9 Best Buck Knife for EDC, Hunting and Survival [Buck Knives Review 2020]

Man sharpening stick

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Choosing the best Buck knife for everyday carry can get overwhelming really fast. Buck knives come in different models, materials, blade shapes, additional features… It’s a knife jungle!

That’s why I decided to give you a clear-cut no-nonsense roadmap that will lead you to your perfect blade – your best Buck knife. If you don’t want to go down this whole road – I’ve started with our top 4 Buck knifes today, the best for everyday carry, survival, hunting – see for yourself:

Best for EDC

Buck 722 Spitfire

Buck 722 for sale - Knives and Outdoor Gear - Huge Selection

Best for Hunting

Buck 119 Special

Buck Special 119BKS Hunting Knife Fixed Blade (6

Best Auto Folding

Buck 110 Folding Hunter

Buck 110 Automatic Knife - Ebony | 3.75

Best Fixed Blade

Buck 102 Woodsman

Buck Woodsman Cocobolo Fixed Blade Knife (4.00

Our Best Buck Knife Top 9

  1. Buck 722 Spitfire
  2. Buck 110 Folding Hunter
  3. Buck 112 Ranger
  4. Buck 119 Special
  5. Buck Bantam BBW 284
  6. Buck Woodsman 102
  7. Buck Selkirk 863
  8. Buck 105 Pathfinder
  9. Buck 830 Marksman

Best Buck Knives Review

Best Buck Everyday Carry Knife: 722 Spitfire

722 Spitfire for sale - Knives and Outdoor Gear - Huge Selection

722 Spitfire from: Blade HQ

The 722 Spitfire is a little dynamo of a folding knife that packs one hell of a punch! This Buck knife is one of the best pocket knives for everyday carry, but it can do so much more.

With just 3.2 oz in heft, this is one of the lightest all-purpose Buck knives out there. If you’ve ever been in a survival situation, you know that every oz counts. Buck really “trimmed down the fat” on this knife, which makes it much easier to carry and conceal.

The length of the blade is 3¼” with a hollow grind. But don’t let the size fool you. Buck Spitfire is viciously sharp and ready for some serious cutting. It also holds its edge like there’s no tomorrow and it’s extremely easy to re-sharpen.

I know what you’re thinking. Hollow grind makes for a poor cutter. That primary bevel makes no sense. I had similar concerns back when I got my first Spitfire. After years of abusing it, however, I have nothing but praise for this little monster. Buck knives are NOT fragile razor blades and they’ll take a ton of punishment before losing their edge.

Buck 112 Ranger | Automatic Lockback Knife | Ebony

Like many Buck knives, Spitfire uses 420HC blade steel, packed into a comfortable and grippy anodized aluminum handle. Add an aggressive drop point, and Spitfire doesn’t look so friendly anymore.

Optional serrations allow you to saw your way through tougher materials in a pinch. The overall fit and finish are top-quality, without the blade rubbing on the liner or similar issues reserved for low-quality folding knives. The blade locks safely in place, without any wiggle room.

722 Spitfire is a sleek and aggressive folding knife that offers the biggest bang for your buck. Hands down! Given its overall quality, durability, versatile design, and low price tag, you’d have a tough time finding a better Buck knife among its peers.

Knife Pros

  • Extremely compact folding knife
  • No-hassle one-handed open
  • Aggressive drop point blade
  • Durable super-sharp edge
  • Comfortable anodized aluminum handle
  • 420 steel blade
  • Rugged construction
  • Sleek & attractive design

Knife Cons

  • Not the best knife for larger, more demanding tasks

Buck 110 Folding Hunter – Best Auto Lockback

Buck 110 Automatic Knife - Ebony | 3.75

Buck 110 Automatic Knife from: Blade HQ

The Buck 110 family is also known as “Folding Hunters”, and it’s basically where the Buck knives story began. It single-handedly revolutionized the knife industry with its innovative folding knife locking system.

After all these years, the Buck 110 folding knife is officially available as an automatic! You can forget about 3rd party conversions. This bad boy comes with a built-in auto action straight from the production line.

The best Buck knife 110 Auto is an ideal companion for the great outdoors. I’ve used it for anything from cutting canvas for a makeshift tent to skinning an elk. Weighing 7.1 oz, it’s much easier to pack and carry than your regular fixed hunting blade. More versatile too.

With a blade length of 3¾”, the Buck 110 is made of 420HC steel with the standard Paul Bos heat treat. It comes with a sleek satin finish and cryogenic treatment for superior edge retention.

