Measuring 3 inches (non-locking); law and practice?

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Woody110

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This has been discussed before on BB with people suggesting asking the Police, CPS, Senior judges, MP's and even the Home office
such a question about clarifying the law

General consensus was not to stir the pot, since for the moment we still have what we have and they could just as likely for their own agenda start looing at restricting that too.

It is easy to stay within the current legislation - just use the one which measures least

or don't and end up being the case law in question



problem is what you've written is wrong

A folding pocket knife is a knife which folds out and back in again with no locking mechanism, and a holding spring to keep it in a closed position, it must also have a blade length not exceeding 7.62cm (3inch). The easiest example of this would be a traditional Swiss Army knife

we've already established the laws says cutting edge not blade length and there is absolutely nothing in the legislation about a holding spring
To answer your point about the spring, by having this spring, it prevents the blade from opening in the same way a gravity knife opens. If you could open the blade with a simple flick of the wrist, the knife would fall under the offensive weapons act.
a) any knife which has a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife, sometimes known as a 'flick knife' or 'flick gun'; or
(b) any knife which has a blade which is released from the handle or sheath thereof by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force and which, when released, is locked in place by means of a button, spring, lever, or other device, sometimes known as a 'gravity knife',

The spring I speak of is mentioned in Section 1 of the restriction of offensive weapons act 1959
“(i) A lock knife is NOT a gravity knife. A gravity knife should not be confused with a lock knife. Lock knife means a knife which is similar to a folding pocket knife, in that there is a spring holding the blade closed and it has to be prised open. However, a lock knife has a mechanism which locks the blade in position when fully extended. The blade cannot then be closed without that mechanism being released”
 

Stew

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To answer your point about the spring, by having this spring, it prevents the blade from opening in the same way a gravity knife opens. If you could open the blade with a simple flick of the wrist, the knife would fall under the offensive weapons act.
a) any knife which has a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife, sometimes known as a 'flick knife' or 'flick gun'; or
(b) any knife which has a blade which is released from the handle or sheath thereof by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force and which, when released, is locked in place by means of a button, spring, lever, or other device, sometimes known as a 'gravity knife',

The spring I speak of is mentioned in Section 1 of the restriction of offensive weapons act 1959
“(i) A lock knife is NOT a gravity knife. A gravity knife should not be confused with a lock knife. Lock knife means a knife which is similar to a folding pocket knife, in that there is a spring holding the blade closed and it has to be prised open. However, a lock knife has a mechanism which locks the blade in position when fully extended. The blade cannot then be closed without that mechanism being released”

Friction folder illegal then?
 

Woody110

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Leeds, Yorkshire
They refer to lock Knives, not "non locking Folders" dont they?
If a folding pocket knife was able to be opened by gravity of centrifugal force, it would be classed as a gravity knife, irrespective of the blade length. Hence why there is a spring to hold it closed, like a Swiss Army knife.
 

Woody110

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Mar 8, 2009
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The best thing to do it get what ever knife you want, walk up to a police officer, tell them you have a knife in your pocket and you want them to check it. You’ll either be in brother, or you won’t. Good luck.
 

Fadcode

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A gravity knife is a lock knife, once opened it is locked in place by a button, etc, etc, the Law you quoted says this.
 

Corso

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If a folding pocket knife was able to be opened by gravity of centrifugal force, it would be classed as a gravity knife, irrespective of the blade length. Hence why there is a spring to hold it closed, like a Swiss Army knife.

Utter nonsense - do you realy think Victorinox decided to add a spring in 1884 so it would comply with British offensive weapns act from the 60's

The spring is there to keep the knife open not closed that's just basic historical knife design dating back 200+ year

Sorry to be blunt but your understanding of the law is wrong and the advice in that article is too
 
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demographic

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BTW, did not UK go Metric, so why do they use the Imperial measures in the description?

76.2 mm

Think I can answer that one, many Brits struggle to visualise metric sizes, especially the elderly (judges and the people who make the laws then).

I'm pretty ok with both but thats cos I grew up with the metric system but had to work with a few coffin dodgers who work in feet and inches.

Every once in a while someone claims they can work much better to the imperial measurements so I give em a few measurements like 6'7" 7/16ths.
If they look baffled it kind of shows they are a bit dense in both methods of measurement.
 
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Laurentius

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Aug 13, 2009
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The way the law is you might as well have a blade over 3 inches if it is locking, and no problems if you have legitimate reason to carry it. I have an SAK rucksack illegal on two fronts, but do I worry if it is in my pocket and I am on my way down to the allotments?

You are much more likely to have a bad run in with the youths hanging round the shops who don't care much for the law and carry blades regardless than you are to be stopped and searched.
 

TLM

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Nov 16, 2019
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The UK law seems to say "gravity" which by definition is the force exerted by earth's gravity unaided. "Centrifugal" force can only be exerted by acceleration caused by nonlinear movement, some might even argue that only by circular movement but that is a fairly fine point as there can be instantaneous centers ...

Anyway I seem to recollect that there were stories about customs officers checking if an imported knife is a "gravity knife" by taking hold of the blade and jerking downwards, if it opened at the fast stop it was verboten. That is not a "centrifugal" force, so the tester should be keel hauled.
See, engineers should not be allowed to read laws. :biggrin:
 

Woody girl

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Can i raise the issue of concealment?
I'm not realy up on these issues and I'm still a wee bit confused but I think I'm getting the gist of locking knives and blade length. But what constitutes a concealed implement. If it's in a bag it's hidden therefore concealed but possibly not easy to get to in a hurry. Which if you were intending to use it as a weapon ( not that I'm suggesting any of us would of course ) you would have it much more available such as in a pocket. So if it's in your pocket are you more likely to be nicked? My bushcraft knives are obviously fixed blade and I've not measured them but at a guess I'd say they are either close or over the 3 in limit.
I always put my knife in a side pockets of a backpack when I go out for my foraging and bushcraft activities. I used to wear it on my belt so that it was not concealed.
I don't now of course but I still worry that I might be breaking the law by " concealing " it in my pack. Recently I've been putting it in the bottom of my pack but it's a pain getting to it sometimes. Small price to pay to stay within the law but I'm concerned that would be concealment.
I used to carry a very small lock knife in my handbag at all times (2 inch blade) but I now have a very cheap non locking penknife in a zipped pocket in my bag. It's not as good as my old one but will open a packet or skin an apple which is mostly what I might use it for day to day.
 

