The Spring Leaf Connection, Knife Making Technologies Explained

We thought we’d offer a tale of the leaf-spring – that of the automatic kind. Esteemed Knifemakers like Richard Wright, Tore Forgarizzu, and George Daily have been producing superbly crafted leaf-spring automatics using time-honored techniques that require precision and a highly creative mind.

Two types of spring activation systems are most prevalent in the knife-making community, Leaf-spring, and Coil-spring. Leaf Spring Knives have a hardened steel strip that is inlaid, running along the spine of the knife. The tension on the knife is applied when it is in the closed position. It is held in place by a sear pin or by the blade itself. A Coil-spring knife is wound with 2 protruding tabs, one goes into the bolster and the other into the blade. Coil-Spring models always have pressure on them, at every position, opened, semi-opened and closed. 

Leaf-spring models are much more precise. The springs must be shaped and hardened for them to work efficiently and properly. How do they work?  When closed, the rocker bar pulls the sear pin out of the release mechanism causing the spring to activate, forcing the blade to fly into the open position. There are several popular release technologies used by knife-makers: Rocker Bar, Trap-Door, Bolster Release, and Tab Release. Leaf-spring knives are great for opening your knife quickly with one hand, but often require the use of two hands to close them. They make great duty/emergency response knives because of their quick actions and ease of use with gloved hands. Leaf-spring knives are harder to produce, making them more desirable as they yield higher value per dollar invested.

  • Knife Maker Richard S. Wright's Spring Loaded Knife
  • Knife Maker Richard S. Wright's Spring Loaded Knife in closed position
  • Knife Maker Tim George's Spring loaded Knife
  • Knife Maker Tim George's Spring loaded Knife, in it's closed position
  • A George Daily Spring Loaded Knife in its closed position.
  • A George Daily Spring Loaded Knife in its open position.