View Full Version : Tactical Folder Linerlock Failures

Axel Yup
November 7, 1998, 11:56 PM
Has anyone experienced a lock failure when using a tactical folding knife with a linerlock?

Linerlocks seem to be the most popular choice among tactical folders these days. I have a couple of Benchmade AFCKs and a custom made Crawford Kasper Fighting Folder which sport linerlocks. I also had a training knife made for the Crawford KFF. The trainer is similar to the trainer that Ernest Emerson made for his Raven model. I have been using the dull and blunt trainer on my heavy bag and training dummy for about five months now. I didn't have any problem with the lock disengaging until recently. Now when I perform a strong thrust to the heavy bag it is relatively easy to cause the linerlock to disengage. Obviously this would be most unwelcome in an actual defensive situation. It has made me question whether a linerlock is the best locking system for a tactical knife or that it is all that durable.

Does anyone out there do actual impact training with their linerlock knives?

Axel Yup

Rich Lucibella
November 8, 1998, 09:12 AM
I've been able to defeat 3 large AFCK's from the Gunsite Custom shop. Returned one and gave two others away (with full disclosure). I know they're real popular but i have no use for them.

I'm surprised to hear about the problem with Emerson designs as his reputation is outstanding. However, it's my belief that Mr. Murphy lives in the pocket with your "tactical" folder...all it takes is a bit of dirt, lint or grit and you're in a world of hurt on the first thrust. I know of no trainers who recommend thrusts with folders. For this reason, I've move to small-medium fixed blades.
Folder locking recomendations: Crawford's Spine Lock; Chris Reeve's Sebenza integral lock; Gerber's Applegate/Fairbairn dual lock (though I'm not impressed with the knife as a whole).

[This message has been edited by Rich Lucibella (edited 11-08-98).]

Axel Yup
November 8, 1998, 03:22 PM

The trainer wasn't an Emerson. It was a Crawford. I don't question the workmanship just the linerlock concept.

The thing that drew me to the Kasper Fighting Folder was the deep finger groove which lends itself to strong thrusting. Unfortunately, the locking system may not be up to the challenge. I am looking into a small fixed blade knife like the MOD Razorback or the Polkowski Kasper Companion. The problem there is that I won't be as likely to take it everywhere and I also question the legality of carrying it concealed in Maryland.

I'm also not that crazy about the Coverts design. The finger grooves don't look that secure. The REKAT Rolling lock is touted as being extremely secure and strong. However, the Pocket Hobbit is designed for reverse grip use and for carrying in a Kydex belt sheath. If the Crawford KFF had one these locking systems, then I would have no qualms about thrusting.


Rich Lucibella
November 9, 1998, 10:44 AM
Obviously, I didn't read your post carefully, or I'd have seen that you referenced an Emerson-*like* design. Sorry.

Regarding the concealed fixed blade, I agree: legality must be a consideration. I'm dressed casual most of the time, and carry a fixed blade openly. I don't find that I get too many weird looks. I'm not recommending this for all people in all jurisdictions; but, for me, it resolves the issue of folder failures.

Again, I highly recommend the Sebenza, if your heart is set on thrusting with a folder. Not cheap, but then, neither are your digits. YMMV.

Axel Yup
November 9, 1998, 06:43 PM

The Sebenza looks to have a secure locking system and I hear that it is extremely well made. However, it doesn't look to have a very deep finger groove. I think that I would have some concerns about my hand sliding up the blade, especially if I were using a natural grip.
I'm considering giving the Pocket Hobbit a try. Does anyone on the forum have one? I wonder how well it works in the forward grip. I'd also be more inclined to carrying a folder openly on my belt than a fixed blade. I wonder if it's small enough to fit in my Aker in the pocket knife holster.


Rich Lucibella
November 10, 1998, 12:18 AM
You might try our sister site, http://www.bladeforums.com . Real good group. Tell 'em we sent you.

November 12, 1998, 10:35 PM

The combination of the Sebenza liner-lock serrations and grip-panel cut-out combined with the blade-top thumb-serrations are the most ergonomically correct design for gripping and holding a folder by a human hand that I've yet to see. Additionally, a tight hold serves to reinforce the lock. If you hold the knife correctly, it will stay in your hand, assuming of course that you're thrusting at a medium that is appropriate for a folder and not more so for a Zulu Asagei(sp?) short spear. I used mine to chop, gouge and split some 2-inch sugar cane stalks today, without any indication of failure on its part, or concern of such on my part.

[This message has been edited by Mykl (edited 11-12-98).]