Knives are an essential part of any outdoorsman’s toolkit. Infinitely useful and incredibly versatile, knives, cutting blades, and axes have put food on the table and provided protection for thousands of years.
And they’re only getting better with age.
Indeed, new types of steel, better grips, and innovative new designs are helping bring stronger, better blades to people all around the world. Be it for self-defense, camping, or everyday preparedness, more people than ever are in the market for good, solid blades.
Below we’ll discuss one of the largest and most varied manufacturers in the industry: Boker Knives (also known as Bőker). After a brief introduction to this well-established German brand, we’ll offer our reviews and picks of the best Boker knives on the market.
About Boker Knives
Many historians believe that the Boker family has been involved in making edged weapons since the 16th century – long before the Boker company (also known as “Tree Brand” for its Chestnut Tree logo) officially set up shop in 1869. Either way, the company was instrumental in putting the city of Solingen, Germany on the knife-production map, and is currently Europe’s largest supplier of tactical knives, sports knives, and collector’s blades.
The company’s long history has created a very high standard of quality within the manufacturer’s various sub-brands, but it has also let to an extremely diverse product portfolio. While Boker has a massive supply of pocket knives, fixed blade knives, and tactical blades, the company also boasts more unique products, like throwing knives, multi-tools, razors, and swords. In fact, it is the only knife manufacturer in the world to have a line of blades officially licensed by Gen. Mikhail Kalashnikov – designer of the famous AK-47.
No matter what you’re looking for in the world of blades, chances are Boker has made it – and made it quite well.
Why Boker Stands Out:
The people at Boker claim that they hold themselves and all their blades up to some of the highest standards in the industry, but with a careful commitment to keeping their blades affordable. As a global brand, this is quite an impressive pledge.
Their blades are renowned for their high levels of precision and use of very high-quality materials. This is especially true of the blades still manufactured at the home branch in Solingen, but those made in France (like the Opinel line), Argentina (Arbolito line), Asia, and the USA are held in equally high regard by knife enthusiasts.
Is Boker Right for You?
If Boker does anything, they do it very well. Regardless of price point or purpose, there’s a good bet there’s a Boker blade with your name on it. Take the Magnum line for instance, which features design in Solingen and manufacture overseas. This line boasts everything from karambits to hunting knives to machetes and is extremely affordable.
On the other hand, the Manufaktur line is 100% Solingen made and 100% top quality craftsmanship, with some Damascus steel blades ringing up at “collectors only” prices.
Either way, if you’re in the market for a reliable, high-quality knife, Boker is a great place to start looking. However, if you merely want to see the best of the best right now, take a look at our Top 5 Picks and Reviews below.
Top 5 Boker Knives
1. Boker Plus Subcom F Knife
Steel: AUS-8 stainless steel
Thickness: 1/16 of an inch
This little concealable beauty is the perfect fit for anyone looking for a tactical knife for self-defense or a daily utility knife (or a combination of the two). With a partially serrated edge and extra broad design, it holds like a little knife but performs like a big one.
2.6” when folded, the Subcom F can be easily concealed within the palm of your hand and has been called a perfect money clip or keychain knife, though some people claim the clip is too tight for it to be used as the former. When deployed, the knife’s 1.8” blade gives just enough cutting room to work without being cumbersome and is easy to control thanks to multiple grooves and grips around the handle.
Still, some users claim that the blade itself loses its edge quite quickly, especially when used as a box cutter or daily-use maintenance/utility blade. This is easily remedied, of course, but still a valid criticism. Closing the knife also requires the user to push a release just under where the blade closes. While the small size of the knife limited the manufacturer’s options for a release button, this is likely the poorest choice possible.
All in all, the Subcom F is a fairly-priced and extremely versatile little tool. Weighing in at barely 2.5 oz., and with its clip and lanyard hole, it’s a perfect knife for everyday carry, regardless of what that day might entail.
|(+) Small, tactical design||(-) Clip is overly tight|
|(+) Width of handle gives great grip despite size||(-) Needs frequent sharpening|
2. Boker PLUS BOP03632-BRK Wildcat Karambit Linerlock
Steel: D2 Steel
Thickness: – –
Karambits are designed for quick deployment in self-defense situations, and the Boker Wildcat is perfectly suited to that. Supported by an internal ball-bearing, the flipper blade deployed ultra-fast, locking into place almost as soon as the knife leaves the pocket, jacket, etc.
Utilizing a modified tanto-shape blade and a uniquely-ergonomic handle, the Wildcat looks intimidating and has instant slashing power right out of the gate. The D2 steel can carry a razor sharp edge and last a long time with just general care, but as it is predominantly used for tools, some knife enthusiasts have developed a bad opinion of it, considering it too hard to sharpen properly.
While the Wildcat has the typical karambit finger ring to support quick deployment of the blade as well as handling, many users feel the design is too small for their hands, and have issues maintaining a comfortable grip. Others claim it fits “like a glove,” and prefer its smaller size for the tactical advantage.
