Entry-Level Boker Automatic Knives

The famous knives with the world-renowned tree-brand have been handmade in Solingen since 1869. Since the foundation, no knife has left our manufactory without this sign of quality. The long history of Boker has been affected by eventful times. But one thing has always been the same in 150 years: Our passion and enthusiasm for extraordinary Knives.

One of these is not like the others!

The use of Knives as weapons and tools dates back to Prehistoric Times.  The earliest Knives were made of Flint.  The first Metal Knives were symmetrical double-edged daggers, made from Copper…the first single edged knife was made in the Bronze Age 4000 years ago.  These Knives would have been used for hunting, cooking and Carpentry.

There is endless type of knives that have been designed by man over the years…with many different purposes.  It is important to remember that any ‘knife’…is capable of inflicting serious or fatal injuries!  The most wonderful use of a knife invented to actively save life, is the ‘Surgical Knife’…a marvelous invention used by skilled hands for good by Surgeons as well as Veterinary Surgeons!

The first automatic blades were made by European smiths in the mid-18th century and they were used as folding spike bayonets on flintlock and coach guns. By the mid-19th century, the first actual examples of switchblade knives were created. And just like today, they varied in models and quality. While some were classic knives with wooden handles and iron blades, others were classier and more expensive, featuring silver alloy bolsters and stag handles.

During the 19thcentury, switchblade production became more widespread. French, Spanish and American craftsmen all started competing with their own unique adornments and new practical usages. Aside from being used as tools and weapons, French admiral d’Estaing used specially made knives on his ship that could also be used as food utensils.

After the American Civil War, the production of switchblades became industrialized. This resulted in a wide variety of different models and a lower cost, which made these knives even more popular.

By the 1950s, automatic knives were everywhere. Manufacturers around the world were selling their models, mostly advertising them as utilitarian pocketknives perfect for farmers, hunters and ranchers who needed a compact, quick and versatile outdoor tool.

When I was a teenager, I purchased a switch-blade knife from a friend. It was not an expensive knife; in fact, it was a cheap knife in both price and quality…and it was illegal to carry in the State of Michigan. The knife surrendered itself to authorities one fine day and that was that.

Fast forward to today and my EDC edged tool of choice is a simple Gerber Fast Draw Knife, Assisted Opening, Fine Edge [22-07162] knife.

Technical Details

Manufacturer:Gerber
Part Number:G7162
Item Weight:0.16 ounces
Product Dimensions:5 x 5 x 5 inches
Item model numberG7162
Is Discontinued by Manufacturer:No
Size:One Size
Color:Black
Material:Other
Item Package Quantity:1
Number of Pieces:1
Blade Edge:Fine
Included Components:G7162
Batteries Included?No
Batteries Required?No
Warranty Description:Limited Lifetime Warranty

In fact, I have several of these knives. The edges are easily touched up with a sharpening steel or stone. For a general-purpose knife, it has served me well. But that lingering thought of having an automatic knife stayed in the back of my brain and I finally decided to act on it. The research began. I was not looking for an expensive knife, but quality needed to be a primary factor in my decision to own such a device. My Gerber cost me around $39 and I was looking for a quality knife in the same price range. My research brought me to the Boker brand.

While I have enjoyed a few Boker knives through the years, recently my attention has been drawn to automatic knives.

After reading and watching reviews, two knives were chosen; the Boker Plus Strike Drop Point Automatic Knife (3.25” Black D2) and the Boker Strike Drop Point Dessert Warrior Automatic Knife OD Green (3.25” Copper). Although essentially the same knife, the packaging is different. The Boker Plus Strike Drop Point Automatic Knife (3.25” Black D2) sold for $49.95 and the Boker Strike Drop Point Dessert Warrior Automatic Knife OD Green (3.25” Copper) sold for $44.95. Both were in the price range that I desired.

