Sunday, December 29, 2013

Boker Plus Titan Drop Overview

titanium handles edc knife blade folderLooks like I made the nice list this year and Santa brought me a touch of titanium to go into my EDC rotation, the Titan Drop from Boker. Going back to the Buck Spitfire review I did awhile back my excitement for knives has faded and it seems that knife is just the one I personally had been looking for. The Spitfire seems to have the right combination of elements to suit my personal tastes, more so than any single specific feature that necessarily makes it better than any other knife out there. Because truthfully it doesn't have any single point of quality that stands out, particularly in the world of knives where the sky is the limit for materials and workmanship to be had. On the other hand, the Titan Drop brings the exclusivity of titanium to the realm of budget oriented blades which could be misleading at first. Could it be that titanium has come down from its throne as many other common, but once precious materials have? Or could it be a gimmick to mask a multitude of shortcomings greater than the value of the handles? The former is difficult to presume given the absence of competitors, though this could be just the beginning. At the same time, I can't find any particular benefit of titanium in everyday tools myself. It has an admittedly warm and textured feeling in the hand but nothing that can't be achieved, or hasn't already, with other materials. In fact, I am attracted to the Titan Drop for its design much more than the composition of its handle, which could have been steel or aluminum and still found its way to my pocket. So while titanium may be a gimmick in one sense, it's certainly not used to hide any shortcuts in quality. I don't suspect that the Spitfire will end my knife collection altogether of course, but the Titan is far from settling for less. Just like the Spitfire is for Buck, I believe this is a design that Boker could benefit from by pursuing further.

For one thing, the Titan Drop is relatively large, coming very close to the Ontario RAT 1. For that reason, I'd like to see the same knife with a half inch or so taken from the blade and handle lengths, while retaining all other dimensions. This would make for an ideal EDC size and strip more weight still. As great as Titanium is to some buyers, the thin profile, full flat grind, southpaw compatibility, and gentlemanly design are its biggest selling points. It's not perfect, it's not fast, but it is well made and my example has excellent fit and finish. As always, let's get to the pictures.
Had some snow on the ground and thought it might make for a good picture. Meh.
Not a bad lookin piece though. Nice pocket clip and though the shape isn't integrated into the design so much, its finish matches the other steel parts well and it functions properly.
lock back knife spine detail
Flawless fit? For $40, I'd call it the closest I've seen.
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In fact, I'm impressed at that price.
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Now that's not a bad photo and that blade came as close to razor sharp as I think a knife can get. It's smooth push cuts (not slicing) through phone book paper all day sharp, from tip to tail. I'm not sure I've ever had a knife this sharp out of the box. You can distinctly feel it pick every single hill and valley of your fingerprint as you test the edge.
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It's just a nice blade for the money - something I am always in search of.
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I'd heard some complains about blade centering in general with the Boker Plus line. I actually have no idea why this is important to begin with when you're buying a user knife. If it doesn't cause an issue, then it isn't an issue. Inexpensive products are likely to have looser standards of QC but my example is barely off center, if perceptible at all in this image.
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For size comparison. I'd like to see a 2.0 version a bit shorter than the Spitfire (center).
The Titan Drop has a somewhat elongated appearance and I think removing a little length only would give it killer proportions. It could lose a half inch from both the blade and handle and still fit nicely in hand.

The thin profile is one of Titan's assets. Its gone unnoticed in the pocket for me.

The Buck Spitfire is thin, no question, but the Titan has it beat. The Buck is a bit smoother and quicker opening but the Titan certainly has a cleaner overall appearance with better blade retention closed and more solid lockup. The lockback system does lend itself to inherently slim pocket knives of course but it still seems remarkable. While they may not be as quick as other systems, they are tried and true, and I suspect help with value. With enough force, and I mean quite a bit, I can feel the slightest play in the lockup but it may amount to a whole millimeter or less of movement. Anyone interested in this knife won't be disappointed.

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