Michael Walker is an American custom knifemaker, sculptor, and inventor of over 20 different knife mechanisms. His inventions include mechanisms such as the Walker Linerlock, the “Lake and Walker Safety System,” BLADELock, Ball bearing lock, Tough Lock, and more. These mechanisms have influenced many other notable custom knifemakers, such as Bob Terzuola and Ernest Emerson.

Michael Walker Custom Knife

Up until 1975, Michael Walker worked as a jeweler. Everything changed when his wife, Patricia Walker, gave him a Gerber Knife and a copy of American Blade magazine. Once he discovered similarities between his jewelry and the custom knives in the magazine, Walker decided he would try his hand at knifemaking.


In 1980, Walker started creating fixed-blade art knives on a full-time basis. When a customer asked him to make sheaths for these knives, Walker found that the process was more tedious and less enjoyable than the actual knifemaking. From then on, he decided to make folding knives that would not require a sheath, leading to his invention of the Walker Linerlock mechanism. This mechanism facilitates true one-handed opening of a knife, accomplished by removing the weak back spring and adding a stop pin to align the blade in the open position. Walker added a detent ball to hold the blade in the closed position using the same spring force from the liner. This Walker Linerlock has since become an industry-standard in folding knife mechanisms.

Michael Walker custom knife

Due to the demand and pricing of his custom knives, Walker has collaborated with numerous companies in order to make his designs more accessible to the public. Some of these companies include Spyderco, Columbia River Knife and Tool, Schrade, Böker, and Klotzli.


Walker’s impressive designs and knives have inspired many other custom knifemakers, including Bob Terzuola and Ernest Emerson. Terzoula notes that Walker taught him how to make a linerlock folder, while Emerson states he was inspired to become a knifemaker after seeing one of Walker’s pieces at a gun show.