The crescent tip provides a sharper point and a thinner blade. It’s perfect for finer cutting in tight places and intentional punctures. Punching a new hole in your leather belt comes to mind… However, the point is not as strong as with skinners or drop points. That’s just one of the reasons why I like the Spitfire better as best Buck knife.

The eye-catching handle of the Buck 110 is made of ethically sourced Crelicam ebony with brass bolsters. A conveniently placed push button allows instant auto-deployment and easier one-handed operation.

The friction fit leather sheath comes with a safety mechanism that prevents deployment when you remove the knife.

Buck Knives - Buck 110 Auto & Folding Knives

The Buck 110 Auto Lockback walks a thin line between a fine subtle blade and a rugged hunting piece. It excels in both roles, making it a seriously unique blade. Often imitated, never replicated!

Buck Knives - Buck 110 Auto & Folding Knives

Knife Pros

  • Fully automatic action
  • No-hassle one-handed operation
  • Extremely sharp blade with a satin finish
  • Cryogenic treatment for better edge retention
  • Ebony handle with brass bolsters
  • Crescent tip for optimal detail cutting & puncturing
  • Solid lockback
  • Leather sheath with an additional safety mechanism

Knife Cons

  • The tip on this Buck knife is not as strong as with skinning knives and drop points

112 Ranger – Best Compact Auto Lockback

Buck 112 Ranger | Automatic Lockback Knife | Ebony

Buck 112 Ranger | Automatic Lockback Knife from Blade HQ

If the Buck 110 series is not compact enough for you, the Buck 112 family is exactly what you’re looking for in the best Buck knives. The Buck 112 Ranger is just a smaller version of the famous Buck “Folding Hunter”.

It literally comes with all the same features, including the automatic operation. A fine-tip 420HC blade, ebony handle with brass bolsters, cryogenic treatment, friction fit leather sheath… You know the drill.

The only difference lies in its size and weight. 112 Ranger Auto weighs 5.9 oz and the length of the blade is 3”.

The smaller frame makes it easier to pack and carry, but it does have its downsides. When I first started using it, I really felt the lack of range that the 110 gave me. Especially during finicky work like cutting wire in a tight space.

When it comes to larger outdoor tasks like prepping firewood, opening cans, cutting cord, or making a shelter, both models perform equally well.

Knife Pros

  • Fully automatic action
  • No-hassle one-handed operation
  • Extremely sharp blade with a satin finish
  • More compact than the 110 family
  • Cryogenic treatment for better edge retention
  • Ebony handle with brass bolsters
  • Crescent tip for optimal detail cutting & puncturing
  • Solid lockback
  • Leather sheath with an additional safety mechanism

Knife Cons

  • Shorter reach than 110 models
  • Fine tip not suited for rugged tasks

119 Special: Best Buck Knife for Hunting

Buck Special 119BKS Hunting Knife Fixed Blade (6

Buck Special 119BKS Hunting Knife Fixed Blade (6″ Satin) from: Blade HQ

The Buck 119 Special is the grandfather of all hunting knives! It’s a large real-deal piece for people who live to hunt (and hunt to live).

The 6” fixed clip blade is made of 420HC steel and comes with a recognizable satin finish. It features hollow ground bevels with a plain edge. The weight is 7.5 oz for phenolic and 10.5 for cocobolo models.

I’ve seen many 119 Special reviews mentioning “phenolic blades”. “Phenolic” is the term used for handles. It means they’re made of plastic to a certain degree. It can NEVER be used to describe the actual blade!

Speaking of handles, the 119 Special comes with a phenolic grip with an aluminum pommel and guard polished to perfection.

It features the same crescent tip as the 110 family. I’ve already talked about the trade-offs of the finer point, so I won’t repeat myself here.

Finally, it comes with a genuine leather sheath.

I’ve never been much of a pro hunter, so I never used the 119 Special that much. When I did use it, however, it felt like I could do anything with it.

As for as Buck knives go, this is a serious piece of equipment made for serious hunters. If you don’t want to trade sheer power for compact dimensions, this is the blade for you.

Knife Pros

  • One of the best dedicated hunting knives
  • Sturdy, long-lasting full tang construction
  • Extremely sharp and easy to re-sharpen
  • Ergonomic phenolic handle
  • Paul Bos heat treat
  • Genuine leather sheath

Knife Cons

  • Not as compact as the folding models
  • Fine tip not suited for rugged tasks

 Bantam BBW 284: Best Budget Knife

Buck Bantam BBW Lockback Knife Black (2.75

Buck Bantam BBW Lockback Knife Black (2.75″ Satin) from: Blade HQ

The Buck Bantam BBW is a small & affordable EDC folder ideal for your everyday needs. It’s a Jack-of-all-trades in the Buck family of knives.

