PC or HC Pocket Knives

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Hey guys, I've been having some trouble finding some info on pocket knives in the 18th century. I know they existed, but were they all friction folders, or were there pocket knives that had locking mechanisms too? Im looking at getting a more appropriate pocket knife for the time, but am unsure what i should look for in regards to locking blades specifically.
 

Brokennock

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Navaja knives have been around a long time

View attachment 132520
They have been. Not sure how early. I could be wrong but my impression has been that it was originally a Spanish design. Also, very early, 18th century and earlier, would not have the nail nick.
 
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A quick Google comes up with some information, and it’s odds on that there were locking devices many hundreds of years ago.
The current French ‘Opinel‘ knife dates from the 19th C. and would be a continuation of the idea of locking blades.
Folders in general date from prehistoric times.
 
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A quick Google comes up with some information, and it’s odds on that there were locking devices many hundreds of years ago.
The current French ‘Opinel‘ knife dates from the 19th C. and would be a continuation of the idea of locking blades.
Folders in general date from prehistoric times.
Opinels didn’t have the locking ring until 1955. It’s a modern design and would not be period correct.

OP, speak with Scott Summerville. He’ll be able to guide you can give recommendations on what knife will be appropriate. Then, he can build you one. Great guy.
 
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Things that seem simple & obvious today had to be created out of thin air by someone without the millions of TV, movie, internet, and photographic images that we have been exposed to. People rode horses for hundreds of years before someone invented the stirrup. Think how long it took for the nail nick to be created.
 

Rató:rats

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Here’s a 18th century ring lock folding knife from Neumann’s Collectors Illustrated of The American Revolution. The stud on the blade snaps into a slot in the spring. You pull the spring up by the ring releasing the stud and freeing the blade.
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I bought one of these a repros a couple years back
411E38C7-D95B-4752-9436-4E746DDCD3B8.png

Didn’t care for it. The spring was stiff and the steel was some terrible Indian garbage.

I’ve since upgraded to a Siamois friction folder by Ben Hoffman
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ZUG

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Here is a pocket French style knife that is said to have been used during the fur trapping era which has a spring back for holding the blade in the open position < Thumb Knife - Samson Historical >. I don't know if it is just a story or if it is based on fact - you decide:dunno:.
Well, I purchased one of these folders and it does NOT have a spring to hold the blade open it is just a friction folder. It is also of poor quality and reflects the $15 asking price. Looks like a quick and thrown together backyard shed made knife.
 

Rató:rats

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Well, I purchased one of these folders and it does NOT have a spring to hold the blade open it is just a friction folder. It is also of poor quality and reflects the $15 asking price. Looks like a quick and thrown together backyard shed made knife.
I had one of the four inch models and I agree with your assessment. Also won’t hold an edge worth anything.
 
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Here is a pocket French style knife that is said to have been used during the fur trapping era which has a spring back for holding the blade in the open position < Thumb Knife - Samson Historical >. I don't know if it is just a story or if it is based on fact - you decide:dunno:.
I read that their description of this knife clearly states no back spring. Friction holds it open. It is an attractive knife too bad its sold out.
Townsends Company. does have a friction folder that is HC. I have both sizes .With a little elbow grease they are fine knives.
John
 
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Spanish Navaja folding knives -- very widely used in Spanish society and the origin of the Spanish fighting knife culture -- originated in the late 1600s. The varieties with locking backsprings originated in the 1700s.

Here's a Navaja folding knife manufactured some time in the 1800s, now in the National Museum of American History.
 

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