The Buck 110 Folding Hunter Knife is an American Classic folder!
Alfred Buck thought a lock blade is the best edge tool for outdoorsmen, late in 1963. So, he took an old idea of a folder and transformed it into a striking folding knife.
It had a 3-3/4 inch stainless steel clip point blade that locked open, macassar ebony handle inserts, and a brass frame.
That was then, but now the knife has undergone a revolutionary makeover to include state-of-the-art technology and premium materials. What really takes my breath away is the genuine hardwood handle that’s almost indestructible.
This Buck 110 Review will tell you exactly why this lock blade is the best of all-time.
Table of Contents
- Buck Knives 110 Review
- Buck 110 Review Summary
- Things To Consider Before Buying A Lock Blade Knife
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Final Thoughts
Buck Knives 110 Review
The modern day Buck 110 knife is the younger sibling of the original Buck 110 that was invented by Al Buck in 1964. This knife offers a ton of functionality at an affordable price range. It has a blade length of 3-3/4 inches, blade thickness of 0.12 inches, and a closed length of 4-7/8 inches.
Its clip point blade offers excellent control for detailed work as well as cutting in tight spots. It is also your go-to blade for intentional puncturing. The genuine ebony hardwood handle is a representation of the characteristic design of the original Buck 110.
But what is truly classic is the nail notch lock back design that keeps the blade opened. When compared to the original Buck 110, the current model has undergone a groundbreaking remodeling to meet the demands of the current users.
The Buck 110 Folding Hunter Knife is a great choice for hunting, survival, tactical, emergency and everyday carry. Why! It is compact, easy to conceal, and easy to deploy. It is a knife that you can carry almost anywhere outdoors. But! Be warned: this is a folding knife with no tang. So, it isn’t strong enough for those difficult cutting jobs that are meant for fixed blade knives.
Features & Benefits
What makes the Buck 110 a great lock blade of all-time? Let’s find out:
Lock Back Mechanism
I really appreciate the strength and safety of the lock back mechanism. It works by using a notch on the spine of the knife that engages the metal of the blade until it is hooked and locked into place. Both pieces exert pressure against each other to prevent the blade from closing.
You just have to depress the exposed part of the stop bar in the handle inwards to close the blade. This action will pivot the stop bar out, releasing the locked blade.
But you will need both of your hands to safely close the blade. Even though you may still easily open the blade single-handedly.
420HC Stainless Steel Blade
The 420HC steel has surpassed my expectations. I really like its composition, which includes a moderate level of carbon, and an exceptionally high level of chromium. The carbon composition is softer compared to 440 steel, but it is still rugged and resistant to wear and corrosion.
The edge retention is exceptional, and it’s remarkably easy to restore with a good quality sharpening tool. The steel is also hardened to 58-60 HRC, giving it the best possible initial sharpness at a reasonable price point.
Clip Point Profile
The clip point blade is a great choice for hunting. The clipped tip end of the spine produces a finer trailing point that is great for skinning and slicing. The rear part of the blade has a normal shape, which is good for cutting through bone joints and chopping wood.
You might argue that the clip point is narrow and delicate, but I find it well-suited for penetrating thrust with minimum drag when inserting and withdrawing the blade.
Genuine Ebony Hardwood Handle
The ebony hardwood handle is premium, elegant, and exotic. This material is highly ergonomic and fits the hand perfectly to provide you with a strong and comfortable grip. It is complemented with a brass bolster for a perfect combination of balance and beauty.
In addition, the handle features finger grooves for added grip power and control. Not to mention that the brass bolster is beveled for ergonomic comfort.
This knife may be slightly bigger for pocket carry, but it is the perfect size for belt sheath carry. The sheath itself is made from high-quality protective leather that is highly durable. You also get a snap fastener and an integrated belt loop for safe and secure carry.
Size matters when choosing a hunting knife! As such, Buck fitted the 110 Hunter Folding Knife with a 3-3/4-inch blade. This size is extremely useful for a lot of work you do with a folding knife.
It is a great length for upland game hunting or some situation where you are hunting and you need to draw or field dress birds. It is also the perfect blade size for bushcrafting.
The handle length of this knife is just about the right size at 4-7/8 inches. The grip provided by this length is very comfortable because it fits the entire hand securely.
I think anything shorter than this could be a lot harder and unsafe to wheel, especially in demanding outdoor situations. The handle length is also the closed length of the knife, which is slightly bigger for pocket carry.
Buck 110 Review Summary
The Buck 110 Folding Hunter Knife was introduced in the mid-1960s, and it is one of the most iconic knives of the century. There are lots of versions of the 110 to choose from nowadays, including slim versions, automatic, updated blade steels, as well as the classic version that we’re talking about in this review.
It’s hard to beat the performance of the Buck 110 in the field, thanks to its proprietary 420HC blade steel.
Unlike conventional brands, specialists at Buck Knives have transformed this steel to have an HRC rating of 58-60 for strength and unmatched corrosion and wear resistance. The company has also maintained its American Icon status with the use of genuine ebony hardwood as the handle material.
The engineers complement the classic appeal of the 110 with brass bolsters and perfectly flushed rivets. The most debatable aspect of this knife’s craftsmanship is probably the lock back mechanism, which is also the foundation of the knife.
While it has impressed many in the market with its strong and secure mechanism, a few have had unfortunate experiences with the lock back system.
