Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Review - Boker Plus Subcom Series

Boker is a German knife company which has been around since 1869. However, German-made Boker knives, while being very high quality, are also expensive. To remedy this, Boker put out a line of knives, which they call their Boker Plus line. Boker Plus knives are made in the Far East (China, Taiwan, etc.). They are still quality knives, but they come at a more affordable price point.

One of the most popular knives that Boker Plus offers is the SubCom series of blades. These blades were designed by Hawaiian knife designer Chad Los Banos. With their sweeping blade design and their unique appearance, these knives definitely have a bit of foreign flair to them.

The SubCom series consists of four main styles of knife, varying by blade design: the SubCom F, the SubClaw, the WharCom and the ResCom. Within the styles, there are different colors, edge styles (plain vs. partially serrated) and even scale materials (titanium).

Folded, the SubCom can be used as a pocket clip.
All of the SubCom knives share the same handle design. The handles are constructed with one half of the frame being made out of polymer and the other half is made out of stainless steel. The handles have deep, useful jimping on the top of the handle, trasitioning to the blade. This jimping is continued near the back of the handle. The jimping is there to compensate for the shortness of the handle, which is only 2.7" long. When properly gripped, the knife offers very good traction in the hand, which is surprising for a knife of this size.

The knives also open relatively easily with polymer abidextrous thumbstuds. The thumbstuds do not allow for super-fast opening, but opening is quick enough for everyday use. The locking mechanism for all SubComs is a frame lock, with the stainless steel portion of the handle having the lock for the knife. The lockup is solid on all SubComs with no blade play on any of the knives I have seen.

The SubComs also have similar weight and dimensions. The weight of these knives is about 2.4 oz, which is fairly light weight. The open lenght is about 4.6" and the closed length is around 2.7". The blade length is around 2.0" (short enough to be legal practically anywhere) and is made of AUS-8 stainless steel. They all come razor sharp out of the box.

Many people like to use the knives in the SubCom series as a money clip. When folded, the wide, short shape of the knife makes this knife very comfortable to carry in the pocket. Why not have a money clip that can function as a blade. While I personally do not do this (I use a wallet), the utility behind this idea can clearly be seen.

Now, let's move onto the specifics behind each knife.

SubCom F
The SubCom F comes in three variations.

The SubCom F is the original knife in the series. The SubCom F is the design that all of the later knives mimicked. It comes in many versions. All SubCom F's have a sweeping drop-point blade, great for slicing. There is the plain-edged SubCom F, with a silver blade and a black polymer handle. The steel half of the handle is also silver to match the blade color. The polymer thumbstuds are black.

The SubCom F comes in a partially serrated black version with a black blade, a black polymer and steel handle and black thumbstuds.

There is also the SubCom F Camo, which has a black partially serrated blade, a gray polymer/black steel handle and a gray polymer thumbstud.

SubCom Titan

The SubCom Titan has a light-weight titanium frame.
The SubCom Titan is the elite version of the SubCom F. The handle being made out of titanium, this knife weighs only 1.9 oz and looks very elegant. It's ambidextrous metal thumbstuds enable very quick opening of the blade, as opposed to the slower opening of the other SubCom knives. The blade is made out of a higher quality 440C stainless steel and has the same drop point shape as the original SubCom F. The design and dimensions are the same as the SubCom F.

Personally, this is my favorite of the SubCom series. Not only is it really cool looking, but it's a great value on a titanium-handled knife.

SubClaw
The SubClaw has a Hawkbill blade design.

The SubClaw is very similar to the SubCom F. The only main difference between the knives is the blade shape. The SubClaw features a Hawkbill blade that is great for slicing, but good for little else. I see this as mainly a defensive blade or a collector's blade. While there are better defensive options out there, few fit into the small size and shape of the SubClaw.

WharCom

The Wharcom has a Wharncliffe type blade.
Next in the list is the WharCom. This knife is also very similar to the SubCom F, only with a different blade shape. The WharCom has a Wharncliffe type blade that is perfectly straght from the handle to the tip. Being similar to a razor blade in blade shape, this is a very useful edge with a nice, pointy tip. The blade shape would be great for slicing, but even better for scraping. If often perform tasks that require scraping and you want to look cool doing it, perhaps the WharCom is what you're looking for.

ResCom

The ResCom is designed to cut only within its hooked blade.
The ResCom has safety and rescue in mind in it's design. Also being very similar to the SubCom F, the ResCom has a hook-type blade shape, with the outside of the hook free from any sharp edges. The sharp edges are all on the inside of the hooked blade shape. There is also a saw portion of the blade, which can be used to cut materials too large to get through the hook on the end. The ResCom is a great blade for those who want an emergency safety/rescue knife. I would not recommend this knife for every day use, since the blade should be kept sharp and only used for emergencies, unless you are willing to sharpen it often to keep it ready to go at all times.

The ResCom comes in two color variations. There is a black version with a black blade, black handle and black thumbstuds. There is also a red version with a silver blade, red polymer frame/silver metal frame and red thumbstuds.

Conclusion

So that's my take on the Boker SubCom series. They are great knives. Their unique shape makes them very attractive, both for for use and for collecting. They're functional, even as money clips. If you are curious, try one out for yourself. They're inexpensive enough that you might even own a few.

6 comments:

  1. Great review you have here.
    I bought the SubClaw recently for two reasons:
    1. Great-looking. The Hawkbill Blade attracted me. And the size is just right.
    2. Defense. It comes in a handy size and a trustworthy blade.

    Bottomline is, I trust Boker Knives

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice review. I will maybe offer them to my clients :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Subcom Series is really nice looking one! especially Sub Claw
    Thank you Sir, I am also a big fan for collection of knives and having a website of my own. Link is:- http://netknives.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks! Have not checked out the Subcom series, but will have to. Also a fan of the MAGNUM series. Do you like them? They're definitely high quality and range from $55-65. I know Men's Effects carries them: http://www.menseffects.com/BOKER-Switchblades-Automatic-Knives-s/76.htm

    ReplyDelete