as fresh ti is exposed to oxygen. This is true by the way and why ti is resistant to all kinds of corrosion. It’s that oxide layer that forms a barrier between the ti and the atmosphere sealing it off that makes it so resistant to it. Heat and electric current simply stack on layers of this seal and the light refracting off those multi layers is why we see colours. You actually would have to read some of the tech manuals on that to get the full jist. I'll stick with a nut shell description.

    Correction. Steel would probably have been dinged also just not as bad and this depends as you said earlier on type of steel, how hard it was set at and so on. Steel as I said requires that things be just so. I repair a lot of knives and most are liner type locks of the thinner type. These wear and indent and even in steel. They also of steel tend to be easier to find fault in contact angles. For example you see a few knives with steep pitch angle contacts 12 degrees or more and to try this with steel will surely cause the locks to defeat with a sharp tap to the spine. Most steel locks need a pitch of 7 to 8 degrees max to work. 10 or above is really pushing it and even Spyderco walks that fine line at times as I see plenty of Military folders with locks that slide toward release back to the flatter area on the blade contact. This with simple spine pressure from my hands so there is no telling how that would go for the user if it was a sharp blow to the spine. "


    Peening the contact is a technique used by cutlers to 'refresh' the actual physical contact area on the lock where it connects to and wears against the blade in use. Since the lock is technically supposed to connect and support the blade at the bottom of the lock at the point far enough away from the mid line of the pivot barrel or pin to prevent 'blade roll', (bottom being the area many refer to as the top since its up by the thumb grooves where one depresses the lock to release and free up the blade to close it. Think bottom of the blade when opened and that is technically the bottom of the knife and the where the edge runs with the spine of the blade when opened being at the (insert TOP not bottom as I said) running along the full length of the folder) Even I get confused. Lay people often mean top when they mean bottom and bottom when they mean top because these two points are confused.

    The point is the lock should connect at the bottom third of the lock and nowhere near the pivot mid line or top. "

    And here are some other comments from me and my opinion.

    For those like me that like the theory

    A recent few posts I did regarding frame locks, but many of the same principles apply to liner locks geometry.

    "There are a few things I want to cover, based on my talking with custom makers and reading Bob Terzuola's book: The Tactical Folding Knife (hereafter BT), where he explains in detail the aspects of a good liner lock and the same principles are applied to framelocks.

    Three points of contact:
    1. Stop pin
    2. Pivot pin
    3. Interface between blade and spring (ie, lockface/lock engagement area hereafter referred to LF) Spring is also the liner lock, framelock.

    This forms a triangle.

    Now, the LF is the area let’s focus on first.

    BT. refers to the angle of the lock face to be between 7.5 and 8.5 degrees. Les then 5 degrees and the spring will jam. More than 10 degrees and the spring will start slipping off the LF.

    Now the start of a radius lock face, the maximum therefore cannot exceed 10 degrees or else the lock will start slipping when the lock wears to that point. As mentioned as lock rock in the video when referring to the Strider (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUoVPLirWg8)


    Do not thing the angle plays the only role in the lock slipping. The finished LF can have a rough spot, not be polished enough, the spring's interface between the LF can also play a role.

    Let us examine this from the Emerson website.


    If the LF connected to the spring more in the middle or at the top of the spring where the detent is on most (point nr 3 closer to the pivot pin nr 2) then you would experience blade roll. This is when you have vertical type play but what happens is the blade actually rolls on the spring because the spring connects in the wrong place with the LF.

    The picture shows the extremes of the different designs; you can have a lock that engages more than the bottom 0.90-.125" of the spring. Chris Reeve has proven this, but, you can also have a knife that engages only on that bottom 0.90" (point of contact in the picture)
  4. marthinus


    Dec 10, 2006
    Not every lock is the same. The basic ingredients are the same, but the final application is what the maker chooses. This can be seen even with Spyderco difference between the Military and the Gayle Bradly.

    Now that is just the geometry of the lock.

    The spring itself if it is Titanium can be heat treated or carbonized. Strider and Hinderer do the latter. This helps tremendously with wear on titanium and if done right will last you a life time. CRK and a few custom makers that I have do Heat Treating of the lock. Wear is about nun and equal to (if) steel was used.

    HOWEVER. Titanium is NOT PERFECT and it can have flaws in it when received from the supplier. EVEN aerospace titanium (grade 5 titanium). These flaws only become apparent when it is used and is sometimes not even noticeable until it begins to form a problem. This is where a good warranty comes into play.

