Buck 110

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In 1963, Al Buck observed hunters who were taking a knife hunting, and decided they needed a better option than a longer straight knife. A year later, the Buck 110 Folding Hunter knife was released, and more than 50 years later it is still one of the best-selling knives in the United States of America. Designed to be compact but functional, the Buck 110 has become a staple in countless hunting lodges, pockets, and on belts across the country. Now coming in a wider array of appearances, and made out of a specially heat-treated steel, the Buck 110’s longevity proves that you can’t keep a good knife down, especially with an endorsement from an American institution like the Boy Scouts of America. Buck didn’t need the allowance to engrave that logo on the side of their knives to have an impressive record and a commitment to excellence, but it sure does help.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

-durable and warrantied for life

-Bos heat treat system for Rockwell Hardness

-customization capabilities for blade shape, color, and engraving

-customization capabilities for handle material and engraving

Cons

-not as strong as drop-point or skinner knives, more delicate

-variety of customizations means wide price window

Primary Use

Primary Use

There is little confusion over what the Buck 110 Folding Hunter is intended to handle, but it is worth noting that it isn’t all-purpose. It’s design and shape make it good for detail work and cutting in tight places, along with intentionally pointed punctures. It will come in handy for field dressing, but it isn’t intended to be all-purpose, so double check your intent before purchasing, just to be sure. The point is intentionally very sharp and can be re-sharpened with ease. It will field dress a fox, rabbit, or any small game you hunt, and can also be used as a more mundane tool for things like adding a hole in a leather belt. There are a thousand and one uses for the Buck 110, but it was designed to be a folding hunter.
Blade

Blade

Every standard Bucks 110 is made of 420HC stainless steel. It bears wear resistance almost as well as high carbon alloys, and corrosion resistance of chromium stainless steels. The blade is .120 inches thick, and 3.75 inches long. The specialized Bos heat treat system ensures these knives will last a very long time, and registers at a Rockwell hardness of RC58. The non-serrated clip-shape of the blade has a crescent tip with a sharp point and is designed to be easy to re-sharpen as necessary. You can wield it again and again and it won’t steer you wrong. If you’d prefer something out of the norm, however, there is a fully customizable purchase option that Bucks offers, including different blades. In the satin finish, there are five blade options: S30V drop point, S30V satin, S30V satin serrated, and the 420HC satin serrated. There is also a mirror-polish option with or without serration. If you prefer something other than a satin finish for your blade, there are also two options in 420HC black oxide finish: serrated and non-serrated. These are all hardened with the Bos heat treat system but be aware that only the 420HC can be re-sharpened easily by yourself. The S30V – a combination of steel, chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium – is difficult to take on alone. Fear not, though; Bucks offers a sharpening service for the S30V option blades.
Accessories

Accessories

Since it’s intended for practical use, the Buck 110 doesn’t come with many accessories. Depending on your point of acquisition, it may come with a belt-loop leather sheath with snap-closure. From Bucks specifically, there is a black Cordura, a black leather, or a brown leather option. If you purchase your knife from Bucks directly, you can even have the blade engraved. Additionally – and arguably most importantly – Bucks has a lifetime warranty of every single Bucks 110 Folding Hunter knife. If it breaks, they will replace it. If it has sentimental value for you, they will do their best to repair it instead. There are plenty of other ways to customize if you’re dead set on breaking out of the norm with your purchase. The engraving is optional if you purchase from Bucks but is not guaranteed if you look elsewhere for your purchase. Depending on where you go, you’ll also find plenty of different options in terms of handle composition and appearance. There are also plenty of leather workers on Etsy who make other custom sheaths for the Bucks 110, if you want something flashier on your belt.
Durability

Durability

With over fifty years in production, it’s clear the Bucks 110 Folding Hunter is here to stay, still ranking as one of the United States’ top folding knives. Its specially developed Bos heat treating system makes it strong and easy to keep sharp as you use it. The Bos heat treatment system is a special system designed by Paul Bos, the top name in the industry. The method entails heating the metal, then freezing and reheating it in order to temper them to the proper Rockwell Hardness number. This knife has been known to last long enough to be passed down from father to son in good care, but if you manage to hurt it, you can invoke the lifetime warranty. Keeping the knife clean and sharp is always the owner’s responsibility, but once you have the Bucks 110 in your hand you will not see this as a chore, but a labor of love.
Weight

Weight

The blade length is 3.75 inches (or 9.5 centimeters) but the closed length of this folder is 4 and 7/8 inches (12.4 centimeters). This light little knife is only 7.2 ounces (205 grams) making it perfect for doing the intricate job of dressing your game. You won’t even know you’re wearing it, but it will be there when you need it, making it the most reliable piece of steel you’ve ever worn on your belt. Being customizable, the Buck 110 will have some variation from knife to knife – especially if you select one of the notably lighter or heavier handle materials – so be prepared to allow for a little bit of wiggle room in the exact weight of your weapon. While none of these options will likely cause an extravagant difference in weight, it might be noticeable if you’re used to your father’s family heirloom knife with a walnut handle and you opt for the bone or blue wood instead for yourself. Expect some variation, and you’ll either be pleasantly surprised if it’s the same as another, or you’ll be correct if it does weigh significantly more or less in comparison. Either way, don’t fret! There is little about this folding hunter that can’t be handled simply by getting used to your knife before taking it out into the real world for real purposes. Hold it. Open it and close it. Wield it (safely) at home first, to be sure you’ve gotten a feel for it. Then, you and your knife will be ready to go out and face the world, prepared. More often than not, even if it’s a few ounces heavier than the standard, you’ll forget it’s there after a dozen or so steps of wearing it on your belt.
Finish

