What happened to the venerable and undersung Compression Lock?!

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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spoonrobot
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Postby spoonrobot » Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:06 am

ace wrote: So I don't think its inherantly safer on the close. It gets back to a common theme with the compression lock and the Para--you have to learn how to use it, whereas liner locks can be used from minute one. I think its a cool lock, I just think it will never be wildly popular due to this requirement to figure out how it works.
You have to learn how to use any lock, there isn't a natural inclination to close a lock. Some are more intuitive than others but they all have a learning curve. Liner locks are just more common so most are more proficient, they aren't any easier to figure out. The way to close the compression lock is like so; no fingers in the way.

Image
Image

You can close a liner lock similar to how you close the compression lock and it's just as hazardous.

Image

A liner lock cannot be closed without putting the fingers in the closing arc, a compression lock can. It's not an opinion, it's just a fact.
While it may be true that the compression is technically more fail proof, there are almost no circumstances in which most or any user would be able to put enough torque on the liner lock to make it buckel. Though this has, and does happen, the vast, vast majority of users would never encounter any failing from a liner lock. Then it gets back to ease of use and desire to have a knife that is intuative and makes sense for right handed users--the majority of users.
I have owned liner-locks that require only moderate lateral hand pressure to release the lock. STR has a post showing this, I'll try to find it. Liner locking accidental release is a very real issue, like most lock failure I would say the vast majority of users will never see it happen but it does seem to occur with greater frequency than any other lock. Is this due to commonality or weakness in the design? I don't know but I do feel the latter is a big factor. I find the compression lock very intuitive and the added safety factor and additional strength surpass any such claims of a lack of intuitiveness or difficulty of use.

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good points

Postby ace » Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:36 am

Spoonrobot thanks for the pics too--they really show the closures well. I played further with a few knives--the Para again and my Sage and I think there is no more safety in a compression lock closure for one main reason: you are corect that technically the fingers don't have to get in the way with a compresion lock, while they do for the liner. BUT, liner locks are always unlocked in the inverted position and all you have to do is push it a slight bit to unlock with the index finger. There is never a fast automatic closing of the blade becsue it is on its back and fingers are logically made ready to move before continuing with the close. The compresion is the opposite: It must be closed in the upright position becasue you have to rely on gravity to do the close. It is a very quick blade and one must still get fingers out of the way--but you must do this very quickly before the blade swings down. Bottom line is there is more control over the liner closure as gravity is keeping the blade pushed towrds the open position. Yes the compression could be closed from either the upright or straight up position as well, but if a finger was in the way of the common flip closure used with compresion locks, it would get cut. I know this is way too much analysis but I think its a decent point. I like your points on the potential for liner lock failure. P.S. the Benchmade NAK LOK that I mentioned in a previous post (I don't love the lock but just mentioned it) is one you don't have to learn. It is 100% idiot proof so it can be done.

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Postby spoonrobot » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:03 am

You don't always have to rely on gravity to close the compression lock. You could guide it down with your finger and finish with your thumb. I think we just have a different philosophy on the locks. I never liked flipping my compression folders closed so I never really saw that issue. The pivots on my compression knives are generally tight enough that they will just barely withstand gravity when unlocked. My first folding knives were lock-backs and axis-locks so I have a different unlocking viewpoint.

I do like to flip my lock-backs closed and understand where you're coming from in that respect. Some people would say it's very unsafe, while others would see it as safer that the other options. When something works well it's natural for me to want that process applied to more items. Like H1 steel, although it isn't the best choice for all applications I'd really like to see at least every model in the line-up feature it as an option. :D

The Nak Lock is actually really interesting. If I understand it correctly it is similar in concept to this old Boker model I have that uses a plastic ball to push the liner lock over, keeping the fingers out of the blade path. The Nak Lock appears to be the compression version of that cat-eye lock. I wonder if accidental closure is an issue with the release tab sticking out of the handle?

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Postby Th232 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:55 am

Tacking on to my method of doing it, the thing I like about it is that I've got control from the moment it starts.

