Friday, January 17, 2014

Review: Boker-American Kami MidTech Colubris

I was very fortunate to be able to take part in the Boker-American Kami pass-around program, after responding to a call by D.J. Urbanovsky. This was for the production level Colubris MidTech, the smaller sibling of the American Kami Super Colubris, which I reviewed recently. D.J. teamed up with German knife-making company Boker to "upscale" his bespoke knives, and they came up with this as their cooperative piece.

Here you can see it above the Super Colubris, on my Hazard4 Launch Pad iPad sleeve

The Boker - American Kami MidTech features the same G10 scales, with the American Kami logo formed into the scales to act as a very functional gripping surface, along with the hollow bolts that were also a feature of the Super Colubris. As is the protruding butt-end of the full tang construction. Nothing like an impact tool to make your displeasure known.

My pass-around was individually numbered 0074, and arrived in a lovely display case from Boker, along with a note for the fellow who had the blade before me, apologizing for the broken belt clip and furniture. The loss of that clip was moderated by some lovely stickers they had included. I got straight into testing.

Without the belt loop, I rigged a cord lashing system, inspired by D.J's own YouTube safety and carry clips. I wanted an "outside the pants" carry, to have on hand as a utility knife as I worked around the house.

The blade itself is tremendous. Rather than the CPM S35VN
steel of the American Kami version, the Boker is from 440C, a very serviceable steel.  The difference between the MidTech and the Souper is almost entirely in the blade section, with the MidTech having a 10.8cm (4 1/4") edge, with the same modified Wharncliffe geometry, just shortened. It has an overall length of 22.5cm (8 7/8") and weighs in at 225g (8 oz). Two inches less blade than the Super Colubris, but still a capable and impressive tool.

I had a great time testing this blade, I ran it though all my usual knife tasks; I did kitchen things, I cut cords and rope, opened boxes, I even wrapped my families Giftmas presents with it. The stonewashed finish gave the blade a nice sheen, and stacked up nicely against the finish of the Super Colubris nicely. It cuts well, and the width of the blade was still suitable for medium delicacy tasks.

I also took the knife out into my back yard to give it a workout in a more stressful setting, namely hacking back the noxious vines that were invading my kids trampoline. You can see here the effect it had on those vines, with both slashing cuts, and pulling cuts being effective. I was able to maintain a very good positive grip on the blade, and it went right where I wanted, every time.

I also took it out hiking with my family, when we visited a scenic National Park, to give it a carry-test. Now, before anyone gets all concerned, no, there isn't anything to be afraid of in our National Parks here (not if you've liberally applied Vegemite to your heads, to ward off Drop Bears. I just wanted to go hiking and see how it felt. I fitted it to my Hill People Gear Runners bag and off we went. It wore like a treat. It's length molded nicely to my chest, and the weight was insignificant. I carried both Tactical Baby and Triceratops Girl up and over boulders and across creeks with it on me, and never a pinch or poke.

This is a really nice, very affordable addition to anyone fixed-blade collection. Super functional, sharp and rugged, with great geometry, hand-fitting and with a variety of carry-options.

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