I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

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Evil D
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I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby Evil D » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:37 pm

At least sometimes. In my day to day use I love it and it's not like I do cutting jobs everyday like the one I just did, but when it really comes to doing hard/extended cutting jobs with any compression lock knife, it's always a recipe for hot spots...


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That hot spot on the webbing between my thumb and index finger always forms after a bit of use. The only way I can get around that is by using more of a saber grip with my thumb on the thumb ramp, but sometimes I need a hammer grip. It isn't all the lock's fault, it also has a lot to do with open back/pillar construction, but there's always that spot where the lock cutout is where only half the handle is there to take the pressure of your cut. This is an area where back locks and CBBL's are vastly superior locks.

This is one reason I'm really interested to try out the Rock Jumper, because the back lock will solve this issue for me and if I can get the same performance and ergonomic results from a back lock knife then I'm all over it. I'll miss the drop shutty goodness but I would rather have to fold a blade closed against my thigh than have hot spots.

And before any of you jokers say "get tougher hands", I don't plan on creating a callous just to compensate for a lock design :rolleyes:


How about a back lock, no-choil Shaman that keeps the same rounded handle scales, in LC200N/SE? That would pretty much solve all of my knife issues and answer just about all of my knife wishes. A Shaman with a back lock/full back spacer and rounded handle scales is probably the closest we'll get to a folding fixed blade.
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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby The Meat man » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:46 pm

The compression lock is okay but I very much prefer the CBBL.
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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby JMM » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:08 pm

I understand what you're describing and have experienced it with some models more than others, fortunately I don't experience it with the Shaman, which may be one of the reasons it's my overall favourite knife model... that said, it's at the bottom of my top 3 fave locks

#1 Bolt Lock
#2 CBBL
#3 Compression Lock

:D

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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby curlyhairedboy » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:12 pm

I'd say 90% of my compression lock use is with the thumb on the back of the handle or blade. I can definitely see how the webbing of your hand can get irritated without that bracing.

Get well soon, hand! :)
EDC Rotation: PITS, Shaman, CF S90v Shaman, Ikuchi, Amalgam, CruCarta Shaman, DLC Lil Native, Sage 5 LW, 4V Shaman, Watu, Rex 45 Shaman, Rex 45 Lil Native, Caribbean Sheepsfoot CQI, Waterway, Tanto PM2, CQI Kapara
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Wishlist: Smallfly 2, Pac Salt 2 LC200n, CQI SpyderEdge Caribbean Sheepsfoot, Shaman Sprints!

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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby Evil D » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:13 pm

I wonder if it's possible to make a fully enclosed compression lock with a full back spacer and use the button like the Smock uses? My only concern there would be getting crud inside the handle and potentially blocking the movement of the lock.
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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby curlyhairedboy » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:14 pm

The Yojimbo has one of the smallest cutouts for the lock tab next to the ikuchi or Hanan. Do you think the Yojimbo would give you the same issues?
EDC Rotation: PITS, Shaman, CF S90v Shaman, Ikuchi, Amalgam, CruCarta Shaman, DLC Lil Native, Sage 5 LW, 4V Shaman, Watu, Rex 45 Shaman, Rex 45 Lil Native, Caribbean Sheepsfoot CQI, Waterway, Tanto PM2, CQI Kapara
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Special and Sentimental: Southard, Smallfly G10, Squarehead LW, Ouroboros, Calendar Para 3 LW, 40th Anniversary Native, Calendar Watu
Would like to own again: Currently N/A!
Wishlist: Smallfly 2, Pac Salt 2 LC200n, CQI SpyderEdge Caribbean Sheepsfoot, Shaman Sprints!

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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby Bloke » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:15 pm

D, I’m hearing you and I won’t bang on cause this isn’t the first time I’ve posted the same but it never ceases to amaze me reading how beautifully ergonomic such and such a folder is … how it fits the hand like a glove, etc. etc. while waving it around the lounge room. :rolleyes:

From where I’m standing slab sided, locking folders, particularly with clips, described as ergonomic is a contradiction of terms.

About the only folders I’d consider “ergonomic” would be Case Sod Busters and the like. :)
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Evil D
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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby Evil D » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:16 pm

curlyhairedboy wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:12 pm
I'd say 90% of my compression lock use is with the thumb on the back of the handle or blade. I can definitely see how the webbing of your hand can get irritated without that bracing.

Get well soon, hand! :)


I use the spine of the blade more often than not but when carving hardwood I usually default to a hammer grip.

To be fair I get the same hot spot from a lot of folders, I even got this from the Manix 2 LW but that had more to do with the square handle shape. At some point I do think this is crossing over into "you should be using a fixed blade" territory, but it's still less of an issue with other locks. It's also an issue for me with thinner than average handles, and why I greatly prefer thicker/rounder handle designs.
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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby Wanimator » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:17 pm

Yeah, they could employ the button lock feature on about any design. Risk is the accidental closure from pressing it.

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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby Freediver » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:17 pm

Like a river flows
Surely to the sea
Evil D so it goes
Back locks are meant to be

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Evil D
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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby Evil D » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:18 pm

curlyhairedboy wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:14 pm
The Yojimbo has one of the smallest cutouts for the lock tab next to the ikuchi or Hanan. Do you think the Yojimbo would give you the same issues?


