Frame Lock vs Liner Lock: Which is More Secure?

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

If you have ever purchased an EDC pocket knife, you know there are several types of knives for you to choose from.

And trying to figure out the many differences between these pocket knives can be overwhelming. However, one of the main factors you must consider when purchasing a pocket knife is the locking mechanism.

The locking mechanism determines the deployment rate of any knife. Remember, the faster the deployment rate, the better, especially when looking for a tactical knife. And two of the most reliable locking mechanism include liner and frame locks.

So, let’s dive into this frame lock vs. liner lock debate.

Our favorite liner locking pocket knife is the Kershaw Blur as it comes with a stainless steel liner lock. But if you are looking for a pocket knife that is easy to maintain, you should get a Gerber paraframe. The Gerber Paraframe is one of the most reliable frame lock pocket knives in the market.

Frame Lock vs. Liner Lock Products Reviewed

ProductDetails
1. Kershaw Blur Knife

  • Reversible pocket clip for easy carry
  • Stainless steel liner lock
  • Razor-sharp 3.6 inches long blade
  • Black aluminum handle
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2. Smith and Wesson SWMP4LS

  • It has a liner lock for extra protection
  • MAGIC assisted-opening and finger/flipper actuator
  • A 3.6-inch blade made from 4034 HC steel
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3. Ontario RAT1 Folding Knife

  • A reliable liner locking system
  • A textured handle that is made from nylon-6
  • A removable pocket clip
  • A 3.5-inch long AUS-8 steel blade
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4. Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife

  • Stainless steel handle
  • Easy to use frame locking design
  • Reliable pocket clip
  • Rugged design
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5. CRKT Squid Folding Knife

  • Black stonewash finish
  • Frame lock feature
  • Low-profile pocket clip
  • On-blade friction grooves
  • Limited lifetime warranty
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6. CRKT RASP Pocket Knife

  • Wharncliffe blade style
  • A 3.671-inch AUS-8 steel sharp blade
  • Frame lock
  • Thumb-stud blade deployment
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Reliable pocket clip
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1. Kershaw Blur Knife — Best Liner Lock Knife Overall

Kershaw Blur, Black Serrated (1670BLKST); Folding Knife with All-Black Body, Partially Serrated 3.4” 14C28N Steel Blade, Anodized Aluminum Handle with Trac-Tec Grip, SpeedSafe Opening, Reversible Pocketclip; 3.9 OZ

Kershaw Blur is one of the best liner lock pocket knives in the market, which can surprise you in the outdoors. As a reliable EDC pocket knife, Kershaw Blur features a rust-resistant blade with a high edge-retention level.

Kershaw Blur comes with a reliable stainless steel liner lock that can hold the blade in place when open. The stainless steel locking line helps eliminate any danger that can occur when the knife is opened. This knife has a perfect place thumb stud for ease of opening and accessibility.

Kershaw Blur’s handle is quite grippy, and thanks to its pocket clip, you can take it with you anywhere you go. For such a high-quality and reliable tool, this knife is quite affordable. Weighing about 3.9 ounces, this pocket knife can be quite light for some users.

Specs

  • Reversible pocket clip for easy carry
  • Stainless steel liner lock
  • Razor-sharp 3.6 inches long blade
  • Black aluminum handle

Pros

  • Durable
  • Razor-sharp
  • Easy to use
  • High edge retention rate
  • Rust-resistant
  • Affordable

Cons

  • A tad hefty for some users

Overall rating – 4.8 out of 5

Conclusion

Kershaw Blur knife is a reliable pocket knife that comes razor-sharp, straight out of the box. This ambidextrous blade is ideal for camping, tactical situations, and hunting.

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2. Smith and Wesson SWMP4LS

Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS 8.6in S.S. Assisted Folding Knife with 3.6in Serrated Clip Point Blade and Aluminum Handle for Outdoor Tactical Survival and EDC

The SWMP4LS is a beautifully designed pocket knife that can handle a wide range of tasks, both indoors and outdoors. It has a durable 3.6 inches long 4034 HC carbon stainless steel that has a high edge-retention rate. The blade merges with a grippy aluminum handle with rubber inlays.

