My New Knife : A True American Classic

Shootist43

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Poton, I bought my Buck 110 back in 1975. It has resided in what we call "our success kit" for quite a few years now. That kit contains everything we use to field dress a deer. I try to remember to put a good carbon steel knife into the "success kit" prior to the first hunt every year. But there have been times that I forgot to do so. The Buck 110 is always there and ready for use if need be. In truth although it was never the best knife one could own and or use, it has always been and will continue to be a good one.
 

Ridgewalker

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Having been in the knife industry for 3 1/2 years in the mid 1980s I met many times with designers and engineers from Buck, Gerber, Case, Imperial Schrade, Lansky, Norton, and others. The ACA (American Cutlery Association) had get togethers at different locations. Very enjoyable with just a touch of competition thrown in.
I was the manufacturing engineer for Western Cutlery, then the oldest knife company west of the Mississippi River.
Strangely of all the knives I’ve owned, none have been Buck!
Most of mine during that time were prototype models. Including special runs yearly for the Wyoming One Shot Antelope Hunt in Lander. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend one where I presented the custom knives to each of the 25 shooters and the governor. I got to meet some very interesting people including Roy Rogers (even in his late 70s he could consistently hit the steel ram at 400 yards off hand!) and Guy Madison (another TV cowboy). Enough nostalgia.

Like Redleg, a drop point has always worked better for me for eviscerating and skinning. As a hunting knife I vastly prefer fixed blades. Stronger, better grips for control, and easier sharpening control. I also prefer a horizontal belt sheath.

Sharpening I can do with a double sided (coarse, fine) 8-10” stone (the longer, the easier), a home made leather strop (for fine shaving edges), and a chef’s steel (for most edges). I rarely get shaving sharp except for special very thin delicate blades. I feel it’s not normally needed for 90% of cutting situations.
I also like sharpening using a wheel made of MDF on a grinder along with jeweller’s rouge. Absolutely the fastest way to sharpen outside of production sharpening equipment.

A little insight I have found is if you steel after a few cuts and never allow the blade to get very dull, you can go a very long time without heavy resharpening. This is why you often see butchers steeling between very little cutting. JME

I’ve rattled on enough. Interesting thread Poton. Thanks for everyone’s patience allowing me to jabber!
 

Major Khan

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Having been in the knife industry for 3 1/2 years in the mid 1980s I met many times with designers and engineers from Buck, Gerber, Case, Imperial Schrade, Lansky, Norton, and others. The ACA (American Cutlery Association) had get togethers at different locations. Very enjoyable with just a touch of competition thrown in.
I was the manufacturing engineer for Western Cutlery, then the oldest knife company west of the Mississippi River.
Strangely of all the knives I’ve owned, none have been Buck!
Most of mine during that time were prototype models. Including special runs yearly for the Wyoming One Shot Antelope Hunt in Lander. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend one where I presented the custom knives to each of the 25 shooters and the governor. I got to meet some very interesting people including Roy Rogers (even in his late 70s he could consistently hit the steel ram at 400 yards off hand!) and Guy Madison (another TV cowboy). Enough nostalgia.

Like Redleg, a drop point has always worked better for me for eviscerating and skinning. As a hunting knife I vastly prefer fixed blades. Stronger, better grips for control, and easier sharpening control. I also prefer a horizontal belt sheath.

Sharpening I can do with a double sided (coarse, fine) 8-10” stone (the longer, the easier), a home made leather strop (for fine shaving edges), and a chef’s steel (for most edges). I rarely get shaving sharp except for special very thin delicate blades. I feel it’s not normally needed for 90% of cutting situations.
I also like sharpening using a wheel made of MDF on a grinder along with jeweller’s rouge. Absolutely the fastest way to sharpen outside of production sharpening equipment.

