Knives Of Alaska’s Friction Locks
Are A Blend Of The Old And New.
We never called them slip joints. We just called them “pocketknives”—simple non-locking folding knives you just threw in your pocket with loose change, and when you wanted to close the blade you simply pushed it forward from the backside, overcoming the backspring and returning it to the handle. Knives of Alaska calls them “friction locks” and they bear no resemblance to the traditional trappers or congress patterns of old. Instead, KoA has served their slip joints up with modern handles and nifty 1-hand blade-opening features.
There are four folders in KoA’s Friction-lock series, all with either drop-point or spear-point blades. Models 400 spear point and Ranger drop point are the larger of the quartet. The Model 400 is 6.20 inches (2.55-inch blade) with a thumb-stud opener, and the Ranger is 6.28 inches (2.32-inch blade) with an ovate-hole opener. The Spike and Rover are smaller versions of their larger siblings, approximately 1 inch smaller in overall length with half-inch shorter blades. Handles are an attractive bright orange- and black-layered Micarta. Like traditional slip joints you won’t find carrying clips on the backs of these knives. They’re meant for dropping in the pocket the old fashioned way.
Knives of Alaska chose to use D2 steel for the blades. This isn’t a true stainless steel but has enough chromium content to make them highly rust resistant, plus you can easily sharpen them on a simple Arkansas stone. Slip joints work fine for peeling, slicing, skinning, and most other daily tasks, but for prying you’re better off with a folder with a blade lock. That said, for everyday chores you’ll find any of KoA’s foursome a welcome addition to your pocket, and their modern styling is a refreshing twist to an old theme!
By Pat Covert
MAKER: Knives of Alaska
3100 Airport Dr.
Denison, TX 75020
Blade Material: D2 carbon steel, Blade Length: Varies by model, Overall Length: Varies by model, Weight: Varies by model, Handle: Orange and black layered Micarta , Carry: Pocket, Price: Large $74.99, small $64.99