This is a collage of the Boker Plus Gnome Olive, with photos and description of this knife.
If you have arrived here from a search engine, kindly note that this article is linked from The Devon Buy Collection of Knives and Bladed Instruments. To open the main page in a new browser tab, click here.
- Overall: 9.7 cm (3.8 in)
- Weight: 56.7 g (2.0 oz)
- Blade Length: 5.5 cm (2.2 in)
- Thickness: 3.7 mm
- Material: 440C
- Blade HRC: 58-60
- Finish: Satin
- Grind: Hollow
- Style: Wharncliffe
- Edge: Plain
HANDLE AND SHEATH:
- Handle: Olive Wood
- Length: 4.2 cm (1.6 in)
- Sheath: Leather
With a few exceptions, most of the knives I purchased were because I had stumbled upon them online, and in the case of the Boker Plus Gnome here, I found it to be rather well designed with interesting choice of materials – nice enough to buy and add to the collection. One thing you will immediately notice when seeing this knife for the first time, is how small it really is.
Neck Knife…or Not
The Boker Plus Gnome is designated as a neck knife, that is, a knife for carrying and worn around the neck. I don’t do this because one, it is uncomfortable. Two, the hot and humid country I live in makes it even more so. Uncomfortable, that is. Three, with the possibility that the sheath may come off, wearing it around the neck just seems like the last option. And four, I could think of better places to wear this on person. So, neck knife this isn’t, for me.
Variants of the Boker Plus Gnome
There are a few variants to the Boker Plus Gnome, which may be found on the Boker site. Below are the four variants, with steel type, handle, and sheath material. Prices shown are MSRP from the Boker website at time of writing. These are also presented in the links at the end of this article for further information and purchase.
Box Packaging and Documentation
I went with the Boker Plus Gnome Olive as it was the first variant I saw. When I placed an order for it, I was unaware that there were three other variants that came with this model. The Olive came in a sealed black box as follows:
Olive Wood Scales
The Boker Plus Gnome Olive as it is known, is so named because of its diminutive size like that of a gnome, and of the olive wood used in its handle. This fixed blade knife is designed by Jesper Voxnaes, and the use of fine grained olive wood punctuated by two holes “circumferenced” by steel cylinders through it, is highly commendable from an aesthetic viewpoint. The steel cylinders within both small and larger holes are levelled flush smoothly with the surface of the olive wood scales.
A red fibre underlay is fitted between the full tang of the blade steel and the two halves of the handle, and I’m presuming this is for better primer bonding between the two materials of steel and wood. I can’t say for sure, and my assumption is made because of the lack of screws and other handle mounting to the blade tang. Then again, maybe the aforementioned steel cylinders serve as pins to secure the scales in place. Or, the red fibre underlay could simply perhaps be a style and design intent. The red fibre underlay does add a slight highlight to the otherwise dull and earthy colours of the overall knife, but it was the dull and earthy colour of the olive wood that appealed to me and got my attention in the first place.
The blade is made of 440C stainless steel, sharpened to an extremely sharp factory edge. Out of the box, the knife shreds some test paper sheets exceedingly well, much better than I had expected, and surprisingly much better than some of the larger serious sharp knives in the collection. It also went through cardboard boxes with unrestricted ease. I originally bought this knife for cooking and food preparation – I reckon it will slice through salmon and meat products with great efficiency and aplomb!
Using the Knife
The weight of the knife is biased towards the handle end, although when held in the hand with the forefinger under the choil, the knife exhibits good balance. A leather lanyard is attached in the larger hole on the handle from the factory, and serves as additional element for enhanced grip in the palm to compensate for the unusually short and small dimensions of the handle. Even this worked well, so well that I’m dispensing with the original idea of removing the lanyard completely.
The sheath is made of tough brown leather stitched at the seams where the blade edge meets, and the opening end is moulded somewhat to receive the handle of the knife, keeping it in position within the sheath by traction. A belt loop is found on the underside for mounting on waist and belt straps, though you run the risk of losing the knife when mounting it in any position other than vertical upright. There isn’t a velcro or buttoned strap to lock the knife in place.
Full Size Photographs
The strength of the Boker Plus Gnome series lies in its petite dimensions, if that is what one is after. A fixed blade knife doesn’t get any smaller and more portable than this, and at the same time, possessing serious cutting potential and performance. The 440C blade on this Gnome was found to be extremely sharp out of factory, and will cut through paper and cardboard materials with absolute ease, though for cutting such materials on the long term, one may find the short blade length a limiting factor. Well, that’s the trade-off for extreme portability. One has to keep in mind that the knife is kept loosely in its sheath, although with a little traction between the handle and the leather. The fine brush finish on the blade steel is beautifully done, and is exceeded only by the astute choice of material for the handle, and the fit and finish of the steel cylinder rings that penetrate through it. Boker and Jesper Voxnaes certainly did a good job and came out with a great design with this collectable slicing implement!