Ron Lake has been called "the father of the modern folding knife" and literally co-authored the book on them in 1988, How To Make Folding Knives. But while Ron is busy making stunning custom folders in his Eugene, Oregon, workshop, he is always thinking. In this case, we believe he has perfected the lockback folder.
Ron's breakthrough is his patented* Lock Back Safety (L.B.S.™) which allows the user to slide the small L.B.S. button forward to lock the blade both in the open and closed positions. When locked open, it is virtually impossible to accidentally release the blade even during vigorous cutting tasks. For those who are concerned about accidental opening, in-pocket or on-belt, simply slide the button forward to lock the knife closed until its next use.
The blade is a classic drop point with a flat grind for strength and a brushed finish. Blade steel is premium 8Cr14MoV stainless steel (equivalent to AUS 8). Dual Lake-style thumb studs give fast either-hand opening, and the lockback release allows easy one-hand closing.
The lockback design allows for a very flat build. The combination of stainless steel liners and lightweight injection-molded glass-filled nylon scales results in a very rigid frame. For grip, the handle features a basket weave texture and a pronounced finger choil and pommel.
We're producing the Lake 111 Z in two sizes. The larger models 7255Z and 7256Z have 3.125" blades and measure 7.25" overall when opened. The smaller Lake 111 Z 2 models 7253Z and 7254Z feature 2.50" blades and are 6.00" long when opened. Both sizes are available with Razor-Sharp or Combined Razor- Sharp and Triple-Point™ Serrated edges. These models come with a custom stainless steel clip in a brushed finish.
A bonus denim carry sheath with belt loop is included with the 7255Z and 7256Z models.
Over the years, others have tried to devise safeties for lockback folders, but Ron's is the most effective and sophisticated we have seen. He really has something to crow about.
I purchased the CRKT Lake 111Z2 as a gift for my wife. It fits her hand nicely and has become her everyday carry knife. The combo blade serves well for a variety of tasks. It locks open or closed with a safe and strong positive lock which is easy for her to unlock as well. It appears well-made, and should last for years with proper care.