Whether you’re a hunter, camper, or just looking for a great EDC knife, Buck has got you covered.
However, due to the numerous models of Buck knives available, you need to be keen when shopping for one.
So, even if they’re all useful, some are better all-around choices. Here are our recommendations for the five best Buck knife models.
Top 5 Buck Knife Models at a Glance
- Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter Knife: Overall Best
- Buck Knives 119 Fixed Blade Hunting Knife: Great for Hunting
- Buck Knives 286 Bantam BHW Folding Knife: Best for Budget
- Buck Knives 105 Pathfinder Fixed Blade Knife: Best for Comfort
- Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Knife: Best for Durability
5 Best Buck Knife Models Review
1. Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter Lock-back Knife
The Buck 110 hunting knife has been one of the brand’s best-selling products for decades. This success is likely due to its durability, compactness, and affordability. Plus, they use 420HC steel to make the blade.
The Buck 110 was designed to be sharp and produce easy, flawless cuts. Its great curvature helps to give it an elegant look and high performance. It also comes with a fancy leather sheath that protects it as well as the user.
- Lifetime warranty
- Comfortable and compact design
- High-quality materials
- Leather sheath included
- Doesn’t have a pocket clip
- Significant use loosen up the blade
2. Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Hunting Knife
This American-made knife is legendary among hunters. Even nowadays, it sports the same decades-old classic look. It has a clip-point tip blade designed to tear and slice through anything.
The Buck 119 fixed blade knife is a great choice for hunting. It comes with a phenolic grip, a polished guard, and an aluminum pommel. They make the blade from 420HC steel and round it up with a satin finish. It’s a great knife for filleting fish, field dressing, and quartering.
You’ll also get a genuine leather sheath when you purchase the Buck 119 special. The sheath will help keep the blade in pristine condition. On top of that, the price remains affordable.
- Sturdy and durable build
- Ergonomic handle
- Leather sheath
- Razor-sharp 6” blade
- Clip point tip blade
- Blade made of 420HC steel
- Less compact than folding models
3. Buck Knives 286 Bantam BHW Folding Knife
The Buck Bantam BHW knife is a budget-friendly everyday carry (EDC) model. Though small, it’s still quite a capable Buck Knives family member. Hence, this product also features an aggressive drop point tip that’s great for puncturing.
The Bantam BHW weighs only 1.5 ounces, making it ideal for use as a key holder. It has a lanyard hole where you can hook your key chain. Plus, it has thumb studs on both sides, making it easy to handle. For smoother closing, it comes with a mid-Lockback mechanism.
This Buck knife has a glass-reinforced nylon handle with a rough-textured surface. As a result, you’ll have a firm grip at all times.
- Aggressive drop point tip
- Lanyard hole
- Textured handle
- Secure design
- Mid-Lockback mechanism
- Handles aren’t top quality
4. Buck Knives 105 Pathfinder Fixed Blade Knife
Next on our list is the Buck 105 Pathfinder all-purpose knife with a fixed blade. It’s a great tool for outdoor lovers, especially hunters and campers. The Pathfinder is a well-built, large, and solid knife with a phenolic resin cocobolo handle that offers balance.
The clip point blade on this 5” knife is made of 420HC steel and is strong enough to dig, slice, pry, and even for batoning.
It also comes with an aluminum pommel for added safety when handling. Aside from that, it has an authentic leather sheath for safe keeping when not in use.
The Buck 105 Pathfinder is made of heavy-duty tang that makes it quite durable. As such, it’s an excellent choice for a survival knife. It also undergoes the Paul Bos heat treatment to harden and strengthen the blade.
- Easy to re-sharpen
- Durable and strong
- Lifetime warranty
- Paul Bos heat-treated blade
- Chic cocobolo handle
- Heavy-duty build
- Authentic leather sheath
- Clip point blade ideal for hunters
- Not ideal for ardent hunters
5. Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Fixed Blade Knife
This is another hunting-oriented product. The Buck 124 Frontiersman’s strongest points are its modern look and the top-tier materials it comprises.
