If you grew up with stainless steel pocket knives, you may not be aware there’s something better. High carbon tool steel pocket knives aren’t that common today, but Boker still makes several models, including the Tortoise Congress, with blades of American-made 1095.
Boker’s 3-5/8-inch-long Tortoise Congress is very similar to another Congress model used by champion turkey caller Len Yule. Mr. Yule uses several different versions of the Boker Congress to make his turkey calls. His main reason for choosing Boker is the high carbon tool steel cutting edge. When you make turkey calls that sell for over a thousand dollars each, you want the best edge possible.
The Tortoise Congress provides whittlers and other outdoorsmen four useful blades including spear, sheepsfoot, and two pen blades. The Congress’s sheepsfoot blade’s straight edge makes flat shavings and flush cuts, while the spear point can be used carefully for reaming and piercing as well as general carving. This isn’t a lockback folder, so be careful not to fold up the knife on your fingers, an amateur mistake you only make one time. Pen blades are handy for detail work. It never hurts to have an extra blade — use one pen blade where you’re bound to wreck the edge, and save the other for real cutting.
Boker’s Tortoise Congress pocket knife sports handle slabs of imitation tortoise shell — actually resin-injected cellulose — as good as the real thing, but much easier on the turtle. Combined with the generous nickel end bolsters, this gives the Tortoise Congress a traditional look you’ll prize.