For easy access, it comes with a flipper actuator and a convenient pocket clip. And thanks to its unique liner lock, you will never have to worry about the blade slipping while working.

Weighing about 7.9 pounds, this knife can be a tad heavy for some users. This folding knife is ideal for people who love big and bulky pocket knives.

Specs

  • It has a liner lock for extra protection
  • MAGIC assisted-opening and finger/flipper actuator
  • A 3.6-inch blade made from 4034 HC steel

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Razor sharp
  • Durable
  • Rust-resistant
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Can be a bit heavy for some users

Overall rating – 4.5 out of 5

Conclusion

This folding knife is ideal for individuals who love longer and bulky tools that fit perfectly in their hands.

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3. Ontario RAT1 Folding Knife

Limited Edition - Ontario Knife Company Rat-1 8848 FG Folding Knife AUS 8

Ontario RAT1 is a reliable, lightweight folding knife that delivers a sharp 3.5inches long blade that can handle several tasks. The blade is made from AUS-8 stainless steel, and it merges perfectly with the nylon-6 handle.

The nicely textured ergonomic handle is comfortable to use, and it provides a perfect grip. The spine jimping will provide you with a unique level of control that will surprise you.

Its unique design makes it easy for you to clean and maintain it, and this guarantees longevity. The only thing that makes this knife less perfect is that it is not partially serrated. Therefore, it can’t handle sawing tasks.

Specs

  • A reliable liner locking system
  • A textured handle that is made from nylon-6
  • A removable pocket clip
  • A 3.5-inch long AUS-8 steel blade

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable razor-sharp blade
  • It has a removable clip

Cons

  • Not partially serrated

Overall rating – 4.7 out of 5

Conclusion

This uniquely designed budget knife doesn’t perform or feel like one. It has unique features that can match any high-end pocket knife.

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4. Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife — Best Lock Pocket Knife Overall

Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife, Tanto Point, Black [31-001729]

Gerber Paraframe is one of the best budget tools that can surprise you is stressful situations. It is a lightweight and compact tool with a rugged design. Its unique design guarantees quality and durability for continuous high performance and longevity.

This knife comes with a reliable frame lock mechanism that can hold the blade when closed or opened. The Gerber Paraframe mini knife is quite easy to clean and maintain thanks to its unique frame.

For easy carrying, it comes with a unique pocket clip. And with its lightweight, many users have even forgotten that they had a knife in their pockets. It comes with a razor-sharp blade that can be quite challenging to re-sharpen.

Specs

  • Stainless steel handle
  • Easy to use frame locking design
  • Reliable pocket clip
  • Rugged design

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Can be challenging to re-sharpen

Overall rating – 4.6 out of 5

Conclusion

Its lightweight and rugged design makes it an ideal knife for a camping trip. Gerber mini frame can handle a wide range of tasks.

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5. CRKT Squid Folding Knife

CRKT Squid Folding Pocket Knife: Compact EDC Straight Edge Utility Knife with Stainless Steel Blade and Framelock Handle - Black Stonewash 2490KS

This pocket knife is an excellent option for anyone looking for a reliable casual knife to have in the house or carry around. It is as beautiful as it is excellent and easy-to-use.

Its black stonewash finish is stylish and ages well. With the on-blade friction grooves, you are guaranteed maximum control. It comes with a low-profile pocket clip that works perfectly.

Its unique design makes it look and feel safer than other blades. Plus, it is quite easy to use. And its frame locking system ensures that it never closes accidentally when being used. It is a sturdy, affordable, and comfortable pocket knife. However, it can be quite lightweight and small for some users.

Specs

  • Black stonewash finish
  • Frame lock feature
  • Low-profile pocket clip
  • On-blade friction grooves
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Razor-sharp blade

Cons

  • Can be quite small for some users

Overall rating – 4.6 out of 5

Conclusion

The CRKT Squid is a stylish and easy to use pocket knife that can tackle a wide range of tasks.

