I received delivery of my Boker Bushcraft knife yesterday and thought I'd post a few thoughts (not really a review) in the hope of enlightening others who might be considering making a purchase.
I saw it appear during one of my frequent visits to the Heinnie Haynes website and at £46.95p figured it was worth a punt. It certainly looked the part. The catch was that it was pre-order and the delivery time was not known.
But after several months; yesterday; it arrived.
Heinnies provided their usual excellent service. Less than 24 hrs from posting to delivery, well packaged and great communication along the way.
Having opened the outside packaging I was impressed with Boker's own silver embossed black presentation box. Classy and promising.
On opening the box i was initially presented with some literature explaining Boker's lifetime warranty on materials and workmanship for the original owner. This requires a registration which I will be completing shortly together with my thoughts for Boker's consideration.
The next thing of note was the good quality foam padding and precut shapes for the three items, knife, fire steel and sheath. Again classy and well thought out. The presentation looks good. Everything is black or silver (well stainless). Impressed so far.
Now for the closer look...
I instinctively went for the sheath first as my 4 yr old went for the fire steel! Picking up the sheath I was instantly disappointed. It was marked. But at the price that didn't bother me. It was stiff and misshapen. Low grade materials had obviously been used here to cut costs. And IMHO the school boy error had been committed. Rivets to hold down the belt loop, so that the metal could scratch at the knife with every use. Not good. Shame really as I then looked more closely at the other items.
Having wrestled with the 4 yr old I recovered the firesteel. Now this on the other hand was a good idea, and well made. However, it's very heavy and I struggle to see its point. The firesteel rod is concealed inside a solid aluminium tube, opened by a screw thread. The tube has a small button compass glued to one end and there are lanyard holes at either end. It is supplied with a small chain and striker which seems completely unnecesary since the knife will happily throw sparks from the rod. This appears to be a separate product thrown in as an extra, that they'd like to be selling separately but couldn't. Not sure the firesteel rod needs to be protected and the compass could be glued to the firesteel handle instead of the tube very easily. Bit of a waste really. I think they squeezed the budget on the sheath when they could simply have removed the firesteel idea.
Then I picked up the knife. Yes I'd wanted to grab that first really. I have the Condor Bushlore, mini Bushlore and Nessmuk so they're really where my opinion comes from. I plumbed for this knife because I wanted something well, prettier, but cheap enough to keep using and similar in design.
First of all it looks the part. There's a thick slab of 440c stainless and so it's quite reassuringly heavy. I like it. Its pleasant to hold and just feels as though it can do the job. The Boker Plus emblem is laser or chemically etched on the blade. Far more discretely than in the marketting images. Very sweet. On the reverse of the blade is confirmation that the steel is 440-c. To my surprise these are numbered! On the spine where bolsters would be. Mine os number 0077.
The handle is black. I'm not quite sure what the material really is. It looks like wood but feels very different. It's likely to be resin impregnated. But does the job, looks and feels good. There's the usual lanyard hole and two securing pins. These are brass outers and aluminium or similar centres. Why oh why did they not just use a single metal pin. Brass or aluminium/steel would have done the job, probably cheaper. Inevitably the metals have warped or worn under shaping slightly so that they are not perfect opening up slight gaps and exposing the glue. It's worth saying that one side of the knife is much better than the other so there will be better and worse finishes out there! Shame as the pins ruin the overall impression of the knife.
Now having said everything above, this is a £46.95p product.
Is it worth this price? Yes. Maybe. Not really.
It could have been so much better by getting rid of the extras and sorting the sheath. By the time I've made a replacement sheath I could have increased my budget by another £20 which would then present the option of the Condor Bushlore Micarta.
But again this is stainless and Condor don't make a stainless bushcrafter. Yet......