Thursday, May 19, 2011

Boker 1915 German Trench Knife

My newest addition to my ever growing family of fixed blades is this lovely Boker trench dagger. It is new production but not a replica. Rosewood handles, c-75 carbon steel, grip pins, and the exact specs are exactly the same as when this knife was made by Boker during World War I for the Imperial German military.

The blade is a little over 5inches, and a nearly 11 inches in overall length. The weight is a mere 5.9 oz. It comes with a leather sheath that features no press buttons or velcro, instead the metal tab we've seen on so many old surplus magazine pouches from that era.

This Tree Boker set me back $125. The last knife to cost me as much was my disappointing m1911 folding knife. Unlike the m1911, this literally took my breath away when I finally pulled it free of the plastic blade cover. I've never gotten a fixed blade that has made me this excited! The balance is excellent, and center is right under the guard. The knife can make some very fast cuts. The rosewood grips are very spartan but with simple grooves allows a solid grip. The front contour fits nicely with the fingers, too. The guard itself is large enough to be useful, unlike on many modern fixed blades. It is also comfortable in standard and reverse grips.

It is also designed around being able to be used as a punch dagger! On each side of the finger guard, there is a curved indention for your fingers. The grip contour is also designed to fit in this mode. Punches can be made quickly in this hold.

The blade itself is made from C-75 carbon steel. Its in the same class as 1095 carbon steel. It must be oiled regularly and maintained to protect it from corrosion. It is much stronger than average stainless steels, and needs that strength as the blade style is a very classic single edged dagger.

I must mention that this knife is a true weapon. Unlike many other designs, it will not be as useful in camp chores or utility tasks. However, this fighting blade does have use in lighter cutting chores that the EDC knife user will find himself taking on. Also, its slim and light design would make it a good choice for a mid-sized carry fixed blade for concealed carry. The size makes it able to deliver lethal hits that small knives simply can't.

This is a very cool blade. Simple clean lines and useful features make it functionally elegant. One might almost think its a custom blade. As icing on the cake, this purchase can be considered historical. I am very interested in getting another one of these, to be customized with micarta or g10 grips and a good custom sheath.

There are three other versions of this knife. The first is identical except for wearing stag handles for about $25 more. This would make a nice BBQ knife in my opinion. The second is a modernized version with micarta grips, a more modern sheath, and a partially serrated edge. Disappointingly, the steel is replaced with the considerably weaker 440C stainless. The third is the stag handle, but in Damascus steel. It is more a presentation knife, as it sells for around $500.

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