The Boker Microcom was designed by Chad Los Banos as an homage to Fred Perrin’s rather unique tactical cutlery. I decided to snap one up, and even though I was disappointed with the out-of-the-box utility, I did manage to appreciate it after some extensive modifying.
I will stress preemptively that this knife is anything but stock. I modified literally every single aspect of it besides the sheath it came in, and I am reviewing it primarily to demonstrate the extent to which you can take in regards to modifying a knife to suit your own needs and wants. Remember that you never have to settle as long as you are willing to put some work into a knife, and while I do have plenty of experience with modifying my own tools, honestly, you can do this kind of thing yourself, it really isn’t all that difficult.
All that being said, please bare in mind that the pictures of the Microcom are of course after the heavy modification had been done. They’re certainly not representative of the original product.
Boker Plus CLB Microcom Fixed Blade Neck Knife – Amazon / eBay
If you check out the Amazon link above, you will very quickly see that the modded Boker Microcom doesn’t hold much resemblance to the original. This is because the original is in my opinion the perfect example of a knife that was designed with style over function in mind. From its inefficient chisel grind to its awkward ergonomics, it was a chore to use out-of-box so I gave up and took a belt grinder to it!
The Microcom is essentially a little necker knife with a chisel grind that I then convexed to a zero edge. I personally think the styling of the knife is quite fantastic both before and after modification. Though I’ll have to admit I do have a sweet spot for aggressive self-defense oriented neck knives. The Microcom is a nice change of pace from what I would define as more traditional/utilitarian designs.
The sheath is made of Kydex as expected. I found the molding to be of excellent quality, and since its retention is based on the shape of the blade (i.e. not the handle scales), you can safely remove the scales like I did if you don’t like them, with no need to fear any issues arising with sheath retention. I feel perfectly safe having this dangling from my neck 24/7, and have in fact slept with it on in the past. I would caution that the knife is made of 440C steel, which has a high enough carbon content to rust if exposed to sweaty skin for too long, so bare that in mind.
After my modification, this knife becomes as undetectable under shirt as my CRKT Minimalist (also modded), a feature I greatly appreciate. The ability to carry a fixed blade of considerable strength under your shirt without worrying about raising alarms or freaking sheeple out is (situationally) invaluable.
My two tone scalloping of the handles is for aesthetics only. It doesn’t add any grip whatsoever, but in my opinion looks pretty damn nice.
Withdrawing the knife from the sheath is clean and effortless. Just grasp unto the lanyard and use your thumb to apply constant pressure. After 1 cm of travel, the knife pops out with an almost inaudible click. Nice work Boker.
The thickness of the blade is around 2.5 mm – plenty thick enough to provide rigidity and strength for the 2 inches (stock) Wharncliffe blade. After modification, the blade on my now clip point blade is around 1.5 inches, and I feel it’s extremely stout when actually put to rough use, whilst at the same time still having a very acute tip. I definitely have a preference for clip points.
Notice the jimping across the spine, deep and functional. I usually prefer finer jimping like on the Spyderco Para-Military but that’s just a preference.
Chad decided to design the knife with the chisel on the wrong side (like many Emersons). Since the majority of people are right handed, I do wish designers would take the side of the chisel into consideration. I get that having the chisel side facing inwards is “prettier,” but a knife is first and foremost a tool. Disappointing.
Out-of-box, the G-10 scales were uncomfortable and provided zero ergonomic features like scallops or palm swells. Interestingly Boker/Chad decided to drill holes into the (lightweight) G-10, but not through the (heavier) stainless steel. Probably one of the most idiotic design decisions I have ever encountered. This is particularly annoying as CLB is an excellent designer with a lot of experience producing very comfortable, functional knives, so why he felt the need to buckle the trend with the Microcom is bemusing.
After modification, I find the in-hand feel to be somewhat comfortable. It’s definitely not on the same level as the CRKT Minimalist but it’s passable for light work.
Reverse grip is very secure. Again, it’s not particularly ergonomic, but it’s not uncomfortable by any stretch of the imagination. I treat this knife as a discreet defensive blade that can transition into performing some light utility tasks. As far as tactical applications go, the Boker Microcom is definitely a vicious slicer that is easily concealed in your hands. It cuts far above what its diminutive size would suggest.
Mean as hell with a lean convexed chisel grind and a very stabby clip point is pretty much all I want from my defensive neckers.
Pinch grip is horrible. Showed it for the sake of review consistency, but it’s really not advisable to use the knife like this, I contoured the spine and added a lot of relief to the hard angle design, but even then it’s uncomfortable.
If you read More Than Just Surviving regularly, you will have noticed that I tend to modify my knives with wild abandon. I consider my knives to be tools and will always be happy to modify them until they work for me. I get that this isn’t for everyone, and most of my modifications are cosmetic in nature (as with the Kershaw Tremor scales, for instance), but for those hesitant to try even though they’d like to – give it a shot. You’d probably be quite surprised at how well you’ll do.
Needless to say, my biggest issue with the Microcom is that I had to modify it extensively, to the point where it’s barely recognizable, in order to be happy with it. Yes, I’m happy with it now, but as you can see below, the amount of grinding and contouring I’ve done is pretty extreme taking into account how small the knife is in the first place!
In conclusion, though this review is more a showcase of my heavy modification of the Boker Microcom than an actual review of the knife, I will say in regards to the original knife that I would never recommend buying the Microcom for use straight out of the box. There is literally nothing the out-of-box Microcom excels or even functions well at.
Should you buy this knife with the intent of modifying it for use as I did? I would still have to say no. I modified the knife because I already owned it and I was curious to see if I could make it usable. Realistically, however, this particular knife is just not worth the time, though if you want to give it a shot to test out your modification skills, go for it. But for 30 bucks, you can buy a perfectly functional CRKT Minimalist, and it won’t need modification to work well.
CLB Designs says
Aloha! Hey sorry you hated the MicroCom so much. You did some nice mods to it. Be advised that if I could do production designs with the, “final say” in every aspect of a design, a LOT of my knives would be different. However I do have to work WITH whatever company is producing my design because well…they are paying for the mass production of it, and that being the case, they generally have the most say in how THEY want the design. I am glad the MicroCom provided you a platform to customize it to your liking. Keep up the great work, and mahalo from Hawaii!
Thomas Xavier says
Howdy Chad! I get that you have to work with manufacturers, and I don’t think you should feel bad about this knife, what frustrated me is some of the decisions were too aesthetic in nature (lightening holes, wrong side chisel grind etc.) but that doesn’t diminish your skills as a knife designer!. I absolutely love many of your designs and wish you had more stuff on the market. I especially love the Lava which is a great looking and comfortable little big knife- I just wish I still had mine. :(
Take care and don’t be a stranger.
I know this is a super old knife, but I have been looking around for a neck knife, and based on your review of this one I would say that I am better off taking an old blade for my reciprocal saw and shaping/sharpening it (which is a project I have been wanting to attempt anyway).
Thanks for saving me $30!
Thomas Xavier says
Pretty much. Out of the box its just less than ideal, I would recommend the ESEE Candiru for a stout lil necker & the CRKT Minimalist for something ultra discreet with above average ergonomics.
Edit: I should add I have done reviews on both which can be found here and here!