Boker Solingen Barlow Expedition Pocket Knife
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- Last updated: 13/06/2022
Böker’s origins can be traced back to the 17th century as a toolmaker in Solingen, Germany. By the 1860s the company had fractured, with a branch of the family emigrating to North America and setting up various manufacturing plants. The German and North American factories produced similar knives and the ‘Tree Brand’ trademark logo was born.
The relevance of the logo is that only knives branded with the tree symbol are manufactured by hand in Solingen, because the tree is used as a sign of quality. Interestingly, the symbol is a chestnut tree that stood beside the tool factory from the very beginning. It’s also a metaphor for the many branches and subsidiaries into which Böker Tree Brand Knives has expanded over the span of its existence.
Enough history, let’s look at the Böker Solingen Barlow Expedition, which is one of the most recent additions to the company roster. As a matter of interest, the name Barlow, in relation to a knife, most often refers to one with a single pen knife blade, because they were designed for everyday tasks, not as weapons.
With a closed length of 8.4cm and a weight of 55-grams, this Böker holds a 6.4cm, ice-hardened, 440C/60HRC stainless steel clip-point blade, with a 5.6cm cutting edge. The satin-finished, it deploys with a generous thumb nick and the operating safety of the knife is increased by a 90° stop, which engages when opening and closing.
Also, with a blade thickness of 1.9mm, the Expedition is far stronger than many other similar knives and has a specified sharpening angle of 20º. This means, unlike some blades which have geometric edges, the knife needs to be flat sharpened to produce what is known as a secondary V-edge.
This lightweight slip-joint design is styled on the earliest type of English characteristic teardrop shape knives that date back to the 17th Century. In that respect, the Expedition is a unique slant on the past, yet one that uses a very modern build. ‘Teardrop’ refers to the shape of the handle, which has contoured scales made of olive green Canvas Micarta. This material is naturally grippy, and combined with the matte-blasted brass bolsters and liners, looks as stylish as it is practical.
The Expedition is a classic lightweight slip-joint pocket knife, with an undeniably strong build that will cope with surprisingly tough cutting tasks.
It comes in a plush and well-designed pouch, with several internal pockets for other pieces of kit. It is no standard pouch, as it has leather-look bindings and a brushed outer, plus a full wrap-around double zip opening with a wellpadded interior that allows the knife to be carried open or closed in safety.
The Böker Solingen Barlow Expedition is superbly manufactured and presented. It’s not only useful and stylish but for many will be seen as a collector’s piece.