The lockback gets a lot of bad press.
“If you make it out of Zircuti it doesn’t look flashy.”
All of these things are fundamentally irrelevant to how a lock functions, but we live at a time when knives are all so good that great functionality is a baseline assumption. For reasons other than function, the lock back is persona non grata in the IKC, especially if you exclude those infatuated with traditional knives. Find me a single custom maker that produces non-traditional lock back designs.
The complaint that lots of folks make is that you can’t flick them out (NOTE: our grandparents owned and used knives and I can’t recall any folks from that generation complaining about a knife’s lack of “fidget factor.”). While silly, this complaint is true. CM Knife Designs decided to fix that. CM Knife Designs (the business run by Colin Masonpierre), in case you are unaware, has released a few self-published blades along with the help of the great Lefty EDC. The Tonic is a collaboration between CM Knife Designs and Bestech and it uses a clever design feature to make a lock back every bit as fidget friendly as the silkiest framelock. That alone is attention-worthy. But even without the innovative lock design, the Tonic is a really great folder. Read on for more.
Here is the product page. There are a few variants all of which are mix and match of carbon fiber handles, coated or uncoated blades, and some variant of micarta. The micarta versions ($286) are less expensive than the carbon fiber versions ($306). I have no idea if this price difference is warranted by differences in materials prices, but this stratification is customary. Here is a video review. There are no written reviews.
I am a fan of the Spydie Native series. Back Locks have never bothered me.View Linked Article