BladeOps Exclusive Mini Kalashnikov 73 Automatic Knife Review

BladeOps Exclusive Mini Kalashnikov 73 Automatic Knife
BladeOps Exclusive Mini Kalashnikov 73 Automatic Knife
BladeOps Exclusive Mini Kalashnikov 73 Automatic Knife

Boker traces its origins 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 favorites 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.

Boker was actually one of the first companies that offered a ceramic knife as a featured product line.

Today we will be talking about the BladeOps exclusive Mini Kalashnikov 73 automatic knife that features an S30V stainless steel blade and an aluminum handle.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife has been made out of CPM-S30V steel, which is usually referred to as just S30V stainless steel. This steel was made by Crucible Industries, which is a United States based company.  CPM S30V is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance, as well as bringing in extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. CPM S30V offers substantial improvement in toughness over other high hardness steels such as 440C and D2, and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments. The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel that is characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes. This super corrosion resistant steel is often used on kitchen cutlery as well as other knives that are going to be introduced to some of the more extreme environments. Dollar for dollar, CPM S30V steel is regarded as one of the highest quality knife blade steels that offers you the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. However, this steel does have one drawback: it does provide to be a trickier steel to sharpen and work with than some of the softer steels.

This Exclusive blade has been finished with a satin finish. The satin finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine sandpaper. This process will result in showing off the fine lines of the steel as well as the bevels in the blade. A good satin finish is the most popular blade finish that is used on pocket knives in today’s market; the satin finish is extremely traditional and the medium luster gives the blade a very classic look. A satin finish does slightly increase the blade’s corrosion resistance, although it would be hard to really notice this difference.

The mini Kalashnikov has been manufactured into a drop point blade. The drop point blade (along with the clip point) is the most popular blade shape in today’s cutlery industry. The drop point blade is durable, versatile, and can be found in any type of knives: ranging from hunting knives to a larger Swiss army knife. The blade shape itself is formed by having the unsharpened edge of the knife run straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. This lowered point is a key component of a drop point blade because of all the things it does for the blade style. For starters, the lowered tip provides more control, which is why this blade style is popular choice on hunting knives. It is this ability to control your blade that makes it easier to avoid accidently ruining the meat. The lowered point also adds strength to the tip. And because of this tip strength and the blades overall ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are also a very popular option on tactical and survival knives. Drop point blades are also very versatile; making them the perfect blade shape for your everyday carry knife. The blade style features a large belly that makes slicing a breeze; the most common thing that you are going to be doing with your knife is slicing, so if you are in the market for a new EDC blade, look for one with a large belly, such as this exclusive Kalashnikov. Drop points really only have one disadvantage to them and that is the broad tip. While the tip does add a significant amount of strength to the blade tip, it does take away most of your ability to effectively pierce. If you are looking for a better piercing knife, look for one that features a clip point style blade. Because of the classic drop point blade on the Exclusive Mini Kalashnikov, you will be prepared to take on almost any task. You will be capable of opening letters, cutting up cardboard boxes, or even skinning game if it comes down to it.

This knife also has a plain edged blade, which is a continuous blade without any teeth. The plain edged blade enables you to take on tasks that are done with push cuts, which are when you push the edge of the blade through the thing to be cut. Some examples are when you peel an apple, you push the edge of the knife under the skin of the apple. When you are chopping wood, you try to push the edge into and through the word. The plain edge is also going to be the better option if you are looking for better control, better accuracy, or if you need to have clean cuts, instead of the jagged edges that a serrated blade would produce.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this Boker knife is made out of aluminum. Aluminum really is a great knife handle option for a variety of reasons. For starters, it is a low-density metal, so while it is very tough, it is also very lightweight. But, it still provides you with the hefty feel that makes you feel as if the knife can actually back you up when needed—because it can. Aluminum is strong, durable, and very resistant to corrosion, which means that maintenance time on this knife is going to be lower than say a knife with a stainless steel handle on it. When the handle is properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a pretty solid grip that is also comfortable, even if you are going to be using for extended periods of time. However, aluminum has high conductive properties; if you are going to be using this knife in the winter, be prepared with some gloves, because it will feel like it is biting into your fingers if you don’t. Aluminum is also prone to scratches and dings—although an anodization process will help significantly with that.

The ergonomics make this handle comfortable to hold. There are four deep finger grooves to give you a comfortable grip and also to make this handle easier to hold. The finger groove that is closest to the blade also creates a slight finger guard to protect your fingers from getting sliced if your hand does slip. The aluminum has been heavily textured so that it is not slippery like many aluminum handles are. Along the face of the handle, there have also been three horizontal ridges added to provide an extra portion of texture to help with your grip. To help with control over the knife, there is a section of jimping on the spine of the handle where the handle meets the blade. There is also jimping on the butt of the handle.

Also on the butt of the handle is a lanyard hole. While you might originally thing that lanyards only serve a beneficial purpose on fixed blades, they actually make a great addition to your EDC. While the deep carry pocket clip does keep the knife properly hidden, it does take a little longer to draw your knife out. Enter the lanyard: you can easily grab the lanyard (which doesn’t matter if it is hanging out of your pocket, as opposed to a portion of your knife handle hanging out) and whip your knife out in seconds. Some other reasons to tie a lanyard onto your EDC is to keep this knife from getting lost, or keeping yourself from dropping it into water, or you could add a lanyard on purely for a fashion or style statement.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry, which means that it will ride as low as it can in your pocket. Not only does this keep it a little more secure, it keeps it more out of sight. This clip is stainless steel and satin finished to match the blade and the other hardware on the knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is an automatic knife. However, it is referred to as an auto-conversion knife. An automatic knife is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade that is held in the handle. This blade is opened when a button activates a spring inside of the handle.

Automatic knives have a strict set of laws that surround them in the United States, because there has bene a tumultuous history surrounding them. In many states, cities, and areas of the US, automatic knives are not legal to own or purchase. That being said, it is your responsibility before purchasing or owning these knives to know the consequences—not the responsibility of BladeOps.

One of the other laws surrounding automatic knives is that they are mostly illegal to import. This is why this Boker knife is an auto-conversion knife. It was imported as a manual folding knife, but BladeOps has added a spring, along with a few other parts, to make it work like an automatic knife. And, because of these changes, it is now considered to be an automatic knife and the same strict laws surround it.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2.5 inches long, with a handle length of 3.25 inches long. The overall length of the knife when it is open is 5.75 inches long. This knife weighs in at 2 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

The Boker Kalashnikov automatic knife is one of the most popular side open automatics on the market today considering the price point. This knife, as well as the rest of the Kalashnikov auto family, 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 mini Kalashnikov, which is slightly smaller than its full sized predecessor, features an aluminum handle scale with integrated finger grooves for a comfortable ergonomic experience and our exclusive model now features CPM-S30V blade material for unprecedented edge retention and strength. This steel will also cut down on your required maintenance time, because it is so resistant to rust and corrosion. This particular model features a black handle with standard hardware and a drop point blade in a satin finish. The drop point blade is a classic blade shape that will enable you to take on almost any task—from your regular everyday needs to defending yourself. Finally, the deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only.

*Please note that the seals on the box will arrive broken due to the knife being converted

Pick up your BladeOps Exclusive Boker Mini Kalashnikov 73 automatic today at BladeOps.

 

 

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