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REVIEW – BOKER PLUS SMALL ARMED FORCES TANTO FOLDER

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Hannibal Lecter, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. Hannibal Lecter

    Hannibal Lecter Loaded Pockets

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    There have been a number of misconceptions floating around concerning this little blade and I would like to put them to rest with this review. This is, in fact, quite an amazing little knife!


    CONSTRUCTION

    While this knife might be the slightest bit heavier than a comparably-sized FRN folder, the advantages of G-10 construction far outweigh the minor weight difference, especially given the full steel liners on both scales. Weight is 3.4 ounces, which is spot-on with the catalog specifications. Trust me – you won’t notice it in your pocket until you need it. Overall closed length is 4 1/8”; open length is 6 3/4 “. All attachment screws are Torx.

    The overall feel of this blade in the hand is stout and rigid. The linerlock engages the blade with no perceptible movement in any direction – I can assure you this knife will not unlock even under extreme usage.

    The small Armed Forces Tanto Folder carries very well in the pocket, at a similar thickness to most other G-10 knives with liners. The shape of the handle lends itself well to preventing the knife from slipping out of your grasp, as does the deep jimping on both the top and bottom of the grip. It also features a lanyard attachment hole in the rear of the grip.

    The grip scales are separated by spacers, making keeping this knife clean and well-oiled an unusually easy task.

    The clip is black, skeletonized and a bit tight to begin with, though it proves to be no problem when drawing from the pocket. The clip is also fully ambidextrous and carries either tip-up or tip-down. We’ll get to the particular significance of this shortly.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    BLADE

    The blade is listed as being 2 5/8” long and is constructed of a titanium-nitride coated 440C stainless steel and is marked with the Boker Plus logo and “China”. It is a standard tanto-point blade with a slight hollow grind. The blade features checkered dual ambidextrous thumb studs and both a top and bottom hand guard, preventing your hand slipping forward onto the blade during use. Blade thickness appears to be about 3/32”, and it is available in a combination edge, partly serrated for about half its length. I would expect this blade to be legal most anywhere knives in general are legal due to its blade length.


    BALANCE

    The balance point of this knife is immediately behind the guard, right about where the index finger rests during cutting. This is exactly where I want the balance point on a blade slated for self-defense purposes. It is a bit short in grip surface to be flipping between forward and reverse grips, though it can be done with a bit of practice. It is equally comfortable in both forward and reverse grip.


    OTHER FEATURES

    This is where this little knife really shines: unintended benefits.

    I mentioned earlier the importance of the ability to change the knife to tip-up carry (it comes from the factory tip-down, right hand). The reason for this is the guard.

    Most knife aficionados are familiar with the patented Emerson Wave feature, also called the Remote Pocket Opener. When carried tip-up the guard on the Boker Armed Forces Tanto Folder will act as a rudimentary (though highly reliable) remote opener in a similar fashion, popping the knife blade open as it clears your pocket. I am pretty sure this wasn’t Boker’s intention, but it is a nice feature to know about.

    The guard also can act in a similar fashion to a Carson Flipper on a CRKT knife, allowing you to pop the blade open with a flick of the finger. This is fairly difficult when the knife is new due to the stiff action, but gets easier with time. Again, I am quite convinced this wasn’t Boker’s intention.

    For those familiar with the Spyderco Gunting, the guard on the Boker small Armed Forces Tanto Folder can also act almost like the blade horn on the Gunting allowing a sort of basic kinetic opening off of an opponent. It probably isn’t quite as reliable as the Gunting in this respect, but in a pinch I would certainly chance it. I guarantee I am stretching the utility of this knife’s design, but I prefer to explore all available options with any self-defense tool.

    The knife also has potential as a self-defense tool in the closed position, the aforementioned guards being useful as pain compliance devices for non-lethal control of an assailant.


    FINAL ANALYSIS

    My overall impressions? This is an incredible knife for the money! The Boker Plus small Armed Forces Tanto Folder retails at only $34.95 USD. The features and performance of this knife make it a must-have for anyone carrying a knife for self-defense purposes. It would also make a perfect weak-hand side knife, as using the unintended pocket opening feature makes it simple enough to deploy quickly and effectively even if your strong hand is otherwise occupied or injured.

    Questions or comments may be directed to:
    doctor.hannibal.lecter.md@gmail.com
     
  2. Bruiser

    Bruiser Loaded Pockets

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    Nice review Dr. Lecter O0 When I first glimpsed the pics, I thought it was a different knife. Looks very similar to another knife that costs over 10x as much. ;)
     
  3. darklight943

    darklight943 Loaded Pockets

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    Good review HL!  The only problems I have with this knife is that it has some strong resemblences to the Strider knives (handle shape) and the 'thumb stud' is useless (unless it is there as a blade-stop) - no way to use it to open the knife - too flush with the handle.  Lots of people are actually outraged that Boker would "copy" the recognizable style of the Strider knives.  Another thing is that it isn't as comfortable as I'd like in the 'fencing grip' as the guard stops my my thumb from extending forward, therefore pushing the rest of the hand back towards the butt of the knife (like sleeping too close to the edge of a bed  :)) - the handle is too short for my medium hands.  In the 'ice pick' style grip, it is more comfortable - IMO.  Remote-pocket-opening is a cinch after a few tries, but not as consistant as with an Emerson. Overall, an OK purchase if you can get a really good deal on it, it's pretty robust, and should take some punishment.  Side note, I hear also that you can 'wave' the Boker Subcom folder because of the protruding thumbstuds.  Better to just get a waved Spyderco  ;D
     
  4. Hannibal Lecter

    Hannibal Lecter Loaded Pockets

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    My Dear Friend,

    I generally use the guard for opening anyway, so the thumb stud issue isn't a big deal for me.  It IS admittedly a bit smallish...

    I don't think they copied anything purposefully; I believe it to be a freak chance.  I have certainly seen this kind of thing happen before.

    I agree - I feel that the larger version might be better for those with large hands, but I have yet to try one...

    I wasn't as much interested in the "wave" thing as I was attempting to be complete in my evaluation.  I wanted to touch on every aspect of the knife that I could.  Even at the MSRP it is a really good deal, and with street prices hovering about $25.00 it is an even better deal.

    I didn't know that about the SubCom, BTW - I am in your debt for this info.  I'll try it shortly...  ;D

    My thanks to you for your thoughtful response!

    ------------
    Hannibal
     
  5. darklight943

    darklight943 Loaded Pockets

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    Let me know on the subcom (remote opening action). This is something that I read briefly before.
     
  6. Breadman

    Breadman Empty Pockets

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    Thanks for the info on this knife. I will certainly consider this one for future purchase.