How to Close a Pocket Knife Five Ways

A pocket knife is a versatile tool with a blade that folds into its handle. You can use it to slice or peel a fruit, open an envelope, scrape surfaces, or cut objects. People also use pocket knives for self-defense. Some pocket knives have more than one cutting edge, and some even have varying tools built into their handles.

Learning how to close a pocket knife is the first thing we tend to do when purchasing or getting one as a gift.

How Do You Close a Pocket Knife to Secure the Blade?

Knives are sharp bladed objects that can pierce the skin and injure a person. As such, these tools require a certain level of cautiousness and a great deal of responsibility.

When dealing with pocket knives, a person must understand all its kinks and quirks, including how to secure its sharp edge. The correct way to close any pocket folding knife is by determining which type of locking mechanism it has. Different models have varying locking mechanisms that dictate how to close a folding knife. It tells you whether you need both hands or if you can operate it with just one hand.

How to Close a Pocket Knife by Type

By the end of this section, you will be able to distinguish between the different types of pocket knives. You will also learn the best and most straightforward steps required to secure their blades safely.

Slip-Joint Knives

A slip-joint knife is the most traditional form of pocket knife. It does not have any locking mechanisms, and it uses a tension bar to hold the blade in both closed and open positions. Extra care is required when handling a slip-joint knife in the open position. Since it is a non-locking knife, any nudge to the spine of its blade can cause it to close and injure your fingers.

To secure the blade of a slip-joint knife, do these steps:

Step #1: Grip the hilt on its sides with your hand. The slot where the blade should go must not be facing your palm, and the tip of the blade should be pointing away from you.

Step #2: Grip the spine of the blade with your other hand. The spine of a blade is the dull edge. However, some knives have sharp edges on both sides, and the only way to hold the blade is by positioning your fingers somewhere in the middle.

Step #3: Push the blade towards the slot slowly. Practice working with two hands until you get used to putting the blade back into the slot. When you’re confident using the knife, you can close it using one hand by doing the first step and pushing the blade’s spine using any hard surface.

Back-Lock Knives

A back-lock knife is one of the styles that began incorporating a locking mechanism. Blades on this type of knife have a notch in their spine. The locking mechanism is a lever with a pivot on the handle somewhere along its length. The butt of the handle has an extended bar that tensions the back lock against the notch on the blade. Many manufacturers discontinued this lock because too much pressure on the handle causes accidental blade release.

To release the blade, you need to depress the opposite end of the back-lock.

Step #1: Grip the spine of the blade using your dominant hand. As soon as you release the blade, it will swing towards its slot in the handle. The blade has to be the first part you grip to secure it as soon as the lock releases it.

Step #2. Nudge the end of the back-lock with your other hand. As you press on the releasing end of the lock, simultaneously grip the handle to secure both the handle and the blade.

Step #3: Close the pocket knife. Push the blade back into its slot carefully.

tips on how to close a pocket knife

Knives With Frame and Line Locks

Knives with handle frames and linear locks are relatively new, and they are storming the knife market with so many options. Line-lock knives have an internal lining of tensioned metal that abuts the blade’s tang. The line-lock slides into place as soon as the blade gets into the open position. Frame-lock knives use a similar concept, but the tensioned metal that keeps the blade in position is integral to the handle frame.

The following steps explain how to close a folding knife with frame locks and line locks:

Step #1: Look for the part of the lock that pushes the blade in place. For liner locks, look for the part of the liner protruding the edges of the hilt. This exposed part of the liner typically keeps the blade secure in the open position. On the other hand, in frame-lock knives, look for a slightly bent, split part of the handle frame that secures the blade.

Step #2: As soon as you figure out the locking mechanism, hold the hilt with the blade spine facing your palm. The knife’s tip should be pointing away from you while its sharp edge is facing you.

Step #3: Position the thumb of your hand that is holding the hilt on the locking mechanism. Press on the part of the liner or frame lock pushing against the tang of the blade. Doing this will release the blade from the open position.

Step #4: Use your other hand to move the blade back into the slot gently. Be sure that the fingers of your hand holding the handle are no longer blocking the blade slot as you put the blade back.

Button-Lock Knives

A button-lock is the typical locking mechanism built into automatic opening knives. However, some manual opening pocket knives also use button locks. Button locking knives have a spring-set plunger that releases the blade from its slot and locks it into the open position.

Freeman 451 button lock flipper as an example

To close button-lock knives, you have to press the same button. Some button-locking knives have button locks that keep the blade in the closed position.

Step #1: Hold the handle properly. Hold the knife handle with your thumb positioned on the button. Fold your fingers so that none are blocking the blade slot.

Step #2: Prepare the knife. Hold the spine of the blade using your other hand to prepare the knife for closing. This step is essential, especially for knives with pivoting blades that move freely as soon as the locking mechanism is released. Your fingers should remain along the dull side of the blade and not anywhere near its sharp edge.

Step #3: Release the locking mechanism. While holding the handle and blade at the same time, depress the lock button with your thumb. As soon as the locking mechanism is released, be cautious of the blade edge while proceeding to the next step.

Step #4: Gently swing the blade back into its slot. Some knives require pressing the button to secure the blade all the way into the slot.

Step #5: Release the lock button to secure the blade into the slot. Since the locking mechanism in some models could prevent the blade from going all the way in. Releasing it also keeps the blade locked into the closed position.

AXIS-Lock Knives

AXIS locks use a tension spring and a pull-back pin to secure a knife blade in place. It is one of the most intuitive locks the manufacturers incorporate into folding knives. The tension spring keeps the blade locked in open and closed positions, and the pull-back pin controls the tension on the spring.

With an AXIS lock, knives can be completely ambidextrous. The lock pin is accessible on either side of the knife handle. To release the lock on the tension spring, pull the pin towards you while holding the knife handle.

Step #1: Hold the knife by its handle without covering the blade slot. Like with the plunger on button-locking knives, position your thumb on the lever pin.

Step #2: Secure the blade by holding it with your other hand. If you haven’t noticed, securing the blade is of paramount importance when closing any knife.

Step #3: When you are ready, pull the lever pin towards you with your thumb. The lever pin decreases the internal spring tension, releasing the blade from a locked open position.

Step 4: Fold the blade. Slowly fold the blade into the handle slot until all its sharp edges are inside the handle.

Step #5: Ensure the blade is secured. Check if the blade is secured, and then release the lever pin.

How Do You Close a Pocket Knife Safely?

Always remember to be responsible and cautious when handling pocket knives.

Pocket knives have to be kept safe at all times, and learning how to close a pocket knife is as important as understanding how to unfold and use it in so many applications. Once you get used to the steps presented here for securing the blade of different pocket knife types, you can move on to learning single-handed operation. Depending on the blade’s pivot stiffness, some pocket knives can be unfolded or closed using just one hand. When handling a knife and another object simultaneously, a knife’s one-hand operation can be very convenient, but it can be more dangerous. Whenever possible, always use both hands when opening or closing a pocket knife.

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