BLADE Magazine

How To Close A Pocketknife

There Is No One Way To Close A Pocketknife.

Folders. OTF knives. Switchblades. Fixed Blades. There are so many different types of pocketknives. Each of them opens and closes differently so knowing how to close a pocketknife is important aspect to consider before buying one. 

While it might be basic, we take a look at how to close the most common types of pocketknives on the market today. No matter the blade, it’s important to know how to close them safely, so you keep all your digits.

Frame Lock

A frame lock works by using the pressure of the frame itself to hold the blade in place once it’s open. To close it, you’ll need to gently push that part of the frame outward and away from the bottom of the blade. This will free the steel and allow you to fold it back into the housing.

Liner Lock

The liner lock is one of the most common types of locking mechanisms. While simple and straightforward, doing it too quickly can put your fingers in danger so be careful. As you’ll see in the video below, taking your time makes this one of the easiest things you can do. 

You free the blade by pushing the liner out of the way, but it’s imperative that you move slowly when you start to push the blade down. Too much weight and it’s going right into your thumb.

Slip Joint

The slip joint has no internal locking mechanism. You just open and close the blade by pulling or pushing the blade. Famous slip joint knives include the Swiss Army knife and the Opinel #8. Since there is no locking mechanism, you push the blade down into the handle to close it. 

Some knives, like the #8, have a lock to hold the blade in place while it is open or closed, but it isn’t used during the process of opening or closing the blade.

Lockback Knife

Lockback knives have a small notch toward the back of the spine of the knife. Pressing down on it will release the blade from the locked position. From there, it’s similar to a slip joint in that you’ll need to guide the steel back into the closed position.

Other Types Of Knives

The world of knives stretches far beyond folders. These knives are all closed differently.


It’s not a closing, per se, but many fixed-blade knives come with a sheath or a sheath can be purchased for them. It’s important to keep these blades sheathed for both your safety and the safety and longevity of the knife itself.

Automatic Knives

Automatic knives, or switchblades, are spring-loaded and open via a push button. To close an out the side opener, it operates similarly to a liner lock. You push the tab on the bolster to one side to take the blade out of tension and then fold it back into the housing.

Butterfly Knife/Balisong

The most dramatic knife of them all, closing a butterfly knife is a form of theater. There are many tricks you can do with a balisong but the first two to learn are how to safely open and close it. The flowing movements of the handle and blade are always an entertaining sight, but be careful and remember to never catch it if it falls.

Read More

NEXT STEP: Download Your Free KNIFE GUIDE Issue of BLADE Magazine

BLADE’s annual Knife Guide Issue features the newest knives and sharpeners, plus knife and axe reviews, knife sheaths, kit knives and a Knife Industry Directory.

Get your FREE digital PDF instant download of the annual Knife Guide. No, really! We will email it to you right now when you subscribe to the BLADE email newsletter.

Click Here to Subscribe and get your free digital 2022 Knife Guide!
Exit mobile version