Boker Top Lock


Jun 1, 1999
Does anyone have any experience (good or bad) with the Boker Top Lock? I am leery about buying a knife with a 420 stainless steel blade.

I too am interested in the Boker Top Lock.
Boker is known for their high quality, however their choice of 420 struck me as strange especially coupled with the high price for a 420 steel bladed knife (app.$75). Any feedback would be welcome.
Working from sketchy memory here, so forgive me if I get this wrong.

I believe the Top Lock was one of the first projects Boker attempted to have done in their new manufacturing site in Argentina a few years back. This was a short-lived effort, because the products of this site fell short of Boker's quality standards and they dropped the project soon thereafter. I imagine that the 420 was chosen for its ease of machinability by folks less experienced in the trade than German knifemakers. Perhaps it was retained when production was shifted back to Germany because all the tooling was et up for it, or because there was still substantial barstock on hand. Just guessing. At any rate I'm very unimpressed with this knife overall, though all the ones I handled were early in its production (and a few had been converted to the auto form after-market!)

Why the price? Probably because it has the Boker name on it - if you look at their line I think you'll feel that all their knives are 50%-100% pricier than knives of similar manufacture by other companies. German workmanship is great, no doubt, but they really "sell the name," IMO. One giant, glaring, almost unbelievable exception to this is the new Boker Brend series. These knives have everything - titanium linerlocks, titanium bolsters, beautiful 440C blades, and a choice of cocobolo or G-10 scales... and Skylands claims they will be selling them for under $65!!! It's almost spooky. If these knives turn out half as nice as they look, everyone I know will be getting one in their stocking
First time I ever wnated to buy a Boker, let alone call one a "bargain."


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
I used to have one of the Speed Lock autos and they are identical to Top Lock, just have a spring. It actually took a very sharp edge and seemed to hold it, but then, I didn't do any heavy duty work with it. My complaint was that the pivot was always loosening up and needing tightening. But otherwise, it was a neat little knife and lots of non-knife folks thought it was nice, compared to some of my other, better quality, but more (to them) scary (read larger&sharper) knives.
Thanks for the replies. I will probably pass on the Top Lock for now. Maybe when they get better blade steel...

Relative to Boker's use of 420 blade steel, and edge retention, I feel you have nothing to worry about. First of all, contact Boker USA in Lakewood, Colorado and ask what kind of steel they use in that model. Next, how many of you people will be doing heavy duty cutting with this type folder, that you have to worry about edge retention? The Top Lock is a superb knife. Not only is it very precision relative to design and construction, but it's beautiful and a joy to hold. You guys are paying a lot more for some other knives that don't have half the class, and their blades don't last any longer. A lot of production companies are using 440 steel in their blades, but don't tell you it's A or B, NOT C. Yes, there is a difference even if it's slight. You want edge retention, go to a tool steel. Your stainless steels work fine, but they aren't tool steels, and you aren't paying tool steel prices.
Hello one & all,

Well, in addition to GF's original query, I was hoping to hear of the out-of-box conditon of most Boker knives (specifically the Top Lock) by their owners.

I seem to recall, some time ago, having heard of another forumite having stated that most of his had some element of blade play/wobble to them. (yuck)

Thanks a bunch,

Michael C. Swiney


"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent!"

- Wittgenstein

No blade play or wobble on the 2 NEW ones I have posted (cheap)on the 4 sale forums.


"To earn a million is easy, a real friend is not."

[This message has been edited by Nakano 2 (edited 19 August 1999).]
People like the auto versions.Other than that, it is just another knife.Boreing.

If I'm not mistaken, the Speedlock (factory made auto) has a 440C blade (or is available with one) and they hold up quite well. The Speedlocks usually cost a little more than the after-market Top Lock conversions. You can tell the difference by the nail notch on the blades of the Top Locks.

Daniel D.