    Steel used as a liner is not always the answer as well. Different steel interfaces can result in slipping. Steel on steel requires a lot of research to find what can be used and heat treated as a spring and still provide excellent wear resistance and safety.

    Finally, lockup percentage is a strange thing and depends on the final user. I prefer later lockup as it usually means less chance of slipping off the LF.

    I hope this helped you in some way."

    At the end, if you either use Ti or Steel, the LF geometry is key.

    I have Ti lock custom that I have flicked vigorously, the maker asked me to test the lock face.

    BT also writes in his book there is no significance between steel and Ti if done right. A Sebenza will wear for a while and then stop. Most quality locks do this. Chris Reeve also wants a later lockup as he feels it provides a safer lock and less chance of slipping. I tend to agree. Besides. If any quality product wears out so fast, they should cover it under warranty.

    I have seen a 18 year old Sebenza. No issues. I have a Military with the steel insert. No issues. Both locks apply different end results, but the basics are the same resulting in great locks that can last you a live time.

    BT also feels that the strength to weight ratio of Titanium is excellent compared to steel.

  5. marthinus


    Dec 10, 2006
    Some imagery
    Comments from well-known custom maker Des Horn
    Now, there is also been some good testing and evaluation done by Kyle Harris (cKc Knives) from new Zealand discussing blade play vs lock security. In short, though we think blade play is bad, making a truly dependable lock in the framelock/linerlock conversion requires some blade play.
    Have a look at these videos:


    You can see from the videos that even with blade play a lock can still be very secure, very reliable and would require the entire lock to self-destruct in order to disengage.

    Real interesting comments from Gavkoo on the folder of Kyle and what makers such as Bob Terzuola said about bladeplay being a thread for the specific market, yet there is nothing wrong with the design.

    People presume that blade play is bad, but not for a reliable lock. I would venture and say that the Victorinox soldier will only fail if there is a catastrophic failure of nature, same as the Tri-Ad. Under static load, the soldier might even surprise the best of us.

    Interesting thing on how durable a liner can be:

    I hope this can be useful and educational to some. I know I went a bit of topic... from steel vs Ti, but you have to look at it as a whole in my opinion :)

    One of the best ways I have seen to test a liner/framelock for any issues is to do the following (this was posted back in 2007):


    Umnumzaan design:

    The ceramic ball lockup is supposed to look late, but in in reality is not.

  6. marthinus


    Dec 10, 2006
    "Those who have followed the nearly 25 years that the Sebenza has been around know we continually make small improvements, alterations, advances to our knives. None of these changes are made to follow a trend, to keep up with the Jones or to tick off our customers. They are done to improve performance, safety or production. That we make a change to the Umnumzaan should not come as a surprise.

    The disc has been added to the Umnumzaan to prevent the reduction of tension on the lock. Because the shape of the Umnumzaan handle is a little different than that of the Sebenza, it takes a different technique to open and close. We have found some customers are not willing to learn the difference or perhaps they don’t recognize the difference but, whatever the reason, they think it is necessary to modify the lock tension, thinking the knife will open more easily. This simply makes the knife unsafe. We have had several Umnumzaans returned to us because of lock issues – almost always the customer denies having modified the lock. We can see what has been done, and are put between a rock and a hard place as we don’t want to call out the customer for not telling the truth. The disc is a solution to prevent potentially unsafe modifications.

    Please note this disc is not a lock stabilizer as it has been called in some posts. It is simply in place to prevent the lock bar from being pushed out to reduce tension. Our locks are fitted properly to very close tolerances and do not need to be stabilized. And to save further speculation, the disc is press fit into the handle. It is made of 303 stainless steel, and is sandblasted along with the rest of the handle. Because it is not titanium, the sandblasted finish looks different.

    Will it change further? Quite possibly. What might these changes be? No idea at this time.

    It will be a while before you see Umnumzaans other than the Wilson Startac with this disc. This has to do with our on-hand inventory of machined handles.

    We are not planning to add the lock override protection disc to the Sebenza. We do not have the issue of lock modification by customers to the same degree as we do with the Umnumzaan.

    Before the question is asked here is a quick reminder of the difference in how to open an Umnumzaan and a Sebenza.
    Umnumzaan: slide your thumb straight forward, parallel with the handle, pushing the lug with the top center of your thumb.
    Sebenza: push the lug out sideways in a sweeping motion with the side of your thumb.

