Let’s talk about the frame lock, one of the most enduring locks on the market. From historic, iconic knives to new innovators, we’re going to take a look at seven of our favorite frame lock designs which you can find at the KnifeCenter.
Also known as the Integral Lock, the frame lock functions similarly to a liner lock, but instead of a thin liner that holds the blade open, the entire thickness of the frame becomes a lockbar. This makes a secure system that only gets better when you grip harder.
The Chris Reeve Sebenza
The first knife we’ll be looking at is a no-brainer. No list of frame locks would be complete without the Chris Reeve Sebenza.
Not only is Reeve the inventor of the frame lock, but he has also dominated the genre for years. Originally developed in 1987, the Sebenza is still the standard by which all other frame locks are judged. Their fit and finish are impeccable and well known for their “bank vault” solid lockup.
The classic version features this elegant drop point blade with a hollow grind (although you can also get it with a tanto) or their Insingo blade shape, which bears a modified sheepsfoot profile.
The frame on the Sebenza is solid titanium, which carries nice and thin in the pocket. If you want a little more girth, there are versions inlaid with materials like wood or Micarta. Both add extra grip and style, but the ultimate versions feature either or both milled Computer Generated Graphics and Damascus blades.
People keep coming back to the Sebenza for a reason. Tweaked and improved over time, this archetype of the genre has stood the test of time and isn’t going away anytime soon.
Berg Blades Mid-Tech SLiM Folders
The SLiM is the smaller version of the Golem and the perfect size for everyday carry. These production variants from We Knives are stout utility options that strike the perfect balance between brawn and beauty.
Let’s take a look at the Kershaw Bareknuckle, now available over at the Knife Center.
The Bareknuckle, like the Kershaw Natrix, was inspired by the original Zero Tolerance 0777. The Natrix, a well-rounded EDC knife that can tackle just about any everyday task, has been a best-seller here at the KnifeCenter since its introduction. If you liked the Natrix but wished it could be made in America, then the Bareknuckle should be right up your alley. The Bareknuckle takes its cues from that award-winning design and provides a slim profile, excellent materials, and American-made quality.
For starters, the blade uses Sandvik 14C28N steel, a fine-grained stainless alloy that was originally developed for Kershaw, giving the knife excellent performance. Thanks to the modified Wharncliffe blade with its sweeping profile, it is versatile enough to handle almost any cutting task.
The handles on the Bareknuckle can fit a wide range of hand sizes and are made from gray anodized aluminum that gives the knife a very industrial look. It also features Kershaw’s patented Sub-Frame Lock, which gives the security of a frame lock but has the added benefit of cutting down on weight.
This pairs well with the deep-carry pocket clip, making it feel like the knife is barely even there.
Our favorite feature on the knife is the use of the KVT Ball Bearing System. Just a press on the flipper tab and the blade swiftly glides into place, making it ready to rock n’ roll at a moment’s notice. The non-assisted feeling of this buttery smooth flipping action is worth the price of admission.
We love how Kershaw has packed in so many of their innovative features into an American-made package, and this is a great candidate to make part of your EDC rotation. Let us know what you think in the comments below!