Specifications – Boker Plus Strike Drop Point Automatic Knife (3.25” Black D2)

  • Overall Length: 7.875″
  • Blade Length: 3.25″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.12″
  • Blade Material: D2
  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Finish: Black
  • Edge Type: Plain
  • Handle Length: 4.625″
  • Handle Thickness: 0.50″
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Black
  • Frame/Liner: Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 4.79 oz.
  • User: Right Hand
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Down, Tip-Up
  • Knife Type: Automatic
  • Opener: Push Button
  • Lock Type: Plunge Lock
  • Brand: Boker
  • Model: Strike
  • Model Number: 01BO433NSOI
  • Country of Origin: Taiwan
  • Best Use: Everyday Carry, Tactical
  • Product Type: Knife

Specifications – Boker Strike Drop Point Dessert Warrior Automatic Knife OD Green (3.25” Copper)

  • Overall Length: 7.875″
  • Blade Length: 3.25″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.12″
  • Blade Material: AUS-8
  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Finish: Copper
  • Edge Type: Plain
  • Handle Length: 4.625″
  • Handle Thickness: 0.50″
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Color: OD Green
  • Frame/Liner: Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 4.79 oz.
  • User: Right Hand
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Down, Tip-Up
  • Knife Type: Automatic
  • Opener: Push Button
  • Lock Type: Plunge Lock
  • Brand: Boker
  • Model: Strike
  • Model Number: 01BO427N
  • Country of Origin: Taiwan
  • Best Use: Everyday Carry, Tactical
  • Product Type: Knife

One of the main features that I like about these knives, aside from price, is the lock. The lock is in the same place as my Gerber so there is no strain on my brain re-educating myself with a different lock position. When the knife is in my pocket, engaging the lock prevents accidental opening. To deploy the knife, simply push the lock to the rear, which exposes a red indicator, and press the button. Once the blade is deployed, move the lock to the forward position and the blade is locked into place. When you are ready to close the blade, push the lock to the rear, and while keeping fingers out of the way, push the button and fold the blade back into the housing. Push the lock to the front to prevent the blade from opening during carry.

Handles on both knives incorporate a finger groove that I have always preferred on a knife and the thumb rest is serrated for positive holding capabilities. Additionally, handles on both knives are aluminum and nicely textured to ensure a positive grip. The Boker Plus Strike Desert Warrior features a copper finished drop point blade and a textured OD green aluminum handle, while the Boker Plus Strike features a black finished drop point blade and a textured black aluminum handle. The Boker Plus Strike Drop Point Automatic Knife (3.25” Black D2) has a D2 tool steel blade, while the Boker Plus Strike Desert Warrior features an AUS-8 steel blade. Handles are secured with Torx screws.

The D-series of the cold-work class of tool steels are considered high Carbon-Chromium Steels. D2 steel is air hardened and contains between 10% and 13% chromium (which is unusually high). D2 steel has a hardness in the range of 55 to 62 HRC, which makes is a very durable and high- end knife steel. D2 steel will retain its hardness up to a temperature of 425 °C (797 °F). – Source: https://ravencresttactical.com/all-about-d2-steel/.

The Japanese-made AUS 8 steel is often considered an upper-range steel, comparable if not better than steels such as 440C, CM-154, and D2 steels. Given a proper heat treatment and hardened to the right level, which is usually around 58 to 59 HRC, it will perform satisfyingly and meet the standards of a true quality stainless steel. A well-rounded composition allows for this steel grade to reach high levels of hardness, toughness, wear (the sideways shifting of the metal from its original position) and corrosion (the gradual destruction of metals) resistance, as well as edge retention (the ability to retain its sharp edge).  – Source: https://bladeops.com/blog/review-of-aus-8-stainless-steel.