This premium straight-back Bowie knife has a blade made of 420HC steel and comes with a lifetime warranty. It has a thin black handle made of a proprietary synthetic material called Micarta.
Though this material is lighter than steel or wood, it still offers comparable levels of durability and comfort. It has a great and strong finger guard, a feature most knives in its class often lack.
This guard reduces the chances of accidental injuries and acts as a seal for the leather sheath. A well-sealed sheath keeps your blade sharp and clean even when not used. It also has an aluminum guard for added safety.
- Lifetime warranty
- Stronger and sturdier than most
- Well-balanced knife
- Lightweight handle
- Finger guard
- High-quality 420HC blade, full tang
- Bowie-style shaped
- The included sheath is not a great fit
- Oddly placed blade-snap
How to Choose the Best Buck Knife Model
Due to the wide variety of Buck knives available on the market, finding the perfect one for you can be time-consuming. However, if you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you can narrow down your search.
For example, consider these aspects as starting points.
Folding Knives vs. Fixed Blades
Buck knives are generally divided into two main categories: fixed blades and folding knives. Hence, your first choice is to decide which style better serves your needs.
The fixed blade knives have a full-tang built, basically one piece of steel stretching from the blade to the interior of their handles.
This construction makes it more sturdy and durable than its counterpart, the folding knife. Therefore, it is a great option for hunting, skinning, and other high-precision tasks.
On the other hand, folding knives are more compact and lightweight. Hence, they’re safer and easier to carry around in your pocket.
To find a good folding knife, look at the locking mechanism used. Also, Buck folding knives come with various locking mechanisms such as a liner lock, button lock, Lockback, strong lock system (SLS), and frame lock.
In short, the best folding knife is easy to open and close and is an ideal EDC item. However, it’s not a great option for hunting or other rigorous activities.
Related Read: Are Buck Knives Illegal? 4 Things You Need to Know
The Blade’s Design
Next, you need to look into the design of the Buck knife model. So, if you’re a hunter, opt for a gut hook blade with a back-facing hook. Also, this hook is sharp on all sides and can easily cut the skin by pulling instead of hacking.
Similarly, a serrated blade is also a great hunting tool ideal for cutting bones or sawing wood. Plus, it’ll come in handy when you go out camping.
On the other hand, drop point blades have a thick blade point, making them stronger and more durable. In other words, the thick blade point is a must for heavy-duty tasks due to the low risk of the tip breaking off.
Lastly, pen-style blades are found in folding knives, and they are thin and short. Though they’re easy to carry around, you cannot use them for highly demanding tasks.
Finally, you should check the steel used to construct the knife you want to purchase. For example, 420HC steel has a high carbon content, making it durable, easy to sharpen, and corrosion and rust-resistant. Plus, 420HC is easy to harden and available, thus present in many Buck knives.
Related Read: Ceramic vs Stainless Steel Knives
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I sharpen my Buck knife?
Buck knives are sharp out of the box and retain their sharpness for a long time, especially with proper care. Yet, if you need to re-sharpen it after prolonged usage, follow the sharpening guide on Buck’s official website.
On the other hand, you can opt for the affordable re-sharpening services Buck offers. However, this service isn’t available for knives with serrated blade edges.
2. What type of steel is used for Buck knives?
Buck mainly uses high carbon content 420 stainless steel (420HC). So, the company prefers this material due to its high rust and corrosion resistance, and they also use the 420J2 steel for some products, such as surgical instruments.
3. Are Buck knives corrosion and rust-resistant?
Yes. Buck knives are corrosion and rust-resistant, thanks to the high-quality stainless steel used in their construction.
To sum it up, go for the Buck knife model that serves your needs, is durable, and is affordable. Luckily, Buck produces sturdy knives with fancy designs and classic outlines.