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Just ordered a totally unique folder - the Boker Leo Damast II

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by the count, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. the count

    the count Well-Known Member

    Here is a picture and link to a Youtube video (in German) which shows the exact guy that makes these blades for Boker, which then assembles, packages and distributes the knife. The blade is made out of decommissioned German Leopard II tank barrels. This is very tough and very hard steel, stuff you cannot normally get your hands on and composition which of is secret. Blade hardness of 65-67 HRC l!!!

    Sure, about $400 for a folder is not cheap but there are much more expensive pocket knives that are not hand forged and do not have an ultra exotic steel like this one.


    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  2. jbkebert

    jbkebert Well-Known Member

    That is a good looking knife. The added cool factor of being made from a tank barrel is great. Congrats on a awesome knife.
  3. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    I'd try to not drop it.. the blade would probably shatter like glass.
  4. the count

    the count Well-Known Member

    Did the Leopard tank barrels shatter like glass? Hello, this is a military (secret) alloy, nothing you can compare to with any other knife on the market.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Well...it's not like the last 70 years passing would still allow "secrets" from a metallurgical science perspective. It probably was something quite good, in its day, for a gun barrel. But a gun barrel has completely different needs from a thin-profile edged tool. Shillean makes barrels out of 4140 steel -- arguably some of the best in the world. 4140 is a lousy blade steel.

    It might make a great knife. I hope they've figured out the heat-treat properties very well, and I'd assume that it has been edge-tested extensively before they would sell it, but the liklihood that a 1940s tank barrel steel would perform as well as a 2013 knife blade alloy is pretty slim.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  6. the count

    the count Well-Known Member

    A destruction test of this knife would indeed be very interesting. Unfortunately I can't afford to spend $400 to find out how tough this knife really is ;-)

    Do you know of any other folder that has a blade hardness in the 65-67 range?
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Not off the top of my head, but I'm not the expert on that. hso will be along shortly.

    That blade hardness has several here obviously concerned. You can make many steels VERY hard. But 65-67 is pushing things to the danger zone with some of the best steels we now have. If it can sustain real use at that hardness, it is amazing stuff indeed.

    But just being that hard, as a stand-alone factor, would be more of a liability than a benefit.
  8. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Some did actually.


    Barrels on heavy guns are made out of the same low alloy steels that rifle barrels are.
  9. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

  10. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Well-Known Member

    Getting a blade made from tank barrels is a cool story and enough of an allure for me. Honestly not too worried how,tough the blade is as most of the time it would be used to open boxes or,peel apples.
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Markus Balbach is a well respecte smith with great skill.

    ZDP-189 hardens in that range and has been used by Spyderco, Kershaw, and Zero Tolerance for folders.

    W2 also can be hardened in that range.
  12. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, I was going to mention ZDP is pretty damn hard.

    I'd sure as hell hate to drop a ZDP blade, though. Something like 3V can be harder than other steels and still surprising tough, but you're still only looking at about 60 RC.

    I'm sure it's pretty, and the tank gun story is neat. But don't drop it, and don't apply any lateral force without wearing eye protection.

  13. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Not that I know of. However, they were most certainly not near as hard as that Boker. I'm no knifemaker nor guru but one can affect hardness with tempering and hardening. Also, I don't speak German but watched that video.. again, I'm no guru but it seemed he may well have layered/laminated that blade.. with the barrel steel being the non-cutting edge. never know. It seems like a fine knife. I just know that if it's unlaminated and that hard, I'd sure try to not drop it.
  14. Mp7

    Mp7 Well-Known Member

    Let`s have a rockwell-meter put to it.

    I´ve handled on of the first series Balbach Leo knives
    and was very impressed.

    There is no way though i´d put it to everyday use.

    Markus Balbach is THE smith in germany.
    (And it`s not like Solingen aint full of them.)
  15. the count

    the count Well-Known Member

    Here some interesting information. I just got off the phone with Marcus Balbach after exchanging emails over the weekend. Good thing I speak German.

    He stopped making the Leo-Damascus (R) blades for Boker in 2008 after a legal battle that Boker lost! From that point on Boker could no longer use the Balbach logo nor call the blade Leo Damascus but rather LEOPARD DAMASCUS. As to who exactly makes those 'new' blades little to nothing is known as well as the content of tank barrel steel. Called the place I ordered the knife from this morning to discuss all this and they said they had the knife in stock since 2006 so the chances of it being an actual Balbach blade are high. Buyer beware when purchasing such knives from Boker.
  16. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Did you ask him if he ever dropped one? Or if it's laminated?
  17. the count

    the count Well-Known Member

    Well, it's damascus steel. The other steel is German ball bearing steel.
  18. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    I understand about majik. And breaking stuff. You didn't answer the question though. Since you had him on the phone it would seem to me to ask him a cogent/germaine question would be simple.. perhaps. Well, you probably still have the phone number and or could always just drop the thing to find out your own self. good luck
  19. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Well-Known Member

    Very very cool. I love the info about he blade.. That makes it even oiler. I first saw the photo and thought it had a Louis Vuitton pattern on the blade(I kid, kind of). It is gorgeous.
  20. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    I didn't mean to come across as a meanie or anything. It's just that I've seen quite a few blades break from just pedestrian treatment.

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