Keeping the latch in check. Preventing unexpected lock-up.

Keeping the latch “in check” to prevent unexpected Lock-up.


There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a smooth freestyle Balisong routine, only to have the latch catch on you. Putting an end (usually unexpectedly) to your beautifully flowing Balisong ballet……. well except for shearing a pin….. that’s worse, but that was a few weeks ago. Anyway……………

I’ve heard of people ordering “latchless” Bali’s, or cutting them off themselves, all because of the above mentioned scenario. It gives me the chills just thinking about it. I consider the latch to be one of the most important parts of the Balisong. I mean, the lightening fast Latchdrop opening alone is worth having it. You can also feel where the blade is facing using it…….. not to mention sparing yourself the embarrassment of harpooning a sensitive spot while carrying it in your pocket (ouch!).

Lets face it, these knives have been around for awhile, and through it all, the latch has survived. The evolutionary process is very unkind to useless things……. the latch remains. Remember that.

No shortcuts!
So, maybe it’s not the latch that has to go……. maybe we just have to take a closer look, and refine our techniques a bit. It could be there’s a lesson in all of this that a lot of people won’t get because, instead of trying to see WHY it happens and adjusting to it, they take the easy way out. I’m not preaching…… it’s just an observation. Don’t cheat yourself.

The fix is actually much easier than you think. Open your hand up more, and spread the fingers out a bit. Allow the finger closest to the butt, to hang over a little! Pinky for the forward grip, and index finger for the backhand. Not only will it add stability, but you’ll gain much more control as well. Three benefits for the price of one.

~Example: When I’m in a forward grip, my pinky wraps around the butt end of the handle. Half on the handle, half hanging off. That way the latch is blocked. The pinky actually anchors the Butt of the handle into the palm (just below the pinky). Just remember to clear the pinky (by straightening it out) as the other handle comes in for open or closed position.

~Example: Backhand grip has the index finger, not wrapping around , but positioned across the butt of the handle, again half on and half hanging off. There it blocks the latch again.

Something else that will help is to move your arm with the technique. It adds extra velocity, and the centrifugal force also works to keep the latch “straight out ” through the motion of your techniques. That will prevent the latch from tucking IN between the handles just before full open, or full closed (another minor annoyance).

All that said…… don’t cheat yourself of the knowledge gained by using sheer determination to solve this or any other problem. Things are usually difficult for a reason……. learn from them!

Thanx to all who asked (too many to name)

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