We’ve talked about tool brands’ Advent calendars before, but this one is different. This Boker Plus Advent calendar allows you to build a knife, piece by piece.
Shown above is last year’s calendar – this year’s is not yet available.
A reader wrote in about it, prompting this post. Jared (thank you!) wrote:
Stuart! Did you know about this “advent calendar” from Boker?
Something a little different from the typical tool advent calendars. I think it looks awesome!
This absolutely does look interesting!
The Boker Plus knife Advent calendar doesn’t just let you build your own knife, it also offers customization options.
It comes with:
- 3 different knife blades
- Several handle scales
- Useful tools
- Small surprises
The Boker Plus knife Advent calendar shown above launched for the 2021 holiday season, and so what’s available at retailers seems to be remnant inventory.
Even if you’re not into Advent calendars (I’m not), this looks like an interesting way to learn how lockback knives work.
This looks like a unique knife-building experience, and the different part options add both to its cost and appeal.
The 2022 version is not yet available for sale. It will feature “two different blades, three variant handle scales, various bolsters, clips, tools, as well as a few small surprises.”
Following are Boker videos showing the knife’s assembly and the provided customization options:
Advent and knife just seems a jarring combination. I can see carpenter tools from Wera as somewhat in the spirit, but not knives.
If you look on Amazon.de – you’ll find a plethora different Advent calendars.
While many consist of 12 small gifts of comestibles (some being sweets aimed at children – or beer, coffee and tea aimed at adults) – there are the ones from Gedore, Hazet and Wera – but others (like from Lego) offer toys, or costume jewelry, cosmetics. I have to say that I’ve never seen a knife-kit packaged as an Advent calendar – but Franzis does usually offer model kits (this year a Porsche 911) as an Avent calendar. Overall this seems to be a very Germanic sort of thing – and we’d usually bring back Advent calendars as gifts when we visited (pre-pandemic years) Christmas markets along the Rhine and Danube.
I don’t care about it being an “Advent calendar” either. It’s just neat – and not a bad-looking knife either.
Why do you think that? Just because it’s a knife? A knife is just another tool.
Let me preface that I’m a realist on the need for weapons. Evil isn’t stopped by persuasion. But in this case, Advent is from the Christian faith, and I think it’s fair to say most Christians want to emphasize the Prince of Peace aspect rather than celebrate a weapon. I recognize carpenters use knives, but serrations on this model suggest to me it’s meant to cause tissue damage. Please correct me if I am wrong on the function of serrations.
Serrated or partially serrated knife blades can be better for cutting rope and other such materials.
Knives are tools. If you want to talk about then in any other context, take it elsewhere.
Advent calendars are religiously inspired, but they’re open to everyone.
Please keep comments on-topic everyone. No religion, no weapons. This isn’t the place to share your views on either topic.
There are absolutely some knives which are meant to be weapons but this is not one of them. This is just a tool, there are no “combat” features on this knife.
As Stuart mentioned serrated edges are commonly used for cutting rope or cordage. This is certainly the case here since the serrations are near the base of the blade, exactly where you would hold a loop of string, rope, etc, to cut it.
I don’t want to go into detail since it’s clearly off-topic, but a serrated blade is actually worse as far as weapons go. Serrations on a blade are the sign of either a tool or a decorative object.
Serrations aren’t a “tactical” feature. Stuart and MM already commented on other common uses, but keep in mind that serrations excel at cuts where you need to gather “loose” material or make sawing cuts.
You’ll see fully serrated knives for marine applications for example (such as the Spyderco “Salt” series), since the most frequent cutting tasks are ropes, nets, sails, etc. I can think of a couple fully-serrated models that also have blunted tips – hardly the paradigm for tactical applications, but it makes sense when you might be on a boat rocking in the waves.
People who don’t know how to sharpen knives also sometimes prefer them since, although harder to sharpen, they tend to stay useful for longer.
Electricians sometimes want at least a partially serrated blade because the grooves are handy when stripping wire.
I can understand the basic idea behind this reasoning, but I’m going to offer a respectful counterpoint here. Given that Advent calendars celebrate the birth of a religious figure- Jesus Christ, who was employed as a carpenter at one time, tool-related advent calendars make perfect sense to me. Carpenters use knives, so a knife also makes sense to me. Given Matthew 10:34-36, a sword kit might also make sense, symbolically speaking.
That said, we all have our ways of making spiritual decisions, and while we may disagree on this issue, I still respect you as a commenter in this space, and wish you and the rest here only the best this season.
As a Catholic Christian I approve of this! 🤣
I meant for this comment to be in response to the article not Rx9. Not sure how that happened.
I was always told a knife is just a tool.
