Boker Magnum Automatic Knife Review

Boker is one of the oldest knife manufacturers around, dating back clear into the 17th century. Boker says that “a huge chestnut tree towering above the small Boker hardware-factory in eh 17th century is the oldest traceable fact about the Boker family. Apparently Boker tools were very successful, for they ranked among the leading products in Germany and neighboring countries a hundred years later.”

In 1829, there was a rising demand in a politically restless era. Hermann and Robert Boker decided to start with the production of sabres in 1829. Inventories of September 1830 already prove a weekly production of 2000 pieces, made by 64 smiths, 47 grinders, and a large number of laborers. With an ever growing variety of tools and cutlery combined with the possibilities of international marketing the family realized that responsibility assignment was crucial to keep their chances. So Hermann Boker emigrated to found Boker & Co in New York, whereas the younger Robert established his company in Canada in 1865, and later a branch in Mexico.

Heinrich only cross the river Wupper to go to Solingen, where the German cutlery industry was booming, to found Heiner. Boker & Co. with the well-known cutlery expect Hermann Heuser in 1869.

The Bokers in Remscheid and their cousins overseas were very interested and in demand of razors, scissors, and pocket knives from Heinrich’s new enterprise. They had to label their products in a simple manner for overseas-markets, for many customers had problems spelling the German name Boker. Heinrich considered the chestnut tree as an ideal memorable logo, which belonged to the Remscheid company with another one, an arrow. One of the rare and precious documents, which survived the total destruction of WWII is an ad of Boker Remscheid form 1874, showing both logos.

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 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 lighting in 1925. A gifted artist carved an image of the majestic tree into a piece of original tree trunk, which adorns the executive’s office in Solingen.

The US market actually became the main customer of Boker production as early as 1900 with H. Boker & Co in New York concentrating on Solingen cutlery. The demand for pocket knives soon beat that for other products like scissors or razors. In due course, the Solingen capacities were exhausted and the New Yorkers started their own pocket knife production. 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 products too. Since then, there were two different lines of Boker knives son the US market, with identical logos and sometimes even identical item numbers, one line made in USA, the other made in Solingen. The only distinguishing characteristic is the markings “Boker USA” or “H. Boker Improved Cutlery Solingen.”

With such a rich history, you can expect rich, high quality knives. Today, we will be talking about the Boker Magnum.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of AUS-8 stainless steel. This is an upper mid-range steel. AUS-8 steel is Japanese made and extremely similar to 440B steel which is slightly more resistant to rust and corrosion than 440C but less hard. It’s also similar tough but may not hold its edge as well as some of the more premium steels which carry a greater degree of carbon. Remember, more carbon means more hardness and edge holding. This steel is really easy to sharpen and does take a razor sharp edge. This is one of the more common stainless steels, and it is one readily available in lots of different places worldwide. This is a decent all around steel. It is hard enough, tough enough, and stain resistant enough. It will not hang long with high end powder metal steels, but among the steels you are going to find on most knives, this is a pretty good choice.

The blade has been finished with a black coated finish. Coatings provide corrosion resistance, but they will scratch off eventually and at different rates, depending on the quality of the coating. Coated finishes are completely matte and reduce glares and reflections, while also reducing wear and corrosion. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings do add cost to a knife, but will provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and even require less maintenance.

Boker Magnum Auto Knife, Tanto
Boker Magnum Auto Knife, Tanto

The Boker Magnum has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape is the perfect option if you don’t want an all-purpose knife. This blade shape is designed for doing one thing and that one thing really well. The thing that the tanto excels at is piercing through tough materials. This style of blade was originally designed for armor piercing, the tanto blade was popularized by Cold Steel and is similar in style to Japanese long and short swords. The tanto knife has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong point that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The thick point of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tips, so it is able to absorb the impact form repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. The front edge of the tanto knife meets the back edge at an angle, rather than a curve. As a result, the tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. Because it does lack a belly for slicing, it is not useful as a general utility knife. However, its extremely strong point allows it to be used in tough situations where piercing hard materials is required. When you choose this knife, you are choosing a knife that is specifically tailored to piercing tough materials.

This knife does feature a combo blade edge. This edge style is where the top portion of the blade is a plain edge and the bottom portion of the blade is a serrated edge. This style of blade edge has actually overtaken the all-serrated format. There are plenty of mixed feelings on this format. Many people actually swear by this format, and feel that it is a good compromise, giving the user the choice of precise push cuts form the plain edge, and the advantage of the serrated edge for tougher materials. However, because the edge is split, some people feel like the serrated portion is too short for the serrations to really be useful and the length of the plain edge is being sacrificed for no good gain. Really, when choosing a knife with a combo edge, it comes down to solely preference. There are plenty of good things to a combo edge, but there are also a few drawbacks. I would recommend looking at what you expect to be doing with this knife to see if it is a good option for you and your lifestyle.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Magnum has been made out of aluminum. This aluminum has been anodized black, not only for color, but also for hardness and protection. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. It is in the category of low density metals, but it still has the hefty feel to it, without actually weighing the knife down. This balance is hard to achieve because you want the knife to feel hefty enough to take on your daily tasks, but you don’t want your knife to weigh you down, like a steel handle would. When this material is texturized correctly, it can provide you with a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. Unfortunately, one of the biggest disadvantages is that if you are using your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium, which tends to be found on the more premium knives. One of the other drawbacks to this handle material is that it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

The ergonomics of this handle are excellent. The handle curves to fit in your palm smoothly and comfortably, even if you are using this knife for long periods of time. The butt of the handle is flared out slightly and three are grooves cut in down the palm of the handle to provide you with exceptional grip.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip has been designed for tip down carry only. The clip is mostly straight, but the portion that is screwed into the handle does curved to match the curves of the handle top. The clip is black, matching the rest of the knife and three black screws keep it held in place.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife. Automatic knives do have a series of strict laws surrounding them in the United States. They are not legal in all states, cities, or areas. Make sure that you are certain about your local laws before purchasing and carrying this knife, because it might be illegal to carry. Automatic knives are also known as switchblades. This is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a button on the handle is activate. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened positon. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position.

There are plenty of advantages to having an automatic knife such as that they are fast and you can even open them one handed. Some of the disadvantages are that there is restricted ownership, they are usually more expensive, and since there are so many mechanical pieces, something could break and then the knife wouldn’t work. If you are in a tactical situation, an automatic knife is going to be a great option because they do have crazy fast blade deployment. However, while automatic knives are extremely fast to deploy, they are also typically slower to close.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Boker Magnum is 3.25 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 8 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 4.75 inches long. The knife weighs in at 4.4 ounces. When you order this knife from BladeOps, the seals on the box will arrive broken due to the knife being converted in our shop.

 

Conclusion:

The Boker Magnum automatic knife is one of the more popular side open automatics on the market today considering the price point. This knife is referred to an auto-conversion knife which means the knife is produced as a folder knife and then converted via third party to offer the automatic function. The Magnum series features an aluminum handle scale that is comfortable and ergonomic and the AUS-8 blade material offers better edge retention than you would expect. The aluminum handle is extremely durable and resistant to rusting or corrosion. The AUS-8 is a quality, all-around steel that is going to be able to take on almost all of your daily challenges. With a knife made out of both of these materials, you can expect a knife that is going to step up to the plate and succeed under pressure. This particular model features a black handle with standard hardware and a tanto blade, that is partly serrated, in a black finish. Finally, the pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. Pick up your Boker Magnum Tanto Automatic Knife today at BladeOps.

 

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