A huge chestnut tree towering above the small Boker hardware factory in the 17th century is the oldest traceable fact about the Boker family. Apparently Boker tools were very successful on the markets, as they were ranked among the leading manufactured goods in Germany and neighboring countries hundred years later on.
Due to rising demand in a politically restless era Hermann and Robert Boker decided to start with the production of sabers in 1829. Inventories of September 1830 had already proven a weekly production of 2000 pieces made by 64 smiths, 47 grinders and a large number of workers and trainees. With a permanently growing product line of tools and cutlery and the great opportunities of global sales, the family saw the need to distribute the tasks to make the best use of their interests. So Hermann Boker emigrated to found Boker & Co. in New York, whereas the younger Robert established his company in Canada and in 1865 a branch in Mexico, being the market leaders under the name of Casa Boker until today.
Heinrich only crossed the river Wupper to go to Solingen, where the German cutlery industry was booming. Together with the well-known cutlery expert Hermann Heuser he founded Heinr. Boker & Co. in 1869.
The relationship between the two Boker companies has always been very friendly. Heinrich was allowed to take the tree brand with him across the river without any troubles or payments. Since then not a single product has left the Solingen factory without this sign. After over 100 years of existence the venerable tree was cut down by a stroke of lightning in 1925. A gifted artist carved an image of the majestic tree into a piece of original trunk which adorns the CEO´s office in Solingen.
The US market quickly became Boker`s most important sales territory. In 1900 most of the production was shipped to the US and H. Boker & Co. in New York was more and more concentrating on products from the Solingen production. The demand for pocket-knives soon beat that for other products like scissors or razors. The demand on the products increased faster than the production capacities in Solingen, so the Bokers from New York decided to start their own pocket-knife production to which pliers were added later on. Because of the tree-brand being well established by then and the good understanding within the international Boker family, there wasn´t any problem to get permission from Solingen to use the tree-brand for American made products as well. Since then there have been two different product lines of Böker knives on the US market with identical logos and sometimes even identical item numbers; one product line Made in USA, the other product line Made in Solingen, only to be differentiated by the markings “Boker USA” or “H. Boker Improved Cutlery Solingen”.
Today we will be discussing the Boker Plus Wasabi Non-Locking Flipper Knife.
When Boker explains this line of knives, they say, “In close cooperation with international acknowledged experts from military, police and security we develop and test tactical knives for the professional user. Boker Plus knives are innovative in terms of function and design, as well as guaranteed for everyday use. Conception, design and construction are carried out in Solingen, and production takes place in Europe, the USA and Asia.”
The man behind this knife is Kansei Matsuno. His bio says, “Kansei was born in 1951 in Japan. He loves fishing and tourism, that’s why, he always needed good hunting knifes. He found very few knifes, which meet his requirements, he decided to make knifes himself. He used difficult technology: using a file to shape the steel billet. He made knives in this way for two years and then bought a simple belt-sander, and in 1992 – the machine BurrKing. Needless to say that productivity and work quality has improved markedly. Kansei enjoyed using instrument, which he made himself, and which was even better, than knifes from stores. Soon, his friends began to ask him to design and built knives for them. Then, in 1998, Kansei started manufacturing knifes only.
In 2001 Kansei visited American knife exhibition for the first time, and in 2002, the quality of his knifes improved and he was admitted for a probationary period in the American Guild of manufacturers of knives. Today, Kansei prefer to create frameworks folding knives made of titanium, stainless steel blades are VG-10b, OU-31, CV-134. Lining the handle makes it out of steel G-10, deer antler, pearl and coral. He changes the design of knife depending on customer requirements. Now, Kansei is manufacturing a series of first-class folding knives with different original designs and high quality.”
The blade on this knife is made out of 440C stainless steel. This is a tough steel that is relatively corrosion resistant. It is also a martensitic steel that maintains a good edge. For a long while, this was the steel that was most wanted. However, now that super steels and higher end steels are coming out, not as many people are after 440C steel. It does still give people almost everything they want out of a steel. This steel is often compared to 154CM, although it is the inferior steel. The microstructure of 440C is not as fine and uniform as 154CM, which means that the edge is not going to maintain itself as well, you are not going to get as fine of an edge, and it may result in some chipping. That being said, it is easier to work with than 154CM, so it is favored in that manner.
