At the tail end of the 19th century, with Japan seeing a decline in samurais following a reform by Emperor Meiji, Japanese bladesmiths sought a way to stay in business. Thus, the compact Higonokami folding pocket knife was born, made popular throughout the early 20th century up until the stricter knife legislation in 1961. Now, over 100 years later, Böker knives has released its own take on the Mika-born classic.
Heavily inspired by the Higonokami, the Zenshin is a pocket knife echoing the Japanese friction folder’s famed construction, but with a few modern alterations. Unlike the Higonokami’s folded metal handle, the Zenshin consists of either a flat stainless steel body with a stonewash finish or a flat gold-colored brass body with a robust stonewash finish. The no-frills flat handles are made to fit comfortably in your hand.
Both the stainless steel and the brass varieties possess the same 2.95-inch reverse tanto blade (6.69 inches extended) with swedge tip made from Böker’s typical 440C corrosion- and rust-resistant stainless steel. Yet, whereas the brass version is a slipjoint with no lock, the stainless steel version is opened by an extended friction tang and securely locked by a frame lock.
The perfect addition for your more lowkey everyday carry needs, the Zenshin is light, at under 3oz (2.12oz for the steel-handled version), and stows away in even your smaller enclosures. Where most of Böker’s products are made in its home of Solingen, Germany, the Zenshin is crafted in Asia. Both knives are now available on Böker’s online store for $55.