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Boker's China made 440c

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by ryosuke, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. ryosuke


    Jun 27, 2006
    I bought a coye Oscar mike fixed blade from Boker. The fit and finish is great and I really like the knife. It's a beautiful looking knife. I've read somewhere in this forum that someone said that China made Boker uses steel which is cheaper than 440c but they still stamp 440c on their blades? If this is true I'm really disappointed in what I just bought. Does anybody know about this? Thanks
  2. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Chinese steel mills don't normally produce to American specs. They are also known to sell what they consider to be equivalent alloys as something else. So, if the knife says 440C, but is not, it would be hard to absolutely affix the blame on Boker, that they knowingly used a different alloy.

    By "cheaper", did you mean "less expensive", or "inferior".

    Chinese alloys are less expensive than American alloys, which would likely have to be imported. That doesn't necessarily mean their performance is not in the same ballpark.

    So, likely "less expensive".
    Don't know about "inferior".
  3. killgar


    Sep 24, 2002
    Here's my suggestion- use the knife, then decide if you're disappointed with it.

    Short of lab testing, there's no way to know for sure what steel it's actually made of. People might say "Well I heard it's..." but what they might have heard, and what they might believe, are proof of nothing. I wouldn't give up on a knife just because someone on the internet says that it's made of crappy steel, especially if they have no firsthand experience with that particular knife.

    From my experience, the only way to judge the quality of a knife's steel is to use that knife and see how the blade/steel actually performs.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  4. dkb45


    Dec 16, 2012
    Böker is a reputable company, and can be expected to not screw around and lie. Like Knarfeg said, China has different designations for their steels. 440C has two common designations, either 9Cr or 10Cr, because 440C has a range of carbon levels, and it falls in the ranges of both designations. Both steels are very good, and with the right heat treatment you will never know the difference between 9Cr, 10Cr, and 440C. Böker usually has their heat treat correct, but obviously lemons get out.
  5. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    I have several Böker knives in 440C and one of them is among the best cutter I ever had : gets (actually) razor sharp and holds an edge for a very long time (used every day in the kitchen on a wooden cutting board). Böker does have its lemons, indeed, but performance wise all the Böker 440C blades I have do work very well for me.
  6. Ilovetoolsteel


    Jul 28, 2003
    Chinese steel is not necessarily cheaper because they use inferior ingredients. Unlike the rest of the world, the chinese steel industry is largely not constrained by environmental regs the rest of the world must contend with. And their labor only cost them $1.50 - $2.50 an hour. Energy is cheaper in China because of lack of environmental regs, steel production is energy intensive. Chinese steel companies learned the hard way back in the late 80s & early 90s, if you don't give companies exactly what they ordered. They will never buy from you again no matter how low the price is. Steel suppliers for the auto industry got burned back then & it shut chinese tool steels out of the market for a long time.
  7. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    Perhaps, but they can be counted on to be difficult to get the truth out of (at least occasionally). As an example, not long ago it was very difficult to determine the country of origin for some of their lines and some of their models while doing research. Perhaps it still is. Also if Boker advertises and stamps a knife steel as being 440C but it isn't, isn't that a lie even if the alloy used is similar to 440C? Let's at least be honest about it --- it certainly appears as if Boker is (or was) simply playing marketing games in an attempt to separate you from your money.
  8. buckfynn


    May 1, 2011
    The "Boker 440C" chinese steel topic has been hashed out several times on BF. One of the more notable threads was, "Boker 440C STAINLESS STEEL" which discussed whether Boker actually used 440C or not in their chinese made knives.

