Spyderco’s Szabo Folder is instantly recognizable as a product of knifemaker Laci Szabo’s fertile mind. It’s wickedly curved, comfortable in the hand and anything but subtle. Like most Szabo designs, this is, if nothing else, a “fighting knife.” Laci is a law enforcement officer, a well-known martial artist and a veteran of the U.S. Marines Corps, which clearly informs his design choices.

Notable in the Szabo Folder is the choice of lock. It’s a top-mounted compression lock, which Spyderco first used in its production versions of Bram Frank’s “Gunting” knives. Spyderco’s website explains that the compression lock was chosen to “cope with the extreme leverages associated with its longer blade.” It operates in conjunction with an “internal ‘self-close’ mechanism” that uses a “spring piston to engage a plate attached to the blade tang.” When the blade is closed, “the piston gains mechanical leverage to rotate the plate, keeping the blade nestled securely in the 6-inch-long handle.”

In other words, while you’re bearing down on the Szabo Folder’s 4.5-inch scimitar-shaped blade, you’re less likely to disengage the compression lock than you would a traditional liner lock. One of the performance tests commonly used for liner locks is the “gorilla grip” test, in which you close your fist around the knife as tightly as you can to see if it’s possible to disengage the lock accidentally under stress. Moving the lock to the dorsal side of the handle gets it out of the way of your fingers. For the compression lock to fail, it would have to blow its stop pin out of the top of the handle. This patented design is very secure.

More information at

For the complete article please refer to Tactical Knives July 2013.

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