What's the story with Böker?

bigsurbob

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Jun 10, 2016
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An favorite uncle bought a slipjoint (Solingen) for my dad before I was born. It still sits in his "goody drawer" I used to go through as a kid. That was one of the first "quality" knives I was aware of growing up. I know there are lots of better companies, but I do dig a Böker.

I like my Plus. Svelt, titanium. Sharp 440C. Zero blade play. Totally adequate.

20201013_195502.jpg
 

Dadpool

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May 18, 2015
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I like everything about the urban trapper and kwaiken but the steel. It is overpriced imo, especially with unreliable QC.

I look at Boker the same way I do CRKT. Not worth my time with the good possibility it will have issues, plus both are overpriced, especially CRKT.

I've owned zero Boker knives, but somehow picked up this same impression of their modern knives -- from multiple sources, across several years. None of their designs that I like (again, sticking only to the modern locking folders, my primary interest; I gather their traditionals can be quite nice) are offered at "take a chance on this knife" prices. Instead, they're sold at "knife from a brand you know will have great QC" prices...and I'd rather buy one of those. ;)

I'd like to form some firsthand impressions of their knives. I'm just not sure I see that actually happening.
 

Smaug

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Jun 30, 2003
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All of the German Bokers I've run into have been decent to excellent.

The Argentine Bokers are close to the Germans.

The Boker Plus line up is a toss up, there are some that are great, others that are a lot worse than their Chinese off-brand cousins. You really need to look at pictures and read the reviews on a model by model basis.

The fourth Boker line is the "Magnum" one. This seems to be a catch all Boker offshoot, most used in Europe, that deals in everything from special editions, to odd lots Boker buys, to junk. Some neat stuff gets sold under that label, but you really need to know what you're looking at.

I've got 3 Boker Magnum Mermaids on the way. Wish me luck! :-D
 
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Mar 25, 2012
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I gave up on Boker. When I was a kid Boker Tree Brand was the knife I always wanted in my pocket. However, since that time, I have had one bad experience after another. Even a small fixed blade, while the knife was perfect, the sheath would not hold the knife. They exchanged it, acknowledging they were having QC issues with it, and the newer sheath was no better. I have had folders where the detent was non-existent, and others where the liner lock bar was compromised from the factory. I bought a beautiful stag handled pocket knife and the day after I bought it I had to take it back to the distributor (close to my home). The reason? The blade locked open like a fixed blade and would not close. They had assembled the knife without washers and without lubrication. They fixed it, but I had now three trips to that place. I quit.
 
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Jan 23, 2017
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Their Solingen and Tree Brand stuff is fine. Easily better than what Case pumps out.
I've never had any luck with their stuff made in China. Something was always lacking. A flipper with weak detent and light blade, things just being off enough to mess things up, etc.
Everything they've made in China that I've tried seems like they just tried to cut corners here and there while looking the part. And we know good knives can be made in China with Byrd, Kizer, WE, etc.
A lot of brands with good names have done this, traded on their reputation for quality to put out lower tier lines that are lacking. It's not even a WE-Civivi situation. Like Fiskars used to put out good scissors and shears, now it's almost pot metal.
 

midnight flyer

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Jan 12, 2009
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Seems like just about every other older knife brand, Boker is suffering an identity crisis and has actually become a manufacturer of widgets more than being a knife maker. They go where the money is, they go where the manufacturing advantages are, and they do just enough to get by. That makes them no different than most other manufacturers these days in my opinion. Nothing wrong with that business model if that is their choice.

They still have some interesting designs, and certainly make some nice knives these days. But I think at this point I wouldn't buy a Boker without having the chance to inspect it personally. Sadly, that applies to just about every other manufacturer of knives that I buy which is why I only buy knives from sellers that make returns easy.

I also remember the glory days back in the 60s and even into the seventies when you purchased a Boker knife and all you were interested in is the actual model. You did not worry about quality control as there weren't any problems. My Dad was in Germany in the early fifties station there with the Army. According to him he brought back about 25 Stockman patterns with a couple of Trappers. The knives were so well built that some of the people he gave them to literally use them for over 20 years as their EDC!

