Demko’s New Scorpion Lock Debuts at East Coast Custom Knife Show

Last fall, Andrew Demko – knife maker, engineer, and head of R&D for Cold Steel – unveiled the AD-15: a custom knife with a brand-new lock of his own design. At the time, the lock hadn’t yet been named and the knife wasn’t publicly available. Today at the East Coast Custom Knife Show (ECCKS) in Jersey City, Demko is showcasing what he has since named the ‘Scorpion’ lock. ECCKS is one of the biggest knife events of the year and draws collectors and makers from all over the world.

“A lock back could be improved by adding the stop pin”

The Scorpion isn’t Andrew Demko’s first original lock design; he also invented Cold Steel’s Tri-Ad lock, which many regard as the strongest lock in existence. Demko’s inspiration for the Tri-Ad was a frustration with the limitations of existing locks: “When I developed the Tri-Ad lock I was making frame locks at the time,” he says. But seeing the opportunity for improvement, he combined the strongest elements of conventional locks into something new: “I did not like the inherent problems with frame lock and liner locks and knew a lock back could be improved by adding the stop pin, borrowed from frame locks,” he explains.

“It marked a new evolution in the world of tactical folding knives”

Lynn Thompson, Cold Steel’s Founder and CEO called the Tri-Ad lock a game changer: “It marked a new evolution in the world of tactical folding knives .. Not only did the Tri-Ad lock hold huge weights, but it also almost completely negated the effects of shock! This allowed a folding knife to be used for actual tactical applications like never before,” he said in a 2015 post on the Cold Steel Web-site.

AD-15 Advantages
Compared to his custom model AD-10 with the Tri-Ad lock, the AD-15 with the Scorpion lock offers a number of advantages. The lock casing forms part of the handle and unlocking the Scorpion is faster and more intuitive.  And because it is integrated into the handle and fits around the blade when closed, it allows for a smaller overall footprint without shrinking the blade. It also affords comparable lock strength and is much easier to manufacture than the Tri-Ad. “Since my brain defaults into knife design and particularly lock design, I’m always thinking of how I can make a new lock that really excels,” Demko says.

“You never know what the future will bring”
Given the role Demko also plays at Cold Steel, it’s easy to imagine the Scorpion lock finding its way into their lineup the same way the Tri-Ad lock has. But Demko isn’t ready to make any announcements just yet: “Currently the Scorpion is a Demko exclusive but you never know what the future will bring. A production Scorpion lock would be possible with some slight changes. Currently the AD-15 is made without the limitations of mass manufacturing.”

“I want to be more active in the custom knife community”
If his presence at ECCKS is so highly anticipated it might be because it’s Demko’s first time attending the event. Demko rarely has time outside his duties at Cold Steel to attend knife shows. “I only do one other show a year. I want to be more active in the custom knife community and am told the ECCKS is an excellent show,” he says. Luckily for fans of his designs, you don’t need to attend the show to get a chance to buy an AD-15: “Ordering can be done by contacting this email address: The AD-15 starts at $650, I do offer many options from full titanium frames, G-10, or carbon fiber. I’m willing to try to satisfy most requests [including] steel.”

Knife featured in image: Demko Knives AD-15