Before there were slide locks, liner locks and frame locks, there were friction folders. A friction folder is a type of knife with no lock at all; instead, it has an extended tang that protrudes from the handle when closed. Open, this section of metal sinks between the handles to hold the knife in its open position using, fittingly, friction. (Lay a thumb on top of the blade tang during use for even more non-locking leverage.)
Thanks to such a low-tech design, friction folders were among the first folding pocket knives known to man. Advancements in knife design have largely replaced them — even slip-joint knives, which are also non-locking but significantly sleeker, are more popular — but the EDC-focused brand WESN just revealed its contemporary take on the classic pattern, and it’s well worth checking out.
WESN imagined its friction folder, called the Samla, for hiking and general wilderness use. The company aimed to create a durable tool that can handle typical campsite chores along with meal prep. Other than the friction folding construction, the pocket knife features a 2.45-inch sheepsfoot blade made of Sandvik 14c28n steel and a choice between titanium or rosewood handles. (WESN describes it as lightweight, but doesn’t mention an exact ounce count.)
I was carrying my Craftlab Knives Nomad the other day. I am a fan of friction folders.View Linked Article