I bought a couple of folding Bokers that were Solingen models a few years ago. I sent one back because it was so full of grit that I literally could not get one of the blades open. Sent it back. The other one I still have, and the construction is kind of rough, the blade steel a little soft, and the shield fell out of the handle and with light use the blades are working loose. Outside of that, it is an OK knife. *cough*

No more Boker for me.

Robert
 
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Jun 27, 2007
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5,986
I think Böker should have kept their name only for German made knives. Using their name for mail catalog knives hurts their reputation and is confusing for people unfamiliar with the company.

That being said I mostly have positive experience with their Solingen fixed blades. I personally don’t like them so much any more because they just try too much wild stuff - kind of like German CRKT.
 

ArchVV

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Sep 8, 2015
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I've grabbed two of their limited edition slipjoints and both were on par with GEC. The "Castle Berg" edition is shown below-

TXEolP6.jpg
 

Rykjeklut

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May 23, 2018
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The fact that they make about 50.000 different knives have put me off them.

I've got a couple of Böker knives, but I've got even more Böker bottle openers. Automatic, Bali's...
 

r8shell

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Jan 16, 2010
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I've grabbed two of their limited edition slipjoints and both were on par with GEC. The "Castle Berg" edition is shown below-

TXEolP6.jpg
Haha! That picture really shows the range.

My interest is mainly in vintage traditionals, and I've been happy with the quality of their Solingen made knives.
It might have been better for them to have marketed the more "colorful" modern products under a different branding.
 

E.D.C.

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Nov 7, 2016
Messages
452
Their Solingen and Tree Brand stuff is fine. Easily better than what Case pumps out.
I've never had any luck with their stuff made in China. Something was always lacking. A flipper with weak detent and light blade, things just being off enough to mess things up, etc.
Everything they've made in China that I've tried seems like they just tried to cut corners here and there while looking the part. And we know good knives can be made in China with Byrd, Kizer, WE, etc.
A lot of brands with good names have done this, traded on their reputation for quality to put out lower tier lines that are lacking. It's not even a WE-Civivi situation. Like Fiskars used to put out good scissors and shears, now it's almost pot metal.


I must defend Fiskars here. They still make excellent scissors.
 

Skidoosh

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Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
288
The exskelibur is a great looking knife but Boker never got things together and the QC was really bad. Philips head screws on a clip that always seemed to wiggle loose. It could have been a home run. I'll look elsewhere and stay away from Boker Plus.
 

not2sharp

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Jun 29, 1999
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18,265
Boker is a brand that is best avoided. They have a few good knives and a lot junk under their tent.

n2s
 
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Jan 3, 2007
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325
Well, I have a Boker Kalashnikov that's a lot of fun. Other than that, I have no real experience with Boker knives, though I remain tempted by their CFM-A1 version of DJ Urbanovski's work.
 

Smaug

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Jun 30, 2003
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1,388
Pictures are mandatory!

She is beautiful! Joint is a little tight, detent is a little weak, but I've read they do break in. It flips open fine with a bit of wrist action. Edge grind is good, but it's not that sharp. The tension on the liner lock is perfect, and it doesn't stick. It fits the hand like a large Cold Steel Voyager, which is to say very well!

Going to hit the Sharpmaker with coarse diamond rods @40° and see if I can get a usable edge on it.

I can't wait to carry this and try to keep a straight face when I bust it out. :-D This thing is going to be a lot of fun.

As for the other two, I'm going to sharpen them and gift them to my brother and brother in law for Christmas. (BIL collects mermaid stuff)

I also have a Kalashnikov; love it.

20201014_121216_HDR_copy_788x1287.jpg
 

r8shell

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Jan 16, 2010
Messages
18,639
She is beautiful! Joint is a little tight, detent is a little weak, but I've read they do break in. It flips open fine with a bit of wrist action. Edge grind is good, but it's not that sharp. The tension on the liner lock is perfect, and it doesn't stick. It fits the hand like a large Cold Steel Voyager, which is to say very well!

Going to hit the Sharpmaker with coarse diamond rods @40° and see if I can get a usable edge on it.

I can't wait to carry this and try to keep a straight face when I bust it out. :-D This thing is going to be a lot of fun.

As for the other two, I'm going to sharpen them and gift them to my brother and brother in law for Christmas. (BIL collects mermaid stuff)

I also have a Kalashnikov; love it.

View attachment 1436918
What's life without a little whimsy?
 
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