Boker Plus Kihon Tanto Stainless Steel Flipper Knife Review

Boker traces its origin to the 17th century as a tool maker in Germany graduating to swords and blades by the 1800s. The company claims it was producing 2000 sabres a week by 1839 for use in various wars. By the 1860s the company had fractured with a branch of the family emigrating to North America and setting up plants in Canada, New York, and Mexico. The German and North American factories produced similar knives and used the “Tree Brand” trademark. This continued until World War II when the Solingen factory was destroyed and “Boker USA” took control of the trademark until the German factory was rebuilt in the 1950s. In the 1960s and 1970s the company changed hands several times, with the New York facility (Hermann Boker & Co) shutting down in 1983. In 1986, Boker reacquired the rights to the American brand and Boker USA was started in Denver, Colorado for US production.

A fun fact about Boker is that they were one of the first companies that offered ceramic knives as a featured product line.

 

Boker Plus:

             When Boker is describing their Boker Plus line, 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 Designer:

             This knife is designed by Lucas Burnley. Lucas’ formative years were spent traveling North America with his family where he was raised on a steady diet of adventure in the campgrounds of National Parks and under the tutelage of some of the best action movies of our time. Lucas views knives as a personal expression of independence, self-reliance, and fun—ideas and philosophies he began formulating as a, bowie-toting 7-year-old. He designs in a style that he considers to be Post-Tactical™, blending clean modern lines with tactical origins. Above all, he believes that utility shouldn’t come at the cost of beauty. Along with his custom line and BNRLY Brand (limited production), Lucas works closely with companies Böker and CRKT to continue making his designs available to a wider audience.

 

The Blade:

             The blade on this knife is made out of D2 Tool Steel. This is a high end tool steel that is often referred to as a semi-stainless steel. This is because it falls just short of the required amount of chromium, which is 13%, to qualify as a full stainless knife. However, it does still provide a good amount of resistance to corrosion. However, in the semi-stainless steel category, D2 is one of the hardest ones, especially when compared to the popular 154CM or ATS-34 steels. This means that it is going to hold its edge a little better than the other semi-stainless steels. However, it is not as tough as many other steels and it is also extremely hard to sharpen. You will need to be a master-sharpener, or will need to find a master-sharpener to get a fine enough edge on this steel, and thus, this blade.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish, which is one of the most popular blade finishes in the cutlery industry to date. The finish creates a classic look, which Boker is known to love. Not only that, but the finish also showcases the fine lines in the steels as well as showcasing the bevels of the blade. The satin finish can also increase the blade’s corrosion resistance slightly, although not enough to really account for much. The finish is created when the manufacturer repeatedly sands the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive. The fine abrasive that is most commonly used is a fine sandpaper. The finer the sandpaper and the more even the lines, the cleaner the finish is going to look. Because it is a Boker knife, and Boker is known for tradition, the finish is going to be very clean.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a tanto style blade. The tanto blade shape is not designed as an all-purpose blade, but rather a blade that is going to do one thing and do that one thing incredibly well. This blade shape was originally known and designed to pierce through armor, but was redesigned and popularized by Cold Steel in the 80s. This shape is still similar in style to the Japanese long and short swords that it was based off of. The tanto knife has a high point with a flat grind, which leads to an extremely strong point. This point is going to excel at stabbing into hard materials. This is because the point does contain a lot of excess metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact form repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. Something else that is unique about this blade shape is that the front edge of the knife meets the spine at an angle, rather than your typical curve. This means that the blade is not going to have a belly, because it has been sacrificed for a stronger tip. That being said, because it does not have a belly for slicing, you aren’t going to want to use this knife as an EDC or a general utility knife. But, if you are ever in a situation where you need to pierce through hard materials, this knife is going to be your guy.

