Lucas Burnley‘s Kwaiken is truly the knife of a thousand faces, with enough variations at this point, through production partner Boker, to fill a small catalog on its own. The latest version is the Kwaiken Grip, a new tactically-inflected rendition with both automatic and manual options.
The first Boker Kwaiken Auto was a standout announcement at SHOT Show 2018 – a three-way collaboration between Burnley, Boker, and Pro-Tech, who did the actual manufacturing on the knife. While the Kwaiken Grip is not produced by Pro-Tech, and while it comes in manual as well as automatic configurations, it does bear a strong family resemblance to the Pro-Tech predecessor.
The core of the Grip is its 3.35-inch blade. We’ll call it a drop point, but it’s obviously modeled on the traditional, Japanese-style tanto, which doesn’t have the dramatic two-edge grind of its American descendant. Slim and stylish, the blade is best-suited to everyday carry chores of the light to medium designation. The blade is opened by pressing the button lock down – on the automatic version, that engages the single-action deployment. But, given the legal issues still surrounding automatic knives, Boker is also rolling out the Kwaiken Grip in a manual version, opened in the same general way but without the automatic horsepower. The Grip’s blade steel across all variations is D2, which has indisputably become the go-to steel of choice in the Boker Plus lineup.
Now, all of that is well and good, but the Kwaiken Grip derives its surname from its handle design. The same linear, unencumbered profile on previous Kwaikens is retained here, but the aluminum scales have been given textured, square grip zones. These zones give the Grip its grip, perhaps making it feel a bit more reliable in a “tactical” sense. Pocket clips on the Boker Kwaikens vary from model to model; the Grip comes with a stubby, loop-over number.
The Automatic Kwaiken Grip appears set for a Europe-only release at this point – not surprising given the legal complications surrounding international import of automatic knives. Boker is aiming for a September release for the Auto; meanwhile the manual versions are listed only as “Available Soon.”
Knife in Featured Image: Boker Kwaiken Grip