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Knife Review: Boker Sub Kalashnikov Cleaver Automatic Knife

Knife Review: Boker Sub Kalashnikov Cleaver Automatic Knife

Posted by SD on Sep 21st 2020

The Boker Sub Kalashnikov Cleaver Automatic Knife

Sub Kalashnikov Auto

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 Sub Kalashnikov Cleaver Automatic knife.

The Blade:

The blade on this knife has been made out of AUS-8 stainless steel. This is an upper mid-range steel that is made in Japan. If you are looking to compare it to another type of steel, your best bet would be to 440B. However, AUS-8 is going to be slightly more corrosion resistant. It is also similar to 440C, except that it is a little bit softer than 440C. The extra softness does mean that you are going to have to sharpen the blade more often. This is because AUS-8 stainless steel does have less carbon than some of the higher ranked steels. The more carbon there is in a steel, the better it is going to be able to hold its edge. However, it also means that it is going to be much easier to sharpen when you do need to. It is also a breeze to get a razor-sharp edge on this steel. This steel is tough enough to get the job done.

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. Although AUS-8 does have a good amount of corrosion resistance, the satin finish is going to make the steel even better.

The blade has been carved into a cleaver shaped blade. This blade is very similar to the kitchen cleaver, which means that this pocket knife is going to excel at cutting, slicing, and chopping. This is because the blades are more solidly built than many of the other pocket knife popular shapes. One of the benefits is that even though this knife can fit in your pocket, you are going to be able to take on almost any task with it.

The shape is made up of a spine that extends straight form the handle to about 7/8 of the way up the knife. At this point, it angles down to the point. The point is known as a false point, because where the point normally lies, it actually has not even been sharpened. And, where the cutting-edge ends, there is no “point.” This does mean that there is not going to be any accidental stabbings, which can make this a good rescue knife. However, it also means that it is not going to be a good general utility knife, because you are not going to be able to stab with it, even if you wanted to. The belly on this knife is closer to non-existent than anything else. However, there is a very slight curve to it. You may be able to slice some, but don’t try to rely on that at all. Again, this means that it is not going to be a good general utility blade.

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 H&K 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 pocket clip on this Boker is extra-long and deep carry. In fact, it extends nearly the entire length of the handle. This means that you will be able to easily go about your day without worrying about whether or not this knife will stay inside of your pocket. The clip has been statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This does mean that the knife is not completely ambidextrous friendly. The clip silver, which does match both the blade as well as the hardware on this Boker.

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 tiny knife measures in at 1.95 inches long with a handle that measures in at 2.925 inches long. This means that the overall length of the knife when the blade is deployed measures in at a mere 4.875 inches long. With such a tiny knife, you can expect it to be nearly just as lightweight, and you are right. This Boker weighs in at a mere 2.4 ounces.


BladeOps is excited to announce the newest exclusive model to the ever-growing arsenal of Boker Kalashnikov auto knives--the Sub Kalashnikov featuring a sub-2" cleaver-style blade. Quite possibly the perfect evolution of the most popular Boker automatic series ever, the Sub Kalashnikov boasts powerful push button action, a 1.95" blade, and a full-width handle for a rock-solid grip. This exclusive model features a black aluminum handle, standard bead blasted hardware, a cleaver style blade in a satin finish and the extra-long deep carry pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle.

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. 

You can shop all Boker Kalashnikov automatic knives right here.