Frame Lock vs. Liner Lock: and the Different Types of Folding Knives

frame lock vs liner lock

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There are many various types of folding knives on the market and deciding which one is best for you might be tough. In this article, we will go through the many varieties of folding knives and what they are best suited for.

We will also explain how to select the best folding knife for your needs. So, whether you are a novice or a seasoned knife collector, keep reading to discover more about folding knives.

According to some experts, the first folding knives originated in ancient Rome. Despite their greater purchasing price and lower durability, folding knives gained popularity fast. These blades became small enough to carry without the risk of injury.

Folding knives are now available in a wide range of shapes and sizes to meet a wide range of needs and usage patterns. Let’s take a deeper look at the many varieties of folding knives and learn about their advantages and disadvantages.

Knives that Fold Automatically

folding knife

These folding knives are opened by pressing a button. A thumb stud or flipper opens the blade. They all feature an internal mechanism that opens the folding knives. This happens when pressure is applied to the stud. Some even include springs that release when a button is pressed to expel the folding knife’s blade.

These folding knives can be manually or automatically operated. Automatic folding knives will not need gravity or any physical force to open, such as wrist flipping. Instead of flipping out like normal folding pocket knives, they feature spring-loaded systems. These deploy their folding blades with the touch of a button. This happens on the top of each handle side or by a sliding lever.

Automatic folding knives are prohibited in several Australian jurisdictions. You should do your homework before acquiring one.

Folding knife mechanisms exist in a variety of forms and sizes, as well as a wide range of pricing. There is no definite answer for which automatic folding knife is the best for you. It all depends on what you want in a blade. If you enjoy camping and trekking, you will want an automatic folding knife with sturdy construction.

If you are looking for something compact and unobtrusive that you can easily carry around, there are lots of smaller alternatives.

Before making your purchase, keep the legislation about automatic folding knives in mind. They are forbidden in several Australian jurisdictions.

Before you buy, do your homework and make sure you know what folding knife is best for you.

Button Lock Automatic Knife Mechanism

It is one type of automatic folding knife mechanism. A button lock automatic knife features a tiny, round button near the handle on the knife spine. You must push this button for the knife to open and close when folded. A spring-loaded locking bar will keep the blade in position until you press it down with your thumb.

Frame Lock vs Liner Lock: The Better Choice

Automatic Knife Mechanism with Liner Lock

Liner locks are like button locks. Instead of buttons on their spines at the handle region, these folding knives have liners down each side. These must be depressed for the knife to close and open. Liner lock folding knives are often designed with a stronger locking mechanism than button lock ones.

Automatic Knife Mechanism with Frame Lock

A solid piece of metal acts as the “frame” into which the blade is placed in frame lock folding knives. There is also a firing button and a spring-loaded lever. This will open the blade of the folding knife. Frame locks shut automatically when released. Liner locks remain open until manually closed by pushing the liner lock buttons again.

Automatic Knife Slide Lock Mechanism

Slide lock folding knives are the most basic of all folding knife systems. All that is needed to open and close the blade is a simple “slide” movement that may be performed with either the thumb or the finger. 

This style of folding knife locks in position when the blade is completely opened. So make sure you are mindful of your surroundings before deploying them to avoid any mishaps. 

These folding knives’ blades are often made of lower-quality materials. But they provide adequate strength and durability for EDC (Everyday Carry) uses.

Auto Knife Mechanism on the Front (OTF)

Folding knives with out-of-the-front auto mechanics are among the most deadly. The blades extend and retract like switchblades. But they do not need spring help for deployment. OTF autos’ blades are often crafted of high-quality materials. 

These include things like titanium or stainless steel alloys. This makes them one of the more costly types of folding knives available.

What is the distinction between automatic and pocket knives?

Knives that fold automatically

Automatic knives are the same as pocket knives. But not all pocket knives will be automatic. Pocket knives can be any type of folding knife. Automatic knives use unique mechanics to open the blade.

Knives that fold normally

These are knives that either lack or have a very restricted mechanism for deploying the blade. This knife is usually opened with both hands. The most significant advantage of such a knife is that it is legal in all states to own and use for their intended purpose. 


multitool pocket knife

These are versatile instruments used for a variety of purposes. It is like a little tool kit that fits in your pocket. This useful collection includes several devices and equipment. These work for hiking, camping, hunting, hiking, and more. Multi-tools typically include blades, scissors, files, a folding knife, and pliers. 

Fixed vs. Folding Blade

Some people may feel unsatisfied with the performance of a folding knife. They may even complain about the blade’s poor quality and try to make a return.

The difficulty here is that each knife design has a distinct purpose and application. 

A folding knife is a short tang knife. This attaches to the handle via a pivot. This will allow the blade to fold into the handle. Because of this, any extra cutting pressure will be transmitted to the pivot and the handle. 

As a result, certain folding knives are not suitable for heavy-duty operations. Nonetheless, their design provides convenience and adaptability.

A fixed blade knife does not fold and has a tang that extends through the handle. As a result, it can endure greater pressure without breaking. That is why they are used for more difficult jobs such as cutting wood.

Why Should You Always Carry A Pocketknife?

A pocket knife has several advantages that make it ideal for everyday usage. This section explains why you should always have a pocket knife with you. So here is what you should know:

Useful And Practical

The capacity of the knives to cut is what makes them handy for everyday carry. You may not know it, but there will always be an occasion in your everyday routine where you will need a sharp tool to slice anything.

Several everyday applications will need the use of a knife. Carrying a pocket knife will simplify your life and help you to complete routine activities.

Convenience and ease

If you are going camping, you could consider bringing a variety of equipment for specific tasks. You might bring a boxcutter, scissors, and other such equipment with you. These extras will add weight to your backpack and fatigue you.

You can handle many of your everyday duties with a basic pocket knife. It will give a quick answer to your difficulties no matter where you are.

In Case of Emergency

There may be instances when you or others find themselves in a tough circumstance. In the event of a vehicle accident, for example, you may use a knife to cut through the seat belt to aid liberate someone. If you find someone hurt, you may use your knife to cut fabric to cover a wound.


A knife might work as a weapon in certain situations. You may come into contact with animals or even humans that wish to harm you. A pocket knife would come in handy in such instances. Flashing your blade may dissuade intruders.

Carrying a knife may not keep you safe, but it will defend you from any possible threat. Please know the use of a knife for violence is not condoned. In a risky scenario, it is wiser to be careful and take precautions.

We hope this post has taught you about the many varieties of folding knives. We also hoped to have shed light upon the differences between frame locks and liner locks.

Whether it is for personal or business use, having an informed view will make the decision much simpler.


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