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Knife Review: Boker Kalashnikov Automatic Knife

Knife Review: Boker Kalashnikov Automatic Knife

Posted by SD on Oct 5th 2020

The Boker Kalashnikov Automatic Knife

A huge chestnut tree towering above the small Boker hardware factory in the 17th century is the oldest traceable fact about the Boker family. Apparently Boker tools were very successful on the markets, as they were ranked among the leading manufactured goods in Germany and neighboring countries hundred years later on.

Due to rising demand in a politically restless era Hermann and Robert Boker decided to start with the production of sabers in 1829. Inventories of September 1830 had already proven a weekly production of 2000 pieces made by 64 smiths, 47 grinders and a large number of workers and trainees. With a permanently growing product line of tools and cutlery and the great opportunities of global sales, the family saw the need to distribute the tasks to make the best use of their interests. So, Hermann Boker emigrated to found Boker & Co. in New York, whereas the younger Robert established his company in Canada and in 1865 a branch in Mexico, being the market leaders under the name of Casa Boker until today.

Heinrich only crossed the river Wupper to go to Solingen, where the German cutlery industry was booming. Together with the well-known cutlery expert Hermann Heuser he founded Heinr. Boker & Co. in 1869.

The relationship between the two Boker companies has always been very friendly. Heinrich was allowed to take the tree brand with him across the river without any troubles or payments. Since then not a single product has left the Solingen factory without this sign. After over 100 years of existence the venerable tree was cut down by a stroke of lightning in 1925. A gifted artist carved an image of the majestic tree into a piece of original trunk which adorns the CEO´s office in Solingen.

The US market quickly became Boker`s most important sales territory. In 1900 most of the production was shipped to the US and H. Boker & Co. in New York was more and more concentrating on products from the Solingen production. The demand for pocket-knives soon beats that for other products like scissors or razors. The demand on the products increased faster than the production capacities in Solingen, so the Bokers from New York decided to start their own pocket-knife production to which pliers were added later on. Because of the tree-brand being well established by then and the good understanding within the international Boker family, there wasn´t any problem to get permission from Solingen to use the tree-brand for American made products as well. Since then there have been two different product lines of Boker knives on the US market with identical logos and sometimes even identical item numbers; one product line Made in USA, the other product line Made in Solingen, only to be differentiated by the markings "Boker USA" or "H. Boker Improved Cutlery Solingen".

Today we will be discussing the Boker Kalashnikov automatic knife.

The Blade:

The blade on this Boker has been made out of CPM S30V steel. This is a common steel for higher end knives, because it does have an immense amount of good qualities. This steel is made by Crucible Industries, which is a higher-end steel company, known for making steels particularly for knives. CPM S30V steel was especially made just for higher-end cutlery, so you know that you are getting all of the best qualities that you possibly can from it.

The first thing about CPM S30V steel is that it is known for having a near perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. This is a surprisingly difficult balance to achieve because the harder the steel is, the less durable and tough it is. The opposite is true as well: the tougher the steel is, the less hard it is, which does mean that there is going to be less strength to it. Plus, the harder the steel is, the better it is able to retain the sharpened edge. The fact that this steel has such a great balance of those qualities really does set this steel apart from the rest.

The next major benefit of CPM S30V steel is that it is highly corrosion and stain resistant. This means that it is going to be low-maintenance, which is an ideal characteristic for those outdoor jobs. You will be able to take this steel into the field with you, without worrying about the maintenance and time needed to upkeep this steel. While you should oil it occasionally to keep the steel in the best shape, all you will really need to do in the field is wipe it down and make sure that it is dry before placing it back inside of the handle.

The only major disadvantage to this great steel is that it does prove rather complicated to work with. It is known for being tough to sharpen. In fact, beginner sharpeners will not be able to get a clean and fine edge on this—you are going to need to leave that to some of the more advanced sharpeners.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish, which is the most common blade finish that you are going to find in today’s cutlery industry. The finish is created when the blade is repeatedly sanded in one direction with an increasingly fine level of a very fine abrasive. The most common material used to create this finish is a fine sandpaper. This process does a few things. The first is that it shows off the bevels of the blade. The second is that it shows of the fine liens of the steel. These two characteristics are going to give the blade a traditional look that cannot be found with any other blade finish.