    Knarfeng describes the issue very well below.
    If Boker is really using 440C they should label it as such. If they are using a so call chinese steel equivalent and labeling it as 440C to me such a practice is less than honest.
  9. jazub


    Feb 6, 2010
    Do you really think that a country that builds artificial islands on top of submerged sandbars in the Pacific Ocean in order to lay territorial claim to international waters would actually sink so low as to mislabel their steel for pocket knives? Come on, give them some credit.
  10. DallasSTB

    DallasSTB Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2009
    I'm not a huge fan Chinese knives in general, but I do have a Boker+ Exskelibur that is labeled "440C" steel, and it performs well around the house and yard with minimal maintenance.
  11. Bill1170


    Dec 20, 2007
    I have a Spyderco Mule Team in Chinese 9Cr18Mo in the kitchen, and another in the shop. They take an edge and hold it quite well. Done right, that Chinese steel behaves like the 440C it so closely resembles. Not a lot of makers use it because, like 440C, it cannot be fine blanked. Too much carbon.
  12. Hiro-kun


    Aug 1, 2009
    Zknives identifies 9Cr18Mo as the Chinese equivalent to 440C. If Boker's 440C is 9Cr18Mo, then there is no dishonesty.
  13. buckfynn


    May 1, 2011

    If Boker is using 9Cr18Mo then they should label it as 9Cr18Mo and not 440C then there would be no dishonesty.
  14. Hiro-kun


    Aug 1, 2009
    Why? "440C" is a name that is more recognizable to Boker's intended audience than "9Cr18Mo" is. Both names are intended to identify the same steel.
  15. buckfynn


    May 1, 2011
    Why? You ask because even though the steels are similar in chemical composition they are still not the same.

    Compliments of zknives.com 440C and 9Cr18Mo

    C 0.95-1.20%
    Cr 16.00-18.00%
    Mo 0.75%
    Mn 1.00%
    Si 1.00%
    P 0.04%
    S 0.03%

    C 0.95-1.10%
    Cr 16.00-18.00%
    Mo 0.40-0.70%
    Mn 0.60%
    Ni 0.80%
    Si 0.80%
    P 0.04%
    S 0.03%

    I could also argue the overall quality of chinese steel in not up to par with US or European made steel.
  16. Hiro-kun


    Aug 1, 2009
    OK, so they're not identical. Nevertheless, if you're claiming that there is dishonesty on Boker's part, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that Boker's "440C" is not made to the AISI 440C standard. Nothing Knarfeng said is conclusive on this point.
  17. buckfynn


    May 1, 2011
    What Knarfeng said in his quote below is good enough for me.

  18. tamu94


    Feb 25, 2003
    My Boker Chinese 440C knife has performed very well. I field dress 2-4 deer every year with it and it takes a razor edge and keeps it as well as my Spyderco VG10 blade. Boker is probably keeping a close eye on the quality control for their China site.

    Does anyone have any data that the steel is NOT 440C? What other makers have done or used in the past is not evidence that Boker is doing the same now.
  19. Duane Sanders

    Duane Sanders Banned BANNED

    Sep 13, 2015
    Boker uses 440c and they use 9cr18mov. They don't use the names interchangeably. From what I have read else where and read from knife companies is when they use grades like 1095, 440C, AUS8 and are big name reputable companies that they get them grades from Taiwan. The knife is "made" in China but uses Taiwan steel to do so.

    We all know Taiwan produces some top quality steel, otherwise companies like Spyderco would not let a lot of their knives be made in Taiwan.

    So if Boker says its 440C its 440C. If they make them from 9cr18mov then they say they make it from 9cr18mov.
  20. buckfynn


    May 1, 2011
    The Boker Magnum series in notorious for rebranding other manufactures knives. Below I will list the steel from the specs of the original manufacturer and Boker Magnum.

    Enlan EL06 9Cr13Mov -> Same knife rebranded as Boker Magnum X-Over "440 Stainless"
    Enlan EL01 8Cr13MoV -> Same knife rebranded as Boker Magnum A-Stan "440 Stainless"
    Enlan M011 8Cr13MoV-> Same knife rebranded as Boker Magnum Baron "440 Stainless"
    Sanrenmu T08 8Cr13MoV -> Same knife rebranded as Boker Magnum Timberman "440 Stainless" (At present the T08 is using 12C27)
    Sanrenmu 728 8Cr13MoV-> Same knife rebranded as Boker Magnum Satin Leaf "440 Stainless"

    Since Boker has a habit of renaming chinese steel with their Magnum brand, I have absolutely no reason to trust them with being transparent and honest with any of their other brands.

    Do I own any Boker knives? Yes. Do I trust Boker? No.

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