What's the story with Böker?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Smaug, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. bigsurbob

    bigsurbob Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2016
    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.

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  2. Clem Fandango

    Clem Fandango Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 3, 2020
    I have a Boker Optima Folding Hunting Knife with Thuya wood handles. Made in Germany.

    The wood fell out.
    bigsurbob likes this.
  3. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    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.
  4. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    I've got 3 Boker Magnum Mermaids on the way. Wish me luck! :-D
  5. DocT


    Mar 25, 2012
    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.
    strategy9 likes this.
  6. Ourorboros


    Jan 23, 2017
    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.
    strategy9 likes this.
  7. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    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.

  8. GermanyChris


    Feb 18, 2015
    I have a Boker trapper that's every bit as nice as any GEC and far better than any Case I've had.
  9. A.L.


    Jun 27, 2007
    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.
  10. ArchVV

    ArchVV Gold Member Gold Member

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

  11. Rykjeklut

    Rykjeklut Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    May 23, 2018
    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...
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  12. r8shell

    r8shell Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 16, 2010
    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.
    Smaug, ArchVV and Dadpool like this.
  13. E.D.C.

    E.D.C. Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 7, 2016

    I must defend Fiskars here. They still make excellent scissors.
    colin.p, Oloung1 and Smaug like this.
  14. Skidoosh

    Skidoosh Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 21, 2016
    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.
  15. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

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

  16. Weiss


    Jan 3, 2007
    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.
  17. Bastler

    Bastler Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2020
    Pictures are mandatory!
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  18. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Agree. Like maybe a Boker "Fiesta" line.

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  19. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    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.

    desmobob, A.L., Oloung1 and 4 others like this.
  20. r8shell

    r8shell Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 16, 2010
    What's life without a little whimsy?
    Smaug likes this.

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