In the blade world, Boker’s been around long enough to recognize that not everybody can afford a hand-built custom knife, and not everybody wants a highly polished display piece. The company’s Boker Plus brand features several patterns from well-known designers and custom makers, using alternative materials that make those designs more affordable. This is good news for the everyday user who’s looking for a practical tool that doesn’t have to be babied or financed with a bank loan. But the Boker Plus line also benefits the typically underpaid cop who’s perpetually “on a budget.” One prime example of such offerings is the new Boker Plus Exodus, designed by Andy Fitz.
With a little over a decade making his designs, Andy Fitz has clear ideas of what a quality knife should be and do. He turns out well-made, highly regarded folders and fixed blades from his Tennessee shop. One of his earlier folders, from 2007, was the original Exodus Flipper, a high-end knife crafted from premium CPM 154 steel with titanium handle slabs. That design appealed to Andy’s friend Matt Carson, a member of the Brownsville, Tennessee, Police Department. But Carson wanted something a shade stronger as a duty blade. A loose collaboration between the two resulted in the Exodus fixed-blade knife in 2008.
The Exodus has dark G10 scales and is built with Elmax, a third-generation powdered steel with a very small granule size. Carson says the hefty design of that knife has carried him through his duties on his department’s emergency response team and while field training as a certified on-the-ground fugitive tracker extremely well. So well, in fact, that he and the knife have become virtually inseparable, both on- and off-duty. He describes it as a versatile knife for multiple uses, and he doesn’t treat his knife lightly. It’s never let him down, including when he pried open two aluminum and glass storm doors during entries.
Fitz says the Boker Plus edition of the Exodus came about during a chance meeting at a recent Blade Show with Boker execs, who liked his work and selected the Exodus as a good addition to the brand. Boker’s new knife uses 440C steel, a long-running standard stainless representing a good compromise between edge retention and ease of re-sharpening, with a 4.5mm-thick, 4.25-inch blade backed by a full tang inside a pair of tan, very lightly surface-textured G10 scales. The 9.1-ounce Exodus feels very confident in the hand and retains the same contours and profile of Fritz’s custom knife, with a dark, non-reflective, stonewashed finish on the hollow-ground blade as well as a strong tip. The curve of the handle section places the thumb on top of an inch of relatively widely spaced jimping at the spine’s rear to position the knife comfortably and securely for a forward thrust. And 0.44 inches of serrations on the “top” angle of the triangular butt provide a non-slip anchor point for the thumb in a reverse or icepick hold. That rear end, incidentally, can also extend far enough below my medium-sized hand to function quite well as a glass-breaker. Considering the hefty blade and tip construction, I also wouldn’t hesitate to punch it into wood or sheet steel if need be.
When I talked to Andy about the hollow grind, he said his customers seem to prefer it on this blade. While I’d have some doubts about the overall strength of such a grind in a thinner blade (that’s not quite so tall), here there’s enough beef to carry it off. That beef doesn’t overcome the edge’s ability to do finer cutting chores, however, such as kitchen prep or wood shaving, only adding to the knife’s versatility. The Boker Plus Exodus is made in China, the source of most of the Plus line, and while the fit between the handle slabs and the steel on this production knife is not quite up to the same level of the Fitz Exodus, at a suggested retail of $123.95, it’s a good value considering the handmade knife starts at $350. The steel is perfectly blanked, ground and finished. My only real gripe is that the scales extend very slightly beyond the edges of the tang in a couple places. On a knife intended for the rigors of life in uniform (and/or serious dirt time), I can live with that. If you can’t, you can always take 10 minutes out of your life to trim, file or sand the G10 material to fit.
Boker ships its Exodus with a Kydex sheath that offers good retention and a Tek-Lok adapter that can set you up for either vertical or horizontal carry on a belt up to 2.25 inches wide. The wide slot through the scales and tang can obviously be used with several lanyards of your choice, whether basic leather or more elaborate woven 550 paracord. Indoors, the Exodus sliced cod steaks, cut up fresh asparagus, halved a lemon for squeezing and demolished an onion with equal ease. Outdoors, it punched quickly through the top of a can of carrots and shaved feathers off a well-seasoned pine stick. I was short on spare car windows for test purposes, but I’m sure it would’ve handled auto glass just as effectively. No edge loss, no finish damage.