A folding knife falls into two general catagories- a SLIPJOINT or a
LOCKBACK. A SLIPJOINT is a folder that has a fairly strong back
spring that holds the blade open. A LOCKBACK has a locking mechanism
that keeps the blade from closing until the lock is released. Either
type makes a great pocketknife.
All of my folders are made from parts that I make by hand, including
the springs. All the slipjoints I make have a half-stop. Since
lockbacks only require a light spring to keep the lock in place, that
is the type that can have a thumb stud for one hand opening.
Although I still use 440C and ATS 34 stainless steels upon request, I
now always use S30V blade steel due to its superior edge holding and
strength. I also use Devin Thomas double stainless damascus for
pocket knife blades.
I first began making knives in 1978, but my first folder was made in
1994. I still make fixed blade knives, but I really find greater
enjoyment making folders.
There are all types of handle material availble for pocketknives:
exotic hardwoods, mammoth ivory, mother of pearl, gold lip pearl,
black lip pearl, stag, carbon fiber, jigged bone and scrimshawed
ivory. Once I even made one with costly Hawaiian black coral scales.