The most interesting feature of this knife is the ceramic blade. Back then, in 2000, when I got it the first time, it was my first ceramic blade knife. Being a knife collector and researcher, I was and am interested in different blade materials, for different uses. Therefore, ceramic blades with all the alleged features are very interesting, for experimenting at least. Back in 2000 there was much more hype surrounding ceramic knives and, and the claims made about ceramic knives were much more hmm, how to say, I don't want to use the word outlandish, but the abilities of the ceramic knives were rather exaggerated. Nowadays, major players in ceramic knives market, that includes Boker and Kyocera, are more cautious and openly tell you that ceramic knives are not supposed to be used for cutting bones, wires, etc. The edge will chip or worse, break. Since then, things have changed, although ceramics never took of as a major knife blade material, neither in the folding knives, nor in the kitchen knives, where based on their features they have more potential, compared to the outdoors uses. Some time ago, I dug up the Boker 2040 again, it was still sitting in my knife collection. So, I figured I'd do a small overhaul of this review.
General- Boker 2040 comes with gift box. Looks really good, high quality, elegant knife. The blade is really sharp, but not razor sharp, which is a common trait of all the ceramic blades. They are sharp, but I've never handled a ceramic knife that could be as sharp as a good steel. Another distinct feature of this knife, super light weight. Ceramics is lighter than the steel, then the titanium handle. Basically you almost don't feel the weight of the knife in your pocket. As I said, the knife looks very classy, you could definitely say gentleman's folder. Given its ceramic blade, and titanium handle, both hi-tech materials, one would be inclined to call it a hi-tech knife. However, the construction is the good, old lockback. So, I would say, it's a traditional folder made of the hi-tech materials. Lockup is very tight, no rattle or any kind of blade play. Precisely machined knife in short. No complaints in quality, fit and finish department. The blade is also a traditional clip point geometry, but considering the blade material, the tip is really fragile, so if I were you, I'd be very careful about dropping the knife, and completely refrain from any type of prying and poking with its tip. Well, you've been warned ;)
Ceramic Blades- This is the small overview after ten years of occasional use of ceramic knives. In short, I'm unimpressed and I think even today, in year 2010 ceramics isn't ready to be a major player on knife market. So, the recap:
As authorities say ceramic blade has several advantages:
- Extremely resistant to wear - Hmm, true, although extreme wear resistance coupled with the lack of toughness isn't the best combination for edge durability, microchipping is a plague of ceramic blades;
- Corrosion resistant - Sure, none detected after few years. Well, there's nothing to rust anyway :);
- Extremely high hardness - it is beyond the Rockwell scale, which maxes out at 69HRC. As I know something like equivalent of 90 HRC. However it is very fragile, you drop it and there's your chance to say bye to your lovely ceramic blade :(
- Antimagnetic - That's true too ;) However, I'm not a navy seal trying to disarm a magnetic mine, nor use metal as a food, so really I don't care too much about, to be precise, I don't care about it at all;
- Does not discolor - Yeah, that's true, it doesn't ;) If it does mean anything to you, what does your knife look like, then it is an advantage. Otherwise, why would you buy this knife at all?
- Does not influence the taste of food - In theory that's very important too, but I can't imagine anyone seriously intending to use this knife in the kitchen, 3.125" folding knife in the kitchen? May be to skin oranges while laying back and watching TV?
- One more thing - according to the description: Ceramic blade never needs sharpening, on the Boker's web and some other places you see We'll resharpen your Boker Ceramic blade for just ... :) In other words, it is pretty clear ceramic knives dull and they need sharpening.
Sharpening- I'm planning to write separate article regarding the sharpening of the ceramic blades, so I'll keep this one short. It is absolutely possible to sharpen ceramic knives at home. I've done that many times. There's two methods that I have used, one the simplistic and versatile sandpaper and mousepad sharpening method, using silicon carbide and aluminum oxide abrasives, and another method, more hi-tech, using the Edge-Pro Apex sharpening system with diamond stones. I have not tried other methods, but it is obvious, any diamond sharpener will work just fine. Silicon carbide works, but it's slower compared to diamonds, and wear on the abrasive is significant. That's the short summary.
Conclusions- I've got much better real life experience regarding the ceramic blades since the initial review, and that includes sharpening them at home, myself, using different methods. This particular knife given away, as a gift(though I still have another one, just for the heck of it), and was used for 3 months in the flower shop. Just to cut flowers. After that it's dead, dull in other words, and I was too lazy to sharpen it myself, or to send it to Boker for that. Another blade was a Kyocera ceramic blade in the kitchen for a while. All I can say is that, yes ceramics will hold the edge on soft materials better than the premium cutlery steel, but eventually (depending on the user from 1 to 3-4 months) it'll dull and then you have a choice, send it back to manufacturer, or be prepared for some serious sharpening. I personally like sharpening things myself, but ceramics is not worth the trouble.
- Blade - 79.25mm(3.12")
- Thickness - 3.04mm
- OAL - 190.50mm(7.5")
- Steel - Zirconia Ceramic
- Handle - Titanium
- Acquired - 03/2000 Price - 160.00$
Last updated - 09/01/11