Axis locking mechanism


It is time for some knife talk again. Today I will mention some about my interest for locking mechanisms. Swiss Army Knives are my favorite subject to discuss and write about. I am always open for other knives that can be used in combination with SAKs. Safety knives to be used on the water can be very smart to bring. One of my favorite combinations is the SwissTool and OH locking Wenger or Victorinox. Safety knives on the water should have a few important factors in them. For my use the SAKs and products from Switzerland can fulfill every factor for me. The Swiss quality in them makes sure I am always safe.

 I would like to mention a Benchmade knife that I just recently bought. The knife is called The Griptilian H2O. I know about the Axis lock from before and it is a very comfortable and safe mechanism for safety. The handles got an easy to see color that is orange and the blade steel is the very corrosion resistant n680. The H2O also got a pocket clip that can be used for rescue and safety tasks. I do like comfort and safety during my time on the water from spring until autumn. It is also fun and exciting to do some small tests and learn why things are as they are. I recommend studying the axis lock because it is a genius invention.

The safest carry system is open for discussion and the pouch or clip carry can be difficult to be bombastic on and say one is better. It all depends on situation and how accessible it must be. -When every seconds count you must be able to open the blade safe and with control.  SAKs got this option today with clip designs that can be attached on the belt or on your floating device.

It is no point for me to test out this Benchmade because this people have already done. So why should I show this then?

The answer is simple, it is the locking mechanism! Most SAKs got lock that is designed to prevent accidental closing. I have never seen any fail. That said the Axis lock is designed to be a sturdier mechanism that can take harder use. It should be used with care and with a philosophy that cause the least amount of force against the lock. It is wrong use of a knife to put force against the lock.

The Axis lock is also easier to fold the blade in with for people with little practice.

Pouch and clip carry can have its ups and downs and it can in some situations be a bit risky to have it on a belt, in the pocket or on a floating device. If one should be very unlucky the blade could open and cause damage to a person. Pouch carry can eliminate such difficulties. It is a bit easier for most to open compared to SAKs.  I understand clip carry can be the best for many users in several situations too.

Benchmade knives can be used in combination with SAKs and you therefore have a stronger locking option available. The n680 is very good steel for environments that are salty and wet. This steel got a surprisingly good edge holding ability on several materials and it is very sharp out of the box. I like the blade design and everything about it.

The Swiss Army Knives usually got a slip joint mechanism with a locking mechanism in combination. In many ways this is a safe construction because it takes some pressure to open the blade.  Axis lock blades do not have this opposite spring pressure that a slip joint have. It can be opened with minimum force.

 I still prefer the Wenger design over any yet. It can be opened and closed just as fast and safe as any product out there.

The Griptilian H2O is lightweight and very comfortable. I believe it is an excellent blade to be used in combination. I believe locking mechanism is an evolution in knives and it is a shame that they are misused for violence and stupid things. For many people such a blade can be the difference between life and death on their job or in the outdoors.

Some locking mechanisms got an origin as tactical inventions that can be used for combat. Some may find its way into safety and rescue blades. I will not go into this aspect at all because my focus the complete opposite. Another important factor that we know today is that soldiers do not use folding knives no matter what mechanism in them for combat.

In my experience different mechanisms can be educational and enhance knowledge about knives.

Slim blades used on the 84 , 85 and 91mm category can be used for tasks that require precision. They can reach places that sturdier blades will get difficulties with.



This Griptilian is completely new out of the box. The Griptilian construction and Axis lock has been tested around the world for a long time already.


I know many around the world prefer the blade centering to be 100% on their folders. This is many times adjustable with the construction assembly screws. I am satisfied if the blade centering avoids snag to one side. It is always nice when the centering is perfect.

Remember that the Axis lock cannot compare to a fixed blade in strength. On youtube there are several educational videos on the assembly and anatomy of the axis mechanism. The weak spot in them can be the little spring for the release bar. They seem to last and last anyhow which is good. Adjusting the pivot screw should be done so the opening and closing can be comfortable. I know that the knives need to be worn in a bit in the beginning with opening and closing it many times. First I apply some lube or oil. If the pivot is adjusted correctly and you have used it for some time the operation will be smooth and correct. A screw assembly can be a real pain if one starts to adjust without knowledge. I prefer riveted designs. On such a knife like this with this mechanism then the best option is a screw assembly that can be adjusted.


The Axis lock bar when the blade is in closed position gives a minimum amount of holding abilities compared to a SAK. The bar can be pulled back and the blade can be opened or closed by its own weight. In other words there is no resistance at all. It is very cool.

Another factor that is important is the position of the clip and this is mentioned by the information in the box.

When the blade is fully opened the blade rest against a stop pin that in reality mean you can put an enormous amount of pressure against the edge without damage. The locking bar will make sure the blade will stay fully opened.

If by wrong use pressure should be against the lock then the Axis locking bar will rest against the tang making sure it would take a great deal of force before collapse.



Some may wonder about the Axis lock and the durability of the friction parts. It is my information and knowledge that the wear caused by use will push the locking bar a bit further forwards so you in reality have the minimal wear adaptation needed.  


If you lube or oil the Griptilian friction parts and mechanism then the life span will increase a great deal......





The n680 steel or correctly written is N680 by Bohler got Nitrogen. From their webpage I found:


 A conventionally produced corrosion resistant steel with added chromium, molybdenum, and nitrogen for corrosion and pitting resistance, especially in salt water. Fine structure with a very good sharpness, edge retention, and grindability. Will accept a fine polish"

Benchmade are very good with the hardening of the steel. It is one of the companies in the world that does this very well. The H2O is hardened to 57-59 HRC

Now I can learn some about the use of Nitrogen too! Thank you for following me today...


I like to say if you have learned to use Swiss Army Knives then you have learned correct knife use. It is very true. On I have discussed a large number of different aspects and focused on how important cutting tools and functions are today. Now it is winter time here again and this means that one must remember the importance of how the cold influence the human body. Remember that survival can happen anywhere at any time. So I would be very glad if you could take the tour on my page and read about combination-tools, survival and utility. I believe I have touched many aspects and I hope it can be helpful. There pages about serrations and sharpening, it is best without any doubt to bring the tools ready and sharp for whatever need or task that lay forward. It does not hurt to bring a light, fire source and tools with you on the mountain, on the water or other places you go. Do not walk on the ice unless you are sure. This year some will have accidents and some may or could die from unnecessary accidents.

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Trond | Svar 15.12.2017 18.53

Please feel free to take the tour on! It is still going.
Best Wishes from Trond

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03.01 | 15:26

The 120mm continued after the New Ranger. They had Patent and not pat pend. I say pat pend first then patent next. But! Wenger did many variations! :)

03.01 | 15:08

The old Ranger 120mm is from 1991, on my 1993 it is pat pend I have seen it on 1991 too and Swissbuck as well! Wenger can be a minefield because of variations

03.01 | 15:04

It is a superb question. Wenger used different stamps, some because of european laws. Usually the quality and steel is the same. Which is first? Not sure.

03.01 | 14:48

Hi! Sorry for late answer. I have seen many variations with Wenger, please send pic to

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