A little insight I have found is if you steel after a few cuts and never allow the blade to get very dull, you can go a very long time without heavy resharpening. This is why you often see butchers steeling between very little cutting. JME

I’ve rattled on enough. Interesting thread Poton. Thanks for everyone’s patience allowing me to jabber!
I consider it an absolute privilege to read you jabber , Ridge Walker ! I never ( even for 1 moment ) imagined that you were in the knife industry . Are you , by any chance familiar with the work of a North Carolina based custom knife maker named Mr. Robert Parrish ? He used to make hollow handle survival knives out of 440C stainless steel , which was labeled the “ survivor “ series . I used to personally own 1 of his knives which I purchased in 1984 . It used to have saw shaped “ teeth “ on 1 side of the blade . I have been attempting to contact him for several years now , because I would very much like him to make me another .
 

Shootist43

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Ridgewalker

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Poton take a look at this https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Ro...598457?hash=item4b758b1d39:g:Z-oAAOSwUyZeYa~y
This was not the most expensive one being offered for sale. You obviously have good taste.

WOW! Not in my price range!

Poton, now I have heard of him!(y) There are thousands of custom knife makers here in the US, so it’s not surprising I’ve never heard of him. Survival knives aren’t as popular now. “Bush knives” seem to have taken their place. Still a type of survival knife only without all the addition of saw, compass, hammer pomel, storage, etc. Now they are focused more on hacking, feather fire starter, baton, etc.
 

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Just saw an ad for Outdoor Edge knives which reminded me. The young man (back in the mid 1980s) who started Outdoor Edge knives came in to Western Cutlery to see if we would OEM his designs. He was very nervous that we would steel his design and was hesitant to show it to me. Finally he did after much reassurance on my part. It was similar to an Eskimo Ulu only of very thick steel. We had an overhead knuckle 100T punch press, our largest, we used to stamp Bowie Knives’s and hatchets. I tried to explain to him the changes he would have to make in his design before we could stamp it. He left dejected that we couldn’t make his design. Never heard from him again, nor have I ever seen his design made.
It appears he came up with a lot of other designs that he has done well with, though none “turn my dial”, or is that “push my button”, “light my fire”, “ flip my switch”?
 

Von Gruff

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. Flat grind blades are the easiest to sharpen in the field . A carbon steel knife is extremely easy to sharpen and can take an extremely keen edge quite quickly . I used to own a Sheffield Navy clasp knife during my youth and it used to have a carbon steel blade . You could get it razor sharp , just by sharpening it on a common Ganges River rock and then stropping it a few times on a coarse piece of leather
I do have to point out that in general, manufacturers will HT blades to a lower hardness for the very reason you state in your post in that they are easy to sharpen as the majority of people are not known for knife sharpening skills. Carbon steel blades can be made hard as to make them hold an edge for a very long time but they do need good sharpening skills to keep sharp or bring back an edge after prolonged use. Production knives are/were often in the 54-56 Rockwell and that makes for easy sharpening but short life for the edge. There are varieties of cutlery steel both carbon and various levels of stainless that have vastly different properties so it comes down to what the maker wants to offer, the heat treating capabilities in the shop and what the customers expect from the knives they buy for use in the field. Even the simplest suitable knifemaking steel can be made to perform exceptionally well with the correct HT but there are properties within the steels that offer differences to the end user depending on intended usage. ALL blades will dull with prolonged use so there is a balance the maker looks for between edge holding and sharpening ease but as has been said there are some very good portable sharpening aids available now that should a knife need sharpening in the field then even the best HT crucible steels HT for the max edge holding will be able to be kept very sharp indeed.
https://www.bladehq.com/cat--Best-Knife-Steel-Guide--3368#o1
 

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Mekaniks

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It is pleasant to know that you have such nostalgic memories with your Buck Model 110 lock back folding knives , Mekaniks . Did you ever have the broken tip of your very 1st Buck Model 110 lock back folding knife re ground ?

No I didn't have it reground. Just bought a new one and kept the old one also. I pretty much quit using them when I started hunting in Alaska and around the saltwater. The 110 does not favor saltwater as well like many of the newer, less classic knives.

The top knife is my original that I bought in the early-mid 70's and carried for years and a teenager. I broke the tip off in the early 90's and bought the bottom knife as replacement a couple years later.

