Böker Knives began in Germany during the 17th century. The company originally focused on swords and didn’t move on to design blades until the 1800’s. If you go back and look at the company’s books, they will tell you that by 1839 Böker was producing around 2000 Sabres a week for various wars. In the 1960’s, the company had migrated into North America; however, they were just sub brands at the time. During World War II, the main Germany factory was destroyed, so Boker USA took control. Since then, the company has traded hands several times, but in 1986 Boker USA was started for good for US production. The symbol of this company is a giant chestnut tree, which is the perfect symbol because over the 150 years that it has existed, the company has reached out, or “branched out”, and become planted across the world.
Boker USA is the in charge of the production of Boker knives, but they carry five brand names underneath them which are Boker, Boker Arbolito, Boker Plus, Magnum by Boker, and Cinch by Boker.
Boker is sometimes known as the Tree Brand, so any knives that are labeled with this are usually purely Boker.
Boker Arbolito means little tree in Spanish. If you see a knife labeled with this name, it means that it was manufactured in Argentina and typically are only household or work knives.
Boker Plus knives are manufactured in Taiwan and China. These knives are typically not as high quality as Boker, but they are more quality than Magnum by Boker. In this line, you will find tactical and outdoor knives.
Magnum by Boker knives are also manufactured in Taiwan and China. This line of knives focus on value, so out of the five sub brands, these are going to be the least expensive of them. Don’t worry about sacrificing quality though, because these knives are still made from quality materials.
Cinch by Boker are knives designed to fit the Western lifestyle. They are targeted towards ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts. This is actually a collaboration between Boker and Cinch Jeans. This is a classy line that have an authentic feel to them.
Boker produces great knives and because of the five different sub brands, you will find a large variety of different styles, values, and designs of knives. Today I am going over two great and popular Boker Knives.
The Boker Plus Subcom:
Just like the name implies, this is part of the Boker Plus brand. The drop point blade on this knife is 1.875 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 4.625 inches long and has been known as the “money clip knife”. This knife has been used for a defensive tool and a backup knife. The blade has a big belly that makes it perfect for utility purposes and the tip is chubby so it isn’t meant for stabbing. Even though it is so small, because of the blade shape and the tip shape it can cut just as well as a larger knife.
The knife weighs 2.5 ounces, which seems small at first, but when you realize that the blade is smaller than 2 inches long, it starts to seem like a hefty knife. It weighs what it does because the knife has a stainless steel frame lock and a full steel liner.
The ergonomics on this knife is as good as you are going to get on such a small knife, because really, there is no way that you can fit your whole hand on this. A bonus about the handle on this knife is all the jimping, which provides grip and traction just where you need it. Unfortunately, because of all this jimping, it can be an uncomfortable knife to use for long periods of time.
This knife was such a hit that Boker made a few different versions to satisfy everyone, these versions are:
The Subcom F: This version has AUS-8 steel with a black or silver blade. It is partially serrated and has an FRN handle that comes in either black or gray. The locking system is a frame lock. This was the original Subcom knife and the other versions are just copycats. Along with the silver, black, and gray versions, there is a special camo version.
The Subcom Titan: When Boker designed this version, they designed it to be an elite version of the F. This version sports a satin 440-C stainless steel, which is a higher quality steel than the other versions. The edge is plain. The handle is made out of titanium and because of that it only weighs 1.9 ounces. Because of the titanium handle and silver blade, it looks more elegant than the other versions. It has either a frame lock or a slip joint locking mechanism.
The Subcom 42: This blade is made out of AUS-8 steel that is finished with a bead blast. The blade has a plain edge. The handle is made out of pink FRN material and it sports a frame lock mechanism.
The Subcom Dusk: This version also has AUS-8 steel, but this one has a black finish. It is partially serrated. The Zytel handle is orange and this version boasts a framelock mechanism.
The Subcom Dawn: This also has a satin AUS-8 blade that has a plain edge. The Orange Zytel handle has either a frame lock or a slip joint locking mechanism.
The Subcom Z: Just like most of the versions, the Z has AUS-8 steel, but with a black finish. It is partially serrated. The green Zytel handle sports a frame lock system.
The Subclaw: This version is very similar to the Subcom F but the main difference is the blade shape. This version has a Hawkbill blade. This blade shape is great for slicing, but not for a lot of other things. Many people only see this as a defensive or collectors blade.
