By Pat Covert, GUNS Magazine
The lockback is back! Popularized by the Buck 110 in the late 1960’s, it ruled the roost until it was dethroned by the Michael Walker designed internal liner-lock in the early 1990’s. The lockback never totally disappeared thanks to companies like Cold Steel, who has never abandoned the simple but able locking system. There’s obviously a fan base lurking out there.
The company’s Code 4 is a lockback folder with all the amenities of a first-class, new day tactical folder. The handle is an ample 5 inches in length but stores nicely flat in the pocket due to its trim handle, which is just a tad over a 1/4 inch in depth. Two finger grooves in a curvy, bead-blasted aluminum handle make for a comfortable grip; a flare at the top offers much appreciated finger protection. The Aus 8A stainless steel blade is 3-1/2 inches in length and can be had in three configurations: spear point (shown here), clip point and Tanto. There’s also an option of partial serrations or plain edge for each blade style.
Left-handers will appreciate the ambidextrous features of the Code 4. The lock is located at the middle of the spine so it can be easily accessed no matter which hand you favor, and the pocket clip can be mounted on either side of the handle. The lock détente is wide enough to be accessed by a gloved digit. One added reason to like the lockback is it is always visible. There’s no searching for a locking leaf hidden between the frame rails—it’s right there, where you can see it.
I came away impressed with this knife in every way. The Code 4 is not only nicely designed with all the right features; it is sturdily built to handle tough chores. At a suggested retail of $99 it won’t break the bank either. If you’re in the market for a user-friendly folder, the Code 4 is a logical choice.
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MAKER: Cold Steel, Inc.
6060 Nicolle St.
Ventura, CA 93003
Steel Type: Aus 8A Stainless
Closed Length: 5 inches
Overall Length: 8.5 inches
Weight: 4.3 ounces
Handle: 6061 Aluminum matte bead-blasted finish
Carry: Pocket clip