Question of the Day

Question of the Day: Boker War Toad: Thoughts?

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I don’t know what to think of the Boker War Toad. What say You?

 

I know that it has been out for a while. but the Boker War Toad just recently came onto my radar. Frankly, I am not sure what to think of this unique little blade.

For one thing, I have zero experience with friction folders. Lacking either a spring or locking mechanism, these knives rely on the pressure of the scales when closed, and the grasping of the tang against the handle when open. It is a design that dates back to Roman times, and the Svord Peasant Knife in particular seems to have a very devoted following.

 

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The blade is held open by grasping the tang against the handle.

Boker’s War Toad is a homely little thing. With its stubby, 2″ chisel blade, I am not entirely sure what I would use it for. Boker calls it a “tactical friction folder”, as though that term (tactical) has any real meaning. As knife designer and retired Green Beret Kim Breed likes to say. “If it is you and me and all I have is a stick, it is a tactical stick”.

I suppose I can see how the grip would be fairly solid in the hand, and it would serve as a supplement to a punch more than a stabbing blade. The tang is also filed to a possibly useful chisel point. I really can’t think of a situation where I would find the combination of blade and tang shape would be the tools I am looking for.

I have other issues with this knife. The scales are high-end titanium and G10, but the blade is 440C. I would have expected something better for the $130 MSRP (however, if you want to buy one Blade HQ has them on sale for $94.99 at the moment). Also, while the knife has a clip, Boker specifically says this is for attaching to equipment and not to be used on a pocket lest the blade fall open.

As I mentioned, friction folders are an old design that still has a modern following. I just can’t say I am sold on the concept.

What are your thoughts on friction folders in general, and the War Toad in particular?

Discussion

16 responses to ‘Question of the Day: Boker War Toad: Thoughts?

  1. I’m guessing that in certain areas with bad knife laws, like The city of
    New York, these could be a legal solution, but beyond that I’m drawing a blank.
    I think it’s kindof cute, though.

  2. You have to remember something about Boker that they don’t really advertise and I wish they would. Instead of tapping custom knife makers to apply their design skills and sensibility to a new knife like CRKT or Kershaw does, Boker creates what I call “gateway drug” knives that are nearly the exact same design of a model of knife that the custom/semi-custom knife makers are known for and just use mass production techniques and easily batch-treated steel (like 440C, seen here) to keep costs down.

    This can help explain the weird choice of materials and seemingly odd style of the Boker War Toad, as the original is a $400 friction folder using CPM 154 or other high end steel and Mokume or titanium scales – at the pricepoint we’re talking about here, you’re not buying a knife to really use, you’re buying a knife that you want for the creator’s aesthetic style and design philosophy, something “really cool”. When you try to translate it down to a “normal people” price range, the design choices and compromise on materials can seem odd and out of touch unless you know of the designer already and are thinking of buying one the high end models and want to “test drive” the design first.

    I’ve actually got my eye on a couple other Boker collaboration designs that look cool:

    American Kami Colubris
    http://www.smkw.com/webapp/eCommerce/products/Boker/Boker%C2%AE+Plus%26%23153%3B+Colubris/BK02BO055.html

    (Since I was actually able to lay hands on this, I have decided that yes, I love the knife and will buy the Boker and maybe the real thing someday).

    Coye Ridgeback

    http://www.bladehq.com/item–Boker-Plus-Ridgeback-Fixed-Blade–17468

    Burchtree Impetus

    http://www.gpknives.com/brands/boker/bokerplus/bokerimpetus.html

    I wish Boker would make a bigger deal of this as it could increase sales of these “entry level customs” for Boker and give a bigger presence to the custom makers themselves, and possibly more sales and exposure for everyone involved.

    What was the question again?

    Oh yeah, friction folders are a neat legacy design, the Svords are neat and surprisingly functional, and I like the higo no kami alot too!

  3. This was TuffThumbz’s first design. He sold the design to Boker a year or so ago. Coming from a knife pimping background, he really wanted this to be a canvas for the next generation of knife pimpers to get going. The G10 handle can be tossed out for some carbon fiber. The titanium can be anodized a variety of colors. Hell, they can do just about anything to it

  4. I really hate seeing the word “tactical” to describe a knife. It seems to be shorthand for “modern” in many cases. I don’t see any friction folder as “tactical” but the toad knives are certainly “modern” in that they use more synthetic materials, a wider range of colors, a pocket clip, and utilize blade shapes that you don’t generally see on “old timer” knives. I could write an essay about how terrible knife descriptors really are. And since I have more time to myself lately, I probably will.

  5. I like stuff like this, because it shows how basic you can get a perfectly functional cutting tool, hearkening back to the days before anything locked. That’s why I like Svord’s knife. With this price point and these materials…I don’t know. I wouldn’t buy one. I almost never buy a knife for form only and I can’t see using this. When I want modern, I’ve got plenty of locking knives that open faster. When I want a more sedate cutter, I’ve got Opinel, Svord, Case, and plenty of antique folders to look to. This does neither well from the looks of it.

  6. Seems more like a curiosity for the collector than anything else. I believe it comes with a belt pouch for carry, which is probably more trouble that the average person is willing to dedicate to what is basically a folder.

  7. I carry an Ulster w/ 2 blades and an awl. It was my maternal grandfather’s. I do like the Opinel; mine’s a #6. The Toad: Too Ugly; too expensive.

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