Most of Böker’s headline-grabbing releases each year come out under their Böker Plus lineup. Those knives, which tend to focus on collaborations, modern designs, and affordable materials, are produced in various parts of the world, but the company’s factory in Solingen focuses on premium folders, kitchen cutlery, and traditionals. It turns out out a smaller, but still extensive by most standards, catalog of new models each year. Among the latest to join the Böker Solingen line is the Barlow Prime, the company’s latest take on the barlow pattern.
Despite the imposing name, the Barlow Prime has a lot in common with traditional barlows. This is a slipjoint designed purely for old-fashioned EDC, with a 2.72-inch spear point blade, ideal for slicing up an apple or opening a box. Opening is accomplished via the tried and true French cut nail mark; that of course means that the Barlow Prime is solely a two-hand opener.
And while the Prime design does trend in the ‘traditional’ direction in most ways, it is being rolled out with two different steel options: one traditional carbon, the other stainless. The stainless on offer is N690Co, a reliable knife steel, while the carbon choice is O1, a hard worker that prioritizes edge retention over toughness – good qualities for anything doing EDC work. There are many variants of the Barlow Prime in the works, mostly differing in handle material; but the O1 model in particular also comes with a blackwash coating that should help with the corrosion resistance.
The biggest changes the Prime makes compared to standard barlows can be found on the handle. Most noticeably, in most configurations – dubbed “EDC” variants – it is entirely lacking a bolster, one of the key visual elements on many barlow knives. The bolsterless construction also means that the Prime can go without liners beneath its covers, which helps make it a total featherweight in the carry department, weighing just 1.23 oz. There’s no clip on the Prime, but it does come with a felt slip for storage or carry.
There are Barlow Prime models with bolsters, too
As mentioned above, if a bolster still appeals to you, there are variations of this design that come with one; and materials on offer include natural and synthetic ones. Böker’s Solingen factory is also releasing some other new traditionals, including their limited edition Damascus slipjoint for this year, which is a Trapper-style knife with blue maple covers.
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