Boker was started by Hermann and Robert Boker, who made swords in response to the political unrest in Germany in 1829. The company grew incredibly fast, and it became necessary to diversify their product range to reach a global market. In the 1850s they began the production of straight razors, making them them one of the oldest known still-producing razor makers in Europe.
To this day Boker razors are known for their outstanding quality and their distinctive maker’s mark, patterned after the chestnut tree across the river from the original factory in Solingen, Germany. That tree stood until 1925 when it was cloven in twain by a stray bolt of lightning, but the mark on Boker’s blades remain barely changed.
Like any proud German manufacturer, Boker straight razors are carefully crafted by hand, mixing centuries old techniques with modern materials. With the lack of german steel production, german makers have switched to Swedish steel. Swedish steel gets blazingly sharp and is very easy to hone and repair, though it doesn’t stay sharp as long as its Japanese equivalent. These days, most Boker razors are paired with synthetic materials for their scales. While plastic may seem like a less attractive option, this is a very practical choice. Straight razors spend a lot of time in a humid bathroom, and synthetic materials require much less care and protection than organics such as bone, wood or horn. If you want a Boker razor that has been crafted with more aesthetics in mind, check out the Edelweiss or the Elite. If simplicity is what you crave, the King Cutter is your best bet.