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Folding Knives Buying Guide and Tips

Folding knives are designed to be handy and convenient to carry. This type of knife is famous for its many uses, including basic cutting, slicing, opening an envelope, and even for self-defense, too. Before buying a folding knife, you should first consider a lot of factors. This includes the size, locking mechanism, steel quality, as well as the blade shape and length.

All folding knives should be able to be in three different positions – open, partially open, and close. In the open position, the knife should be fully open and should not close when in use. When it is partially open, it should be smooth to close or open. But if it is closed, there should be no possibility that it will open automatically especially if it is inside your pocket. Otherwise, it may cause injury. The efficiency of establishing each position highly depends on the performance of the locking mechanism.

History of Folding Knives

Folding knives are not really as old as the standard knives. The rise of manufacturing folding knives was believed to have started in the late 1600s. Later, the design has been improved and became more durable and stylish. Nevertheless, the most famous version of folding knives is probably the Swiss Army knife, which comes with extra tools such as can opener, screwdrivers, and others.

Types of Locking Mechanisms

As mentioned earlier, the locking mechanism of folding knives is a very important aspect. So before you buy a folding knife, you should understand the different types of locking mechanisms. Here are most common ones:

  • Slip-Joint – This type of locking mechanism is most commonly used in traditional pocket knives. A spring is being used to open the knife, which means you need some pressure to close it to make sure that the blade is not exposed. While the spring allows you to close the knife faster, it might also close accidentally while you are using the knife.
  • Lockback – With this type of locking mechanism, a rolling lock plate will hold the blade when you open the knife, making it stable and safe to use. To fold the knife, you should apply some extra pressure on the lock. But in some cases, you need to use both hands before you can close it properly. Opening it with one hand can also be difficult sometimes.
  • Frame Lock – Also called Liner Lock, this type of folding knife offers the same maneuverability of slip-joint knives and the safety principle of lockback knives. And because you can open and close it using one hand only, this type is considered as the most popular choice in recent folding knife manufacturers.

Types of Blade Shapes

Besides the locking mechanism, there are also different shapes of blades you can choose from. Each shape has its own uses and disadvantages. Below are the most popular ones:
Normal Blades – Also called as straight-back, this type of blade is ideal for chopping or slicing objects. It has a curved edge and a non-sharpened flat back, allowing you to apply more pressure on it when in use.

  • Clip Point Blades – With this type, the end of the blade has been cut-out and has a thinner tip as compared to normal blades. The tip is also weaker, but is ideal for piercing deep holes or to cut in hard-to-reach areas.
  • Drop Point Blades – This type has one sharp side only with a subtle curve on top of the blade toward its tip, making it suitable for slicing and cutting. However, the tip is not as sharp as the one found in clip point blades.
  • Sheepsfoot Blades – This type of blade has no tip or point. While it can be a disadvantage, you can be sure that you are safe from accidental stabbing. It has also one sharp straight side only, and the unsharpened side is curved.
  • Spear Point Blades – The blades are symmetrical and the point is aligned with the center line of the blade’s axis. Some designs are single-edged, but most of them are double-edged, which are good for piercing and slicing.
  • Gut hook blades – Featuring a unique the spine has a sharpened semi-circle C-shape edge; this type of blade has a hook, making it ideal for hunting and skinning animals. One obvious disadvantage is that you will find it hard to sharpen the hook.
  • Spey Point – As the name implies, this type of blade is ideal for speying or neutering livestock. It has a sharp, straight edge that curves upwards at the point. However, the tip is not really sharp and therefore not designed for piercing.

There are other types of blades available. However, you cannot find an all-around blade type that you can use for all applications. The best thing that you can do is to choose the one that is most applicable for your needs.

Make sure to check out our wide selection of durable but affordable folding knives!

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