(This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.)
Buck Knives has been rooted in the American society such that any lock back folder or hunting knife is called a Buck knife. This itself is a tribute to the craftsmanship and quality of Buck knives.
Since its foundation in 1902, the brand has made and sold innumerable knives to millions across the world. All buck knives come with the Forever warranty program, which ensures lifetime warranty against material or workmanship defects but not against abuse.
In case you break a Buck knife while batoning through a tree or prying an SUV door, the brand will repair it at a reasonable fee or for free, or replace it by taking half the listed price.
Buck Knives History
Headquartered in San Diego, the Buck Knives company is among the most esteemed knife producers in the world. Its founder, Hoyt H. Buck at the age of 10 in 1899 started his career in his native Kansas as an apprentice blacksmith.
He mastered the art of treating steel with heat and using them for making knives and other steel gear. After three years of starting his career, he came up with a special way of heat treatment due to which a steel knife could hold its edge longer than usual.
In 1907, he became a part of the Navy after departing from the Northeast. After this duty, he resumed blacksmithing in Idaho’s Mountain Home.
In 1941, after the Pearl Harbor incident, Hoyt started making knives with his hand for the US Army and donated to those overseas. These knives were highly admired and were used on all borders during the Second World War.
Hoyt had recognized the shortage of these tools among the G.I.’s. Thus, he established a small knife shop in the basement of his church. After the war, with the remaining volunteers and equipment, he started making and selling knives commercially.
Once the war was over, he shifted to San Diego with his son. This was where he set up the Buck company named H. H. Buck and Son. While all knives were made by hands, they were a bit costlier than the pocket knives of that time.
Yet, this did not impact sales. The credit goes to the use of superior materials. Hoyt could sell approximately 25 knives each week with most being pre-sold even before they were completely designed.
After Hoyt’s demise in 1949, his family kept the business ongoing and renamed the company as Buck Knives Inc. In the next two decades, the company became one of the most creative knife makers in the world.
It was during this time that the popular 110 and 112 folding knife models were introduced. They took no time in becoming the cultural idols.
In 2000, the company launched its plant in China considering the retailing pressure to reduce rates. Still, the majority of Buck knives are made in the U.S.A., while the lower-priced knives come from China. In 2004, it relocated to Idaho’s Post Falls, which is its present location.
Popular Buck Classics
In 1964, Buck Knives introduced the globe’s first folder with a lock-back mechanism, which is famous even today. This is the 110 model designed for field hunters. The credit for its popularity goes to its clip point blade style and locking mechanism.
The strong locking mechanism retains the blade in its open position until a button on the grip’s rear was used. The design revolutionized folding knives. It is also perhaps the world’s most imitated folding design.
Since its launch, the model has undergone several advancements and improvements in terms of design, which other manufacturers have introduced. However, the original one is still a classic pocket knife.
Another popular knife is the M9 bayonet, which was sold to army personnel. Marine Corps used the knight hawk model in the field.
Other Buck Products
Apart from the aforementioned classical models, Buck designs a myriad of folders in all sizes and designs for daily use, law officers, soldiers, adventurers, and hunters. Some of the widely used Bucks were meant for the military forces.
Today, it has a great collection of folding, fixed, survival, tactical, adventurous, and military knives. While each one is unique, all of them have superior craftsmanship and steadfast durability.
Top 3 of Our Favorite Buck Knives
Buck Knives 853 Small Selkirk Fixed Blade Knife: Best Small Survival/Camping/Bushcrafting Tool
Consider this Buck knife if you need a light and fixed blade in a reliable survival tool for tackling different outdoor situations. It is more compact than its full-sized ancestor and is ideal for batoning, starting a fire, or chopping branches.
Named after Idaho’s rocky Selkirk Mountain range, the 853 Selkirk is designed as a multifunctional survival tool to keep you prepared for facing the worst while in the wilderness.
420HC Steel Blade
The 4-inch long blade is made up of 420HC steel that ensures superb strength, satisfactory edge retention, and great resistance to corrosion. This steel is the brand’s standard material due to its ability to resist wear and tear.
This comes from the included high carbon alloy, while resistance to corrosion is due to the included chromium. Further, the proprietary heat-treat process gives a user-friendly mix of durability and strength.
Drop Point Blade Style
The full-bellied blade features a thick drop- point style to handle even the heavier chores apart from the general tasks. The blade’s top drips toward the tip to reduce the risk of unintentional piercing at the time of skinning. In short, the fixed blade has all that is required for taming the outdoors.
The light, brown, and black textured grooved handle is made up of Micarta material and is CNC contoured. As a result, you enjoy the best surface when the situation is rugged and tough. In simple words, you are ensured of a secured grip. There are also strong steel bolsters of which the rear one can act as an emergency hammer tool.
This mid-sized Selkirk knife comes with a nylon sheath that you can wear vertically or horizontally. Yes, it is a multi-position sheath and has a reversible as well as a detachable belt loop.
- Light and strong
- Easy to sharpen
- Large handle
- Emergency hammer
- Reliable for heavier tasks
- Versatile sheath
- Value for money
- Not for big hands
- Made in China
Buck Knives 375 Deuce Two Blade Knife: Best Multi-purpose Small Pocket Knife
As the name indicates, this Deuce knife comes with more than one quality blade. While its small size can startle any Buck fan who used a large knife from the brand, there is no doubt that this knife will appeal to anyone who expects a versatile pocket knife.
This one takes no space in the pocket, unlike other such tools, and yet does the same task as the larger knives. The surprisingly light built makes the 375 Deuce ideal as a discreet folder fitting inside the glove compartment or a jacket pocket for an unplanned adventure.
