We’ve covered plenty of folding knives, but the Böker Plus Bushcraft Kormoran is my first fixed blade in a while. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of clean design when it comes to my knives. Exotic materials are great, when they serve a purpose. Yet I’d still prefer plain, simple, and serviceable. And the Bushcraft Kormoran is all that – durable, balanced, comfortable, and razor sharp.
Designed by Sándor Hegyes, of Hungary, this knife is all business. Sándor’s specialty is no-frills practicality. For the Bushcraft Kormoran, that means hard G-10 handles with deep grooves and fine texture. It also means a .20 inch thick, 9.6 inch long slab of Sandvik 14C28N steel. Of that, 4.7 inches is the blade itself. A black stonewash finish complements the black handles, which attach with silver hex head hardware. The only other shiny bit is the edge of the blade itself. Nothing fancy here, but the overall look is attractive.
If you look closely at the photos, you’ll notice it extends a bit past the handle. There is just enough exposed steel to use for light hammering chores. Recessed cuts in the handle allow room for a lanyard to be threaded through as well. The Kydex sheath includes a belt adapter too, which I found somewhat awkward, but still usable.
Out of the box, the blade is sharp. Much sharper than expected. Now, I’m not an expert on every knife steel, so I had to do a little homework. Turns out this Scandinavian steel has my favorite properties. I found that Sandvik 14C28N is not only easy to get razor sharp, but it holds that edge well. And it’s easy to touch up. Not that I’ve had to touch this one up at all. This is a knife made for hard use, without needing much maintenance.
Like every other knife I’ve owned and reviewed, I used the Kormoran for a variety of tasks. When it comes to outdoor work, it really shines. I chopped some small branches, made a few feather sticks, and even tried whittling with it. Making fine cuts in wood was easy enough too. Despite the size and thick blade, the Kormoran is easy to handle. It hacks and chops, but doesn’t give up the ability to do fine work. More often than not, I found myself using it to whittle sticks for marshmallows around the fire pit. If I needed a stack of sharp sticks, I’d start with the Kormoran. It’s more than capable of getting the job done.
Around the house, it got put to use too. From recycling cardboard and padded mailers, to opening boxes, it sliced everything with ease. Usually, I would try out a knife in the kitchen, but the blade is overkill for fruits and vegetables. It’s just too thick for that kind of food. That said, it’s great on meat, as long as you’re cutting chunks, not deli-thin slices.
Starting fires is a basic bushcraft skill. Me, I’m going to use a Bic lighter most of the time. But that doesn’t mean I don’t keep in practice. Using the backside of the Kormoran and a firesteel, I was able to throw plenty of hot sparks. And I’m happy to point out that doing this didn’t affect the stonewash finish. Beating up gear is part of using and reviewing stuff, but I hadn’t taken any photos when it was new. So I was afraid it would look like crap when it came time for photos. Instead, it hardly looks used.
My only disappointment with the Kormoran was in no way the fault of the designer. Being a large fixed blade, I can’t really bring it to work. But if there was a smaller, folding version, I would love to add it to my EDC rotation. It’s just so solid and business-like. And it holds an edge like nobody’s business. It’s built for hard work, and tough-as-nails for a camp knife. Yet it handles big and small tasks with ease. Check it out at BokerUSA.com.
A special thanks to Boker for sending out their Kormoran for me to use and abuse. It’s a tough knife, and I suspect my son will inherit one days many years from now.