Pocket Knife Lock Types Explained


Pocket knives are small, but can be potentially dangerous too, which is why it is designed with a case – it secures the blade, while it keeps you from accidentally getting hurt or someone near you.

If you are planning to own an everyday carry (EDC) knife, you should continue reading this and learn the different knife lock; where lock plays an important role when choosing the best pocket knife for you.

The Lockback

Lockback is an EDC knife locking mechanism that you will find in most classic folding knives. It is designed with “spine on the spring”; which uses a spring-loaded bar to put pressure against the knife’s blade and keeping the blade locked in both open and closed positions.


  • Has reliable strength
  • Reliably safe
  • The “unlock” button is designed out of the way from your grip, keeping you from getting an accident while disengaging the lock.

The Tension Bar or the Slip Joint

Tension Bar or the Slip Joint EDC knives are the most common knife joint; in fact, you’ll find these in most Swiss Army Knives. These types of knives will require both hands to safely open and close it back to its case. However, slip-joint pocket knives are designed without any locking mechanism; instead, they are designed with a tension bar that securely holds the blade inside its case.


  • The shape of the blade’s base securely fits inside the case, where there is no to less room of loosening.
  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Worth keeping.

The Liner Lock

The liner lock is the most common locking mechanism that you can find in most EDC folding knives today; these are designed with side spring bars that are located on the same side where the edge of the blade is located.

How does it work?

Whenever you close the knife, the side spring holds the blade under tension. However, when the knife is fully opened, the knife’s tension slips the bar inward, which keeps the blade in a firm place; thus, preventing the knife from going back into its case.


  • It allows you to close the knife using one hand without risking getting hurt.
  • The locks are designed for both beginners and professionals.
  • Easy to use.

The Frame Lock

The frame lock mechanism on EDC folding knives has a small handle frame that is designed to slide outward and locks the blade in position when the knife is used. When you try to fold the knife back to its case, the frame lock will securely press the blade, moving the frame section inward.


  • Strong lock-up
  • Can handle heavy-duty tasks without risking any lock problems.
  • It is easy to operate.

Final Thoughts

When choosing a pocket knife, make sure that you know which locking mechanism suits you best. If you are new to this, choose an EDC folding knife that is easy to use but assures you a strong and safe locking mechanism.

If you need additional details on this, visit Wandering Privateer’s website today.


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