Honestly I don't know if I've ever used a Yojimbo 2 as hard as this but I'll dig one out and see what happens and let ya know.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby curlyhairedboy » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:20 pm

When I'm using the shaman in a hammer grip for really bearing down, I notice that I'm choked up in the choil getting my hand closer to the work, and the web of my hand rests on the fully supported area above the compression lock cutout.
EDC Rotation: PITS, Shaman, CF S90v Shaman, Ikuchi, Amalgam, CruCarta Shaman, DLC Lil Native, Sage 5 LW, 4V Shaman, Watu, Rex 45 Shaman, Rex 45 Lil Native, Caribbean Sheepsfoot CQI, Waterway, Tanto PM2, CQI Kapara
Always in Pocket: Hawkbill Dragonfly 2 H1
Special and Sentimental: Southard, Smallfly G10, Squarehead LW, Ouroboros, Calendar Para 3 LW, 40th Anniversary Native, Calendar Watu
Would like to own again: Currently N/A!
Wishlist: Smallfly 2, Pac Salt 2 LC200n, CQI SpyderEdge Caribbean Sheepsfoot, Shaman Sprints!

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Evil D
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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby Evil D » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:25 pm

Bloke wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:15 pm
D, I’m hearing you and I won’t bang on cause this isn’t the first time I’ve posted the same but it never ceases to amaze me reading how beautifully ergonomic such and such a folder is … how it fits the hand like a glove, etc. etc. while waving it around the lounge room. :rolleyes:

From where I’m standing slab sided, locking folders, particularly with clips, described as ergonomic is a contradiction of terms.

About the only folders I’d consider “ergonomic” would be Case Sod Busters and the like. :)

There are definitely different interpretations as to what "ergonomic" truly means, and as you mentioned there's a stark difference between casual use ergonomics and going out carving up a stick ergonomics. This is why I can't understand why people obsess so much over thin knives when thicker/rounder is so much better in use. I understand the argument that a knife spends more time in your pocket than in your hand, but adding ~4mm to the overall width of the handle just to round out the scales a bit doesn't exactly turn a knife into a brick and the gains in ergonomics are so worth it to me. I think there's a place for both thin and thick handles, but the lack of full figured options is a downer.
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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby prndltech » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:45 pm

I’ve never been a fan of it for this exact reason. I own exactly one PM2... just cuz...
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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby Sumdumguy » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:17 pm

I can see that being an issue.

I'm usually using a saber, Filipino or pinch grip. Not a huge issue on those.

How about a G10 block on the lock bar, that when the blade is opened, fills the cutout and is flush with the scales?

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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby dan31 » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:59 pm

Agree on the pinch grip keeping the hand in good shape. I still think the Stretch is the most comfortable folder for hard work.

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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby Doc Dan » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:06 pm

ROCK JUMPER! Can't wait.
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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby koenigsegg » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:26 pm

The Tropen has the worst ergos of any Spyderco I've ever had because of the compression lock tab and lack of anywhere else to put your thumb
S30V, VG10, M4, XHP, BD1, Maxamet, 204P, H1, K390, A11, Rex45, LC200N, M390, 20CV, BD1N, S45VN

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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby Wartstein » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:34 pm

dan31 wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:59 pm
Agree on the pinch grip keeping the hand in good shape. I still think the Stretch is the most comfortable folder for hard work.

Said it before: For me personally the comp. lock has always been more for smaller, more "office-type" folders (I think I´d love the Sage 5 LW), but not so much for bigger, more "hard use" models. One reason being the one David / Evil D describes (there are more, but that´s another story).

On the Stretch: For me nothing beats a backlock knife in comfort (and generally), due to the smooth, closed back. The backlock-handle-feel is as "fixed bladish" as it gets (no one would design a comfortable fixed blade deliberately with an "open back" = gap on the spine of the handle or a random cutout in the place where a comp.lock tab would sit).

It has been discussed extensively in the dedicated "Military 2" -thread, but Davids findings illustrate just one of the reasons, why a comp. lock Millie (another big "hard use" folder) just for me definitely will not be an improvement over the current, very comfortable both in ergos and in operation great linerlock-model.
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: I'm falling out of love with the Compression Lock

Postby Wartstein » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:50 pm

Generally concerning the comp. lock: For me this is a great, ingenious design, BUT just ONE alternative among the four, main lock types Spyderco offers, which all have their specific pros and cons (comp., back, liner, CBB - lock).

I sometimes get the feeling that people with little real-use-experience (so rather not members of this forum!) reflexively think, a comp.lock knife must be absolutely the best always and for anything, cause they heard "this is just the best and coolest lock, period". While in reality, a comp. lock knife very well MAY be the best choice for a certain person and certain scenarios, but it could as well be a liner-, back-, or CBB-lock knife, if people just tested in real use what works best.

Also, there sometimes seem to be some "myths" out there, that ONLY a comp.lock can do certain things well. It CAN, of course, but other locks as well:
- "Fingers never in the blade path": No problem with backlock or CBBL either (and for me personally not important anyway, especially when a folder has choil or Ricasso);
- "Quick to open close"; Starting from an realistic user grip, all other locktypes (including backlock) can be operated as fast or faster than a comp. lock.
And so on...

Since the "comp.lock vs other locks" -discussions can get heated, as I have learned ;) I want to make clear:
This is NOT a comp.lock bashing (I LIKE that lock type), but I am just trying to put it in a realistic perspective!
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40


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