"I wanted to create an OTF(Out The Front) design that could be the ultimate use tool. My experience as a gun smith inspired me to utilize the chamber lock mechanism in a Bolt-Action rifle as the method of locking the blade. The bolt-action in a gun is, by design, a strong and reliable mechanism worthy of handling repeated bullet discharges, so keeping a blade in position was the type of over-engineering I like to pursue. Furthermore an OTF type blade deployment is inherently a safer way to deploy a blade.
The UPK-M1's bolt-lever engages 2 lobes, like an AK-47 chamber, securing the blade in a locked position. The bolt-lever engages a slot you see built into the outside of the tool hardened handle and a second pocket milled on the inside on the other half of the handle making for a balanced loading mechanism. This ensures the action loads and wears evenly to help break in the action over time, extending the break-in over years. In time the real use cycles lap and polish the components, smoothing the action like a well-made gun.
For too long we have accepted folders, its simple and effective, but lastly safe. Swinging a blade back around on the users hand is instinctively dangerous, we all felt it the first time we operated our first folder, some of us falling prey to the occasional finger guillotine by accident or mechanism failure, yet it remains the status quo. OTF knives have been a banned and forbidden type, while the knife method is utilized to create clever pop-out actions, it is worthy of a far more common use system, one we can all carry and enjoy. That is what UPKnife was created to do.
To further enhance the safety of the blade action, a full-time retracting spring, like a tape measure, ensures the safe closing of the blade. Always engaged it acts to return the blade to the closed position anytime the bolt-lever is not locked into a deployed position. If there is a slip up, the blade closes, when you’re done, flip the bolt-lever into the slot and the blade closes automatically. Designed and tested to close reliably upside down and wet, the closing action provides an audible and tactile feedback. Each time the knife closes, the clack of hardened alloys reassuring the user the blade is safe. This impact creates the distinct sound, similar to the chambering action of a semi-automatic firearm, confirming to its user the blade is safe, go about your business"
-John Risch (owner/engineer)@upknife