If you’re looking for some new twist on the AK-47 made by a German knife company, you’re in the wrong place. There are a ton of companies that make AKs, but Boker isn’t one of them. They have drawn on the history of the gun’s inventor, though, in their Kalashnikov series—and anyone looking for an affordable automatic will like what they find at Boker.
Boker Warhawk Kalashnikov Dagger Automatic
- Overall Length: 7.625″
- Blade Length: 3.25″
- Cutting Edge: 3.00″
- Blade Thickness: 0.12″
- Blade Material: D2
- Style: Dagger
- Blade Grind: Flat
- Finish: Black
- Edge Type: Plain
What makes this a Kalashnikov?
That’s a fair place to start. The Boker Kalashnikov knives aren’t recognizably tied to anything specifically AK-related. The name is just about it.
There are rumors online that Kalashnikov himself visited the Boker factory back in 2002 and was impressed with the German engineering.
The Kalashnikov series has grown to include a number of blade shapes and sizes. The aluminum handles come in several colors. These knives are strong enough for EDC and aren’t as expensive as most automatics. Maybe in that respect, they do have something in common with the AK: not too expensive, built to be used, and not at all rare.
Get beyond the name.
Once you accept that this is a tribute to Mikhail, the knife can be considered on its own merit. And it has lots of good points.
The spring in this knife kicks the blade open with enough energy to shift it in your hand. The action is fast and fun to play with. There’s something addictive about flipping it open and closing it up and doing it again.
It is a decently sized knife. While some automatics are thin and delicate feeling, this knife is solid. The handle is big enough to grip and the finger swells in the handle fill allow for a good grip.
There are lots of versions of the knife—some with Damascus blades that range up to $600+—but this is one of the mid-range (and by mid, I mean the lower-priced) versions. It is officially called the Boker Warhawk Kalashnikov Dagger Automatic.
Dagger refers to the false-edge dagger-like blade. Some have clip point blades, and there’s a traditional hollow ground version, too. But none of those come with the WWII-style nose art.
The handles come in tan, black, green, white, and blue. I’ve even seen them in pink with donut sprinkles. Boker keeps changing these up and adding new blade shapes, blade coatings, lengths, and materials.
The painting on the blade is a throwback to the old Curtis P-40s and began with the Brits, who called the plane the Tomahawk. The shark mouth, on this version of the Boker, is a fun throwback. Don’t get confused, though, by the mix of WWII allied history and Cold War Soviet history. The knife doesn’t take itself that seriously.
The blade, beneath the war paint, is D2 steel. D2 has a high chromium content which means it behaves like stainless steel. The carbon content is high, too, and it has stayed sharp despite the abuse I’ve put it through.
The lock is built into the same button that releases the spring. Push it to open it—push it again to close it. On this version, with the green handle, it is a bright yellow and impossible to miss.
Despite the texture of the aluminum, the handle can be a bit slick when wet. And the coating is a paint, so it will wear. Some aluminum knives use anodizing to both harden the aluminum and keep scratches from showing so distinctly, but the Boker Kalashnikov seems to be softer. Even so, it wears its scars well.
Like almost all knife companies, Boker has different brand focuses. Boker Plus is their less-expensive, more mass-produced line. I’d argue that you get more for your money with a Boker Plus than you might for some other brands, though. The build quality is still very high.
As you can see from all of the wear on this one, I’ve carried it a lot. This is the second Warhawk Kalashnikov I’ve owned. I lost the first one, or it was stolen. I still don’t know. Either way, it is gone.
But I liked it well enough to get a replacement. You will have to check your local laws to make sure you can carry one legally. The blade is over three inches, which shouldn’t be a problem in most places. But the automatic action makes this a switchblade under some definitions and that may get you in trouble.
Prices online are currently around $50-$60. These are the kind of blades that go on sale frequently, though, so you can find them for less.