If you’re looking for a self-defense tool that will intimidate at first sight, this gnarly-looking blade is an excellent choice. However, if plan on using the knife for anything other than an emergency situation, keeping it sharp may prove to be a hassle.
|(+) Excellent, tactical design||(-) Large finger ring makes it hard to conceal totally|
|(+) Easy, ball-bearing-supported open||(-) A bit too small for some hands|
|(-) D2 Steel may be hard to sharpen|
3. Boker 112004ST Stag Lock Blade Hunter
Steel: 440C or N690 Stainless Steel
Blade: 3 1/8”
The Boker Stag Lock has been called one of the most beautiful pocket knives in the world, with hunters and collectors alike praising its solid construction and aesthetics. With a 3 1/8” straight edge blade, there’s not much that this beast can’t cut, and its high-quality steel guarantees resistance to corrosion and hardness over the years.
The blade features a stag handle, which ensures that each and every piece has its own look. It also features a lock-back mechanism to protect the user and prevent accidental closing, and its grooved handle design ensures that you’ll maintain excellent control of the blade while using it. That being said, the Boker Stag is a bit cumbersome for users with smaller hands, and some claim it is just too large and heavy (5.6 oz.) to be a pocket knife.
If you’re a hunter or outdoorsman looking for a knife that will last you a lifetime, this is an excellent blade that will more than live up to your expectations. If you’re a collector or looking to give a gift, the handle and overall design of this knife make it a stunning piece to behold. However, if you’re looking for a daily use knife that you can beat up, or a blade that will protect you in a darkened alley, this isn’t the choice for you.
|(+) Solid build, elegant look||(-) A bit big for a pocket knife|
|(+) Good heft for its size||(-) Thin blade may not be suited to tough work|
|(-) High price point|
4. BOKER PLUS 01BO600 Nano Folding Knife
Steel: 440C Stainless Steel
Blade: 1 7/8”
The Boker PLUS Nano was designed as a “next generation” knife, combining versatility, ergonomics, and portability into an everyday use knife that can serve a lot of different purposes. While most commonly used as a basic utility blade, the Nano’s sturdy-but-small design also makes it well suited to personal defense, mainly thanks to its slip-resistant Zytel casing.
At under 4” when deployed, the Nano is no question a tiny knife, but its thick blade and solid construction helps give it the heft it needs to stand up to a wide variety of jobs. Like many small knives, it has a pocket clip, but Boker has taken the time to make this particular clip removable, so people who prefer to carry it inside the pocket (or purse) can do so without worrying about snagging.
Unfortunately, some users have found the handle design to be too odd for their liking. Not just in appearance, but in functionality as well, as the Zytel casing is only on one side while the other remains simple steel. Others complain the Nano is hard to open with just one hand, as its designers have decided to forgo a thumb ramp for a die cut “thumbhole”
For the everyday user, the Boker Nano is an affordable and reliable knife that will likely last a long time. Its design, however, disguises its versatility, as it would be equally useful in the bush as it would in the warehouse.
|(+) Snub-nosed blade design||(-) Odd handle design|
|(+) Excellent fit and handling||(-) Deployment not smooth|
|(+) Removable pocket clip|
5. Boker 112013 Cronidur Lockback Blade Pocket Knife
Steel: Cronidur 30 Steel
Blade: 3 1/8”
Closed: 4 1/8”
As the name would imply, the Cronidur 30 Lockback knife utilizes Cronidur steel, which is a product of the space shuttle program, which relies heavily on durability and longevity. Without getting overly technical, it’s claimed that this blade will sharpen and hold an edge better than any other steel on the market while being highly resistant to rust and corrosion.
A beautifully-designed knife that’s perfectly suited to hunting, fishing, camping, or collecting, the Cronidur Lockback boasts a 3 1/8” blade and an overall length of 7.25”. This makes it slightly cumbersome for pocket carry, but since there is no belt clip or lanyard hole, that’s most likely where it’s going to end up. While most users praise its solid construction, good heft, and excellent handle design, others feel the blade is too cumbersome to wield one-handed.
Though some feel the “space age” steel claims sound too gimmicky to be true, there’s no denying this knife’s reputation as a long-lasting, heavy-duty tool. If you want something to take into the great outdoors with you, there are few knives that would serve you better. If you’re looking for an everyday carry knife with city or on-the-job applications, there are plenty of other models to choose from.
|(+) Unique, space-age steel||(-) High price point|
|(+) Excellent weight and solid construction||(-) Hard to open one-handed|
No five knives, regardless of their quality, can even come close to representing an industry giant like Boker. Chances are, if you want it and it has an edge, Boker can, will, or has already made it. The good thing about this is that almost anyone, anywhere, can get their hands on a blade that has lived up to the standards of Boker’s high-quality German craftsmanship.
One thing remains certain: if you see the infamous tree logo emblazoned on a blade, it is more than likely worth a look – new, used, or ancient. If you’ve encountered any interesting Boker knives, feel free to contact us to let us know what you think.