Nowadays, you have a ton of options to choose from when picking out a good EDC knife. Hands down, one of the most important things to consider is what type of locking mechanism it has. In terms of strength, a frame lock is tough to beat. This kind of lock is usually found on expensive, high-end knives — for good reason. Luckily for us, they're recently becoming popular on much more affordable designs. Today, we're highlighting 5 frame lock knives that won't break the bank.
Why Carry a Frame Lock Knife?
It all boils down to sheer strength. A frame lock is one of the sturdiest types of knife lock out there (not to mention, it allows for some uniquely aesthetic knife designs). That's because it's essentially a beefed up version of a more common liner lock. Instead of a thin metal plate holding the blade in place, it's a part of the handle (or frame) of the knife itself. And with the entire handle being so much thicker than just a liner, there's more metal-on-metal contact. The result? A super strong lockup.
If you're curious about other lock types, you can learn more about 'em here. But for now, let's get into the gear…
This modern-looking flipper checks all the boxes for a great EDC knife. It’s affordable, sturdy, and the blade measures in at 3.25”. Speaking of the blade, the shape on this one is quite unique. It’s a modified sheepsfoot that’s easy to handle - great for a variety of everyday tasks. The stainless steel handles are stonewashed for a smooth look and feel. For right around $30, you can’t go wrong.
Slim, lightweight, and sturdy. The Leek by Kershaw is one of the most popular EDC knives around, and for good reason. It uses premium materials, like Sandvik 12C28N steel on the blade, and heavy-duty bead blasted 410 stainless for the handles and locking mechanism. The frame lock provides a safe and strong lock up, while keeping the overall profile of the knife slim. EDCers will also appreciate the Speedsafe flip-to-open mechanism and that it’s made here in the USA.
Boker Plus Nano
The Boker Nano is one of the smaller frame lock knives available. What it lacks in size, it makes up for with premium construction and surprisingly good ergonomics. This tiny knife measures in at just 4.75” when opened, and under 3” when closed. Its size makes it especially easy to slip in a coin pocket, but large enough to carry out most cutting, slicing, and piercing tasks. The handles are made from patterned Zytel resin and of course, stainless steel with an integrated frame lock.
Blue Ridge Knives Avispa
This budget-friendly knife is much better than its price tag would suggest. For just under
$35, you get all the impressive features of a knife several times its price. There’s a stainless steel frame lock mechanism, G10 scales for grip, and an AUS-8 steel blade that will keep a sharp edge. The Avispa’s ergonomic design feels great in hand while being slim enough to ride comfortably in your pocket.
The Kershaw Pico is one of the better blades to come out in recent years. This Speed-Safe assisted flipper has a premium feel that’s especially comfortable to use and carry. With a blade just under 3”, this frame lock folder is ideal for EDC. The lock itself is robust, yet it’s still easy to unlock when it’s time to fold up the knife.
Do you have a favorite frame lock knife? Let us know what it is in the comments below!