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Interview with Michael Rohlf

It is this moment that strips away the hectic pace of everyday life and fills the silence with mysterious fascination. Thoughts drift away, contentment flushes, with a smile as the inevitable result. Between tranquil calm and imposing sonic power, it's just a push of a button away that gets the anticipation and record player going within seconds - for unfiltered listening pleasure as soon as the pickup reaches into the first groove of the record. Rich in detail, timeless and full of character - the sounds from rock to electro are exactly his, including the charm of the typical crackle. Switch on to switch off - that is Michael Rohlf's motto. Whether he's enjoying music, riding his motorcycle or fishing - the outdoor enthusiast and head of the Boker Knife Shop always puts his heart and soul into his work. In the following, the likeable family man reveals how he creates a buzz among knife enthusiasts and why he is a driving force in the Boker team.

How did you come to Boker?

From 2014 to 2022, I had my own store with articles for the outdoor and tactical sector and matching clothing. The versatile Boker knife range was also a permanent fixture in my store under the supervision of my current work colleague Hajo Wilkes. I had to close the business in September 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic. While browsing Instagram, I saw in a Boker post that they were looking for a store employee. I quickly wrote my application, called Hajo and I already had a new job.

What did you do before?

I worked in the horse industry with my father for over 20 years. We had a large warehouse in Wuppertal with around 120 horse-drawn carriages and lots of harnesses. At that time, we were one of the largest carriage suppliers in the world. Our customers included the Swedish and Dutch royal families, the Sultanate of Oman and many others. The carriages were manufactured in Poland, where I liked to spend a lot of time.

How do you use your experience for your tasks at Boker?

Through over 20 years of purchasing and sales, I have developed a flair for assessing and getting to know customers quickly and accurately. I enjoy responding to the many different types of customers. For example, I know in advance which news and new products are of interest to regular customers.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Working together in the Boker team. It's great to see what can be achieved in a team. There's always something going on here in my store, lots of new people with whom you can talk shop and learn new things. And the best thing: I can combine some of my passions with my job.

What does the knife store offer visitors?

An incredible variety in all areas relating to knives. This includes pocket knives, fixed-blade knives, chef's knives, razors, knife sharpeners and matching accessories. All areas are covered: outdoor, bushcraft, collecting, tactical, kitchen, shaving, etc. Anything not on display in the store is quickly fetched from the large warehouse next door and can then be examined in a pleasant atmosphere. Collectors get their money's worth, as they can choose the knife they like best from a selection of knives.

What is important when dealing with customers?

The focus is on friendliness. Every customer has different wishes and interests and also different requirements and price expectations for a product. My colleagues and I treat all customers equally. Active listening and friendliness are important, even in the case of complaints or exchanges.

Do you carry knives in your private life?

Sure, I've always felt that way. I immediately miss something if I leave the house without a knife. I then have to turn around and take one.

How do you use knives?

I change knives depending on the situation: work, my ponds, motorcycling, going to restaurants. I use my Boker Vigtig vs Wild the most and it looks the part, an absolutely reliable thoroughbred workhorse. I carry a gentleman's knife in style in a leather case. It would be a shame to leave a knife unused in a display case.

Do you have any hobbies for which you use knives?

I have leased fishing ponds for private purposes. I use them as a biotope and for relaxation. I take the Tech Tool Fork with me on my motorcycle rides for a welcome currywust break. In addition to the sons of nature, the Trymacs / Rumathra team of the last 7 vs Wild season was also equipped with a Boker knife, the Boker Vigtig vs Wild.

This knife would not exist without you. What was your role?

An ex-soldier friend of mine is an expert in survival and life in nature. He owns a large forest and offers training and weekend courses for individuals and groups. Well connected in the scene, he received a request from Rumathra to prepare him for the 14 days of 7 vs Wild. Together we paved the way for the later Boker Vigtig vs Wild knife.

Do you have any other hobbies?

At the weekend, I like to spend time at my ponds or ride my motorcycle, now also with my eldest son, who I have infected with this passion. Once a year, I go away for a week on my motorcycle, just following my nose. To relax, I like to listen to music, preferably from vinyl records. Rock and electronic music from the 1970s and early 80s. Played from this medium with impressive depth of sound and the typical crackling and crackling: pure goosebumps!

What is your current favorite knife and why?

In terms of sheer frequency of use, it should actually be the Boker Vigtig vs Wild, but it's actually the Boker 98K-Damascus from our company. The blade steel carries a lot of eventful history, it is legal to carry, an absolute classic and an eye-catcher at the same time.

Weather permitting, you prefer to ride your motorcycle to work. Which bike are you currently riding?

The weather doesn't matter, I always go for a New Year's ride on January 1st. At the moment it's a Harley Davidson XR1200, we'll see which Harley is next.

Michael, thank you very much for giving us these interesting insights.

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