Knife Features

BLADE FEATURES

Serrated vs. Non-serrated Blades

Serrated

Serrations create a semi-saw on the sharp side of the blade. Ideal for a more aggressive cutting action like cutting wet line, cable or cord. Very popular depending on the use of the knife. The serrations also retain their ability to cut longer than a standard edge.

Non-serrated

The number one choice for a clean, precision cut. These blades also have a greater initial sharpness.

Partially serrated

A partially serrated blade offers both aggressive cutting action and precision.

Gutting/Skinning Hook

For great performance when field dressing game, a gut or skinning hook is an ideal tool. We’ve paid careful attention to the angles on the sharpened edge, shape and size of the entry opening and location of the hook on the blade, making a Buck gut hook the best.

BLADE SHAPES

There are many options out there. You'll find some of the most common blade configurations explained here.

Clip

The clip refers to the length and angle of the concave curve on the non-cutting portion of the point of the blade. A regular ‘clip’ has a short, pronounced curve. A “California clip has a longer, gentler curve. The “Turkish clip” has a very elongated curve.

While the point of the blade is effective for detail work, it’s not as strong as the thicker part of the blade.

Modified Clip

A very popular design with high-tech, one-hand opener knives. Shapes vary.

Drop-Point

This blade has a gentle, sloping convex curve to the point versus the concave curve of the clip blade. Being thicker, this blade point is stronger for heavier tasks. It stands up to abuse well, but isn’t as effective for easy penetration.

Additional Blade Shapes

Sheepsfoot

This blade gets its name from the shape of the point, which resembles sheep’s hoof. The distinctive, flat, straight-line cutting edge and rounded point gives a clean cut, especially on a flat surface.

Spey

Just like it sounds, this blade was originally developed to spey farm animals. The somewhat blunt point avoids poking through a surface and the overall blade configuration is well suited for skinning sweeping knife strokes.

Pen or Spear

Spear points are more popular in Europe, while in America the clip blade is the preferred option. This is an example of a smaller version of the larger “spear point” blade. Typically, you’ll find a “pen” blade on pocket knives. It’s a handy, all purpose blade originally developed to trim quill pens.

Coping

A narrow blade with a sharp, angular point, almost like a miniature sheepsfoot blade. The coping blade is designed to be used for cutting in tight spots or curved patterns, much as you would with a coping saw, only without the teeth.

Tanto

The “tanto” comes from a traditional Japanese design dating back to feudal Japan. The angled grind from the edge to the tip is much heavier and stronger than other blade styles. It is used for piercing hard/tough materials as well as prying or scraping.

TYPES OF BLADE STEELS

No matter how good the blade steel, there are always trade-offs. Corrosion-resistance vs. edge-retention. Edge-retention vs. sharpening ability.

Take S30V Steel. It provides the very best in edge retention and tensile strength, but is more difficult to re-sharpen and needs proper care. 17-7PH Steel resists extreme corrosion like salt water, but can’t match the edge retention of harder steels.

S30V

This is the absolute best blade steel available and it's made in America. S30V contains carbon as well as high amounts of chromium, molybdenum and vanadium. Double-tempered – it can be hardened to a Rockwell hardness of RC 59.5-61.

BG-42 Steel

An extremely high-performance, bearing grade, martensitic stainless steel with significantly more carbon and molybdenum plus vanadium for improved edge retention and strength – it can be hardened to Rockwell hardness of Rc 61-62.

ATS-34 Steel

A very high carbon, chromium martensitic stainless steel, with additional amounts of carbon and molybdenum that add significant edge-holding properties and corrosion resistance. This steel can be hardened to Rockwell hardness of Rc 60-61.

420HC Steel

This is Buck’s standard blade material because it combines the excellent wear resistance of high carbon alloys with the corrosion resistance of chromium stainless steels. Add our exclusive heat-treat process for superior corrosion resistance and you have excellent tensile strength, hardness and wear resistance. 420HC Steel is a High Carbon (HC) version of standard 420 martensitic stainless steels – they can be can be hardened to a Rockwell hardness of Rc 58.

17-7PH Steel

This steel is excellent for water sports applications. It has high saltwater corrosion resistance and better edge retention than austenitic stainless steel. 17-7PH is defined as a chromium-nickel-aluminum precipitation hardening stainless steel, a process that develops hardness at relatively low temperatures, allowing hardening with very little distortion. It can be hardened to a Rockwell hardness of Rc 54-56.

