What Are Types of Pocket Knife Opening Mechanisms

Whether investing in a pocket knife or a multi-blade knife, it is vital to know about the lock opening mechanisms. There are a wide variety of lock opening mechanisms, such as manual opening, spring-assisted, thumb stud, switchblade, thumb hole, and many more. 

All the types of pocket knife opening mechanisms work in different ways. For instance, some knives with manual mechanisms can be opened and closed manually, while switchblades have an automatic mechanism. In this article, let’s learn about the most popular types of pocket knife opening mechanisms and how they work. 

Manual Folding Knife Mechanism 

folding knives

One of the most common types of knife opening mechanisms is manual folding knives, which depend on a simple mechanism for safe and controlled operation. The knife blade and handle are the primary components, and the pivot point is where the blade attaches to the handle so it rotates smoothly.

If you want to deploy the blade, you need to manually apply pressure to the blade. After the blade is completely extended, a locking mechanism keeps it in place to stop accidental closure during use. To close the knife, you can fold the blade back into the handle. 

Spring-Assisted Knife Mechanism 

a folding knife in a hand

A spring-assisted knife, also known as an assisted-opening knife, comes with a spring mechanism in order to deploy the blade easily. 

One important thing to note is that spring-assisted knives are known for their quick deployment. Even for spring-assisted knives, there is a handle, blade, pivot point, and spring lock. 

A hidden coil spring will be inside the handle that is attached to the blade tang. In order to open the blade, you need to partially push the button or lever. The spring mechanism then kicks in and releases the blade to its fully open position. 

Switchblade Mechanism 

Switchblade knife

A switchblade or an automatic knife is popular for having a unique locking and opening mechanism. These knives feature a robust spring present within the handle. When you activate the opening mechanism by pushing the button or switch, the spring will be released.

When the spring is released, it puts pressure on the blade and will deploy from the handle. When the switchblade is in use, the locking mechanism will prevent the blade from closing down accidentally. You can simply press the button or switch to close the blade.

Thumb Stud Mechanism 

Knife Thumb Stud Mechanism

A thumb stud is a tiny knob that is connected to the blade near the pivot point. In order to release the blade, you should put your thumb on the stud and put pressure in a direction that is perpendicular to the closed position of the blade. Due to this action, it rotates the blade outward from the handle.

When the force is exerted on the thumb stud, the blade turns around the pivot point and will extend from the handle. The thumb stud mechanism allows for one-handed operation. There are also knives that come with dual thumb studs which are usually threaded jointly via the blade’s hole to make sure it remains in its place. 

Thumb Disk Mechanism 

Knife Thumb Disk Mechanism

As for the thumb disk mechanism, it is a small, circular plate that is attached to the blade close to the pivot point of the knife. You can apply pressure on the thumb disk at the side to initiate the opening action. Make sure to exert pressure in the upright direction to the closed position of the blade. 

Because of this pressure, the blade will be released and become fully open. The internal locking mechanism makes sure that the blade does not close accidentally while you are using it. 

Thumb Hole Mechanism 

Knife Thumb Hole Mechanism

Another locking mechanism that works on the same principle as thumb studs and thumb disks are thumb hole mechanism. In the thumb hole mechanism knives, there will be a small, round hole that will be located near the spine of the blade. These holes are typically rounds, ovals, rounded triangles, or mini holes with abnormal notches. 

You have to put your thumb into the hole and exert a significant amount of pressure to rotate the blade outward from the handle. Due to the force, the folded blade will be released. Depending on the brand, the size and shape of the thumb hole will vary, and they are also a major factor that determines the ease of deployment.

Flipper Mechanism 

Knife Flipper Mechanism

The flipper mechanism contains a tiny protrusion, often shaped like a tab or lever, that is located on the spine of the blade near the pivot point. You have to exert pressure on the flipper, and the blade will be released. The pressure creates a lever effect so the blade can move out of the handle and extend fully.

Nail Nick Mechanism 

Knife Nail Nick Mechanism

In traditional slip joint and pocket knives, a nail nick mechanism is commonly used. It has a small notch or groove cut at the end of the blade. You should put your thumb or fingernail into the notch and put pressure upwards to deploy the blade out of the handle.

Button Mechanism 

Knife Button Mechanism

One of the unique knife opening mechanisms is the button mechanism which is found in push button automatic knives. These knives come with a spring-loaded plunge button that is located at the top of the handle. When the button is pressed, the blade will spring out to its open position. 

Wave Mechanism 

Knife Wave Mechanism

The wave mechanism comes with a tiny protrusion or hook on the blade. This hook will catch on the edge of your pocket fabric when you remove the knife from your pocket. As the knife is pulled outward, the fabric tension causes the hook to engage and rotate, and the blade opens instantly.

Wrapping Up 

There are various types of pocket knife opening mechanisms, and understanding how each blade mechanism works will make it easier to buy the right knife model. Make sure to consider the safety and ease of use of the mechanism before buying the knife.

Volken is one of the most reliable manufacturers and global suppliers of a wide variety of knives with robust locking mechanisms. In order to order high-end knives, contact Volken today and get instant quotes. 

We are ready to help at any stage of your OEM knife project.

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