How to Close a Pocket Knife

Opening a pocket knife is usually no problem. With most pocket knives, you just pull on the blade and it opens right up. However, sometimes problems arise when you try to close the pocket knife. This article takes a look at the two of the most common pocket knife locking mechanisms and shows you how to operate both of them.

How to Close a Lockback Knife

Lockback knives have a metal spine on the top of the handle. When a lockback pocket knife is open, the spring bar inside of the knife applies pressure to the spine, and the blade clicks into place. Once a lockback knife is open, it will stay open because the lock bar prevents the blade from pivoting closed.

To close a lockback pocket knife you need to press the spine down to release the lock bar from the blade. For some pocket knives it may be difficult to apply enough pressure to release the lock bar, especially if you have smaller hands.

Once the knife blade is released from the lock bar, the blade is free to swing closed. The blade on a lockback knife will stay closed due to pressure from the spring bar.

How to Close a Liner Lock Knife

Liner lock knives use a piece of metal that bends inwards to lock the blade open. When a liner lock pocket knife is opened, the blade’s liner bends inward to lock the blade in place. Once a liner lock knife is open, it will stay open because the liner prevents the blade from pivoting closed.

Closeup of a liner lock knife

To close a liner lock pocket knife, you need to press the liner toward the side of the handle. It can be tough to apply enough pressure to the liner to close the blade, especially since the liner is a thin piece of metal.

Once the liner is pushed aside, the blade is free to pivot closed. The blade on a good quality liner lock knife will stay closed. However, some older and lower quality liner lock knives have blades that may swing open with little force.

NOTE: Frame Lock Knives are very similar to liner lock knives, except that the locking piece is part of the knife’s handle.

Tips for Closing a Pocket Knife

Knowing the specific method for closing any type of knife is very important. But there are some general guidelines that you should follow when handling any kind of pocket knife. Here are some tips that you can apply to closing any pocket knife:

  • Be familiar with the knife that you are using. When you first acquire a pocket knife, practice opening and closing it. Learn how much force is required to open and close the knife.
  • Don’t rush! Many pocket knife injuries happen when the person is rushing to open or close the knife. Slips and trips happen quickly, and a pocket knife can slice you before you even know it.
  • Keep your fingers clear of the blade. When closing the knife, keep your fingers out of the trajectory of the blade’s closing motion. This can be difficult since some knives’ locking mechanisms are located in the blade’s path. So be sure to unlock the knife and move your fingers out of the way before the blade closes on them.
  • Keep your knife clean and maintained. A clean and well-maintained knife is a safe knife. Keep your knife rust-free and oiled up to ensure smooth, painless operation.
  • Always use two hands. You will have much more control over your knife if you are using two hands to open and close it. Many pocket knife injuries happen when the person is using just one hand to open or close the knife.
Trey

Trey

Trey is an avid outdoorsman and curator of Code:Outdoors. He enjoys discovering new places and learning new skills. He is an Eagle Scout and can be found both car camping and on rugged extended adventures.

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