- Excellent initial sharpness right out of the box and good edge retention
- Decent strength, wear and corrosion resistance even in humid conditions
- Clip point blade profile provides unmatched control for piercing, slicing, and skinning
- Strong and slightly large belly for cutting tough materials
- Perfectly balanced handle for a strong and comfortable grip
- Finger grooves and wide handle thickness improve grip power
- Beveled brass bolster adds ergonomic comfort
- Ebony finish, shiny brass bolsters, and flushed rivets improve aesthetic appeal
- Some models come with a flawed lock back system that’s hard to close
- Missing ergonomics, such as lack of finger guard and jimping
- Slightly thicker and longer when closed for a portable pocket knife
In my opinion, both the basic and finger grooved handle design provide a strong hand grip, but the model with finger grooves on the handle offers superior grip power.
What We Like!
The Buck 110 is seen by many as an American icon when it comes folding knives. It is revered for its unique ebony hardwood handle with perfectly flushed rivets and brass bolsters that are polished to perfection and beveled for added comfort.
It has also impressed many with its great edge retention and strength. Not to mention that most people have reported zero visible corrosion or rusting on the blade.
I have heard so many people, especially outdoorsmen, praising this lock blade. So, when I first held it in my hand, I was eager to experience how it feels to hold the legendary Buck 110. The design didn’t disappoint.
As for the grip power and control, the rating on my scale is 10 out of 10. Honestly! The knife is perfectly balanced at 7.2 ounces. The ebony hardwood handle carries just enough weight for you to have full control of the blade when piercing, stabbing, cutting, and slicing.
The full hand grip provides maximum traction and ensures the handle doesn’t slide off in wet conditions.
My score for the blade design is also 10 out of 10. The 420HC blade steel may not be the most premium choice, but Buck managed to transform it into a cutting wizard with decent edge retention, strength, and wear and corrosion resistance.
The clip point tip provides good control when piercing things in the wood. Imagine! I could even do some bushcrafting with it.
What We Don’t Like!
It is a work of art, that’s for sure, but a few things aren’t incredible for me. For starters, this tool is slighter longer in the closed position and thicker to be considered a portable pocket knife. It will not be easy to conceal, not unless you have some weird deep pockets. That’s why it is carried on a belt sheath.
I am a big fan of lock back knives, but sometimes I feel like the design is overrated. It needs some muscle to get it opened, and even more muscle to get it closed. I mean, one hand has to push the lock bar down, while the other hand pushes the blade into the locking position. But, I think that is something you can overlook considering its cutting performance.
A few people are extremely frustrated by the lock back mechanism. They had significant challenges when closing the blade, claiming that there isn’t enough tension in the spring. Others claim that their specific models had terrible attention to detail, including dreadful riveting work and disheartening overall finish work.
The knife’s ergonomics are also limited at some point. First, it lacks a finger guard, which is essential for added security. Second, could have superior gripping power with some jimping on the spine.
About The Brand
Buck Knives is one of the all-time best American knife brands that was founded over eleven decades ago, in 1902. Before they created the original Buck 110 in 1964, the company was well-known for its sport and field knives inventions.
Buck Knives as a brand is almost incomparable to any other knife company in the world. The company’s most decorated figure (Al Buck) came up with the original folding knife idea, while others imitated it.
Not to mention that they have never cheated their way into the market, but stuck with a reputation of premium materials and high-quality craftsmanship.
In the latest company news, the CEO and Chairman of Buck Knives insisted on the importance of manufacturing their knives in the US. According to the CEO, production in the US allows the company to control quality from a long-term standpoint.
According to this warranty, the company expects each and every Buck knife to be free of defects in materials or craftsmanship for the life of the knife. Any knife that fails or is defective will be repaired or replaced with a new Buck knife.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Lock Blade Knife
Why A Lock Blade Knife?
A big knife, no matter how sharp it is, isn’t the most portable choice for hunting, survival, tactical, and emergency. The solution lies with a lock blade that is compact, portable, easy to conceal, and quick to deploy.
Who Is The Ideal Customer?
Lock blades or folding knives are a great choice for outdoorsmen because you can carry them in your pocket or on your belt sheath for quick and easier access.
What To Consider When Buying A Lock Blade Knife
First, what impression do you get when you look at a particular folder for the first time? Is it so striking that it grabs your attention? Is the design good enough for your application?
You can only know for sure if you take into account the following factors:
A good material must have good edge retention, corrosion/rust resistance, wear resistance, and strength.
The profile you choose will determine the usability and versatility of the knife. For example, a clip point is good for hunting and skinning, while a drop point is good for field dressing.
Opening & Locking Mechanisms
A lock blade is as good as its opening and locking mechanism. Choose an opening system (manual, assisted, or automatic) that’s easy and quick to deploy.
The handle scales shouldn’t just be aesthetically appealing, but also capable of providing a strong, non-slip grip.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is The Advantage Of Having The Finger Grooves?
The model with finger grooves is highly ergonomic because they don’t only improve grip power, but also do a good job of preventing the handle from slipping off in wet conditions.
Is The Buck 110 Blade Detachable?
The blade isn’t detachable. But its long-term durability is beyond reproach, and the knife itself is backed by Buck’s Forever Warranty.
Does This Knife Have A Pocket Clip?
No! It only comes with a leather sheath with an integrated belt loop carry. You will have to drop the sheath with the knife inside into your pocket for pocket carry.
Most hunting and/or outdoor knives are usually fixed blades, which tend to be bulky and less portable. You would probably have to carry the knife in your backpack, making it hard for you to access it at the appointed time during a hunt.
The solution lies with the Bulk 110 Folding Hunter Knife. Why! It only weighs 7.2 ounces, making it reasonably lighter compared to bigger knives.
It has a good closed length of a little under five inches, making it a great choice for belt sheath carry. It has a strong lock back mechanism that keeps the blade open.
The Buck 110 is your go-to knife when you are looking for a hunting, survival, bushcraft, tactical outdoor, and everyday carry model. Click here to check the Buck Knives 110 out!