Boker Subclaw Review


December 28, 2007, 10:53 PM
The first thing to cross my mind when I opened the Boker Subclaw was that it looked like a folding Emerson La Griffe. The 1 7/8 inch bead blasted blade just looked like it would shred anything it came in contact with. The Subclaw was designed by knifemaker Chad Los Banos AKA Daywalker on the forums.

I had very high hopes for this knife since it could fill a void and at around the $25 price point could be an inexpensive answer to a very common question "what knife do I get my wife/girlfriend/daughter who has little to no training". Defensive stabbing is a learned skill. Slashing is natural and intuitive. The Subclaw would also be a legal alternative in places that prohibit fixed blades or that prohibit blades over 2 inches.

I was immediatly impressed that it is a framelock and the sturdiness of the pocketclip.

No matter how cold or the style of dress, attackers will usually have their hands, neck and face exposed. A slash to any of these areas are likely to have massive psychological effect in addition to the anatomical ones.

What I wanted to show was how easy it would be to conceal the Subclaw as well as the two grips I would use to employ it. The first was the sabre grip with my thumb riding on the filework forward of the pivot. To best demonstrate the effectiveness of the blade design, I attempted to use about 25% power on a dangling plastic soda bottle filled with water. One Angle 1 Cut (traveling from upper right to lower left, the most common cut) resulted in a slash about 8 - 10 inches long. The blade was so sharp that hardly any water leaked from the bottle until I manipulated it. Imagine that cut across the human face, starting above the eye, skipping across the eye socket and then into the nose and lips. Devastating.

You can just see a little bit of water coming from the cut.

The second was the scalpal grip with the forefinger along the spine of the blade forward of the pivot. What the scalpal grip has going for it is that it can be sunk into the target like a talon and held in place while the body is twisted creating a large wound. A fresh soda bottle was used. Again at about 25% power I cut the bottle, however this time I used an Angle 9 Cut (traveling from head to toe) This resulted in an approx 10 inch gash that soaked me as the entire bottle emptied down to the length of the cut.

The Subclaw lived up to my expectations. Both the Sabre Grip and Scalpal Grip were used because of not only how easy they are to learn but the extremly small space you need to employ them. This is very important for a defensive hold-out knife since you may be well within arms reach of your attacker or even have them on top of you.
This Subclaw is going to my oldest daughter but I will be buying more, one for me and several for ladies that I care about. Mine may very well end up being carried as a deep hold-out piece.

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December 29, 2007, 04:04 AM
Excellent review! I have had one of the subclaws for a few months and I can barely keep them in stock. All of Chad's designs are great, but the Subcom series is awesome.

December 29, 2007, 10:58 AM
Thanks. I've been meaning to pick up one of the little Los Banos Bokers, though I think I may try the slightly larger Los Banos Trance (


December 29, 2007, 11:28 AM
If you like the Trance. Check out the Drop Point Trance (
I have carried the Trance for awhile but I like the new Drop Point model that came out this year better.

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