The Age-Old Pocketknife Making A Strong Comeback
Folding knives have undergone a technology boom in the past 15 years with much of the attention being focused on the latest, greatest locking mechanism. Yet one of the more interesting trends in the cutlery industry today, is the resurgence of “slip-joint” folders. In substantiation of the adage, “what is old is new again,” the old-fashioned 2-handed folder is making a comeback as traditional manufacturers and custom knifemakers are experiencing a revival period, while those making hi-tech folders grapple with stricter knife laws at home and abroad.
The technology behind the slip joint is simple: the blade has a short, notched tang that cams against a backspring and once it overcomes the mid-point, the spring tension snaps the blade into the open position, holding it into place with spring pressure. To close the blade you simply reverse the action and allow the spring to snap the blade back into the handle.
Slip-joint sales slipped when the tactical folder took the cutlery world by storm in the mid-1990s, bringing with it the advent of the modern day Michael Walker-designed liner lock and other locking mechanisms that followed. The mindset became all blades should have locks, yet the reasoning for that is subjective.
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By Pat Covert