420J2 Steel Clip and Coping Blades
The Deuce features two small blades namely, 1-3/8-inch coping and 2-inch clip. Their sizes are such that you will be able to use them in most parts of the world even where there are restrictions based on size.
The clip blade is designed for detail work, while the coping one is for cutting in tight spots or having curved cuts. The blades fold well into the handle with a little wiggling. There are no other extra blades or tools.
They are made using 420J2 steel that is known for its routine usage. It is hard and is admired for its superb resistance to wear and corrosion.
The Deuce comes with the classic woodgrain handle that is engraved with the brand’s ‘Classic Bolt’ logo. There are also nickel silver bolsters that accentuate the handle.
- Extremely light
- Smallest Buck
- Solid craftsmanship
- Easy to resharpen
- Too small for critical use in the outdoors
- Made in China
Buck 112 Slim Pro: Best Folding EDC
Looking for a very light EDC folder but with a rugged performance? If yes, then the Slim Pro 112 from Buck Knives will always please you. Filling the gap between classic and modern design, this EDC knife is ultra-light and has a slim profile.
It is gracefully styled with premium materials that also reflect rugged durability. Based on the size and style of the famous Buck 112 Ranger, this knife is suitable for a variety of uses.
Clip Point Blade
The 3-inch blade of Slim Pro features a modified clip-point to give a stronger, more versatile tip. The crescent tip contributes to a sharper point as well as a thinner blade. As a result, the blade offers control while doing detail work.
It is made up of S30V stainless steel. This steel from Buck Knives is not an ordinary one. Unlike other S30Vs, this one is head-treated for remarkable edge performance.
This blade has superb strength, is resistant to corrosion, and retains the edge well. The S30V material is rich in carbon, vanadium, molybdenum, and chromium. This facilitates incredible edge retention.
Lock Back Design
This design allows locking the open blade to ensure safety and reliable use while you are at work. Using thumb studs you can easily and safely open the blade. Lock up is tight without any wiggling, the open blade works smoothly, and the blade remains in the center when closed.
The long handle is made up of colored micarta and G10 materials. This ensures you a secure grip, especially if you are handling it in wet conditions.
Deep-carry Reversible Pocket Clip
Made up of heat-treated steel, the pocket clip is reversible as well as detachable. It allows you to quickly access the knife in any situation while riding prudently in the pocket.
- Very light
- Superb edge
- Not very smooth one-handed use
- Large clip
How to Choose the Best Buck Knife
If you are reading this section, it means you are inclined towards buying the best Buck for your needs. After all, you have chosen a brand that is known for designing some of the best sellers in the market.
Before selecting the best Buck knife, you need to think of how you will be using it. Buck knives are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and material options. So, which one is ideal for you? For this, choosing as the purpose is important.
For example, if you wish an everyday knife, a knife that is easy to sharpen and is capable of retaining the edge for a longer time is ideal. If you are looking for something rough and tough that can endure abuse, the material and shape should be strong and durable.
Material and blade shape are the factors here to consider. Choosing the best Buck model is all about considering such factors and using them as the base for narrowing the models further down. So, let’s explore them.
This is either fixed or folding. It is the first decision you need to make as per your needs and mapping them to the style’s capabilities.
Fixed blade models feature a full tang, which means just a single metal piece makes up the blade and the interior of the handle. It is designed to be kept in a sheath that can be then placed on a belt loop or with M.O.L.L.E., a backpack-style gear.
The biggest benefits of such knives are more durability as well as sturdiness than folding knives. Thus, they are the only options for tough jobs during camping and hunting.
On the other hand, folding knives are preferred for everyday use, as they conveniently fit inside a pocket due to their compact size. A few are larger and heftier than the standard ones. These knives are admired for their portability, creative lock mechanisms, and convenience of use.
Blade Steel Material
All Bucks have steel blades. The brand uses different types of steel for making various knives. Let’s check them out!
- 420J2: Is not used widely but is known for its great ability to resist corrosion and medium carbon content. It is used for making high-quality knives and surgical gear. It is made using an advanced hardening procedure due to which the blade does not need much maintenance.
- 420HC: Is resistant to corrosion and rust, sharpens easily, and is durable due to the high carbon content. Thus, it is used for making most modern Buck Knives. As it is also easy to harden and affordable to buy, many manufacturers prefer this steel.
- S30V: Ensures great edge retention and corrosion resistance. It is easy to harden it to the Rockwell hardness level of 61. On the flip side, it is tough to re-sharpen it.
- 154CM: Provides superb edge retention and resists corrosion. It is ideal for heavy cutting. For top performance, Buck hardens it to Rockwell level of 61.
- 13C26 SANDVIK: Ensures ideal edge retention, is strong, and resists wear. However, it is tough to re-sharpen it.
This factor plays a vital role in informing the type of application for which the knife is suitable. Here are some of the common ones to check:
- Drop-point: For general tasks
- Coping: For cutting in tight areas and making curved patterns
- Clip: For detail work and use in tight areas
- Tanto: For piercing tough materials
The stronger the handle material, the better it is! Check out for the following materials:
- Micarta and Rubber: For great grip in wet situations
- Wood and Metal: For visual appeal and durability
- Composite: For durability and grip
Buck folding knives come with the following lock mechanisms:
- Lock Back: Features a rocking lock bar atop the knife and facilitates mostly two-hand operation.
- Liner: Has a metallic liner inside the handle and facilitates one-hand operation.
- Strap: Uses a strap on the spine and a flipper. It is a very strong mechanism.
- Frame: Has a frame on the side and facilitates one-hand operation.
Buck Knives Inc. is known for producing some of the iconic knives in history. They produce knives for different uses and we are pretty sure, one of them would be the right fit for you. Don’t worry the quality is guaranteed, despite some of their knives are made in China now.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.