Boker Epicenter Review – Titanium Scales, VG-10 Blade
The Boker Plus Epicenter is a cutting edge knife. It’s one of the finest value knives ever to be produced by Boker. The premium features and design are what separate it from the crowd. Innovation is an area where Boker shines brighter than the sun. The engineering that went into this knife is a testament to their commitment to being better than the competition. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, or maybe just its origins, Boker is a commercial manufacturer of pocket knives, fixed blade knives, kitchen knives, knife blocks, knife sets, straight razors, and even swords. This is a company that knows everything there is to know about knives. It’s no wonder they are world famous. Their passion and enthusiasm for producing the highest quality knives is second to none.
Boker is headquartered in Solingen, Germany, but it has a U.S. location in Lakewood, Colorado. This is the home of Boker U.S. where their knives are produced for customers in the United States. Our focus with this review will be on the Boker Plus Epicenter, which has a price point of between $105.00 and $150.00 depending on where you shop. The Epicenter is from the Boker Plus line, which are China produced knives. Despite that, it’s a gorgeous knife with a premium blade. This particular knife was designed by Todd Rexford. He’s young in age, but already has some big accomplishments to his name (including this knife). His home is in beautiful Colorado where he undoubtedly gets some of his inspiration for these brilliant knife designs. In the world of knife design, Todd is one of the best and possesses a tremendous amount of talent.
Size: Dimensions and Weight
The overall length of the Boker Plus Epicenter is 8.31 inches. This is the length when the knife is open (not folded). When the knife is closed (folded) the length is reduced to 4.81 inches. The length of the blade is 3.62 inches. The weight of the knife is 6.80 ounces. Maybe a tad heavier than you would expect for a titanium knife of this size, but that’s because it is very solidly built with a thick blade and beefy handle. What you would expect from a knife of this caliber. Titanium scales that are 5mm thick are also a component of the design. This is massive for a knife of this price. It’s not something you see every day, but it’s a premium feature you will come to appreciate. The weight and dimensions were carefully thought out before the design went to production. This isn’t one of those cases where you’ll get it home, only to realize that it’s too big or small.
Blade, Handle and Pocket Clip Construction
The blade on the Epicenter is manufactured from one of my all time favorite stainless steels, VG-10. It is extremely resistant to rust, hair splitting sharp and the edge retention is fantastic. Not to mention when the time does come and your Epicenter needs to be sharpened it will be much easier to get a fine edge than some of the other premium steels. The beauty of this blade is that it features a modified satin drop point design with a flat grind. This gives the blade a nice glossy surface (though it’s a finger print magnet) with added thickness to make it stronger. If there’s one thing we all want in a knife, its maximum strength and durability. Without that, it will struggle to get the job done. It will probably end up breaking under the pressure. This isn’t something you’ll have to worry about with the Boker Plus Epicenter.
Something worth mentioning is the blade is ever so slightly off center, but it isn’t a big deal. It still has plenty of room on either side so that it does not come into contact with the titanium scales, so I’m fine with it. Just a small nitpick.
The design also includes bi-directional finger grooves, a large thumb stud on each side of the blade, and finger grooves on the pocket clip. It has a non-tubed lanyard hole, always a welcome feature, and the hole will easily accept 550 paracord.
Even if you have a number of knives in your collection, you’ll be impressed with the ability of this knife to slice. It could easily become your new “go to” knife for that reason. The handle of the Epicenter is made from titanium. We aren’t talking a little bit of titanium either. This isn’t one of those knives that gives you only a taste of premium metal. It comes with a full titanium handle. More specifically, its 3D machined titanium. The strength and appearance of the handle is phenomenal. The pocket clip is also manufactured from titanium. Because of that, you won’t have to worry about it breaking or bending under normal circumstances. The clip on this knife is meant to be used and abused.
Detent, Lockup and Blade Deployment
The Epicenter has very strong detent. Almost too strong was my first thought, but it seems to have loosened up with use and now it feels perfect. Despite the polished (and overly smooth) thumb studs, it opens smoothly with relative ease. The blade holds in place well. You want have to worry about it jarring open while in your pocket. Due to the size and strong detent, it’s fairly difficult to quickly “flip” open like you may be accustomed to with similar knives of this category.
