Since the locking folder was first invented in the 15th century, knife users have been cutting more confidently and applying additional force at unconventional angles without having to worry that the blade would give way or without having to carry a fixed blade.
A small price of using a locking folder is the necessary step of having to unlock the blade every time you put the knife away. The effort required to perform this task varies by the type of locking mechanism used – releasing a back lock takes a lot more time than releasing a compression lock as an example.
But what if you could have the benefits of a locking folder, without having to release a lock at all? Enter the Griploc; patented by Grant & Gavin Hawk, a father/son duo that Chris Reeve calls “the most innovative design team in the industry.”
The Griploc innovation enables the knife to lock up by doing nothing more than holding the handle. Release your grip, and you are free to close the blade into the handle without any additional steps.
The mechanism uses a spring-loaded metal bar that slides into place to prop the blade open. G&G Hawk designed the Griploc so that any grip around the handle prevents the bar from moving and holds the blade tight. The blade is effectively ‘locked’ in place during use. And, when the grip is released it can still be closed easily without disengaging a locking mechanism, making it legal to carry in certain jurisdictions where locking knives are illegal.
The spring-loaded mechanism doubles as an assist, helping the blade deploy confidently with the flipper tab. And because of its unique geometry, it also assists the knife into the closed position, making the knife effortless to use and easy to fidget with.
The Griploc technology caught the eye of German maker Böker and their latest version of the Böker Plus Griploc, features transparent handle scales that showcase the unique and intricate mechanism inside. This special ‘demonstrator’ knife “was originally produced in a very small quantity for our sales force,” says Böker. The translucent knife was attracting so much attention that the company decided to offer it alongside the regular aluminium-handled version. “The interest was overwhelming,” said the company. Mechanical voyeurs can now see the contraption in action without having to take the knife apart.
The Griploc is just one of a number of innovative designs from G&G Hawk. They also invented the Chris Reeve TiLock, which uses a titanium spring embedded in the blade to isolate the lock from the body of the knife. In 2014, they collaborated with Buck Knives to produce the Marksman; a ball-bearing flipper with their Strong Lock System (SLS), purportedly one of the strongest locking mechanisms on the market today. G&G Hawk turn traditional folding knife design on its ear. They approach challenges like blade deployment and lock strength with ideas that are as unusual as they are functional.