    Since there has been renewed discussion about Idaho Made in this thread, you might find it interesting to note that since March this year, the value of our back orders has almost quadrupled. This would indicate there are not too many concerns about the Idaho Made marking.

    We appreciate your loyalty and enthusiastic conversation. We know we can't please all of the people all of the time!



    further searches:



    And then the cherry on the cake from the thread: Some Words from Chris http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/730951-Some-words-from-Chris......

    "The lock should engage at between 50% and 75% of travel. With the Umnumzaan, because the interface between the blade and the lock bar is a ceramic ball, it is the ball that must be at 50 – 75%. This will give the visual that the lock bar is further over than with a Sebenza."

    I have yet to hear of a single lock with the ceramic ball interface that gives any problems. Since the release of the Umnumzaan, despite people complaints of it being "late" no one has had one wear out, disengage or develop any "sticky" lock. There has been only reports of people overextending the lock resulting in problems and from there the CR over extension tab/disc or whatever was applied.

    So, in short. Dont mess with what works and use it. Also, a very important thing is maintenance. Maintenance of your knife for good, reliable and safe locking engagement is important.
  7. marthinus


    Dec 10, 2006
    Added from:


    Michael Walker's invention and development of the LinerlockTM

    by Bernard Levine (c)1997 - for Knives Illustrated

    The "Linerlock" knife is now so familiar that it is easy to

    forget that both the knife and the name are relatively recent

    inventions. Michael Walker made the first modern Linerlock in

    1980, and he registered the name Linerlock as a trademark in

    1989. Since the mid 1980s, dozens of hand knifemakers and factory

    knife manufacturers have made locking liner type knives inspired

    by Walker's designs, although very few of them fully understand

    either the advantages or the limitations of this mechanism. The

    best way to understand the Linerlock is to look back at how

    Walker developed it.


    Mike Walker began to make knives early in 1980. One of his

    first customers was a collector and dealer in Red River, New

    Mexico, named Don Buchanan. Mike made ten fixed blade knives for

    Buchanan. Don asked Mike for sheaths to go with these knives.

    Mike made those leather scabbards reluctantly, then announced

    that he hated making sheaths. So Don said, "Make folders."

    Mike did. He made slip joints. He made lockbacks like the

    factory folding hunters then on the market. He made mid-locks

    with mechanisms copied from antique folders. But he was not

    satisfied with any of these. Walker envisioned an improved folder

    that would do away with what he saw as the many limitations of

    conventional lockbacks.

    First, he would design a knife that the user could open and

    close safely and easily with one hand, without having to change

    one's grip, or rotate the knife in one's hand.

    Second, his new knife would do away with the sharp "back

    square" of the conventional pocketknife blade. When a

    conventional blade is closed, its back corner sticks out, and can

    snag the user's clothing. In some folders the back square is

    enclosed by extended bolsters, but this can compromise the shape

    of the handle. Mike envisioned changing the basic geometry of the

    folder, in order to eliminate the problem entirely.

    Third, and most subtle, his knife would be self-adjusting

    for wear. Other innovative folders of this period, notably the

    Paul knife by Paul Poehlmann (patented 1976), were very strong

    and very sleek, but they required careful adjustment of set

    screws to keep their blades from working loose.


    Mike was familiar with the old locking liner design patented

    by Watson & Chadwick in 1906 for Cattaraugus. Used first on

    traditional folding hunters, this mechanism became standard on

    electricians' pocketknives, and was also used on Cub Scout

    knives. In this design, the liner projects above the handle, and

    it is split lengthwise, alongside the pivot pin. The side of its

    narrow tip engages the front edge of the tang when the locked

    blade is open.

    Mike noted that only a thin extension of the liner could be

    used as the lock in the Watson & Chadwick design. This was

    because most of the liner had to engage the pivot pin, in order

    to hold the knife together against the tension of the backspring.

    The result is that this type of lock is inherently weak.

    Mike went back to first principles. He realized that if

    spring tension and lock-up could be provided by a liner alone, he

    would be able to dispense with the backspring entirely. With the

    back spring gone, he could then have the end of the liner cut-out

    engage the bottom end of the tang, making for a much stronger and

    more positive lock. Indeed it would be nearly as strong as the

    old Marble's Safety folder (patented in 1902), while dispensing

    with that knife's long, awkward, and fragile fold-up extension

    guard (the folded guard serves as that knife's lock when the

    blade is opened).