HANDLE MATERIALS

At Buck, we believe there’s a perfect handle for every knife. Our job is to bring them together in the highest performing, best looking combination.

Wood

We use beautifully grained natural woods and laminated dyed birch wood for more traditional knives (such as the 110 Folding Hunter). We also use distinctive woods like Cocobola for its rich coloring, and Obechee with its unusually dark grained look. These woods are treated with an environmentally sound resin to protect their natural beauty.

Horn/Antler

authentic horn and antler add a distinctive, natural look to any handle. They can be inlayed or hand-carved. Buck's black buffalo horn for example has been carved to replicate the natural grooves of Impala horn.

Phenolic

Practically indestructible, this hard, ebony-colored compound is nearly impervious to heat, cold and shock. This type of handle is ideal for a fixed blade knife because it can withstand vigorous use.

Plastics

Buck uses various engineering-quality thermoplastics, including a molded plastic with a hard, textured surface and a rubber-like plastic with a textured finish. On some models, we use a two-shot molding method, combining a hard, glass-reinforced thermoplastic base with soft Dynaflex® to create a two-tone, sure-grip comfortable handle.

Aluminum

High-tech aircraft-grade aluminum 6061 T-6, machined from solid sheet stock creates a lightweight, durable handle. The aluminum can be anodized in a solid color or with patterns and pictures. You can even have original artwork anodized on the handle, thanks to our unique process.

Kraton®

Ideal for fish fillet knives, Kraton is a slightly pliant plastic, fully resilient when dry and tacky when wet. So you can count on a sure grip and maximum comfort.

G10

This virtually indestructible laminate is a perfect fit for our super tough Buck Striker tactical knives. G10 is resistant to heat, cold, chemicals, impact and abuse.

Titanium

An amazingly strong but surprisingly lightweight material; as close to corrosion free as you can get.

TYPES OF KNIVES

Fixed-Blade Knives

There are no surprises with a fixed-blade. Simply put, a fixed-blade is a solid piece of steel, anchored to the handle without any folding mechanisms. It’s durable and holds up well against the elements. So it’s ideal for tough jobs like field dressing and camping chores. This is a knife you can trust.

A fixed-blade is one piece of steel running the length of the knife. When it reaches the handle the metal will taper into a “rat-tail” that is surrounded by the handle or continue as a tang that is covered on either side by handle "slabs."

Folding Knives

Folding knives may not be the most durable of knives, but they’re a fine bet for safety and convenience because the knife folds into the handle. There are several configurations to choose from. Locking folders for example, have the durability of a fixed blade but let you close the blade into the handle.

Pocket Knife

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned pocket knife. Not all models lock open, but that’s not critical considering how practical and versatile pocket knives are.

Lockback Knives

A “lockback” works like a fixed-blade with the added benefit of folding into the handle for safety and convenience. The lockback gets its name from the rocking lock plate visible on the back of the handle. Opening the blade causes the rocker to lock against the blade, locking it open. To release the “lock,” simply push down on the rocker at the back of the handle. Closing usually requires two hands, though there are one-hand openers, which are ideal for activities like climbing where only one hand is free.

Liner Locker – One-Hander

A “Liner Lock” is a folding “lockback” knife you can open and close with one hand. A thumb-hole or thumb-stud opens the blade. It locks open using a tensioned metal liner inside the handle. To release the blade, place your thumb on the front part of the liner and push to the left.

Frame Lock – One-Hander

A “Frame Lock” is a one-hand opening knife. Only the lock is a tensioned part of the handle frame with an open channel. When the blade opens, the frame lock moved into the handle opening, locking against the blade. To release, push the liner to the left.

The Buck Assisted Opening Knife

This is the ultimate in one-hand openers. A ‘liner lock’ locks the blade open. To open, release the safety, then push the blade release ridge. After the blade starts opening, the assisted opening mechanism (ASAP)* completes the blade opening, which releases the liner to lock the blade open. To close, push left on the front of the liner lock releasing the lock. Close the blade and engage the safety on top of the handle.

Buck's ASAP Technology™

Offers a higher level of safety than automatic knives (switchblade type). Our two-stage action of releasing the safety, then opening the blade is far safer. Automatic knives on the other hand, typically use gravity alone or a button/lever in the handle to release the spring mechanism opening the blade from a fully closed position.

Due to the complex and changing nature of knife laws, it is your responsibility as a knife user to investigate whether the purchase, possession and use of Assisted Opening Knife complies with federal, state and local knife laws.