What Types Of Locking Mechanisms Are Used In Spyderco Folding Knives?

A locking mechanism is an important part of a folding knife’s design. When it is in use, the blade is closed and locked into place. A locking mechanism ensures this remains locked until needed.

Most folding knives have a tip-up or clip-point style blade. A knife with a tip-up blade can be easily folded in half, like a pancake. This creates twofold usage: One can hold the knife by the point of the blade, or one can fold the knife round to hold it square-ish.

The second usage is to hold the knife against your skin, striking a Burke Effect to open it. This makes sure you are not interrupted during your cut, as if you were holding it with your hand alone would do!

Tip–down blades must be held differently from traditional foldable blades. These must be held like a butterknife, with one end placed onthe ground and the other held above the wound.


The mid-lock design is one of the most popular blade shapes in folding knife circles. It has the option of either a straight or a concave shape. Both have their benefits and drawbacks.

The concave shape offers more Blade Exposure when closed, making it more appealing to knife enthusiasts. The straight blade offers more Overall Strength and Retention, making it better as a daily carry knife.

Both designs are very versatile, allowing you to change the look and feel of your knife instantaneously. Some people prefer one over the other!

In this article, we will discuss some different types of mid-locks and how users can enhance their look and feel with these knives.


While most folding knives have the option to lock up at the front, the rear-lock is a very distinctive feature. This feature allows you to lock the knife back into its closed position.

The rear-lock is a unique property of some Spyderco knives. It works by being able to rotate the knife around its axis. If you push on the knife with your finger, it will rotate. You can then hold onto this new knife with that same finger!

This feature is very useful if you want to practice locks before trying something more serious.


A back-lock is an important feature of most Spyderco knives. It offers some security by ensuring the blade is not deployed if the user drops or transfers the knife.

Toactivatetheback-lock,theblade must first be folded back away from the handle. Then, the user can press the locking button on the blade and it will snap into place. This feature can be useful when playing tennis or similar sports where you need to locked into a court position while serving and receiving.

Some features of the back-lock cannot be switched out so easily and require a bit more effort to achieve. For example, some models have difficulty holding a knife with one hand so require additional support via a thumb print support system.

Liner lock

A liner lock is an easy way to secure a folding knife to a handle. You simply wrap your finger around the side of the knife and then pull up to lock the knife into position.

Liner locks work by forcing you to rotate your blade between an open and closed position. This takes some muscle effort and practice, but it ultimately increases your confidence when using your knife.

This method does have its disadvantages though. Firstly, you have to buy and use the correct lock for yourself. If you can not unlock it, then you must use a different one! Secondly, if you lose this lock, you will need to buy another type of lock in order to carry out changes to your locking mechanism.

Button lock

The most common type of locking mechanism found in folding knives is the button lock. When closed, the pin inside the lock prevents the blade from being opened. When folded, the pin is held in place by a tab inside of the knife.

This type of lock can be very simple to use. All you have to do is twist the knife until it locked into place, and that is it! You can unlock it by twisting and releasing the knife.

Button locks can be problematic if you have an aggressive lock-up style knife. If you do, then you must use a bit more effort to get up and open your knife! The button must be hard enough to stay shut when someone with lots of force pull on it, but it must be used!

Barrel locks are a more complex type of locking mechanism used in folding knives.

Interrupting lock

When confronted with a tough situation, some knife makers resort to the use of a locking mechanism called an interrupting lock. This feature forces the user to decide if the threat is imminent before opening the knife up, or exiting the knife as well.

An interrupting lock can be useful for situations where you need to leave your knife immediately but fear someone may attempt to open your blade. It can also be useful when traveling with your knife, since it can’t be dismantled and discarded unless it is rendered unusable.

There are two main types of interrupting locks: spring-loaded and detentelockstyle. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, so we will not go into great detail about them here.

Shield lock

The middle and most popular locking mechanism used in folding knives is the shield lock. This is a very sturdy and reliable locking mechanism.

Like other pin lock locks, the blade is held in by a spring that pushes against two opposing arms of the blade. When these arms are aligned, they clamp onto one another and transfer pressure to the spine, keeping it locked into its open position.

The problem with this type of lock is that it requires frequent release and re-engagement to unlock, which can be troublesome when trying to get quickly into a knife in an emergency.

Axis lock

The axis lock is one of the oldest types of folding knife locking mechanisms. It was introduced in 1819 and has remained the same ever since.

Like today, when a knife was stored with the blade down, the axis lock would be activated when needed. The blade would then move up and down when pressed, creating a secure grip.

Today, these locks are still used, but they are not made of steel but plastic. This allows them to be more affordable to make than traditional steel knives. They also do not hold as well as steel in such conditions as water resistance or temperature tolerance.

The other problem with steel locks is that they wear away at the metal handle over time due to heat and pressure from a gripping force. This can result in removal of portion of grip or loss of lock.



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