Buck 110 Folding Knife

Concept: 3 out of 5
Execution: 2 out of 5
Yeah, but: A lot has changed in forty-odd years.

The Long Version: It's hard to say anything bad about the Buck 110, the most-imitated knife in the world. It's a heavy, rugged, tough design that's proven its value over decades of hard use. Amazon.com's brain trust has given it five out of five in ten out of ten reviews. How can I disagree with that?

The reality is that I don't really disagree with the praise its earned, but the world has moved on, partly because of the impact that the Buck 110 has made. It was conceived as a folding hunting knife, and took its design cues from heavy sheath knives and slip-joint folders. Good heft and a belt pouch were assets, and in some ways they still are. As a utility knife, it's the one I choose, despite it being older than I am.

But modern knives frequently use better steel, are lighter, easy to carry, and open and close with one hand. The addition of a pocket clip means that they no longer need a pouch/sheath to carry them, and plastic or fiberglass and titanium handles cuts the weight and makes it more convenient. I have a selection of knives from Benchmade, Spyderco, and Cold Steel that I carry as working tools while my Buck 110 stays home.

It's a classic, and my Buck 110 has earned its retirement.


  1. I have to agree to a point - but then when you ask 10 of 10 hunters what they think about a buck 110 when holding a spyderco in the other hand, they'd rather have the heft of the mighty buck. "Better" steel is subjective - what is "Better" to you may not be "better" to someone else. I want a knife that takes a little work to get an edge - this means it will keep its edge longer. Sharpening your knife is part of the preparation of going hunting. If you have to carry a steel with you to sharpen your easily honed spyderco, the weight argument is NIL. I appreciate a hefty knife and though the Buck weighs dramatically more than my daily carry Gerber or my trusty SWAK Tinker - I really appreciate that wieght when I'm hammering away on a deer pelvis. Speaking of hammers....did you realize that the buck can be used AS a hammer? yeah...put that in your leatherman and smoke it :)


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