Boker is one of my favorite knife brands, and their Böker Plus Lancer 42 G10 is one of the reasons why. By working with innovative designers, they can offer quality knives with great features. This particular knife was designed by Serge Panchenko. I’m a 2nd generation American whose grandfather came from Ukraine, and have a tendency to collect all things Ukrainian.When I saw one of Serge’s designs offered by Böker, I had to check it out.
The Lancer 42 G10 is a pocket knife by every measure. At 6.5″ long, with a 2.76″ blade, it’s small and compact. Tipping the scales at only 2.75 ounces, it won’t weigh you down. It’s got just enough heft to remind you it’s in your pocket. Most of that weight comes from the .12″ thick drop point blade made from D2 steel. As the name implies, the scale itself is G10, with a finely textured pattern. Only the front of the handle is G10 though. On the back, it’s stainless steel.
A cutout in the grip exposes a simple nail nick for opening. As a framelock, moving parts are kept to a minimum. Yet there are still a few features. They include the lanyard hole as well as a non-reversible clip, for tip-up carry. The blade, back, and clip are given a nice stonewash finish. Not matte, but not too shiny, this gives it a subdued, understated look. If you’re avoiding the “tacticool” image, but want an attractive EDC (every day carry) knife, this is it.
Normally, I wouldn’t spend so much time on the design details. But I really like the little touches that went into this knife . At first glance, it seemed to be just a compact pocketknife. Closer inspection revealed the beveled edges on both sides. Not a hard edge, not a polished edge, but a nice machined bevel. I’ve seen similar knives without the bevel, and they feel much chunkier.
At the bottom of the handle, where the lanyard hole is, it’s a bit more rounded. The opposite corner has an angled cut. Again, these give it a more svelte appearance than straight edges would. It actually reminds me of an old Art Deco cigarette lighter with curves and bevels. Even the cutout for the nail nick is interesting. Almost squared, it’s a notch, rather than semi-circle. None of this is groundbreaking, but together, it certainly adds visual interest to what is mostly just a tool to some folks. I ended up comparing the Lancer 42 to about half a dozen other knives in my collection. It’s just more visually satisfying.
None of those design details would mean anything if the knife didn’t do its job. Out of the box, that D2 blade was razor sharp. While there are plenty of sexy new steel options on the market, D2 isn’t one of them. It’s been around for more than a century, with good reason. I guess that makes it sexy old steel. It will easily take and hold an edge. And it has great wear resistance. Which is about all I could ask for in a pocket knife. If the blade saw heavier work, I might think differently. But for everyday use, it’s a solid choice. Over two months of testing, I had to sharpen it once, and that was easy enough.
I hope that this site is still around long after Covid-19 is a memory. Because my typical day has changed in the last few months. My commute to work no longer involves my car, but a single flight of stairs. My day job and running this site are now done from the same location. I probably cut down less boxes and open less mail than I used to. And I have no one to split my lunch with. So I had to get creative.
Instead of boxes and rope and drip irrigation tubing, I found other things to cut. Pizza, quesadillas, cheese, steak, and jerky. Whatever meals or snacks I had at work, I sliced and diced. Thin sliced jalapenos and cheese (gotta melt it quick on my break), then deep cuts through the quesadilla so I can dip wedges into salsa. Or cutting pizza into strips so it’s easier to dip into the tiny container of Ranch dressing. Yes, I also cut down some boxes, but not nearly as many as I used to. In hindsight, I probably could have cut and eaten more vegetables. Yet the Lancer 42 did a fine job, and only required a quick wipe with a paper towel before going back in my pocket. Comfortable to hold, the G10 provided enough grip and allowed for some dexterity.
If I’ve painted an attractive picture of a quality knife, but you’re not excited about the G10, don’t sweat it. The Lance 42 is also available in carbon fiber, cocobolo wood, and even an all steel option. Prices vary a bit, with all the other models having a slightly higher MSRP than the G10, which lists for $89.95. Actual retail price is a fair amount lower.
Personally, I cannot find anything not to like about this knife. It’s compact, yet big enough for my large hands. Not only is it easy to sharpen, but it holds that edge. It looks great. These days, I like a knife that’s as suitable for sharing a sandwich as it is for defensive work. But without looking like a weapon. And for as many people out there who buy $300+ custom knives, there are dozens upon dozens that set their limit under $20. Somewhere in the middle are those that don’t lose their knives often (hopefully), and are willing to spend a bit more, without going overboard. This is for them. Check it out at BokerUSA.com.
The Böker Plus Lancer 42 G10 was provided by Böker for testing and evaluation. As with all our reviews, I’ve made every effort to provide an honest opinion, including overall quality, function, and durability. If it’s not something I would buy myself, or recommend to friends, I don’t share it with our readers.
Comments? Questions? Have any of our readers tried out any of the Böker Plus Lancer series of knives? Feel free to share below.