The name “Buck” is well-known to those familiar with hunting and pocket knives.
People have been purchasing the brand’s folding back knives for more than 100 years because of their fine craftsmanship and the durability of their blades.
However, are Buck knives illegal?
When it comes to legality, there are government laws that you must consider. Depending on the different state laws, you can come to know whether or not it is safe for you to carry a Buck knife.
Generally, Buck knives or folding knives are legal in almost all states. However, states like New Jersey, New Mexico, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Ohio completely prohibit citizens from carrying folding knives.
Thus, if you are carrying a Buck knife, you must ensure that the blade is legal in your state.
What Makes a Buck or Folding Knife Illegal?
Since folding knives are classified as weapons, there are rules and regulations in place to which you must adhere.
Depending upon your location, it is in your best regard to be aware of the facts that can make your buck knife illegal.
As a general rule of thumb, four factors govern the legal status of buck knives. They are as follows:
1. Opening Mechanism
According to law enforcement, any folding knife with a too-fast opening mechanism is considered a weapon. Thus, any Buck knife that opens too promptly is illegal.
Folding knives have three opening mechanisms: manual, assisted, and automatic. Automatic knives kick out the blade with a push of a button in the blink of an eye.
On the other hand, assisted knives require you to partially open the blade before the automatic function can kick in.
Unlike automatic or assisted knives, manual knives require you to extend the blade to its maximum length. As a result, manual knives’ rules are less stringent than assisted and automatic knives.
2. Blade Design
Blade nature and design are other factors of great concern for law enforcement. Depending on the design, blades are classified as serrated or plain. Buck knives with serrations are sharper and more dangerous.
Therefore, you might be in trouble if you carry a serrated knife. However, folding knives with a regular blade will have less strict regulations.
3. Blade Length
The length of the blade may also dictate whether or not your Buck knife is legal to carry.
Since longer blades pose a more significant threat to safety, they are considered a weapon. Thus, a longer Buck knife could be considered illegal in your state.
Traditionally, the blade of folding knives is not very long. Instead, they are short in length and easily fit into their handle.
Still, not all folding knives have the same blade length. Therefore, laws will apply differently to all folding knives as per their blade length.
Your intent as an owner is a critical factor in determining the legality of your Buck knife. For instance, carrying a Buck knife when hunting or camping won’t likely get you into trouble.
This is because you’ll spend more time in the wilderness than in populated, urban areas. Therefore, the chances of you running into other people and posing a threat are far less likely.
You will face a strict penalty if your intentions are to threaten or harm other people. In general, carrying a Buck knife while walking down the street or around other people is more concerning. Thus, it’s best that you only carry a Buck knife when your intentions are pure.
Is Buck Knives a Good Knife Brand?
While Buck may not be the absolute best knife brand on the market, their blades are definitely a good value.
Their most common steel is 420HC, which may not be the finest steel available, but thanks to Buck’s excellent heat-treatment, it performs better than one might expect.
In terms of quality and price, I would place Buck above CRKT and below Spyderco. Kershaw and Ontario are also good alternatives to Buck, particularly when it comes to folders.
Do Buck Knives Hold an Edge?
In short, yes – Buck knives do hold an edge very well. Whether you’re looking for a tough work knife or a reliable camping companion, Buck knife can be a good option.
Any knife company worth its salt knows that the key to a great knife is in the blade. The steel has to be tough enough to withstand repeated use and abuse, but it also needs to be able to take and hold a sharp edge.
Buck uses high-quality steel for all of their knives, and they heat-treat it using their Edge2xTM technology.
This ensures that each knife is tough enough to stand up to whatever you throw at it, while also maintaining a razor-sharp edge.
Many newer Buck knives are also quite easy to sharpen, even if you’re not an experienced knife-sharpener.
Older models may require more time and effort, but with a good whetstone, you should be able to get the job done.
Where are Buck Knives Made?
Buck is an American company that was originally founded in San Diego, California.
The company later relocated to Idaho in order to take advantage of cheaper overseas labor and to reduce the high cost of doing business in California.
Today, Buck produces approximately 87% of its knives in the United States at their manufacturing facility in Idaho. The remaining knives are imported from China.
For those customers who are interested in supporting American-made products, Buck provides clear information on their website about which knives are manufactured in the USA.
Are Buck Knives Made In China Any Good?
There is no clear answer, as there are both positive and negative reviews about Buck knives made in China.
However, it seems that Buck has made significant improvements over the years and that their Chinese-made knives are now nearly on par with their US-made counterparts.
Conclusion – Are Buck Knives Illegal?
If you want to carry a Buck knife without fear of violating state laws, there are a few factors to consider.
If you plan to move to a new state, ensure you check that state’s laws regarding folding knives. Moreover, consider the length of the blade.
You will be safe from penalty if your folding knife’s blade length is less than three inches.
In addition, consider your Buck knife’s design and opening mechanism. A short manual blade is more acceptable than a long automatic one.
In the United States, you cannot carry knives in planes, schools, courts, and other buildings that prohibit blade bearing.
Also, you should not conceal your folding knife. Instead, carry it in a belt sheath around your waist.