View Full Version : Is there a practical limit on blade length for liner locking folder?


Kevin Wilkins
01-06-2003, 08:50 AM
Since there seem to be a lot of big folders coming out these days, I wondered if anyone has encountered a blade length limit? By that I mean, how long of a blade is practical and still have a liner lock function reliably?

I have seen one of the Strider AR folders and it worked fine. Examined another monster folder from a very popular maker and it was almost impossible to release the lockbar without using a screwdriver to pry on it...

What have been you guys experiences?

striper28
01-09-2003, 09:09 PM
I think that if the knife is engineered properly there should not be any problems. It also depends on if it is a liner lock or a frame lock.

PeterAtwood
01-10-2003, 09:49 PM
I don't think there's really a limit. The locks are tricky though, and I still don't have them figured out entirely. I wonder if anyone really has? :confused: I think I learn something new with each knife and I hope it stays that way! :)

A lock that needs a screwdriver for disengagement probably has an incorrect geometry or does not have the surfaces of the lockface and blade tang smooth and polished enough. They are hard to get right!

Ray Rogers
01-16-2003, 01:34 PM
I think the key word in your question is 'practical'. I have made folders with 6" blades that have been tested and found to be very strong and yet the lock releases easily enough. BUT, it helps to be a pretty big fellow if you intend to stuff that thing in your pocket!

I have no doubt I could build a folder with a 12" blade that would probably work well but why would I? As the knife gets bigger, the thickness of the lock has to increase to provide sufficient strength to hold the blade firmly. A knife with a 3 foot blade might be able to use a liner of 1/8th" ti plate which, because of the length, could probably still be flexed by hand enough to close the knife. As you said though, that's not practical.

My conclusion then would be that the liner lock folder design is adequate for any size knife you feel you can carry and operate in a real world scenario...

Mick Strider
03-02-2005, 12:47 PM
i don't think there is a blade length limit as far as locking is concerned.

The issue is detent. Its REALLY hard to hold the blade closed when it gets too long. That ball only has so much power.


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Don Robinson
03-02-2005, 08:43 PM
I've seen and read many comments about folding knife strength versus a fixed blade knife.

I'm usually amused by that kind of comparison.

Yes, if you twist a long blade too hard, the pivot and liners will flex due to the leverage involved with a long blade. The longer the blade, the more leverage results.

I, and every other folder maker I know, make folding knives designed to be used as a conveniently carried cutting tool. They aren't designed or made to take the place of a pry bar or screwdriver.

As far as that goes, neither is a fixed blade knife. If it can be used as a pry bar or screwdriver, it's probably too soft to hold an edge.

Kevin Wilkins
03-03-2005, 04:12 PM
Wow, this is an old thread back up there!! After doing a lot of experimenting, I think about a 4.5" blae is the max practical, as Mr. Strider said, the ball dentent won't hold the blade closed for pocket carry... plus they durn things look dorky. The grip / blade scale is wierd. My Ryback Folding Kithen Knife is the biggest folder I make and it's not really suited to "pocket" carry... you can see pics under www.wilkins-knives.com