BÖKER PLUS

CHAD LOS BANOS WHARCOM


German Solingen-based Böker has a very long history of making knives and tools - since 1829 in fact - and now have an enormous selection of folders and fixed blades at all price points - their Böker Plus lineup consists of affordable everyday knives, mostly manufactured in Taiwan.

The Wharcom is one variant of the Subcom family of small "tactical" utility folders in different blade shapes and handle colors/materials.

It is designed by martial expert and corrections officer-turned-knife designer Chad Los Banos.

 As I began my new hobby obsessing over knife design I frequently checked out video reviews on Youtube, which is often very hit and miss in quality. One kid was reviewing a handful of his most favorite knives, and this one was in his top 2. He was incredibly enthusiastic and convincing, and it made me want to check it out.

I picked a wharncliffe style version that makes this little cutter into a foldable, ultra compact utility knife. Other choices include serrated variants and seatbelt cutters.

** Note: Since this review was written the Wharcom version has been discontinued. However, the Subcoms in other blade styles are very much still available and popular **

 Early days of Böker in the US. (Photo by Boker)

Early days of Böker in the US. (Photo by Boker)

 

AESTHETICS

★★

This knife is not particularly attractive. FRN is not my favorite material, it feels and looks cheap. The steel side is nice, simple and smooth and makes me seriously consider getting the titanium model (which unfortunately does not come in the wharncliffe shape).

The general shape and curves gives this little fella a flat, chubby look. I am not sure what to think of the exaggerated grooved "grippy shapes" in the handle - but I would have preferred a simpler design personally.

Finally, the Böker Plus brand looks outdated and sad. Time for a redesign meine Freunde!

 

 

ERGONOMICS

★★★

The Subcom knives are a whole lot more comfortable to hold than they appear. The flat, wide shape and exaggerated finger groove keeps it secure even if you only get 3 to 4 fingers around it. It is not comfortable over long periods due to the heavy jimping on all sides of the knife.

 

 

FIT & FINISH

★★★

Not a fan of FRN. It reminds me of the 1990's sad Ford Fiesta interior. But at least it is decently fitted and reinforced by a thin layer of aluminum on the inside. The clip side is beautifully finished with a satin bead blasted look. For the price, this is a pretty nice piece.

 

RUGGEDNESS

★★½

The Subcoms are not exactly made to last forever. Having said that, it is hard to imagine scenarios where you'd end up trhashing it - it is not exactly a handy size for chopping down pine trees.

The blade is pretty thin (which is great for what I use it for), and the AUS 8 steel wouldn't hold up well if put to the test. It does sharpen very easily though. Get a cheap sharpener to go with it and your'e set.

 

 

USEFULNESS

★★★★★

The fact that these blades are less than 2 inches long make them legal in many locations. It is quite simply the perfect size to carry around as it fits perfectly in the "condom pocket" on all jeans. This means you can have a small utility cutter with you at all times - it is so discrete that I forget it is there.

It is very sharp and does most little tasks really well - especially if you deal with a lot of precision cutting etc.

 

 

FONDLE FACTOR

★★★

Easy to flip, great click sound of the frame lock. Nice smooth feel of the back of the knife and a nice broad, smooth indent in the pocket clip makes it feel great in the hand. The handle material is a bit of a detractor to my overall score. Tap it and it sounds flimsy and plasticky - again I'd probably prefer the (pricier) titanium model.


PIVOT SCORE

★★★★

Scoring pretty mediocre in most categories, why do I end up giving it a high overall score? Quite simply because it is the perfect carry knife - you have it on you everywhere, so you use it everywhere. It is incredibly practical and so cheap that you don't get too precious about using it.

Love it.

Buy it here.

** Note: Since this review was written the Wharcom version has been discontinued. However, the Subcoms in other blade styles are very much still available and popular **

  • Blade Steel: AUS-8

  • Blade length: 1 7/8"

  • Blade Style: Wharncliffe Blade

  • Overall length: 4 1/2"

  • Handle material: FRN ( Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon)

  • Weight: 3.2 oz

  • $30.00



 Review by Sir Ruphus Heathrow

Review by Sir Ruphus Heathrow


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