The length of the handle is 4.625 (4 5/8”) inch and just slightly longer than the handle on my Gerber. The liners on all knives are stainless-steel. Essentially, the Boker knives have the same feel as my Gerber, which means that the primary difference is how these knives are deployed. Do the button knives have an advantage over an ‘assisted opening’ knife? Assisted opening knives, like my Gerber F.A.S.T, use springs to propel the blade once the user has moved it past a certain angle. These differ from automatic or switchblade knives in that the blade is not released by means of a button or catch on the handle; rather, the blade itself is the actuator. Most assisted openers use flippers as their opening mechanism. Assisted opening knives can be as fast or faster than automatic knives to deploy. Automatic knives; however, take less effort to deploy the blade. With the Gerber, I can flick the blade open fairly quickly by pushing the “flipper” upward and out. With the Boker knives, it is a simple push of a button. The lock mechanism; however, does slow the deployment of the blade immensely, but I am not using these knives for defensive purposes. For that, I have my Cold Steel ‘Kobun’ 5 ¼” fixed-blade knife that sometimes resides just behind my left hip or my KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Straight Edge Knife (http://guntoters.com/blog/2011/11/19/the-ka-bar-tdi-tactical-sense-for-self-defense/ ) that can be found just forward of my left hip.

The Boker Plus Strike Drop Point Automatic Knife (3.25” Black D2) and the Boker Strike Drop Point Dessert Warrior Automatic Knife OD Green (3.25” Copper). knives are designed for everyday use. I don’t consider them as tactical knives. Everyday use is accommodated with a deep, reversible tip-up or down carry pocket clip.

The Boker automatic knives seem to deploy a bit quicker than the Gerber in that as the thumb swipes the lock rearward, the thumb travels forward in the same plane to push the button; whereas, with the Gerber, the thumb must travel upward to engage the ‘flipper.’

Both Boker knives deploy with a snap. The spring tension is definitely felt with both knives.

Know the Law!

Before purchasing or carrying a knife in your state, it should be evident that you know the laws of your state.

Georgia law does not prohibit or forbid ownership of any type of knife or any length of knife blade, whether fixed blade, folding blade, or automatically exposed blade.

In Georgia, The Georgia Knife Law Reform Bill, SB 49, increased the blade-length limit for carry knives from five inches to 12 inches. So, now, it’s legal to carry, open or concealed, any knife with a blade 12 inches or less in length. To carry a knife with a blade longer than 12 inches, requires a Georgia Weapons Carry License.

O.C.G.A. § 16-11-136 (2012) Restrictions on possession, manufacture, sale, or transfer of knives: Except for restrictions in courthouses and government buildings, no county, municipality, or consolidated government shall, by rule or ordinance, constrain the possession, manufacture, sale, or transfer of a knife more restrictively than the provisions of this part.

What this means is that beginning in 2012 local knife laws are no longer in force. A knife that is legal to carry in one city in Georgia is legal in all other cities – a welcome simplification of part of Georgia’s knife laws.

The Georgia State Constitution preserves the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” and guards against infringement of this right, but the Constitution also reserves the right to the state of Georgia to “prescribe the manner in which arms may be borne.” As a consequence, open or concealed carry of weapons, which includes knives, is restricted in bars, places of worship, courthouse facilities, government buildings, jails, prisons, and nuclear power plants.

Be aware, too, that under O.C.G.A. § 16-11-101 concerning sale and transfer, it is illegal to provide any person under the age of 18 a designated weapon. This would include, of course, any knife as “designed for the purposes of offense or defense.” Violation of this prohibition would result in a misdemeanor charge.

Need to research knife laws? Here is a good start: https://www.akti.org/state-laws-regarding-automatics/

Summary

If you are interested in a reasonably-priced automatic knife, I can recommend the Boker line. If you prefer traditional styling, the Buck 110 Automatic may be more to your liking… but at a price around $200. Or you could opt for this Boker $1,430.00 Marfione Custom Hawk Automatic Knife Stingray Skin (4″ Hand Rub Satin) knife, as shown below. But would you actually use it?

Over all, I prefer fixed blade knives…especially full-tang knives. But a good folder is hard to beat.

The Boker line of “working man” automatic knives offer high quality at a reasonable cost. Perhaps one should be in your pocket?

Resources:

About Taurian

Taurian is an Oath Keeper, veteran, former LEO and Defensive Tactics Instructor. Until retirement, Taurian had over forty-seven years of experience as a Technical Writer and Training Program Developer. After leaving home at the age of ten without any shoes, Taurian continues on with many years devoted to the keeping and bearing of arms.

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