    As it worked out, Mike had not anticipated just how strong

    his new lock would be. About 1984 I helped to run side-by-side

    destruction tests of all the types of locking folders available

    at that time. Each test involved securing the handle of the knife

    without blocking the movement of its blade or spring; then

    sliding a one-foot pipe over the open blade (which was oriented

    edge downward), to serve as a lever-arm; and finally hanging

    weights from the free end of the pipe until the lock failed.

    Name-brand conventional factory lockbacks failed at between

    5 and 7 foot pounds (except for one that failed with just the

    weight of the pipe). A Paul button-lock knife proved to be more

    than twice as strong as the best of the conventional lockbacks.

    But a Walker Linerlock was nearly four times as strong as the
  8. marthinus


    Dec 10, 2006
    lockbacks. What's more, when Walker's Locker did finally fail, it

    failed in the open position. Instead of closing suddenly upon

    failure, as all the other knives did, it seized up and became a

    "fixed" blade.


    This strength turned out to be a fringe benefit of Walker's

    self-adjusting design. He based this design upon the simplest of

    all mechanisms, the inclined plane, or wedge. The end of the tang

    is slightly beveled. The end of the liner is not (although it can

    be, as long as the angles do not match). Both parts must be hard.

    When the blade is opened all the way, the liner passes the inner

    edge of the tang, but it is stopped before it passes the outer

    edge. The liner's leading edge bears on the beveled end of the

    tang. If the pivot joint loosens over time, the point of

    engagement of the lock-up moves further along the bevel, so it

    continues to lock up tight.

    In the destruction test, when we applied an extreme load to

    the blade of Walker's Linerlock, the free end of the locking

    liner moved all the way past the end of the tang, and wedged

    itself between the blade and the fixed liner. Mike was later able

    to disassemble and repair this test knife, and today it is

    (almost) as good as new.

    In his first Linerlocks (he was not calling them this yet),

    Walker made the liners out of spring-tempered 440-C blade steel

    (he did, and still does, his own heat treating). The lock-ups

    were not yet the full width of the tang -- Michael changed this

    after the destruction tests, to make his knives even stronger.

    The thick 440-C liners of those early versions applied so

    much spring pressure to the blades that no other mechanism was

    required to retain the blades in the closed position. But when

    Mike began to experiment with lighter gauge liners, he realized

    that a separate element would be needed to perform this function,

    which is performed by the backspring in conventional knives. In

    1984 Mike began to incorporate a ball detent in the frames of his

    Linerlocks, allowing the liner to be dedicated totally to lock-up

    in the open position, while the ball detent held the folded blade



    These new lighter gauge liners were made out of titanium

    alloy. Titanium has many features that make it especially

    suitable for this application.

    - Titanium has a high strength to weight ratio.

    - Titanium has superb spring retention qualities, without the

    necessity of any heat treatment. A titanium spring will recover

    from a severe load that would permanently deform a steel spring

    of the same cross-section.

    - Titanium galls to other metals -- it seizes to them, rather than

    slipping past them, when they are rubbed together under tension.

    This makes titanium useless for moving parts, but ideal for parts

    that are meant to seize, such as the end of a liner engaging the

    end of the tang of a folding knife blade.

    - Titanium can be electrolytically toned to a wide range of

    attractive colors. Michael and Patricia Walker pioneered the

    application of this technique to knives. In fact Patricia Walker

    was the first artist to engrave and anodize titanium, both on her

    husband's knives, and on her own jewelry and artwork.


    Walker's Linerlock mechanism is flexible and forgiving in

    many ways. In the 1980s Mike would go to shows with a box full of

    unfinished blades that he had ground freehand in all sorts of

    shapes. Customers would pick out ones they liked, and Mike would

    then make knives around these blades, without any need for the

    precise patterns that burden the makers of conventional lockbacks

    and slipjoints.

    However, one aspect of the Linerlock is not forgiving at

    all. This is the bevel at the end of the tang, on which the end

    of the locking liner bears. If this angle is too acute, the liner

    will slip and the lock will fail. If the angle is too obtuse, the

    liner will stick, and the blade will be difficult or impossible

    to close.

