How to Make a Folding Knife Drop Shut

Ah, the satisfying drop-shut: that effortless descent of a folding knife's blade with a gentle nudge or even just gravity. It's not just visually pleasing, it speaks to a knife's smooth operation and potential for lightning-fast deployment. But how do you achieve this coveted drop-shut action?

While some knives come drop-shut out of the box, others may require a bit of tweaking. It's important to remember that modifying your knife can be risky and should be approached with caution and proper knowledge. If you're unsure about any step, seek help from a professional knife maker or knife retailer.



Here are some general pointers to consider:


Understanding the Factors:

  • Pivot tension: This is the resistance felt when opening and closing the blade. A perfectly balanced tension is key for drop-shut action.
  • Lubrication: The right lubricant applied to the pivot point can significantly reduce friction and enhance smoothness.
  • Internal components: Wear and tear on parts like washers or bearings can hinder smooth action.


Approaching the Tweak:

  1. Identify the issue: Is the blade binding? Does it feel overly loose? Pinpointing the problem helps determine the appropriate adjustments.
  2. Loosen the pivot screw slightly: This allows for minor adjustments to the blade's position and tension.
  3. Gently nudge the blade: With the pivot screw loose, carefully move the blade in the direction it needs to go for proper centering.
  4. Test and refine: Close and open the knife repeatedly, making minimal adjustments each time until the desired smoothness is achieved.
  5. Tighten the pivot screw: Once satisfied, carefully tighten the screw back to its original position. Avoid over tightening, as this can damage the mechanism.



Additional Tips:

  • Start small: Make minute adjustments and test frequently to avoid overdoing it.
  • Focus on quality lubricants: Choose lubricants specifically designed for knife mechanisms.
  • Know your limitations: If you're uncomfortable or unsure, seek professional help.


Remember: Modifying your knife can void warranties and potentially compromise its safety. Proceed with caution and at your own risk.


Enjoying a drop-shut knife is a satisfying experience, but prioritise safety and responsible handling above all else. If you're unsure about any steps or your knife is valuable, seeking professional assistance is always the best course of action.

Back to blog