Boker Plus/Karambit Plus: Review of a Chad Los Banos Design
By Sifu Dr. Jan L. Miller
Recurved Tanto Blade
Designer: Chad Los Banos
Blade Length 2 7/8”
Overall Length 7 ¾”
Spring Assisted Carabiner
The Filipino style Karambit has become popular here in the west with martial artists because the bio mechanics of the weapon allows for more powerful cutting strikes, especially against an attacker’s limbs. A Karambit even with a short blade acts like an animal’s claw and is capable of inflicting painful ripping damage when slashed across the attacker’s hands and muscle groups in the arms and legs. The hooked portion of the blade can be used to trap an opponent’s limbs by exploiting the natural instinct to avoid being cut. If the brachial, femoral or carotid arteries are severed with a Karambit blade the results can be lethal and can make up for it’s ineffectiveness as a lethal stabbing weapon due in part to its curved blade shape. The ring at the Karambits pommel end allows the index finger or pinky finger a place to slip into to insure stability in hand when grasping the knife in either Filipino, Ice Pick (Pikal), or Hammer Grip. It will also provide the additional advantage of preventing an attacker from disarming the knife.
Boker’s new Karambit designed by Chad Los Banos, sent to me for testing and review is a really good example of a traditional Karambit style knife combined with some modern design features which makes it an excellent tool for Self-Defense. First off the blade design is different from most Karambits. This Chad Los Banos creation sports a blackened Recurved Tanto style blade. It has all the features one would want in a Karambit, hooking ability with it’s curved blade, and slashing power, but add a twist of the Tanto front portion of the blade and what do you get? You get a Karambit that can be used very effectively for stabbing.
On one side of Boker’s Karambit there is the framelock and pocket clip, the other side has an ergonomically designed handle made from grippy G-10 material. The handle has 4 sets of holes so the user has the option of tip up or tip down positions for pocket carry. There is jimping on the back of the blade and very aggressive jimping on the top spine side of the handle as well, place your thumb pad on the jimping and it makes for a very secure grip in hand. I have small hands and the handle is quite large, measuring almost 5” from front to back. I can place my whole hand very comfortably around the handle in a forward grip position without placing any fingers in the ring hole at the pommel side. When I place my pinky finger in the ring and grasp in forward grip my thumb can still reach both sets of jimping on the knife’s spine. The top curvature of the handle assures that the handle lies snug into the palm of the hand for a perfect Filipino style grip position. In pikal grip position with my index finger through the hole, I find the knife to be less comfortable, but I can overcome this awkwardness by not inserting my index finger all the way through the ring hole and then by pressing the top of the ring (outside edge) with thumb pressure to insure a solid grip. Those individuals with medium to large size hands won’t find this to be a problem for them. And those individuals who have extra-large hands will really appreciate the length of the handle as well as the large ring hole (1” in diameter) at the pommel end. The ring because of its size makes for an excellent striking device when a less than lethal option is desired. The Karambit ring also has an interesting spring assisted carabiner which gives the user many optional ways of attaching this knife to their person or equipment without having to use the pocket clip carry method.
I found this Karambit to be very lively in the hands while practicing knife drills and two man sets. It performed flawlessly as a trapping device on my partner’s limbs. It also proved to have excellent penetration ability through numerous types of materials and possessed superior slicing and cutting dynamics most often associated with hawkbill designed blade shapes.
For those who might be in the market for a Karambit whose design lends itself well as a defensive tool, you’ll want to check out this beautiful and effective design by Chad Los Banos. I like to think of it as not only a Boker Plus but a Karambit Plus knife. Kudos to Boker for production fit and finish of this well made knife and Kudos to the designer Chad Los Banos for his ingenious design. Once you handle this knife and see how it is designed you will understand that Chad Los Banos just doesn’t design a knife but he designs a knife with mental acuity leaving no stone left unturned. He is truly an incredible designer of knives.
Here’s a link to view this knife enlarged http://www.knifecenter.com/knifecent.../BO01BO580.jpg
(Sifu Dr. Jan Miller is a Master Instructor of Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan and Filipino Stick and Dagger Fighting at the Dragon Tiger Kung Fu Center in Smithtown, New York. Dr. Miller has an extensive background in many different forms of Martial Arts, including Boxing, Wrestling, Fencing, Judo, Karate, Several Styles of Chinese Kung Fu, Filipino Stick and Dagger Fighting, and the Western and Asian Forms of Knife Fighting. His colleagues across the United States know him best for his expertise with many different forms of bladed weapons.)
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