    Mike emphasizes that there is no single correct angle for

    this bevel, as some writers have mistakenly claimed. Rather it

    must be determined for each knife. The optimal angle is a

    function of the blade and liner materials, of the spring tension

    of the liner, and most important of all of the overall length of

    the knife. The free end of the liner moves in an arc of a circle,

    and the length of the knife determines the radius of this circle.
  9. marthinus


    Dec 10, 2006

    Mike Walker rarely makes Linerlocks any more. He has

    licensed the name, and various aspects of the mechanism

    (including the patented safety latches recently developed jointly

    by Walker and Ron Lake), to a few other makers and manufacturers.

    On his own current knives he uses some of the dozens of other

    locking mechanisms that he has invented over the years.

    Mike is flattered that so many makers and manufacturers use

    his invention, though he is disappointed that most of them fail

    to grasp all the subtleties of the Linerlock mechanism. Because

    of this, most of their knives lack the strength and smoothness of

    Walker's own.

    And Mike is angry at certain pompous Johnny-come-lately

    makers who attempt to claim credit for his inventions and his

    designs. One shameless maker is today receiving royalties for a

    design that Walker created two years before that particular maker

    assembled his first knife. But Mike never patented his original

    mechanism or his early designs, so this sort of copying is now

    water over the dam.

    However Walker's trademark rights are another story. Mike

    lets his lawyers deal with any makers or manufacturers who have

    the temerity to use his "Linerlock" trademark without his formal

    written permission.

    *** END ***

    Some good work was done here to showcase the influence of lockbar cutout placement, however, it should be noted many knife makers etc have discussed this with engineers and in a knife the difference is negligible. If we were building massive structures then the case would be very different.

    Jason Guthrie developed an interesting approach, similar to that of the Umnumzaan but with a tungsten insert.


    Some of the above information has been outdated, moved or deleted with a recent review unfortunately, but the main point is, geometry is key with the interface on blade and lock, and IMO the push/misperception that early lockup gives more wear/life is BS and has resulted in unsafe locks.
  10. ChazzyP

    ChazzyP Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    Just a few quick thoughts:
    >Thanks for all that, Marthinus. Really damn interesting and seems well-informed to say the least. I can't read it all at once as I have to work this week. ;)
    >Are you familiar with the concept of being careful what you wish for, A84? You got all that and more! All good, though.
    >Note to Mods: Please ban the first member who "replies with quote" as that may crash the site.

    Seriously, though, great stuff, M! Thanks again for taking the time to compile all that and making it available.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  11. Anarchy84

    Anarchy84 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 3, 2016
    Edit - Wow Marthinus. Just saw your posts. Will read them tomorrow and respond if necessary. Site unseen I thank you for taking so much time to inform us!

    Just wanted to provide an update in regards to my original question. I contacted two very large knife makers from two different countries who use steel lockbar inserts regularly. They both provided the same answer, essentially. I've paraphrased it below.

    Lockbar inserts were introduced to avoid the friction that comes when a soft metal meets a harder metal (galling). Over time, galling will wear down the softer metal on the lock face and cause the lockbar to travel. This will eventually cause the lock to weaken, or even fail. Titanium is a relatively soft material, Rockwell hardness-wise. It can be in the 40-digits, while modern blade steels push or exceed 60. As the blade is (roughly) 1.5 times harder than the titanium, invariably, the lockface starts to wear (which causes the lockbar to travel). To avoid the lockbar going in further and further as the knife is used, or flipped open over and over, a hardened steel insert takes the place of Titanium on the lockface to reduce galling, and subsequently the rate of wear.

    While the hardened steel lockbar insert is softer than the blade steel, it is harder than the titanium of the frame (and the lockbar). The idea is that the blade won’t get worn out, but eventually the lockbar insert will. It will do so at a much, much slower pace compared to a frame without the lockbar insert. The insert can and will last a lifetime under what most people would consider "normal use". A life of hard use, or tens of thousands of flips, will obviously change this equation, but hardened steel is extremely durable.

    A lockbar insert is also replaceable, so once it gets worn out (which, again, should happen a lot slower than with a straight-up titanium lockface), it can be replaced easily, giving your knife a second chance at life, whereas a titanium lockbar without an insert would need to be replaced entirely once worn down.

    This is what I have been told by the two manufacturers I spoke with. Hope this helps someone other than myself.

    Thanks again for all your input!
  12. meepleup

    meepleup Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017

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