This month Woodsmonkey is pleased to offer up a review of the Boker Plus VoxKnives Gnome and VAT Access Multitool. We are very grateful that Boker gave us these items to review as we continue to expand the companies that we work with. Boker been a well respected knife maker for more than a century and a search of various knife forums reveals a lot of praise for their products.
For those of you who visit Woods Monkey regularly you may be aware that I am quite fond of neck knives. They find their way into my everyday carry rotation when I do not feel like carrying a pocket knife. I especially like to carry neck knives in the fall and winter when I can wear them under a hooded sweatshirt. When going on short day hikes I often turn to neck knife over larger fixed bladed knives.
Jesper Voxnaes is custom knife maker from Denmark who has licensed a number designs to Boker. For many of us custom made knives are often not in the budget. So when those makers team up with larger companies it is a great chance to get a knife designed and influenced by a custom maker. I checked out Jesper Voxnaes website and was extremely impressed by his knives and I included the link to his site at the bottom of this article so you check out his work.
The Boker Plus VoxKnives Gnome is one of the knives the Jesper Voxnaes created for Boker. It is manufactured from Sandvik 12C27 steel that is produced in Sweden and commonly used by Scandinavian knife companies notably Mora of Sweden as well as custom knife makers. The knife blades measure two inches in length and combined with the handle measures four inches. The Gnome weighs a light two ounces and is not noticeable when worn around the neck for long periods of time. The scales of the Gnome are made of green canvas micarta that includes red liners. The red liners and the micarta provide a nice contrasting look that is reminiscent of many custom knives that are being manufactured today. The Gnome includes a simple kydex sheath and dog tag chain that does not add significantly to the weight of the knife.
Out the box the Gnome is deceptively sharp. It didn’t feel all that sharp but it easily removed hair from arm. Next, I used the knife to break down a pile of cardboard boxes in preparation for recycling. The short handle of the Gnome made this a bit more of a challenge but it worked quite well considering how small the blade is. I then took a couple of plastic soda bottles and proceeded to cut them in half. It took a bit of pressure but the Gnome functioned well. I found my spool of nylon rope and proceeded to cut several lengths from it. While I prefer a serrated blade for this task I found the Gnome to work well. I keep scrap leather from various projects handy for testing knife blades and I used the knife to cut strips into eight ounce latigo. The thick tang of the knife aides when cutting as it provides a good base for the thumb and gives a lot of control when cutting. The last test I conducted with the Gnome was carving up one end of an old walking stick. The stick is pretty hard from aging and it was a bit of a challenge cutting notches into its surface. I have no doubt that this would be an easier task with sapling and kindling.
The Boker Plus Vox Access Tool is a pretty unique tool. I have used a Gerber Artifact tool for a couple of years and so I based my tests of this tool on what I have used the Gerber for. It is made of three inches of titanium that weighs less than one ounce. The tools thickness measures five millimeters. According to Boker’s website it can be used primarily for prying tasks and nail pulling. They also state that it can be used as a bottle and shackle opener as well as a carabineer. One of the most impressive features is the inclusion of a carbide glass-breaker that is protected by rubber o-rings. I clipped the Access Tool to a split ring and paired it up with my Gerber Artifact tool that is part of my key chain.
I have carried the Vox Access tool for the last two months every single day on my key chain. It does open bottles and can be used to pry nails as advertised. I nailed a couple of roofing nails into a board and proceeded to pry them out with the Access tool. The thick end made it a bit difficult to get the edge under the nail. Combined with the short handle this did take me a bit of time. I have large hands and Access tool could be a couple of inches longer to make it easier to use. It is definitely functional as it is currently designed.
After two months of wear and testing I really like the Boker Plus VoxKnives Gnome as well as the VAT Access tool. Both tools are very useful for kind of tasks that I require. Both items are extremely small and lightweight. For everyday carry situations this is ideal. I am extremely impressed by the Gnome as it reminds me of several custom made knives that I have looked at over the last couple of years. The kydex sheath is adequate although I will probably replace the dog tag chain with paracord.
During the course of testing the Boker Gnome I had one issue that did cause me a bit of concern. I was carrying a box of books into my house from my car and had the box resting against my chest. When I moved the box away from chest to open my front door the knife fell out of the sheath and landed handle first on my porch. This stunned me a bit and I was glad that the blade hadn’t pierced my boots. After I got in the house I inspected the knife for damage and checked the fit of the knife into its sheath. The Gnome fits a bit loosely in the sheath and the protrusion in the kydex that keeps the knife secure is a bit shallow compared to other neck knives that I have carried. I have not had this event occur a second time but it does concern me. When going out at night to a restaurant or running errands I do not want the blade to fall out of its sheath, especially if it is needed as last ditch self defense tool.
Overall, I really like the Boker Plus VoxKnife Gnome for its aesthetics as well as its functionality. While the handle is a bit short for my hand the thickness of the tang combined with the micarta scales and spacers makes the knife pretty comfortable to use. The sizable lanyard hole in the handle is a nice addition and keeps the Gnome very light to carry. The Vox Access tool is a great pocket tool that can serve a variety of survival and emergency purposes. It is well made and survived a great deal of abuse in the time that I have used it. In addition, it has made an interesting conversation piece as people are fascinated by any tool made of titanium. The Boker Plus VoxKnife Gnome has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $52.95 and the Boker Plus Vox Access Tool has an MSRP of $39.95. Both tools can be found for a bit less from various Internet merchants. So if you are in the market for quality neck knife and a miniature titanium multi-tool that you can connect to a key chain, please consider Boker. Considering all the positive comments I found online concerning Boker I am quite sure you won’t be disappointed. After using both of these tools for the last two month I was certainly pleased. I will definitely consider Boker for future purchases.
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