Damascus steel hand-forged by master smith Manfred Sachse forms the two-inch blade of this mother-of-pearl handled gentleman’s folder from Boker Knives of Solingen, Germany. Three hundred layers of high carbon steel give the blade exceptional toughness and edge-holding ability. Closed, the knife measures only 2-1/2 inches long, but the wide handle and strong build make this more than the average dress knife. The drop point blade locks back for safe use. A slender gent’s folder would twist in the hand if you actually needed to use it, but this knife has enough width to grip.
Highly polished bolsters seamlessly join the pearl handle slabs for a look that’s hard to criticize unless you’re looking for a bigger knife. For a dress knife that fits unobtrusively in a pocket but still has enough heft to be useful, the Pearl Lockback is a great choice. Sachse has made Damascus blades for Boker for twenty years, creating steel in the style of legendary Persian weaponry. Makers of modern equivalents brag about putting thirty layers in the blade — three hundred is special. Years ago when I bought my first laminated steel knife, I was skeptical. The hard cutting edge sandwiched between two layers of spring steel outperformed anything I’d ever owned. Three hundred layers bring steel into a realm that’s magical.
Since the blades are handmade, each one is unique, but still conforms to the drop point style. Some think that Damascus steel was the secret James Black, maker of the first Bowie knives, forgot. If he’d made blades this good, I believe we’d know.