Finish

There is, standard, only one metal used for the Buck 110 – the 420HC stainless steel in a satin finish – but there are plenty of different options to choose from including the aforementioned oxidized black 420HC steel, the mirror-polish finish, or the S30V satin finish. Bucks offers customizable options with these different metals, different blade options including a serrated version or drop-point (though not every finish has the drop-point option) and icons engraved into the wooden handles, in some cases, including a new affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America that offers the emblem emblazoned on the handle. Double-check if you’re authorized legally to have any affiliate symbols engraved into this knife beforehand, though, or Bucks may not approve it. If you’re shopping for something that is truly your own, you’ll find it out there. Some examples of customizations are a wooden handle version with finger grooves, the common Macassar Ebony Dymondwood, or the water buffalo or elk. There are eleven different handle types in all, including a pricey but gorgeous dyed giraffe bone handle. Most of the wooden handles have brass bolsters, though nickel is also available and not every option has the same exact appearance. There’s also a black nylon handle, an Ebony “DymaLux” handle, and even a special edition cherrywood option. Just be aware that the fancier you go, the higher the price tag – the giraffe bone handle adds almost one hundred dollars to your purchase price, and that’s before tax and shipping. There is also an option to engrave the blade of your knife with up to two lines of whatever you’d like to say. The engraving of the blade is optional, as is your choice of font in certain cases (block or cursive) but be aware that not every retailer is going to have the same customization options available. If you’ve got your heart set on something specific, look around and make sure the specifications meet what you’re looking for, and be sure to check for the telltale “Bucks 110” marking on the base of the blade, which is visible when the blade is fully open.
Safety

Safety

The first mark of an unsafe folding knife is one that doesn’t stay closed. The second mark of an unsafe folding knife is one that doesn’t stay open. You’ll have neither concern with the Bucks 110. The standard satin finish blades, the mirror-polish blades, and the black oxide blades all bear a nail notch that makes for simple opening, and a lock-back mechanism to hold the blade open while you wield it. The only option that doesn’t have a nail notch is the S30V satin drop point style. You won’t have that as a way in, so be prepared to open the knife differently if you were relying on it. Always test your knife safely before bringing it to any task either hunting or at work, or even at home, to be sure it is in proper working order, and use common sense. The crescent-tip blade and drop point option are both thin and sharp, and depending on how much you sharpen your own you may or may not notice you’ve caught your finger on the blade before you start bleeding. Utilize due caution and keep your wits about you, taking care to respect the knife for what it is: a very sharp tool that can really hurt if you misuse it or underestimate it. That said, the Buck 110 is a great beginner knife for young hunters going out with their mentors and learning how to carry out procedure on game, or for young people watching their parents work leather or a number of other materials. While it shouldn’t be used for everything you’ll ever need a blade for, it is still a very versatile little knife.
Price

Price

Depending on whether or not you opt for the alternate blades or handles, engravings or handle decors, your price could widely differ. If you want just any Bucks 110 you can acquire them online for somewhere around $50. If you want your initials engraved on the blade and something else on the handle, you’re going to be looking at a bigger ticket price, likely well into the triple digits before tax and shipping. As mentioned previously, which handle material and blade shape or color you select will also drive the price up, but then again you get what you pay for; cherry wood costs more than walnut, just as blue wood doesn’t cost the same as elk and serration costs more than a sleek, smooth blade line. Separate handle materials can be found in ready-to-ship knives online or in stores, so do your homework both locally and online to compare price tags and see what you’re willing to pay for what you want in your knife’s appearance and composition. You’ll also want to consider shipping and handling fees, and don’t forget about lead time. If you’re seeking out a standard Bucks 110, you’re likely going to find one that is ready-made and can ship in a fairly brief processing time. If you want something custom created, you’re going to have to assume a longer lead time, likely in the realm of a month or more. At least in the way of buying direct, you cannot rush a personalized order; don’t wait until the last minute to shop such a knife if you’re on a deadline for a gift for someone else, or a hunting trip for yourself. Good quality work takes time. Some of this lead time or the cost of shipping charges might change based on where you’re located – all of these knives are made in the USA, but separate retailers may be shipping from farther away or closer depending on how you intend to obtain your knife – but mostly it has to do with how long it takes to process and produce the custom order you carry out. Good things take time, so be prepared to be patient. As they say: it’s the price you pay.
Key Features

Key Features

-420HC stainless steel clip-shape blade
-nail notch in almost every option & lock-back safety system
-variant 110s with different customizations available
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

There are few knives with the reputation of the Bucks 110 Folding Hunter. The longevity, durability, style, and versatility are all top notch, and at less than two pounds this knife is never a burden to have around. With all of the available options for personalization and customization, it’s easy to make one of these knives your own, and hand it down to your offspring one day with confidence. You don’t have to take this knife hunting to use it to its vast and varied potential; it can also prove to be functional as a simple utility knife on your person, with countless uses that are limited only by your imagination (please just keep it safe when you do so). With over fifty years in production, the Bucks 110 is clearly a long-lived American classic, and it’s not going anywhere. A new affiliation in the Bucks family, the Boy Scouts of America, comes as no surprise when one considers that this knife is simple enough to be a young person’s first knife, classy enough to be a part of the Boy Scouts of America family, and durable enough to be taken along on those camping trips and withstand frequent use. Some folk consider a Buck 110 to be an investment in their child’s future, or a beacon to the moment in time the gift is given; maybe upon graduation to Eagle Scout; maybe someone you know just became a Scout Leader. Of course, Buck didn’t need the permission to engrave to be one of America’s best knives, or to be the household name it is after half a century. Making a name for oneself is among the most impressive feats that can be achieved, and since it came on the scene in the early 1960's the Bucks 110 has been a top seller and a steadfast, trustworthy knife.