IMG_3956.JPG
 

375 Ruger Fan

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Sharpening a knife blade is something that only (or should only) need to be done on a very irregular basis if it has any decent steel that has been heat treated to bring out its best attributes. Some steels are easy to sharpen but loose the edge quickly while others are harder to get an edge but maintain it for much longer.. In general use a good blade should be good for a few animals in the field without anything other than a few strokes of a plain smooth steel (or the edge of the vehicle window will also do) to clean the animal membrane from the edge and the knife will feel sharp again.

I think we just discovered a transmission method of coronavirus! :whistle:
 

fourfive8

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Thank you so much , Four Five Eight ! Did you modify the blade profile of the Buck Model 102 sheath knife yourself ? Or did you have a custom knife maker alter the blade profile ( such as Tom Krein who works on Spyderco Knives ) ? It looks quite professionally done . I am partial to the Spyderco Sharp Maker myself , for sharpening all of my knives.
I invariably put a strip of Skate Board Grip Tape on the handles of all of my knives , because that makes the knife easier to grip in wet environments .

Major Khan,
Yes, modified it myself. Used a coarse wheel grinder and coarse belt sander.... very slowly and carefully so as not to build up heat and ruin temper. Slow use of coarse is better for keeping it cool to get basic shape. Then finer sand paper for final finish. It's not a mirror finish but is plenty smooth and the contour is best for my taste. And yes as you and Wyatt Smith pointed out, those older Bucks have the smooth synthetic handles. Have to be very careful when wet or greasy during use. I actually checkered the handle on one of my other Buck's- seems to work well. Grip tape or other spray-on or paint-on surface prep will also work.
 

Skinnersblade

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Having been in the knife industry for 3 1/2 years in the mid 1980s I met many times with designers and engineers from Buck, Gerber, Case, Imperial Schrade, Lansky, Norton, and others. The ACA (American Cutlery Association) had get togethers at different locations. Very enjoyable with just a touch of competition thrown in.
I was the manufacturing engineer for Western Cutlery, then the oldest knife company west of the Mississippi River.
Strangely of all the knives I’ve owned, none have been Buck!
Most of mine during that time were prototype models. Including special runs yearly for the Wyoming One Shot Antelope Hunt in Lander. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend one where I presented the custom knives to each of the 25 shooters and the governor. I got to meet some very interesting people including Roy Rogers (even in his late 70s he could consistently hit the steel ram at 400 yards off hand!) and Guy Madison (another TV cowboy). Enough nostalgia.

Like Redleg, a drop point has always worked better for me for eviscerating and skinning. As a hunting knife I vastly prefer fixed blades. Stronger, better grips for control, and easier sharpening control. I also prefer a horizontal belt sheath.

Sharpening I can do with a double sided (coarse, fine) 8-10” stone (the longer, the easier), a home made leather strop (for fine shaving edges), and a chef’s steel (for most edges). I rarely get shaving sharp except for special very thin delicate blades. I feel it’s not normally needed for 90% of cutting situations.
I also like sharpening using a wheel made of MDF on a grinder along with jeweller’s rouge. Absolutely the fastest way to sharpen outside of production sharpening equipment.

A little insight I have found is if you steel after a few cuts and never allow the blade to get very dull, you can go a very long time without heavy resharpening. This is why you often see butchers steeling between very little cutting. JME

I’ve rattled on enough. Interesting thread Poton. Thanks for everyone’s patience allowing me to jabber!

Father was a butcher for many years until his health didn't allow it an more, he steeled almost compulsively it was a fluid motion between cuts and steel that he didn't ever seem to realize he made.
 

leslie hetrick

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i own and use quite a few knivies it the hunting woods and along streams and rivers and several have been buck made. but this knife was a gift from a very good friend that is just to big for my field use and as been just stored away for the last 18 years, its a 100 year knife 1902-2002 model 119. a buck model 500 with a 3 " blade is more my style, fits in your pocket and is suitable for 90 percent of my field use.