Image

Admittedly my fingers can get in the way, as in the bottom left, but I consider the amount of control I have over the blade to be worth it.
Will

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Postby Echo63 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:11 am

in a comic book guy voice - " BEST LOCK EVER"

i love my ATR TI (s30v, TI comp locked :spyder: goodness, whats not to love?)
, but being a lefty, the gunting is my favorite lock ever. (for those of you who dont know, the gunting lock is backwards, and perfect for a lefty)

my perfect knife would be a left handed, compression locked, s30v, spyderco dyad.

i have a mini dyad, and a byrd wings, one halfway between with a compression lock would be great.
power is nothing without control

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Postby sal » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:06 am

Thanx for the kind word Brad, Jeffrey, but "development happens". That's what humans are all about.

Brad, we'll share it with you when we get more of the details engineered. If it's patentable, we'll patent the concept and then share with other knifemakers as we do with our current clocks.

Ace, when the Walker Linerlock first came out (mid '80's) there were similar arguments made to Micheal Walker about the "disadvantages of his new lock". (puttng your finger in the plane of the blade ws one). Bob Terzuola was one of the first custom makers to use the lock. Spyderco was the first company to produce a production folding Linerlock in America. (The Bob T C15).

As with any new lock, there were those that found fault. Time has shown that the Linerlock has a place in the knife industry.

The Compression Lock (circa 2000), the ball bearing lock (circa 2003) and the new "stop-lock" which we're hopong to have in production next year, will also, I believe go through the same criticism. Then the refinement of the concept begins. Many makers and users will find things to improve and they will evolve.

sal

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Postby Zenith » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:24 am

I cant wait to see all the new offerings Spyderco produces. Next year hopefully I can afford to spend more on Spyderco knives that interest me (its hard to be a student you know! :p )

Sal, I appreciate the fact that you are always pushing the bar to the next level, even if it opens you up for some criticism, I admire that.

Are there any plans of putting a compression lock on the Captain? :D Put the captain with some H-1 and some yellow G10 and a lockback = my dream knife! :cool: (or are there no other plans regarding the captain?)
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Postby sal » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:44 am

Hi Zenith.

Thanx foe the kind words.

School first. Knives second.

No plans for the Captain. We do have a new Breeden design "in-the-works" though.

sal

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Blerv
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Postby Blerv » Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:18 am

sal wrote:Hi Zenith.

We do have a new Breeden design "in-the-works" though.

sal
:eek:

*gasp*
:spyder: Blake :spyder:

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A Spydie isn't your until it bites you...

Postby iwolf81 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:01 pm

This has been a very interesting thread to follow, with excellent arguments made for both the pro and con sides of the various lock types. I especially appreciate Sal's participation.

However, another point comes to mind that disregards the lock type: "a Spydie isn't your until it bites you."

I think that you're liable to get cut by any knife, regardless of the lock type, if you're untrained/unfamiliar with it, or simply not paying attention. I've been cut equally by my back-lock, liner-lock and compression-lock Spydies. It usually happens shortly after they're taken out of their boxes. (They're so sharp that I always see blood or tissue before I feel the cut!)

This is a bit embarrassing to admit because I taught Tot'n Chip to countless Boy Scouts. However, I have decades of experience with Swiss Army and fixed-blade knives, yet only a few months of experience with liner-lock and compression-lock knives. It's no wonder I got cut because I've just begun my 'training' with these newer knives.

As with any tool or activity that is potentially dangerous, be it knives, firearms, scuba diving, or whatever, your training will ultimately determine whether you'll be safe or sorry.

Regards,
Ira
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Postby Zenith » Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:04 pm

sal wrote:Hi Zenith.

Thanx foe the kind words.

School first. Knives second.

No plans for the Captain. We do have a new Breeden design "in-the-works" though.

sal
Oooo...That should be good! Cant wait! :D
"If you wish to live and thrive, let the spider run alive"
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Postby Jbgecko13 » Wed May 18, 2011 1:38 pm

Clawhammer wrote:http://www.folders-r-us.org/full_terminology.htm
and Sal's patent pics
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6553672.pdf

I guess the simplest way to explain is that it's got a 'springy' piece of metal that you push to the side to 'jam' the hinge...it's kind of like an upsidedown linerlock...quite clever really...I like how even to this day people keep coming up with new stuff!!!

Anyone please feel free to jump in if I'm wrong... I've never actualy had a comp.lock knife! ;)
I was reading this post when I was looking for the definition of the puzzle lock.

here was what I found.
http://www.google.com/patents?id=fNzHAA ... fe&f=false

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Postby Jbgecko13 » Wed May 18, 2011 1:40 pm

Just to be clear...

My Gunting Matched set should arrive today!!

That should tell you where I stand on which one I want!


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