Another reason that the satin finish offers such a classic appearance is because it falls in the middle of the luster-spectrum. You are going to find plenty of finishes that are more reflective than the satin finish, as well as plenty that are more matte. This also means that the satin finish is going to cut down on glares and reflections slightly. The last major benefit that the satin finish offers is that it does work to increase the corrosion resistance of the blade ever so slightly.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is the most popular blade shape that you are going to come across in the market. The highlights of the shape are that it has a lowered tip, which will give you the control you need over your cuts. The tip is also broad, which is going to adds levels of strength that you would not be able to find on different blade shapes. This means that you can take on those tougher tasks without worrying about whether or not this knife can hold up to it. The last major advantage is that the belly is rather large, which will help you excel at slicing.

Boker Kalashnikov Auto, Clip View

The Handle:

The handle is made out of a black aluminum. Aluminum itself is a widely popular option for high-quality knife handle materials. Aluminum is tough, durable, incredibly corrosion resistant, and best of all, it is lightweight. However, it is also prone to getting scratched.

Aluminum is known to be a low-density metal, which is where the low weight of the handle comes in from. A low-density metal is a metal that is going to provide you with the heft that you need to take on all of your tasks. It is not going to make you feel that you cannot rely on the handle—instead, it is going to give you enough heft in your hand that you feel confident. Confident enough to take on whatever comes your way. Confident enough to rely on the Boker knife. That being said, it is not going to weigh you down. This is a smaller knife, so any of the heft that you can get from the handle is going to be appreciated.

One of the negative aspects of aluminum is that it is not going to offer as much grip as knife materials are going to offer. Also, aluminum has high conductive properties, so in colder environments, this knife may feel cold to the touch, which can hinder your use of this knife.

The handle has been designed to counter the effect of the lack of grip that the aluminum may give this handle. There are two rows of thick jimping. The first is on the spine of the knife right near the where the blade comes out of. The second is at the bottom of the spine of the knife. This row of jimping does curve around the butt of it. Both of these offer more texture, and thus, more grip to this Boker knife. These rows of jimping are going to give you more control over your cuts. The belly of the handle does have a larger finger guard as well as three finger grooves. Each one gets shallower and more elongated as you go down the length of the handle. There are two ridges on the face of the highly-textured handle as well. All of these characteristics are designed to give you a solid grip on this Boker knife. These characteristics will allow you to more fully trust the knife while you are using it.

The Pocket Clip:

The deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This does mean that this is not going to be an ambidextrous friendly knife. However, it does mean that there are not going to be drill marks, making this a more elegant handle.

The clip is deep carry, which will ensure that it stays securely in your pocket as you go about your day. It will also allow you to have this knife be more concealed, as it will sit low inside of your pocket. The clip is silver, which does match the rest of the hardware on this Kalashnikov.

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, which does mean that it is going to fall under a strict set of laws that the US has surrounding automatic knives. These laws state that an automatic knife is not going to be legal in all states, cities, or areas of the United States. That being said, it is your responsibility as the user to know your local knife laws. BladeOps is not responsible.

This is a push-button automatic, which means that at the push of a button, the blade is going to autonomically deploy. One of the major benefits of an automatic knife is that it is going to be incredibly easy to bring into play. There is not going to be any fumbling while trying to open it—all you have to do is push the button and it will swing open and lock into place, ready for use.

The Specs:

The blade on this Boker measures in at 3.25 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.25 inches long. This means that the overall length of the knife is going to be 7.5 inches long when the blade is deployed. This knife does weigh in at 3.6 ounces.


The Boker Kalashnikov automatic knife is one of the most popular side open automatics on the market today considering the price point. This knife, as well as the rest of the Kalashnikov auto family, is referred to an auto-conversion knife which means the knife is produced as a folder knife and then converted via third party to offer the automatic function. The Kalashnikov features an aluminum handle scale with integrated finger grooves for a comfortable ergonomic experience and our exclusive model now features CPM-S30V blade material for unprecedented edge retention and strength. This particular exclusive to BladeOps model features a black handle with standard hardware and a drop point blade in a satin finish. Finally, the deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only.

This knife is currently in stock at BladeOps, purchase yours and other versions of the Boker Kalashnikov here