New for 2016, Böker introduces a new knife with a brand-new lock. Both are designed by German knifemaker Wilfried Gorski, an inventive man responsible for a number of patents including an original corkscrew design, and a unique one-way clamp designed for sailing. Gorski is also credited with the new Böker Merlin‘s unique ‘Interlock’ mechanism, which brings a new idea in lock design to a gentleman’s folder.
The lock premiered on one of Gorski’s own customs, the design of which is reproduced almost perfectly by the Böker production version. Aesthetically, it’s similar to a backlock – there’s a tab to unlock the blade along the handle spine. Except instead of pushing down on a spring-loaded locking bar like a backlock, Gorski’s Interlock design unlocks by pulling back on a solid metal slide.
This design shares the lockback’s advantage of not needing to move your fingers into the path of the blade to unlock it. But unlike the backlock, Gorski’s Interlock mechanism is sealed from dirt and grime. According to Gorski’s patent (translated from German), the locking mechanism is “completely enclosed except for the… projection in the housing. Thus, contamination of the locking device, which can affect the operation, at least, be successfully prevented.” Because the blade also engages with a stop pin, the lock is solid and play-free, though how strong it is not yet publicly known.
Böker has a history of introducing novel or unique designs to the market, like the Grant & Gavin Hawk Griploc and the South African Front Flipper on the recent A2. The Merlin, which is manufactured at Böker’s top-tier facilities in Solingen, Germany, is offered in several handle variations including solid titanium, and rosewood inlays. The blade is made from N690 steel and opens discreetly with a nail nick.
Knife featured in image: Böker Merlin