The blade has been finished satin, which is a very common blade finish in today’s knife age. The finish is created when the manufacturer repeatedly sands the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive. The finish showcases the bevels of the blade as well as the fine lines of the steel. The finish gives the blade a very traditional look as well as cuts down on glares, reflections, and even increases the corrosion resistance of the knife.
The blade has been carved into a drop point style blade. This is one of the two most popular blade shapes that you can find. The shape is created with a spine that curves slowly from the handle to the tip of the blade. This creates a dropped point, which is where the knife got its name from. The dropped point allows you to have more control over the knife, which makes fine detail work easier to manage. The point is also broad, which is where the knife gets so much of its strength from. The drop point shape also has a large belly, which makes slicing a breeze—perfect for this traditional EDC knife. The only major drawback that the drop point shape has is because its tip is so broad, you do lose out on most of your piercing or stabbing capabilities. You need to remember that you exchanged these for the strength that you get in return. If you are looking for a knife that is going to pierce well, you should be looking for a clip point blade.
The blade on this knife is a plain edge, which is better suited for taking on a wider variety of tasks. It will give you cleaner cuts. The knife is going to be easier to sharpen as well. Plus, the plain edge is going to excel at push cuts, skinning, and slicing.
The handle on this knife is made out of G-10. This is a material that has been made out of fiberglass. It is very similar in properties to carbon fiber, except that it is slightly inferior. Because it is inferior, you can get this material for almost a fraction of the cost, which does keep the overall cost of the knife down. To create this material, the manufacturer is going to take layers of fiberglass cloth, soak them in resin, then compress them and bake them under pressure. This process creates a material that is tough, hard, strong, and even lightweight—perfect for this large knife. Tactical folders and even fixed blades benefit from this material because it is durable, lightweight, and non-porous. The overall pros to a G-10 handle is that it is going to be tough, light, and durable. The overall cons to a G-10 handle is that it is going to be brittle because all of the strands are arranged in a single direction. The other con is that some people feel like it is not as aesthetically pleasing and feel like it lacks elegance.
The G-10 on this handle is black. The handle is completely straight, on both the spine and the belly. The ergonomics are not going to be the most comfortable, but it will serve its purpose. The butt of the handle is slightly rounded and does have a lanyard hole carved into it. If you put a lanyard in it, you can easily wrap the lanyard around the handle if you are ever in dire need of a little extra grip, since this does not offer high amounts of grip.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip on this knife is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This is an advantage for the look of the knife because it does not have holes carved into each end and side of the handle. It is also an advantage because tip down carry is the safer way to carry a knife, because you don’t risk getting your fingers cut if it accidentally opens in your pocket. This is especially important for this knife that is non-locking. However, it is a disadvantage because it is not going to be comfortable for everyone to carry in their own way.
This is a fully manual knife that has been equipped with a flipper. It is a non-locking knife which means that there is no locking mechanism to keep it super secure when you are using it or securely closed when you are not. This just means that you are not going to want to use this knife for heavier duty tasks because it will probably close in on itself. Because it is a fully manual knife, it is going to be legal in more areas than an automatic knife would. This is because it does not fall under the strict set of laws that an automatic knife does. However, it is not going to be as efficient to use. This knife is going to be easier to maintain than a fully automatic knife, because there is not a spring that you need to worry about keeping in pristine condition. That being said, there are still small pieces inside the handle that you need to keep up on. And, you will need to keep up on the hinge maintenance as well.
The blade on this knife measures in at 3 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4 inches long. The overall length of the knife measures in at 7 inches long. This knife is a lightweight knife, measuring in at only 1.7 ounces.
Designer Kansei Matsuno blends classic Japanese style elements with modern gentlemen’s aesthetics in the new Wasabi flipper. Built in 3 different configurations, the Wasabi comes complete with a non-locking slip joint mechanism that houses a decent ball for the blade to remain open but not locked and the ball bearings translates into ultra-fluid action. The Boker Plus line of knives are designed in cooperation with knife experts worldwide and provide innovative knife concepts for every task. This model features black G-10 handle scales, stainless steel liners, a drop point style blade in a satin finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.