Corso

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There are no specific concealment laws - when traveling it 'could' add weight to your defence if you were caught with something that you have to explain and it was packed safely away in your rucksack - it would certainly look better than having it on your belt or in your pocket at the time!

Of course having acess to it when using it is different as the using part is the good reason at that time.

There is no fixed blade lengh laws either btw fixed is fixed, just to confuse things case law means locking knives are 'fixed' blades too

lengh only related to readily foldable pocket knives
 
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Fadcode

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I have always considered concealment to be something purporting not to be a knife, when in fact it is a knife or similar, for example a sword cane, what looks like an innocent walking stick is in fact a concealed sword, and many other items which do not in any way look like a sharp instrument turn out to be a knife in disguise........of course this is only my opinion.
 
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Corso

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I have always considered concealment to be something purporting not to be a knife, when in fact it is a knife or similar, for example a sword cane, what looks like an innocent walking stick is in fact a concealed sword, and many other items which do not in any way look like a sharp instrument turn out to be a knife in disguise........of course this is only my opinion.

I think they are legally termed 'disguised' rather than concealed for the reason that you cannot readily identify the item on plain sight of the object
 
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Fadcode

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Think I can answer that one, many Brits struggle to visualise metric sizes, especially the elderly (judges and the people who make the laws then).

I'm pretty ok with both but thats cos I grew up with the metric system but had to work with a few coffin dodgers who work in feet and inches.

Every once in a while someone claims they can work much better to the imperial measurements so I give em a few measurements like 6'7" 7/16ths.
If they look baffled it kind of shows they are a bit dense in both methods of measurement.

The Uk was forced into going metric to some extent by the EU, no more a dozen eggs, or a pound of sugar, however the fact that the blade limit is 76.2mm shows that even the Government think metric is a waste of time, as who could measure 0.2 of a mm.this was just the nearest measurement to 3 inches, they could just as easily said the limit was 77mm or 76mm, one point to remember is the equivalents between metric and imperial make it more complicated, eg. 1/4" == 6.35mm, 1/8"=3.175 etc etc..
many engineers still use imperial, as do the USA, and many other countries, many countries still use some of the old imperial measure such as bushels, chains, etc, any mechanic will know the difference between 9/16 and 14mm especially when working on foreign cars which use AF rather than metric.
One can only wonder of the true cost of using both metric and imperial, Gallons and Litres, etc, no doubt many motorists would be surprised if the price at the pumps was in Gallons, £1.25per litre would be £5.68p
 
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demographic

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Apr 15, 2005
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The Uk was forced into going metric to some extent by the EU, no more a dozen eggs, or a pound of sugar, however the fact that the blade limit is 76.2mm shows that even the Government think metric is a waste of time, as who could measure 0.2 of a mm.this was just the nearest measurement to 3 inches, they could just as easily said the limit was 77mm or 76mm, one point to remember is the equivalents between metric and imperial make it more complicated, eg. 1/4" == 6.35mm, 1/8"=3.175 etc etc..
many engineers still use imperial, as do the USA, and many other countries, many countries still use some of the old imperial measure such as bushels, chains, etc, any mechanic will know the difference between 9/16 and 14mm especially when working on foreign cars which use AF rather than metric.
One can only wonder of the true cost of using both metric and imperial, Gallons and Litres, etc, no doubt many motorists would be surprised if the price at the pumps was in Gallons, £1.25per litre would be £5.68p

The US kind of does but doesnt use imperial though.
When I was in UK engineering they used a mix and some companies designed things in imperial but they used thousandths of an inch instead of faffing on with fractions. That makes far more sense to me. Have you ever looked at a fractional drill bit set? Jeez its a nightmare to the point where almost everyone in engineering had a chart showing what sizes they were in thousandths and mms just to make sense of em.

Even the US engineering has mostly gone metric in manufacturing. Guess thats the world market for you.

Nowadays its mostly just the elderly I see who only work in Imperial lengths.
Lets not mention miles though eh?
 

Fadcode

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Feb 13, 2016
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The US kind of does but doesnt use imperial though.
When I was in UK engineering they used a mix and some companies designed things in imperial but they used thousandths of an inch instead of faffing on with fractions. That makes far more sense to me. Have you ever looked at a fractional drill bit set? Jeez its a nightmare to the point where almost everyone in engineering had a chart showing what sizes they were in thousandths and mms just to make sense of em.

Even the US engineering has mostly gone metric in manufacturing. Guess thats the world market for you.

Nowadays its mostly just the elderly I see who only work in Imperial lengths.
Lets not mention miles though eh?

Funny though you always end up 6 foot under, that never seems to get measured metrically.......:):)
 
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santaman2000

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Google "arrested screwdriver" or "brandishing screwdriver". I cannot you have not heard of screwdrivers being used. How about a "shank" ?
A “shank” is a home made weapon fashioned by inmates. The most common ones I ever confiscated were made by dislodging the blade from their safety razors and imbedding them into the semi melted plastic handles of their toothbrushes. Others were made by simply sharpening th end of the toothbrush handle into a point.
 

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