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  • Buck Knives: American Innovation Since 1902

    by Nathan Gareau Last updated: April 06, 2022

    As if it were a pre-requisite for working at a shop like ours, I’ve always had a love for knives. I wanted to be a chef as a kid and got my first kitchen knives at a young age, but I was also fascinated by folding and survival knives. I got a tiny folding knife in a Christmas cracker as a kid one year, and begged my parents to let me keep it because I thought it was so cool. Once I became old enough to make my own money, I started building my knife collection. Kitchen knives were where I began, but I quickly branched out into outdoor tools and started with the only brand I recognized: Buck Knives.

    Buck was started over a century ago, in 1902 by Hoyt Buck. The Kansas-based knife maker was motivated to find higher quality materials and better heat-treating processes than what was available to him, and this drive to innovate helped him stand out in his field. Working with his son Al they made a name for themselves, and in 1964 Al and his son Chuck revolutionized the knife world with the first folding hunting knife, the Buck Model 110.

    Hoyt Buck himself, hard at work.

    Now, Buck is operated by the fourth generation of the family CJ, and his mother Lori. They continue to innovate and prove the Buck name as one of the best in the international knife market. Their product line is now massive, but each knife is still made with the same care and pride that started the company and their “Forever Warranty” against defects with their products is a testament to this. Whether you’re looking for a survival knife, a skinning blade to use in the field, or just a daily-carry folding knife, Buck has you covered. Let’s check out some of my favourites that we’ve got in stock:

    Buck Folding Hunter 110

    It’s not possible to have a conversation about Buck Knives without the legendary folding hunter coming up. It’s my personal favourite that I carry on the regular, and it’s the reason Buck is so well known today. Al Buck saw the need for a more compact tool that could be carried in the field, and dreamed up a folding hunting blade. The biggest challenge was to make something rugged and sturdy, that hunters could rely on to do some seriously tough jobs, and the folding hunter passes with flying colours.

    The folding hunter comes in a variety of styles, but I love the classic. The wood scales and brass bolsters are incredibly classic, and I love the dad-style belt sheath that this guy comes with. This is the kind of knife I hope to pass down to my kid when she becomes old enough to handle her own knife.

    Buck Ranger

    I love the story of this little guy: The classic buck folder was immensely popular among sailors in the navy, until the captain decreed the blade was too long. Rumour has it, the hunter was used in a knife-fight, hence the decree. As a result the Ranger folding hunter was created. I think this would be a great work knife, and a strong contender for a first knife for a kid or teen.

    Buck Budgie

    Completely different but no less awesome is the Buck Budgie. This modern-looking EDC knife is super reliable and as close to indestructible as it gets. It can be easily opened and closed with one hand, making it the perfect accessible blade to use at work or play. I’m a big fan of folding knives that tuck discreetly into the pocket, and the Budgie is exactly that.

    Buck Skinner Hunting Knife

    Folding knives ain't all that Buck does well, they also make some fantastic fixed blade knives. In fact, my first fixed-blade knife was a Buck very similar to this one! The Buck Skinner is a classic, simple design that’s very comfortable to hold and use. The blade’s size and curved tip makes it excellent at skinning a wide variety of game, and even for use as a camp knife. I love that the sheath locks in the knife with a snap, I always feel secure with that style of holster.

    Buck Ranger Skinning Knife 

    This small, yet effective skinning knife will get any job done in the field. The drop tip is perfect for guiding with your index finger, while the swept blade can easily remove hide without inflicting damage. The more compact blade is perfect for small game and jobs that require a bit more precision and control.

    The folding hunter is my Buck knife of choice, but whatever your style, Buck has a knife for you. If you get the chance to swing by the shop, I implore you to come in and handle a few so you can see just how slick they are. If you can’t make it in, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you pick out the right one online!

    Shop all Buck Knives

    Nathan Gareau
    Nathan Gareau

    A famed cocktologist and axe man, Nathan opened the first Kent of Inglewood store in Calgary, and now spends his days writing most of what you are reading here and teaching straight razor shaving classes. Ask him about his world-famous Three Cherry Manhattan. In his spare time Nathan can be found sharpening his axe, making fermented foods, or practicing his amateur butchering hobby. He doesn't slur his words, he speaks in cursive.

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