Böker and Burnley Team Up for Tanto Kihon

Burnley Boker knife

Böker’s latest collaboration with Lucas Burnley is the tanto Kihon, the third model in the Kihon series. In addition to a new, refined take on the tanto blade design, this latest variant rejigs the material selection to come in at a lower price point.

Burnley often showcases a distinct Japanese influence in his knives, and the Kihon is no exception. But the new tanto model is still a first in his catalog. “I actually haven’t built many American-style Tantos and have never used the shape on a folder until this one,” he tells us. American tantos feature a harder distinction between the primary and secondary edges than Japanese ones, which are more gradual.  At 3.3-inches long, tanto Kihon is slightly longer than its 3.25-inch drop point predecessors. Like the G-10 Kihon, it uses D2 blade steel instead of the VG-10 seen on the premium titanium version. The steel swap helps the Kihon hit a sub-$100 price point and actually offers an upgrade regarding edge retention – but with less corrosion resistance.

With the Kihon, Burnley attempted to bring out its best, utility-oriented features. “[It] presents an interesting combination of traits,” he explains. “The long straight section of blade that ends in a hard transition to the tip allows the knife to function somewhat like a wharncliffe. But, it also allows for a tip that is closer to the center line of the knife which is better for piercing.” The tanto Kihon, both as a tool and as the third in a growing series of variations, plays into Burnley’s core vision for the knife. “My goal with the Kihon series was to create a legacy line based around a workhorse design.”

Instead of titanium or half and half G-10/stainless steel, the tanto Kihon goes for weightier full stainless steel construction. Two full-size slabs of steel make it the heaviest of the three production models available right now by more nearly an ounce. The 5.4 oz. carry weight may not be ideal, but does soak up abuse and tweak the balance to a more handle heavy style some users may prefer. “I think for the most part weight in knives is both subjective and personal,” Burnley tells us. “I find that the balance of a knife or overall ‘feel’ in hand is more important than the relative weight. That said, the Kihon tanto has pocketing on the inside of the stainless frame to keep the weight to a minimum while still allowing us to keep the cost down.”

Even with a tighter budget in mind, Böker managed to squeeze in a premium touch on the handle itself. A ‘rising run’ pattern brings to mind the milling on the titanium model without copying it line for line. This aesthetic element is lost on the similarly-priced G-10 Kihon, which sports a plain, textured front scale.

The tanto Kihon will be arriving with dealers later this year with a price tag right around $80.

Knife featured in image: Böker Kihon Tanto

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