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Today’s review will focus on the Boker Sal Manaro titanium handled 01BO145 folding frame lock knife. This knife was suggested to me by Steve Hanner for who I am indebted to for this suggestion. I will start out stating I really like this titanium knife that is one of the most economical titanium tacticals I have run across. Another reason I purchased it was its Chinese fabrication. I was/am interested to examine the strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics of Chinese made titanium tacticals. My natural bias is toward USA made knives; however I will try not to let this influence this review. I would classify the Sal Manaro as a medium to large tactical frame lock folding knife.
The Boker Sal Manaro’s particulars are:
Note: I measured #6 and #7 with micrometer.
Two things immediately impressed me upon opening the typical Boker Box. The abundant grippiness of the handles, and the very unique blade design. After examining and briefly using the knife, I would say these are its two biggest strengths.
I would call the blade shape a combination of an arrowhead and tanto. The blade design is very unique/contemporary and is kind of “nasty” looking. At its thickest points, the blade is 0.20” thick however a majority of the blade is not that thick. I would say a good overall blade width is approximately 1.19”, and its length is 3.50”. It is made of 440C stainless steel which has outstanding corrosion resistance and is normally hardened to the 58 – 60 Rc level making it very hard. I found the grind and finish to be excellent. The blade came sharp, but not amazingly sharp and felt the blade could use a little sharpening. Out of the box, I want a tactical to be extremely sharp, however, I felt the Sal Manaro fell a little short. Still all said and done the blade is very strong and rugged, and could withstand a lot of load and abuse.
The handles are grippier than any titanium knife I have ever seen. The knife is also nicknamed the “bullseye” which I believe refers to formation of a bullseye (by the grip pattern) on the sides whose center is much below the bottom of the knife (see first picture). The grippiness comes from some outstanding titanium machining that is intricate, deep, and encompasses the entire faces of both handles. If you have any kind of grip on this knife at, it is not going slip on you. The jibbing on the upper blade is also outstanding and very aggressive. Putting your thumb on the jibbing and gripping the handles gives you an indescribable feeling of solidness between user and knife. One potential problem with this aggressive grip pattern is it may wear a hole in your pocket if you slide it in and out a lot.
The Sal Manaro is a non-assisted single blade tactical knife. The frame locks the blade open via a monolock scheme typical of most other frame lock knives. In its stowed position, the blade is held very firmly by an indent, and is not about to open in your pocket. However for me the indent is too strong because at times I have difficulty getting the blade to deploy. I tried adjusting the knife to obtain a better deployment situation, but could not. (Note the knife comes with an adjustment/tightening tool) Another factor contributing to blade deployment is getting ones thumb under the thumb disc. Again for me, I would be willing to sacrifice one jib on the blade so that the thumb disc could be moved towards the main pin (when looking at it stowed). This would allow ones thumb to get under the thumb disc more easily.
Once deployed, the blade locks up fast and very solid. I could detect no blade movement or wobble what so ever. With that thick/rigid blade and thick titanium scales, this knife seriously strong. The knife feels a little front heavy due to the massive blade, however this is definitely not a show stopper. Disengagement and blade stowing is very good; no problems here.
The knife has a very nice titanium pocket clip that allows the user to recess the knife well down into his/her pocket. There is only one clip position: tip up. There is no lanyard hole or provision to attach a lanyard.
Another real Sal Manaro asset has got to be wet performance. The aggressive grip pattern and jibbing would allow this knife to remain very solidly in your hand even when soaking wet. It is hard for me to imagine a knife that could be much better. Additionally, with titanium handles and a 440C blade (17% chromium), one would not have to be concerned about corrosion. To me this would be an ideal knife to use in wet conditions or even leave in wet conditions. This knife is simply not going to corrode.
In summary, if you are in the market for a rock solid, strong, med/large tactical folder, the Boker Sal Manaro is worth considering, especially if you need great wet performance. Additionally for a titanium folder, the price is very reasonable. I will conclude with pros and cons.
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