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6. CRKT RASP Pocket Knife

CRKT RASP Folding Pocket Knife: Plain Edge Folder with Frame Lock, Everyday Carry Folded Knife, Flipper Opening, and Stone Wash Finish 2081

The CRKT RASP is a reliable pocket knife that can handle more than just opening packages. Its Wharncliffe-style blade improves its slicing capabilities; therefore, it can surprise you.

It comes with a 3.671 inches long blade that is made from AUS-8 steel. Its unique handle conforms perfectly to anyone’s hand when being used.

The flipping mechanism can serve as an additional guard when handling tough tasks. And for extra security, it features a frame locking system that holds the blade in place when opened. Its unique stonewash finish gives it an authentic look. However, it can be a tad heavy for some users.

Specs

  • Wharncliffe blade style
  • A 3.671-inch AUS-8 steel sharp blade
  • Frame lock
  • Thumb-stud blade deployment
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Reliable pocket clip

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Razor-sharp blade
  • Durable
  • A reliable blade locking mechanism

Cons

  • Can be a tad heavy for some users

Overall rating – 4.6 out of 5

Conclusion

CRKT RASP has a unique design, and its Wharncliffe-style blade can handle a wide range of tasks.

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How To Choose A Pocket Knife

There are numerous locking mechanisms in the market, but the most common are liner and frame locks. These locks are used in several pocket knives that vary in weight, size, and design. However, choosing the right frame or liner locking pocket knife can be challenging.

Here are some of the factors to consider when buying a frame lock or liner lock pocket knife:

Handle Material

The handle material is a crucial factor to consider when buying a pocket knife, especially when looking for frame lock knives. The strength of the frame lock depends on the thickness and type of material used to build the handle.

Remember, the frame lock mechanism uses part of the handle to hold the blade in place. With liner lock knives, the material used to build the tensioned liner metal is what matters.

Durability

The liner lock is a unique mechanism that uses a side-spring lock to apply tension on the liner bar holding the blade open. This mechanism tends to wear out with time. So, you have to look for a knife whose liner lock is designed using durable materials.

Easy to Clean

The strength of the liner lock depends on the friction between the blade tang and the locking bar. And this can be affected by dirt, over or under lubrication and wear, among other variables. So look for a liner lock pocket knife that is easy to clean.

Purpose Of The Knife

Other than the type and strength of the blade, the use plays a crucial role in the knife you choose. Pocket knives for handling heavy-duty tasks need to be strong and extremely sharp and partially or fully serrated.

Another factor to consider when looking for tools for handling heavy-duty tasks is the locking mechanism. Liner locks are not ideal for knives that handle robust functions since they can snap under extreme pressure.

Frame locks are strong and can provide a perfect lock up for slicing, cutting, and piercing, among other heavy-duty chores.

The Main Difference Between A Frame Lock Vs. A Liner Lock

The main difference between a frame lock vs. liner lock are:

  • Knives with a frame lock use a part of the handle to lock the blade, whereas the ones with liner locks use a tensioned metal liner.
  • The frame lock is known for its thickness and strength, whereas the liner lock uses a thin tensioned liner piece of metal.
  • The frame lock doesn’t allow the knife to have two true handle sides since one side is the locking system, whereas the liner lock has two true handle sides.
  • The frame lock can serve you for a very long time, whereas a liner lock tends to break easily.

Final Thought

The Frame lock vs. liner lock debate can be easily solved by looking at the other features of the knife. However, the final decision still boils down to what you need and the kind of tasks you want to take care of.

Kershaw Blur knife is the best liner pocket knife in the market thanks to its stainless steel liner lock. The stainless steel liner lock can be quite durable and reliable.

However, if you are looking for a pocket knife that is easy to clean and handle, then you should get a Gerber Paraframe pocket knife. Gerber Paraframe is quite easy to maintain.

 

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