First Impressions: Böker Tucan and Its Hybrid Opening Mechanism

Böker has once again teamed up with inventor Wilfried Gorski to produce a new for 2017 knife called the Tucan. Like the Gorski-designed Merlin before it, the Tucan has a surprise under the hood. It combines a manual and assisted opener in a single knife. But does the difference make a difference? Böker sent us a pre-release Tucan to help us find out.

How it Works
A small tab just beneath the pivot is pulled down to actuate an internal mechanism that pushes the blade out from the handle. Then, you pinch it open as with a traditional two-handed slipjoint. Once the Tucan is open, it locks and is disengaged by pulling down on the tab again.

The Tucan’s hybrid opening method creatively conforms to strict knife law in Böker and Gorski’s native Germany. Controversial 2008 legislation states that in order to qualify for legal public carry, a knife must either be one-hand opening but non-locking, or locking and two-handed opening. This is what makes the Tucan different from other innovative openers like the CRKT Fulcrum 2, which remains a one-hand opening, locking knife.

Our Impressions
Even outside of Germany, it’s easy to appreciate the Tucan’s deployment method. It’s faster than pulling at a nail mark while remaining very people friendly. It also adds an element of gadget geek appeal.

Produced in Böker’s Solingen, Germany factory, the Tucan’s build quality is high. The titanium handle has a clean and even media blast, and the large chamfers around the edges make it comfortable in hand. This clipless, 2.8”-bladed knife weighs a mere 2.8 oz. and it’s a pleasure to carry. N690 blade steel offers near super steel levels of performance while remaining easy to maintain.

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The Tucan is a capable little tool that we enjoyed spending some time with. But, at a price over $200, the Tucan is likely to remain a niche knife for North American collectors hungry for innovative opening mechanisms. Given the lack of legal substitutes, it should attract a much wider audience overseas. The new knife is expected to ship at the end of January.

Knife featured in image: Böker Tucan