The locking system is a very sturdy titanium frame lock that feels very secure and locks up nicely. It’s very thick and locks up early (around 25-30%). Absolutely no blade play, either up and down or side to side.
The dual thumb studs on the knife are decent. You can get to them easily whenever you need to. The only issue with them is that they’re somewhat slippery. Due to the polished metal, your thumb will slide right off the side. Over time though, and with enough use, you’ll get used to it. The key is to press hard and dig into the base of the stud with your thumb to deploy the blade. On the left side, you don’t have this problem. There is a visible screw in the middle of the thumb stud on this side. You will find that the screw gives you some extra grip. Your finger is able to grip onto the grooves in the screw for easier deployment. The thumb studs can also be removed. Why? I don’t know. Maybe for legal reasons if you live in a location that doesn’t allow one-handed blade deployment. A neat feature nonetheless.
Comfort and Ergonomics
The Boker Plus Epicenter was designed extremely well, and this can be felt from the moment you first pick it up. You will find that it’s ergonomic and very comfortable in hand. Once you see (and feel) it for yourself, you’ll probably go to their website in order to find more knives by this designer. It really is that good. Their does seem to be one minor issue people have reported with the handle in the early, first generation models. The locking and non-locking side of the handle don’t match up for some people. From what we’ve seen, this is probably an issue that is limited to certain production runs. There is simply no telling how many knives this issue affects, but if you buy one new that was recently manufactured and doesn’t have CHINA printed on the blade, you most likely have one of the newer production runs and should have no worries. Even so, it’s a minor issue that doesn’t diminish the quality of the knife for most people. We are mentioning it so that you’re aware. If the knife you receive has this minor issue, you’ll know what we are talking about. The blade is razor sharp and it feels really good in your hands. Just a fantastically built and designed knife. When you weigh this against one small flaw (if you even have the issue), you’ll more than likely keep the knife.
On the back of the blade you will find some jimping with the purpose of preventing your finger from slipping up or down on the knife. The only downside to this knives jimping is that the grooves are almost perfectly flush with the handle scales (maybe even lower). When you have your thumb on the back of the knife, you can feel it, but just barely and it doesn’t give you a ton of grip. Not that functional. Still, I guess it’s better than no jimping at all.
The Epicenter’s titanium pocket clip has finger grooves and is hard cut. When you have the knife clipped to your pocket, and go to remove it, you’ll have no problems doing so. Your finger will grip to the clip. The pocket clip is also reversible for tip up or down carry. Unfortunately, there are no screw holes on the opposite side for left handed carry, only right handed tip up or tip down. A real shame for all you lefties. The clip also allows it to ride relatively deep in the pocket while still allowing a large enough portion exposed for a solid grip and easy removal from a pocket.
Final Thoughts On The Boker Epicenter
The Boker Plus Epicenter is one of the best knives on the market in this price range. Around $100 for a full titanium handle, VG-10 blade and titanium frame lock is a bargain. If you’re looking for a great knife, it’s very possible that your search ends here. That being said, it is obviously not perfect, which this review demonstrates. Even with a few minor issues, it’s still a wonderful folder and one of my personal favorites. There is also confirmation that new production runs have fixed (or at least greatly reduced) the issues we mentioned with handle scale misalignment. This isn’t the lightest knife, but it’s also not the heaviest by far. It may be too weighty for EDC depending on your preferences. Still, you’ll be pleased with the strength and tightness of the titanium pocket clip if are comfortable EDC’ing a knife of this magnitude.
The spacers on the back of the Epicenter from the flow-through design are also really nice. They are more decorative than traditional stand offs and give a really sleek appearance. More knives should have these spacers. You’ll see what I mean if you ever experience the Epicenter first hand. One important consideration is whether your right or left handed. It’s not designed for left handed carry. If you’re not right handed, then you may want pass. The pivot is also adjustable, which makes it extremely easy to get the optimal smoothness. And don’t worry about screwing up the smoothness of blade deployment. No matter how tight you make the pivot, the blade will still open and close smoothly with relative ease. I can almost guarantee you will fall in love with the Boker Epicenter if you decide to add it to your collection. It’s well built and uses top of the line materials. Furthermore, it comes at a great value considering the high build quality, low price and overall premium fit and finish.
Do you own the Boker Epicenter? Let us know any thoughts or opinions about it by commenting below.