The 2¾” blade is made of 420HC steel and features an aggressive drop point like the Spitfire. The strong tip makes it perfect for puncturing tasks, but this little guy is also as sharp as they come. And it weighs only 1.5 oz.

Best Buck Knife - Top 7 Buck Knives

You’ll find a thumb stud on both sides for easier operation. Bantam BBW has a secure mid-lockback mechanism for smoother closing.

The handle is glass-reinforced nylon with a textured surface for a more secure grip. It also features a lanyard hole for keychain carry.

Knife Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Compact dimensions
  • Knives with an aggressive drop point
  • Glass-reinforced nylon handle
  • Textured handle for a superior grip
  • Mid-lockback mechanism
  • Lanyard hole

Knife CONs:

  • The handle on these knives is not top-quality
  • No pocket clip

Woodsman 102: Best Classic Fixed Blade

Buck Woodsman Cocobolo Fixed Blade Knife (4.00

Buck Woodsman Cocobolo Fixed Blade Knife (4.00″ Satin) from: Blade HQ

The 102 Woodsman is a part of the Buck’s “classic fixed blade” knives family. It’s very similar to the 119 Special, but with a thinner blade and a HUGE size difference.

The Woodsman comes with a 4” 420HC blade and weighs 3.6 oz (2.5 for phenolic). A super-sharp edge with a fine clip point is ideal for prepping smaller game and fish. If you’re going for something larger, you’ll have a better time with the 119 Special.

Similarly to 119 Special, these knives features a full tang construction with a finger guard on the handle. The eye-catching cocobolo handle features a polished brass pommel and guard.

The carry option comes in the form of a genuine leather sheath for extra comfort and convenience.

Knife Pros

  • High-quality fixed blade
  • Supreme edge/easy to sharpen
  • These knives are perfect for prepping small game & fish
  • Fine crescent point for detail work
  • Woodman 102 knives feature full tang construction
  • Rugged & durable knives
  • Beautiful cocobolo handle

Knife Cons

  • These knives are not ideal for larger game
  • Fine tip not suited for rugged tasks

Selkirk 863: Best Mid-Size Fixed Blade Knives

Buck Selkirk Fixed Blade Knife Micarta (4.625

Buck Selkirk Fixed Blade Knife Micarta (4.625″ Satin) from: Blade HQ

If you’re looking for a fixed mid-size outdoor blade in your knives, look no further than this best Buck knife, the Selkirk. It offers the best of the two worlds – the light weight of the folder paired with the sturdiness of fixed hunter knives.

The 4⅝” blade is made of 420HC steel and comes with a vicious drop point. The overall weight of these knives is 7.6 oz.

Selkirk 863 comes with a stylish brown/black CNC-contoured Micarta handle. The injection-molded polypropylene sheath lends itself to both vertical and horizontal carry. The

Don’t be fooled by the size of these knives, Selkirk is a dedicated hunting knife. It can even skin an animal in a pinch. When I was first learning how to skin an elk in the field, I used this exact model. The drop point definitely helped avoid accidental puncturing.

Knife Pros

  • Compact dimensions
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy, durable construction
  • Comfortable Micarta handle
  • Knives come with a polypropylene tactical sheath
  • Rugger drop point

Knife Cons

  • These knives are not as powerful as larger hunting knives

105 Pathfinder: Best Buck Knife for Survival

Buck Pathfinder Fixed Blade Knife Dymondwood (5

Buck Pathfinder Fixed Blade Knife Dymondwood (5″ Satin) from: Blade HQ

The 105 Pathfinder is yet another member of Buck’s “classic fixed blades” knives family. Unlike the 119 Special or Woodsman, this is a classic all-purpose fixed blade.

Its heavy-duty full tang construction can take tons of abuse, which made this knife my favorite survival tool.

The modified clip blade is made of 420HC steel and has a blade length of 5”. These knives are a serious piece of equipment. The overall weight is 5.8 oz. In my experience, the blade can take a serious beating before it loses its edge, but re-sharpening it was a breeze.

Similarly to our previous knives, the Pathfinder sports a beautiful cocobolo handle with brass pommel and guard.

The carry option is a genuine leather sheath that holds the knives tightly for superior comfort.

If you’re looking for well-rounded knives that can perform all tasks equally well, 105 Pathfinder is the piece for you!

