The best or worst knife I've ever owned - Maybe!
The Boker Albatros is potentially the best little folding pocket knife I've ever owned. In virtually the same sentance I could also say It almost went straight back to Boker!
I'd been looking for a new work knife, just a plain, single blade knife, not a multi-tool. I always keep at least one knife in the lid of my Rucksack, or a pocket in a camera bag. I wanted a knife with a good sharp blade, but also an easy grind on it for re-sharpening when it got blunted. I don't particularly like very small knives (like the Boker Nano). Even though my hands are quite small I prefere something I can get hold of and use. I often wear gloves, especially in the winetr, so being able to open and close the knife easily was a must.
I'd recently done business with a company here in the UK called Heinnie Haynes, they have a huge selection of both folding and fixed blade knives (as well as just about anything you can think of or need in the survival world) and an excellent website showing the knives along with their specification and "user reviews"
So after a few hours browsing the web and a couple of forays onto "You Tube" I decided on The Boker Plus Albatros, a collaborration between German Knife maker Boker and Danish Custom Designer and Knife maker Jens Anso. The knife is a Titanium Frame-lock, with a stainless Steel, 5mm thick, 6.6cm long, VG10 blade.
The reviews I'd read about the knife were actually very mixed, about 50/50. Everyone liked the the design and style of the knife, but a lot of people were talking about how it had arrived "straight out of the box" in an almost unusable condition. Anyways, I decided to take a chance. So a day later the nice man from UPS delivered it, and Staight out of the box it was.......Unusable!!! Bummer. It looked great, felt nice in the hand, but could I open it, NO. Well I could just about, using both hands tugging on the blade like it was going out of fashion. The blade was jammed so far to one side that it rubbed on the inside of the (Frame) handle. Strangely enough though, when I actually did manage to open it, two things quickly became apparent. The blade had awful lateral play on it ("Lock Rock" as its known) and the locking mechanism which engages at about 15%-40% (depending on brand) to hold the blade open, locked itself up so hard that I needed to use a screwdriver to prize it open again (almost a contradiction in itself - you would think that if the lock locked so hard the blade would also be immovable, not wobble!)
You can imagine I was pretty peeved to say the least. But I guess shit happens occassionally! So I set about fixing it. After an hour, and a total breakdown, the knife not me, and re-build (there aren't actually that many parts) where most of my time was cleaning out a mysterious "Black Gunk" from both the frame and pivot, I managed to get the blade as central as it was going to be and now it seems to work just fine. So, over the next couple of weeks I'm going to be taking it on a few adventures and I'll keep you updated as to weather its actually a good buy for £120 or not - watch this space!