The 2022 is being advertised for sale at Marstar in Canada: https://marstar.ca/product/boker-advent-calendar-2022/
However, I think they’re technically “pre” selling – I read a forum post from Marstar indicating they will arrive for the customer before December 1st.
You can order direct from the Boker website too.
I think it looks pretty neat! I’m going to try one – just not sure if I want to wait for a 2022 or pick up last year’s version. I really like the traditional designs they’ve gone with.
It feels like Boker is teasing me though – how come there’s no pictures of the finished product for 2022? I’d also like the specs on the blade steel. Can they at least tell me what the blade options are?
If the price is too high, Lee Valley has a very inexpensive kit that’s still fun to build: https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/hand-tools/knives/111127-frame-lock-folding-knife-kit?item=09A0306
I made one and gave a few sets away as small gifts. It’s not a high quality blade or the nicest handle, but it is perfectly functional and doesn’t feel like junk. I’ve kept mine around and used it even though I have much nicer knives.
Boker makes very good knives with great Solingen steel.
They do – but they’ve also branched out over the past several years. This kit in particular is from Boker PLUS, which is not a made-in-Germany product – and I know COO is a hot topic for some.
Boker Plus products are made in Taiwan and China. I leave it up to you to decide if that’s a deal breaker.
Boker and it’s various spin-offs are generally good quality, but there is a real mix of blades steels in the product lines – everything from 440a to CPM-Cruwear. I don’t consider blade steel to be a critical factor necessarily, but I do wish they said what came in this kit.
Looks like something I might buy.
Due to the economy I can’t afford the advent calendar but would enjoy building a Boker knife and in the past collected Boker knifes
I finally got around to building my calendar.
It arrived VERY late. It took Blade HQ a couple weeks to mail it, then the post a few more to get it to Canada – way longer than I expected and beyond even the latest predicted delivery estimate. Nevertheless, it got here eventually.
I thought there was a few things worth mentioning however, for prospective purchasers.
First, the blades are 440C – which is certainly what I hoped for, but for some reason Boker just says “440” in their product description. In my experience most companies leave out the letter when it’s just 440A.
Second, there’s a plain edge blade, a combo (serrated/plain) blade and a saw – all of which can be swapped onto the handle. I didn’t see mention of the saw blade when I was shopping, so it was a pleasant surprise for me.
I was also surprised the wooden handles weren’t “finished”. I.e. there’s no surface treatment, just plain wood.
As I was building the kit, I started out very impressed with the tolerances. E.g. the profile and holes in the steel liner lined up precisely with the scales. Some manufacturers “cheat” a bit by leaving the liners slightly proud of the scales and rounding them off a bit so slight discrepancies aren’t so noticeable. I was surprised Boker could get everything so precise with a “kit” knife that was never assembled.
However, I noticed some minor fitment issues when I tried to insert the blade pivot (and needed help from a leather pad and a small hammer), when I had to loosen everything to insert the blade, or when the knife was finished and there’s some daylight between the backspring and the steel liner on one side.
I can fix all those “problems” with some careful stoning of certain parts, but it’s not quite perfect right out of the package. Might be something to consider if you’re not game to tune the knife after you build it (the $15 knife kit from Lee Valley I built, for example, isn’t nearly so well finished, but the design doesn’t require it to be for it to function).
There’s so many spare parts – e.g. extra scales, black screws and hardware, spare bolsters, plus the extra blades – that I think you’re just backspring and steel liners away from a whole second knife. Come to think of it, I’ve got some thin AEB-L and 1084 stock in my shop… that might just give me an idea. 😄
It sounds like a great kit all around. I especially like that they included a saw blade, that’s a brilliant idea, that’s actually a great option for someone who might already have a bunch of knives or just wants to build/use something different. It’s surprising that this wasn’t mentioned earlier!
It was a fun kit and the components are good quality.
It made a big difference to me to have a saw blade! I was actually wondering before it arrived if it would fit the open-stock blade Boker sells for the “Optima” pocket knife.
The knife is a bit big for me. I haven’t weighed it, but it’s heavier than I like to have in my pocket too – and doesn’t have a pocket clip. Given that, I might end up primarily keeping the saw blade on it since I will carry something else as my pocket knife anyway.
It actually might make a decent hunting knife given the larger size and the ability to swap between plain and saw blades. It comes with a nylon sheath too (I would have appreciated if it has a slot for blade storage, but alas).
Plus, if you build it with the included G10 scales instead of wood, it should be relatively easy to clean. The backspring of the lockback design doesn’t allow water to flow through – but everything is stainless and there’s no washers or bearings in the pivot and you can easy remove the blade completely.