Brad Zinker Transforms Boker Barlow into Modern Flipper

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By now we’re all familiar with the way Boker does its releases: the Solingen, Germany giant rolls out a steady stream of new stuff pretty much from the beginning of the year to the end. One early 2023 release is the Boker Plus Urban Barlow, which sees frequent collaborator Brad Zinker riffing on a classic Boker slipjoint.

If you’re familiar with Boker, you’ll know that their history stretches far back, into the 17th century in fact. But in the early 20th century, the company was primarily known for its high quality traditional slipjoints, and those models still form a key part of the company’s output today.

The two flavors of the Urban Barlow side by side

One of their most famous traditional knives models is the Boker Barlow, a classic 1-bladed slipjoint. An elongated bolster helped distinguish Boker’s take on this enduring historical pattern. That Barlow served as the starting point for this knife; Zinker took the design and completely redrew it into a modern flipper – and a premium one at that. To start we’ve got the blade, a 3-inch clip , opened primarily with either a front flipper tab or an ambidextrous opening hole (a kind of modern homage to the nail marks on traditional barlows). The blade steel is M390, a longtime super steel choice for Boker that gets high marks even now when its direct sequel, M398, is out in the world.

To return to the bolster, here on this knife it’s made from titanium, as is the frame lock underneath the off-side scale. The scales themselves come in two flavors: marbled carbon fiber, or cocobolo wood for a more traditional flavor to this modern folder. The titanium pocket clip is the short, spoon-ish shape that Zinker has used on both custom and production work before now; in total the Urban Barlow is nice and light, weighing just 2.33 oz.

The Boker Plus Urban Barlow is available now. There are many more new Boker models to talk about, so stay tuned.

Knife in Featured Image: Boker Plus Urban Barlow MCF

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