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.
Heinrich considered the chestnut tree as an ideal, memorable logo which belonged to the Remscheid company with an arrow as well. One of the rare and precious documents which survived the total destruction of WW II is an ad of Böker Remscheid from 1874, showing both logos.
The relationship between the two Boker companies has always been very friendly. Heinrich was allowed to take the treebrand 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 Picador Flipper Knife.
When Boker explains this line of their 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 blade on this knife is made out of 440C stainless steel. This is a tough and relatively corrosion resistant martensitic stainless steel that maintains a good edge. For many years, this was the peak of cutlery steel, but now there are super steels on the block. However, even today, it does make a great option for a blade steel that fits for most people’s requirements. This steel is similar to 154CM, although it is slightly inferior in corrosion resistance, wear resistance, hardness, and even edge holding. Also the microstructure of 440C is not as fine and uniform as 154 CM, which results in the steel not taking as fine of an edge and it can lead to some chipping on the blade as well. 440C belongs to the family of stainless steels that include 440A and 440B, the major differences being the variance in carbon content between the three.
The blade on this knife has been polished into a mirror finish. A mirror polish is done by hand, polishing the metal into a highly reflective surface. It gives the knife a fantastic look and does offer better corrosion resistance because of how smooth the blade is. However, this finish does require a lot of maintenance to keep its look, which makes it not a great option for tactical, survival, or any other heavy duty type of chores. Also, the amount of work that needs to be put into this blade to get it to a mirror polish does result in an expensive blade. This finish is mainly used for a presentation finish. It can be quickly scratched if you are choosing to use this blade.
The blade has been carved into a spear point blade shape. This is a symmetrically pointed blade that has a point that is in line with the center of the blade’s long axis. To create this uniform shape, both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the center of the blade. This knife has been known to be similar to the needle point blade because it is good for piercing. However, unlike the needle point blade, the spear point has a point that is strong and sharp enough for piercing. While the needle point has a very sharp but weak point that is known for snapping when used against harder targets. The spear point blade also features a lowered point, which is easily controllable and great for fine tip work. One of the other great features about the spear point blade is that they do contain a small belly that can be used for some cutting and slicing. If you were to compare the spear point belly with that of a drop point or a clip point though, it would look incredibly small. The spear point blade is known to be a hybrid design, great for somebody who wants a good balance between all of the traits.
The handle is made out of titanium liners with G-10 handle scales.
Titanium is a lightweight metal that is going to give the knife high corrosion resistance. Because it is a little tougher than your typical metal, it is going to be more expensive to machine, which does raise the cost of this knife. Titanium is a very sturdy metal while also having a springiness to it, which is why it makes a great liner material.
G-10 is made out of fiberglass that has been soaked in resin and then compressed together. It has also been baked under pressure, which creates a very tough, hard, strong material that is still incredibly lightweight. Although it is such a tough material, it does tend to be brittle. This is because all of the fiberglass strands are arranged in a single direction. This creates a material that is incredibly strong in that particular direction but will begin to break apart or crack if it is stressed in any of the other directions. Because the two handle materials are so lightweight, the overall weight of the knife is definitely going to be low. Texture can be easily added to the handle, which does create a very solid and comfortable grip. The overall pros to the G-10 is that it is going to be tough, light, and durable. The overall cons are that it is brittle and some people feel like it lacks elegance.
The titanium liners on this knife have been anodized blue, which show through the G-10 handle scales that are black. This creates a magical looking handle because the blue does shine through. The G-10 has been skeletonized with four holes of varying sizes carved out of the middle of the handle scale. The spine and the belly of the knife have the same symmetry that the blade does. Each side does have a finger guard that is a piece of the blade metal. Then each side curves in as a finger groove. This groove is both comfortable and will give you a solid grip on the knife. The middle of the handle does bulge out. Near the butt of the hadnle (which is pointed) there is a row of thick jimping that will give you even more control when you are using this knife.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This is a disadvantage because tip up carry is the more dangerous way to carry a knife. And because the hadnle has only been drilled for the traditional side of the handle, it is not going to be as ambidextrous.
This knife has been equipped with a flipper as well as a liner lock.
The flipper is a small triangular piece of metal that is part of the blade. When the knife is closed, it extends out of the spine of the handle. The user can use this to pull back on, which will flip the knife out of the handle and lock it into place. The liner lock is a little more complicated to get the hang of than the thumb stud, but it is safer to use and does not protrude off the blade and get in the way.
Liner locks are one of the more common mechanism seen on folding knives. The mechanism’s key characteristic is a side spring bar that is located on the same side as the sharp edge of the blade, which lines the inside of the handle. When the knife is closed, the spring bar is held under tension. When the knife is fully opened, that tension will slip the bar inward to make contact with the butt of the blade, allowing it to rest firmly in place. This tension will also prevent it from closing. To disengage a liner lock, you have to use your thumb or other finger to push the spring bar down so that it clears contact. Then, you can push the blade into the hadnle and lock it into place. The liner lock allows a knife to have two true sides, which is perfect for this symmetrical blade. You can also close the knife with one hand without switching grip, which is perfect for those two-handed jobs. However, this is not the sturdiest locking system, which means you shouldn’t be doing your toughest jobs with this knife.
The blade on this knife measures in at 3.4 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.4 inches long. The overall length of this knife when it is opened measures in at 7.8 inches long. This knife is a very lightweight knife, weighing in at only 2.9 ounces.
The Picador is a liner lock designed flipper that combines tactical elements of the flipper with the refined elements of a 3-D machined pocket clip and blued titanium liners. Every Picador boasts a bearing-mounted blade that is deployed with the triangular spine flipper and the nature of the handle scales really help reduce the overall weight. 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 skeletonized black G-10 handle, blue anodized titanium liners, a spear point blade in a mirror polished 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.