Colin Maisonpierre Revises Back Lock with the IBBL Mechanism

Colin Maisonpierre of CM Knife Designs and Divo Knives partnered with Bestech for the first time for the Tonic. Maisonpierre’s Tonic is a dressy knife sporting a cool mechanical twist on the back lock.

The Tonic hits a sweet spot EDC size with its 2.86-inch long blade. The drop point’s point is dropped low enough to give users a lot of control for piercing, but it retains a subtle curvature to keep the slicing performance right where it needs to be. M390 steel is on tap too, so edge retention and stain resistance in particular will be quite high. The Tonic opens with a thumb stud, and the blade is held open by a unique riff on the back lock that Maisonpierre calls the Inset-Ball Back Lock (IBBL).

The IBBL looks like a standard back lock, but functions differently mechanically

What exactly is the IBBL? “The IBBL is unique in that it has a ceramic ball – similar to a detent ball you would find on a liner lock or framelock – inset into the face of the lock bar that interfaces with the blade tang,” Maisonpierre tells us. The standard back lock isn’t known for its speed or smoothness relative to the current generation of ball bearing enhanced liner or frame locks; the IBBL ceramic ball keeps the metal-on-metal contact in the mechanism to a minimum. “This creates less surface contact with the lock bar and blade tang, making for a smooth opening and closing action,” Maisonpierre continues. “The knife flicks open very easily with a thumb flick or a middle finger reverse flick.”

Maisonpierre actually likens the feel of closing the Tonic to the satisfying snick of traditional knives: “The knife snaps closed like a slipjoint – it’s a very unique feeling knife.” And he says that, while the IBBL is making its debut through Bestech, he and his Divo Knives partner Kevin Johnson (AKA LeftyEDC) have plans for bringing it into their own company’s line. “There are already plans to use the IBBL system in some upcoming Divo designs. We feel this is a substantial improvement to the traditional back lock design, and offers a totally new take on the back lock.”

The Tonic is arriving with dealers now.

Knife in Featured Image: Bestech Tonic

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