DSCN0458 (2).JPG
DSCN0460 (2).JPG
 
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Major Khan

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i own and use quite a few knivies it the hunting woods and along streams and rivers and several have been buck made. but this knife was a gift from a very good friend that is just to big for my field use and as been just stored away for the last 18 years, its a 100 year knife 1902-2002 model 119. a buck model 500 with a 3 " blade is more my style, fits in your pocket and is suitable for 90 percent of my field use.

View attachment 337756 View attachment 337757
I have seen this model in the shop as well , Leslie Hetrick . It looks like an excellent piece. The fixed blade knives which I use the MOST in the shikar field , are made by the American company , Gerber . My folding knives are predominantly Victorionox knives , Case knives , Spyderco knives and from now onwards ... This beautiful Buck Model 110 lock back folding knife.
 

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My son has a Buck knife. Not sure of the model. He wanted one for Christmas one year and there were 2 models and of course he liked the dearer one. he offered to pay the difference.
I just ordered it later and got him the one he wanted.
 

sestoppelman

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Major, nice knife. A classic. Here is one you will likely not come across as its the only one I have seen. Don't even remember where I found it. But its a nice hunting knife by Buck called the Big Sky. I have carried it hunting, even in Africa.
About the 440 steel. It can be a bear to sharpen, but not impossible.
IMG_5517.JPG
 
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View attachment 336977

Alongside having a proper rifle and/or shot gun for use in the shikar field ... it is an inescapable fact that every sports man must always carry a dependable knife for field use . Ever since I was a child , I have always gravitated towards folding knives and have always carried 1 in my pocket no matter where I go . I always would carry a Sheffield Navy clasp knife in my youth and throughout my career , which was a gift from my maternal grand father , Sepoy Jalaluddin Khan . The knife served me extremely well and the carbon steel blade could take an extremely keen edge just by sharpening it on a common Ganges River rock and then stropping it on a piece of coarse leather . However , it needed to constantly be kept well oiled in order to prevent corrosion and needed to be sharpened fairly frequently .
My American shikar partner , the late Tobin Stakkatz used a different sort of knife , however . It was a Buck Model 110 lock back folding knife , with 440C stainless steel blade . It would hold an edge long enough to skin 2 sambhur deer without needing re sharpening. However , it was extremely difficult to sharpen , as the blade was extremely hard . I aspired to own a knife like that someday . However , during my entire career as a professional shikaree , I had to make do with the Sheffield Navy clasp knife and a local Indian “ Rampuri Chaku “ folding knives , which used blades made from the leaf springs of motor vehicles.
After I retired and moved to Bangladesh , I purchased several other knives from different companies over the years to add to my shikar kit and collection , including Finnish Pukko knives , Victorionox Swiss Army knives and Gerber knives . However , Buck Knives were not imported in to Bangladesh for many years and for some reason , whenever I would go to America for touring ... I never really had the good fortune to visit any sporting goods shops , which carried Buck knives .
Today , I went to “ Mizan & Sons Fishing Co. “ ( 1 of Bangladesh’s oldest shops , which sells fishing equipment ) to purchase a new length of fishing line and my eyes fell casually upon the display case , which held all the knives for sale. There was a modest selection of Buck knives in the display case ! The owner told me that his shop had recently begun to import Buck knives in to Bangladesh for his customers . I saw a beautiful Buck Model 110 lock back folding knife , which came with a black leather pouch and I knew that I absolutely HAD to have it .The price being no problem whatsoever .... I am now the proud new owner of a Buck Model 110 and I look forward to the ( hopefully ) many years of service which this knife can give me . It came razor sharp straight out of the box .
View attachment 337078

Do any of you fine gentlemen have a fondness for Buck Knives , as well ? And does anyone here know how to re sharpen a 440C stainless steel blade ? My general sharpening experience is fair. However , I have never personally sharpened a 440C stainless steel blade before .
Friend Ponton
As I've got older I work more with my head. Instead of using a sharpening stone I now use the Ken Onion knife sharpener. It will sharpen any knife at the angles you want in minutes.
20200426_074829.jpg

It operates on a system of belts from course to very very fine. What I like is it doesn't take off lots of metal and is quick and easy. It will sharpen your Buck 110 in minutes.
Keep safe and well my Friend
Bob Nelson
 

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