The WharCom: This is also similar to the Subcom F, but again, it has a different blade shape. This style of blade has a Wharncliffe blade that is perfectly straight from the handle to the tip. The shape is very similar to a razor blade. This is a great blade shape for slicing, but it is a perfect blade shape for scraping.
The ResCom: This is the most unique out of all the Subcom versions that were previously mentioned. This one is designed for safety and rescue situations. It is also similar to the Subcom F. The ResCom has an almost hook shaped blade, but the outside of the hook is not sharp in any places. There is another portion of the blade that is a saw. This is so that you can cut materials that are too large to get through the hook. This is not going to be an everyday knife, but it is a great candidate for your emergency, safety, or rescue knife. It does dull relatively quickly, so using it for everyday tasks would not be ideal. You can get the ResCom in two different versions: all black—black blade, black handle, and black thumb studs, or a red version—silver blade, red frame and red thumb studs.
Pros of the Plus Subcom:
- This is a very small knife, so it won’t weigh you down and is easy to have with you at all times.
- The knife sports a large belly, so it is easy to cut with and can actually cut as well as larger knives.
- The knife comes in a large variety of handle colors and materials.
- The knife also comes in a large variety of steel and steel colors.
- The extra jimping allows for great grip.
Cons of the Plus Subcom:
- This is a tiny knife, so it can’t stand up to large, heavy duty tasks.
- The extra jimping can get uncomfortable quickly.
- There is no way that you are going to be able to use your hold hand to hold this knife.
The Boker Plus Kwaiken Flipper:
This knife is also manufactured from Boker in their Boker Plus line. This knife was originally called the Boker Kwaiken, and it was a flop. People were disappointed in how hard the knife was to open and they were disappointed because the tip of the blade peeked out of the handle when it was supposed to be closed. But Boker redesigned this knife in a flipper version. When the flipper version was first released, many collectors were after it to see if Boker had actually fixed the problems.
The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long and made out of either AUS-8 steel or VG-10. The shape of the knife is a modified drop point silhouette that looks sleek and tucks into the handle perfectly. The tip on this knife is very fine, which makes it perfect for stabbing things. The AUS-8 steel is easy to sharpen. However, there were still many complaints about the steel because it isn’t the highest quality steel. That was when Boker released the upgraded version with the VG-10 steel. However, VG-10 steel is a little bit weaker than the AUS-8. Neither of the options hold their edge super well, but they both are durable enough.
The handle on this knife is unique. It sports full steel liners and has 3D machined pieces of titanium. Both of these materials are supports by a solid titanium back spacer. The handle was designed to have a minimalist look to it and is monochromatic. Some pros about the simple design is that it will work for almost any hand size. Some of the cons to the simple design is that there is really no texture to it, meaning the grip is lacking a little bit. The titanium keeps the knife sturdy and durable. However, because of all the titanium, this is a heavy knife. The handle features a pocket clip; it is a right side tip-up pocket clip. The flipper knife works because of the IKBS bearing pivot system, which helps flip well and open with a snap.
The overall length of the knife is 8 3/8 inches long and weighs 5.4 ounces. The blade thickness is 0.1 inches.
Pros of the Kwaiken Flipper:
- The fine tip is ideal for piercing cuts
- You can get the blade in either AUS-8 or VG-10 steel.
- The steel is easy to sharpen.
- The simple design helps to fit in any size hand.
- Very sturdy knife.
- Opens and flips well.
Boker has a rich history that slowly got them to where they needed to be. Today, there are five different Sub Brands that Boker USA owns, each of which specialize in their own categories. Boker Plus produces good quality knives, that aren’t quite as high quality as Boker, but they still are made with high quality materials so you know that you are getting a reliable knife. Boker Plus focuses on making tactical and outdoors knives. Today I chose two different Boker Plus knives to really focus on: The Plus Subcom and the Kwaiken Flipper.
The Subcom is a small knife that isn’t meant to do big tasks, but is great for having with you as a backup knife, a defensive knife, or for doing the smaller everyday tasks. The Subcom is great because there are so many different variations of it, so you really will get exactly what you are looking for. It’s a small knife, but it’s a good knife. The Subcom will be an old friend, not something you see every day, but will stand up for you when you need it to.
The Kwaiken Flipper has a history. The original Kwaiken was not an instant hit, in fact it was a disappointment. But Boker heard the complaints and re-designed it. It’s a sturdy, reliable knife, but it is a heavy knife. It will be able to stand up to the tasks that you throw at it.
These two knives are popular knives for a reason and it’s not a bad idea to try them out.