Boker Knives Brand Guide

Boker Knife Brands Company Overview – The Differences between, Solingen Plus, Arbolito, and Magnum Explained

Boker knives are made in China, but there is some confusion. Boker knives are famously German-made. It was therefore heartbreaking that they chose to manufacture in China and Taiwan. Boker knives still have the “made in Germany” Treebrand stamp or the “made in USA” or “Made In Argentina” logo, even though these factories are now in operation.

It is doubly confusing that Boker has grown around a dozen names over the past decade, each doing something slightly different. We are left wondering if all these companies technically remain Boker, and more importantly, where they are making their blades.

Boker Solingen Boker Arbolito Boker Plus Boker Magnum are the only companies to be concerned about. As things stand right now, here’s a rundown of these four knife-making Boker branches.

AMATEUR HISTORIAN DISCLAIMER

To write this guide accurately, I did a lot of research. However, I’m not an expert on Boker history. People have been led to believe that the contents of this article are a Antique Roadshow expert. I can tell them if their grandfather’s rusty trapper knives with “I love You, Stinky” inscribed into the handle is worth a thousand bucks. I’m not that guy, although I learned more about people’s Bokers than I thought.

The The Boker book authors you are looking for are Ricky Ray and Neal Punchard. This is a quick internet reference guide that I created to help Boker keep its current structure straight.

BOKER MANUFAKTUR SOLINGEN

Factory: Solingen, Germany
The Typical Price Range $140 – $600
Specialization: EDC, Outdoor and Collectible
Quality: High
Branding Trees: Yes

This is their premium brand. These knives are made in the glittering, blade-happy town of Solingen, where the company was founded. They don’t allow their products to leave the city unless they want to preserve the city’s reputation. These knives are solid, smooth, and precise to the finest detail, with the stereotypical German precision.

These tools will be quite expensive. The average price for a folding knife is $300 and the fixed-blade knife at $450. However, their multi-tools can be quite affordable. The brand doesn’t have a specific specialty so there are many knife styles to choose from. Solingen is the place to go if you want the best Boker folder money could buy. This brand is the best for fixed-blades.

BOKER ARBOLITO

Factory: Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Typical Price Range $100 – $250
Specialization: Bushcraft and Kitchen
Quality: High
Tree branding: Yes

Boker Arbolito stuff is a must-have for hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts. These knives are likely to be as good or better than the German-made knives in terms of quality control. The difference lies in the style and materials. The handles are made from a lot of local South American hardwood with some bone and Micarta added in occasionally. This factory produces amazing products.

Their current trajectory is quite unusual, since they recently released a spring-assist folder. Their factory in Argentina cannot make fixed-blade knives, so they must outsource folder designs to China. Any other folding designs that are part of the Arbolito branch will likely be made there. Boker Arbolito, aside from this, is mostly a fixed-blade, wooden tool. The Arbolito branch might be a good choice if your budget is tight. However, if you are a woodsy type and have a lot of money, this branch may not be the right place for you.

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BOKER PLUS

Factory: Asia, USA, Europe
The Typical Price Range $20 – $250
Specialization: Tactical and EDC
Quality: Medium
Tree branding: No

Plus Boker’s mid-range knife division, and it’s a great place for anyone new to Boker knives. These knives are often made to be a compromise between quality and price. The general quality would be comparable to Kershaw. The US makes some of this branch, which is a draw for Americans. However, that’s only technical.

Boker actually has a contract to make some models in the States with Fox Cutlery under their Fox Knives brand. These blades are made by Fox, so the quality control is quite good. Keep in mind that Fox Knives is the manufacturer of American Boker knives.

Boker USA is more about catering to western tastes than actually making in America. Many of these designs were created with the assistance of military and police personnel. You’ll find good tactical knives and training knives in the collection. You’ll also see more plain folders here. These knives are more common because they don’t make you squint when you look at them. These knives are practical and have many good designs. They’re also made of great material.

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BOKER MAGNUM

Factory: Taiwan and China
The Typical Price Range $15 – 120
Specialization: Low-cost EDC, tactical, survival, etc
Quality: Low to medium
Tree branding: No

Magnum Boker’s playground. This is where you’ll find the most variety of knives and the best prices. This group has a lower quality control, but knives with handles that look like bullets and guns are a clear indication that quality is not the main concern.

Boker created this stock to experiment with new designs and make it affordable for those who don’t have $250 to buy a new EDC knives. While some knives are made with the same materials as the German-made knives, you will find softer and more prone to erosion in most of them. There might be a slight difference in the heat treatment, pivot screws, grind, and other aspects.

Some might argue that this is Boker’s attempt to cheapen their manufacturing process and ride the profits of the Boker brand. It will be viewed by good-hearted fans as a gesture of love for those who struggle with money, but still love Boker.

Some Boker Magnum products now have the name “Advance Pro”. They are made in China in the same factory, but they tend to use higher quality materials such as 440C steel. They are usually not much more expensive than Magnum knives. However, it appears that Boker has some interesting releases plans for this category.

You should also check out their limited-release Collections. Boker has collaborated with a top designer every year since the 1990’s to create a knife in a limited edition of around 2,000 knives. These knives are of a higher quality and made from better materials. The Pohl knife 2020 features D2 steel, which is a first in Magnum branch, and a leather sheath. They are usually packaged in a display box, and tend to be around $100.

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NOTE ON THE BOKER NAME

Boker’s constant quest to reach as many knife users as possible through their brand is what has resulted in this web of branding and factory construction. Boker decided to colonize the globe and create specialized branches that sell all the knives they can think of under one company and factory name.

They don’t just make knives. This is part of the confusion. Boker Manufaktur, the umbrella name, is used to identify everything from jackets and shaving accessories. Boker is often associated with knives but originally they were a tool-making business. They made all sorts of equipment, even surgical equipment. They ended up making lots of knives on demand, and then they decided to pursue the idea.

There is a danger that knife enthusiasts could be misled by having their hands in so many products. We get angry when we see Boker’s name on something other than a knife and we start throwing things at it or buying stupid stuff like a Spyderco. Boker solved the problem in German fashion by adding more parts.

This is why you will see “Boker Manufaktur Solingen”, and “Boker Manufaktur Solingen”, as they are two distinct brands. The Solingen brand makes the knives. There are now three additional Boker brands making slightly different knives, and that’s without even considering all the offshoots of Boker that don’t bear the Boker name. We won’t be worrying about it right now.

About the author

Hi, my name is Jaba Ray. I'm a knife expert and researcher. I am the creator of thesandwichknife.com, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I love people who need suitable steel or knife for their cook because I'm also a food lover. I work with a team of people who've always had a passion for knives and blades on this site.

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