Knife Pros

  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Extremely sharp blade/easy to re-sharpen
  • 105 knives feature the Paul Bos heat treat
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Stylish cocobolo handle
  • Genuine leather sheath

Knife Cons

  • These knives are not ideal for passionate hunters. You’ll find a better hunting knife above.

9. Honorable Mention: Buck 830 Marksman

Buck 830 Marksman Folding Knife (3.5
Buck 830 Marksman Folding Knife (3.5″ Satin)
from: Blade HQ 

The 830 Marksman is an extreme quality knife. It has the Grant & Gavin Hawk lock, which is called the SLS (Strong Lock System). It’d be hard to find a stronger lock than this one! This is a super strong tactical knife with anodized aluminum frame and a blade made of 154-CM steel.

This reviewer sums it up nicely:

“As previous reviewers have mentioned, the lock system takes some getting used to, but the action on this knife is incredible! One handed opening and closing has a great fidget feel. The blade came sharp and ready to go. This baby is staying in my rotation.”

Best Buck Knife Buyer’s Guide

What is the Best Buck Knife for Me?

As always, this depends on what you’re trying to do with your knives. This will dictate its shape, size, weight, carry options, and many more factors. To make things as easy as possible for you, I’ll list some of the most common situations, so you can choose the best knives for you. .

  • If you live to hunt, the best buck knife options for you would be the 119 Special and 102 Woodsman. Depending on the size of your preferred game.
  • If you need a blade for survival, a smaller tool like Spitfire or Selkirk would be perfect. Depending on whether you like folding knives or fixed blades. I prefer the Pathfinder in these scenarios, but only use it if you can spare the extra room.
  • If you’re just looking for everyday pocket knives, something like Spitfire or Bantam would be your best buck knives option.
  • If you’re after assisted opening, check out these Buck knives.

Do Buck Knives Hold Their Edge?

ABSOLUTELY!

Buck is famous for its patented tempering process for each blade. All knives are heat-treated according to their intended use. This is why it’s so important to pick the best Buck knives for you.

Buck also equips its knives with the renowned Edge2x technology. This allows their blades to be sharper than other knives and hold their edge longer. Also makes their knives much easier to re-sharpen.

Two of the best Buck knives were featured in Blade HQ’s Top 10 knives a couple of years ago, see this video:

What Steel Do Buck Knives Use?

Many of Buck’s knives are made from 420HC (high carbon stainless steel). This steel has excellent corrosion resistance. Wikipedia informs us:

“420HC ( 420C ) is a higher carbon content 420 stainless steel. The HC stands for “high carbon” and it can be brought to a higher hardness than regular 420 and should not be mistaken for it. Buck Knives and Gerber Knives use 420HC extensively.”

One of the users on BladeForums.com mentions:

“It does not easily chip and is very easy to get shaving sharp. Yes, it does not hold an edge like some of the new “super steels” but it sure is a lot easier to get sharp and doesn’t chip so you are not afraid to REALLY use it hard.”

How to Sharpen My Buck Knife?

Here, you have two options.

You can sharpen your knives yourself, but I wouldn’t recommend this unless you know exactly what you’re doing. The official Buck website has an excellent sharpening guide that might help you with some of your doubts and questions.

Alternatively, Buck offers a sharpening service for just $6.95 per knife + return shipping. Note that this service is not available for knives with serrated edges.

Looking for a Great Knife With Gut Hook?

What is the Buck Forever Warranty?

Buck guarantees that every single one of their knives will be free of defects in material and craftsmanship for the life of the knife.

If your knives prove to be defective, the Buck knife company will give you the option to repair it or replace it with a new knife.

Note that this warranty doesn’t cover normal wear, misuse, and modifications of your knives. The company also warns against using their knives as hammers, pry bars, screwdrivers, or chisels.

Can Buck Knives Survive in Extremely Cold Climates?

YES!

If you take good care of your Buck knives, they can survive even the harshest conditions. This includes keeping your knives dry, ice-free, and lubricating them regularly.

What’s Your Best Buck Knife?

Finding the best Buck knife comes down to identifying your needs and meeting them with the right tool for the job. Whether you’re looking for folding knives, a fixed blade knife, clip point blade or pocket knife, Buck is sure to have the right knife for you.

I outlined some of the most common cases and shared with you my list of favorite Buck knives. Among them, we covered hunting, everyday use, fine cutting, the perfect survival knife, perfect tactical knife, cutting in tight spaces, intentional puncturing…

All that’s left for you to do is identify your needs and follow my roadmap. Then look at the price and decide the best knife for you.

Leave any tips and suggestions for your fellow knife lovers in the comments below. Also, feel free to let us know if this list helped you find your perfect blade.

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