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Boker Kalashnikov knives have become nearly an iconic part of knife culture. These knives are built as an interpretation of the extremely famous Kalashnikov AK-47. First designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov back in 1947, the AK-47 quickly became the main staple for eastern bloc countries looking for automatic guns. In fact, by 2009, nearly 100 million of these guns had been produced–an interesting fact is that almost half are considered to be counterfeits. The Boker Kalashnikov knives have an AUS-8 blade that can be found with a black, sand, or satin finish. Combo edge or plain edge are available in both the satin and black styles, the sand finished blade comes only in a combo edge. The handles are either black, green, sand or grey. The appealing thing about these knives is that they are fairly simple to convert from a button lock manual folder into an automatic knife. Most knife sites will sell both versions–either a manual button lock or an already “converted” auto knife. One thing to remember about the “conversion” process is that it does void the warranty from Boker. Now the Boker Kalashnikov is available in a new smaller size called the mini. This series was given the 73 code. So if you see a Boker 73 for sale, it is the smaller version.
I especially like the details on the Boker Kalashnikov. The main pivot screw has the classic Russian Star on the top. The knife comes in a box shaped like an AK-47 banana clip. Very cool details. But the knife itself is an absolute workhorse. I carried one of these for about six months and was absolutely brutal to it. I used it for everything and anything. It withstood the test. At the end of six months, it had several scratches on the blade but it still functioned perfectly. Similar to the AK-47, the Boker Kalashnikov knife is a deceptively simple design which makes maintenance, cleaning, and tune ups a breeze. If you haven’t ever had one of these spectacular knives, you should definitely consider getting one. If you already have one or two or more, you already know, the Boker 74 and now the Boker 73 series are knives to be reckoned with.
Several years ago I purchased a Boker Kalashnikov knife. Converted from a manual push button folder into a side open automatic knife, this beauty was the perfect everyday carry knife. I used it hard for six months and then retired it to my wall of knives. After giving it’s all to me for those 180 days, it was time for a rest.
Built with a 3 1/4″ blade of AUS8, the knife is about the perfect size for everything that I run into on a daily basis. The blade was easy to keep sharp with my Spyderco Sharpmaker. I had the desert tan model with partial serrations on the blade. The combo edge made it simple to cut straps and rope whenever I needed to–but even better, it made short work of that horrible plastic packaging strap stuff that boxes so often come bound up in. I would just slide my knife under the strap, twist it so the blade was facing up and give it a quick pull/slide across the strap and the straps would slice right off of the box.
Of course my Boker Kalashnikov makes short work of opening packages, but really, almost any knife can do that. The real question was, could the knife do more than the average EDC knife. The answer is a resounding YES. One time, and I probably should be ashamed to admit this but I really like to put my knives through the paces to see if they are great or not, I even used my Kalashnikov to help me replace a section of my sprinkler system. I used it to cut funny pipe. I even used it once to cut through a piece of 3/4 pvc pipe because I wanted to see if the knife could do it. It did. I had to saw a bit to get the job done, but the serrations cut right through the pvc pipe and I got the sprinklers all repaired. I don’t suggest you use your knife to do this, but I did and it was tough enough to get the job done.
After six months of hard use, my knife was still in surprisingly good shape. The blade had a few scratches across the face–which is to be expected considering how hard I used the knife. The handle had nearly no visible wear and tear. I did have one short scratch on the front side of the handle where I scraped it across a metal bar as I was pulling my hand out of a tight spot where I was using the knife to cut a string that was behind some shelves. The ding is almost not visible unless you know what you are looking for.
My review of the Boker Kalashnikov is that it can get nearly any job done. The blade size is plenty big for most jobs and the AUS8 stainless steel is perfect for daily, heavy use. The handle is comfortable and rugged. The knife is nearly indestructible. Looking for a great automatic conversion knife–consider the Kalashnikov.