Binary Engineering Invents New Lock for Prototype Folder

new lock

Jared Drinkwater of Binary Engineering is the recent inventor of a new locking mechanism which debuted on the Longblock folding knife. The prototype’s super-minimal appearance and intuitive operation mask the complexity of its proprietary locking mechanism.

The Longblock’s unique lock reflects Drinkwater’s desire to bring minimalism to every element of a knife’s design. The entire mechanism is located around the pivot itself, and is disengaged by pressing a Timascus button. An in-line flipper tab ensures that every mechanical component of the Longblock is located in the same place – at the pivot. An integral construction keeps external hardware out of the way and the blade buries completely into the handle, leaving nothing exposed. “That’s its identity, stripped of all visual distraction,” Drinkwater asserts. “The form is very prismatic. It’s brutal simplicity.”

First and foremost, Drinkwater’s motivation for making the Longblock was to stretch his mechanical engineering skills. “When I had a choice to dumb it down or ramp it up, I chose to make it harder,” Drinkwater says. “This is a project for me, to see what I’m capable of.” Construction was a painstaking process and to achieve tight tolerances it took him six months to build the prototype.

Drinkwater has been approached for the rights to the mechanism but has doubts about its feasibility on a production level. “It doesn’t fit any production knife company’s brand, and it would be super challenging for them to make.” Similar challenges have proven to be the downfall of other innovative locks like the Paul Knife Axial Lock, which was picked up by multiple manufacturers including Gerber and Lone Wolf but eventually discontinued.


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Binary Engineering functions as a catch-all for any sort of project that strikes Drinkwater’s fancy, including Mitsubishi Evo parts and handgun muzzle brakes. Completing the Longblock has allowed him to return to an earlier watchmaking project, and with a demanding full-time job it’s entirely possible the innovative knife may remain a one-off. “Someone would really have to motivate me to make one of these,” Drinkwater says. But whether it’s another Longblock or something else entirely, there will be more knives to come from Binary Engineering. “I don’t know where I’m going to go with this stuff except keep doing it for me, because I think it’s awesome.”


Knife featured in image: Binary Engineering Longblock

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