 

The Handle:

             The handle on this knife is made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel is going to provide high durability for a knife while also being incredibly resistant to corrosion. The biggest disadvantage of a stainless steel knife is that it is not very lightweight and will significantly increase the weight of this knife. Plus, stainless steel handles are sleek. While this sleekness does look good, it also causes the knife to be pretty slippery, so manufacturers have to incorporate etchings to give the user the needed friction. This extra work is also going to increase the cost of the knife. Because it is such a heavy material, stainless steel liners should be avoided in an EDC knife or even a heavy duty knife, because of the added weight. The overall pros to a stainless steel knife handle is that it is going to be strong, durable, and corrosion resistant. The overall cons to a stainless steel knife handle is that it is going to be heavy and it can be slippery.

The knife handle is unique, which the spine of the knife being almost completely straight. This is similar to the belly, which is also incredibly straight. Both the spine and the belly do taper out towards the butt of the handle. Because it gets wider at the bottom, you are going to have a solid grip on the knife. While the other ergonomics are not the highest quality for a secure grip, the tapering of the hadnle really does do wonders. There is a finger indent that will also help with comfort as well as adding a little more grip. Underneath the finger indent is a thick row of jimping, that will give you even more control over the knife when you are using it to slice. The butt of the handle is angled with a point. The butt of the hadnle also has an oblong lanyard hole carved into it. This lanyard hole is ideal for when you want your knife close by but want it out of the way. The lanyard will also give you a little extra grip if you need it. All you have to do is wrap the lanyard around the handle before you grip it. It creates a thick ridge as well as giving you some texture so that you feel like you cannot slip. The manufacturer has carved some ray shapes into the handle, which will provide you with some grip, although not as much as you would find on many other knives.


The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This is an advantage and a drawback. It is an advantage because it does look classy to not have the hadnle full of drilled holes. However, it is a disadvantage because tip up carry is definitely the more dangerous way to carry a knife. If it happens to come open in your pocket and you reach into your pocket, you can slice your hand. There have been plenty cases of people doing this, which is why many people prefer to carry it tip down. Also, because it can only be attached on the traditional side of the handle, it is not as ambidextrous or comfortable for a wide audience.

Boker Plus Kihon Tanto Stainless Steel Flipper Knife
Boker Plus Kihon Tanto Stainless Steel Flipper Knife


The Mechanism:

This is a flipper knife that has been equipped with both a dual thumb stud as well as a flipper. It has been finished off with a Japanese-inspired frame lock.

The dual thumb stud is the same as a regular thumb stud in all ways, except that it extends out of both sides. This means that it is going to be ambidextrous and give the blade to sides, instead of one front. The dual thumb stud is also going to be easy to use, easy to get the hang of, and can be used with only one hand comfortably.

The flipper is a piece of metal that extends off of the blade in a rectangular shape. The user pulls back on this to flip the knife open and lock it into place. It is a little harder to get the hang of than a thumb stud but is ambidextrous by design. When the knife is opened, the flipper does act as a finger guard.

The frame lock is really just the beefed up version of the liner lock. This is very similar to the liner lock, except that instead of an internal spring bar moving into place, it’s part of the hadnle itself. Frame locks are going to be stronger than liner locks, because the piece of metal that slips into place is usually thicker and more durable than that in a liner lock. But, because of their similarity, closing a frame lock is going to be the same as a closing a liner lock—you push down on the spring bar so that it no longer blocks the butt of the blade, remove your fingers from the path, then fold the knife closed. The frame lock is known for being ideal for heavy-duty tasks. This style of locking mechanism is seen more in mid to upper range knives.


The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.3 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.5 inches long. The overall length of this knife when it is opened measures in at 7.8 inches long. This is a heftier knife, partly because it is larger, and partly because of the heavy materials used. It weighs in at 5.4 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

The Boker Plus Kihon is a Lucas Burnley designed flipper that is one of many new knives released by Boker this year. Burnley, who is the godfather behind the popular Kwaiken series, created another Japanese-inspired frame lock design that also features a Rick Hinderer designed lock stop that assists in limiting the travel of the frame lock actuator. Furthermore, the stainless steel blade is rapidly deployed with either the dual thumb studs or the spine flipper function thanks to the ball bearing pivot. 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 stainless steel handles, a tanto style blade in a satin finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.