Buck knives began as the dream of Hoyt Buck from Kansas. Using file blades that had been worn out, Hoyt was sure he could make a knife hold an edge longer than they were, he just wasn’t sure how. He figured it out, and during World War II, he made a name for himself crafting EDC combat knives that were used by men in the military. More than a few of the Greatest Generation survived exclusively because they had a sharper Buck knife on hand than the blunted blades they were issued.
For all of his marvelous manufacturing prowess, Hoyt Buck is not really the spiritual founder of Buck Knives as it exists today. That distinction falls to his son Al. Al was the one who came up with the 110 folding knife that would eventually become known the world over as the standard Buck knife. While the 110 is incontestably a superb piece of cutlery, the common misconception is that the simple wood-grain folders with brass end caps are all that Buck is about. With the 8 best Buck knives for EDC, we’ve got several reasons you should give Hoyt’s company a second look.
Buck 327 Nobleman
Pro: Curved, ergonomic handle
Con: Left-hand open is nearly impossible
Proper Etiquette: When a gentleman leaves his domicile, he should be prepared for any circumstance to befall him. That means a quality EDC knife that’s not overbearing. Made out of 440A steel and using a traditional drop point blade, the Nobleman is coated in titanium for a less reflective look that is still as dashing and debonair as the knife itself. The handle is stainless steel with a carbon fiber print, giving it a respectable look that also avoids inflating the price. One side of the grip is rubberized so you can choose how you grab it.
Buck 722 Spitfire
Pro: Multiple colors
Con: Minimal jimping
Gut It Out: Just 3 oz in heft, this is a lot of bloody-minded cutting ability for such a small blade. Reminiscent of SpyderCo’s knives, the Spitfire is part of Buck’s rebirth. It’s leaner, lighter, and more vicious than the workaday pocket pieces that one expects from the giant. It uses the same 420HC as many Bucks, but when put into an anodized aluminum handle, trimmed down for concealment, and given an aggressive drop-point, it becomes something far less friendly. The Spitfire stands up admirably when compared with knives many times more expensive, and has greater longevity than many of its peers.
Pro: Most reliable liner lock out there
Con: Unless you modify it, it looks just like everyone else’s 110
Flagship: If you don’t own one of these, then we aren’t sure why you’re reading this list. The 110 was Al’s vision, and the 420HC steel legend that put Buck on the cultural map. Often imitated, never duplicated, the 110 has the same brass bolsters as always, paired with a Dymondwood handle, and Buck’s Forever warranty. A belt sheath of genuine leather gives you a place to stash this everyday, or you can slide it into your pocket for a little easy-going, old school action. It might not be fast, but Buck wrote the book on long-lasting.
Buck 290 Rush
Pro: Holds an edge well
Con: Pocket clip prevents deep carry
Skeletal System: EDC knives should be light and occupy a minimum of space so you can fit more into your pocket. With little more than that idea in mind, Buck’s Rush is an extremely quick piece with a safety lock and a couple inches of 420HC steel. Each handle is bead-blasted aluminum that won’t corrode when being used on the high seas, and gives you a solid grip. Ergonomic grooves help you keep a perfect three-fingered grip, and an assisted opening flange makes the short blade fly out and stick with a secure snap.
Buck Vantage Select
Pro: Torx screws
Con: Wrist flick opening takes time to master
Mathching Mini: The Vantage Select comes in your choice of large or slightly less large. No matter which path you take, you’ll be treated to a glass-reinforced nylon handle, an ovular finger hole for quick flipping, and a reversible stainless steel clip for carrying it tip-up or tip-down. Easy to open with one hand, the TM lock works with steel liners in the handle to reduce weight but increase safety, so the razor-sharp 420HC blade doesn’t come crashing down on your digits.
Buck 847 Vantage Force Pro
Pro: Useful for hunting
Con: Thumb hole is oddly placed
Militant: S30V steel and textured G10 handles have never combined to make a princess castle. When those ingredients are used, you’re getting a semi-tactical knife that is up for anything. The slim handle compared with the bigger blade gives you more control for precise cuts, and makes mortal blows land with deadly swiftness. It runs just under a half-inch in width, which is compact for better concealment, but not so small it will ever get lost in your pockets. CNC machined and bearing easy flipper action, this is a fighter, a fixer, and an easy EDC.
Buck 830 Marksman Tactical
Pro: Ball-bearing flipper
Con: One-handed closing is difficult
Live Long and Slaughter: Rather than choosing their standard steel, Buck went with a 154CM when they made the Marksman. The result is heavy edge retention that requires fewer trips across the whetstone or the strop to stay in fighting shape. For more solid locking, Buck spoke to experts Grant and Gavin Hawk, who put in an SLS (Strong Locking System) which works great, no matter how simplistic the name is. It’s geared for use by those who have one finger on the trigger, so it comes out fast and nasty.
TOPS x Buck CSAR-T
Pro: Includes basic driver set
Con: Overkill for average EDC
Perfect Blend: Made for field survival by people who live, work, and play in some of the most dangerous regions in the world, the CSAR-T combines TOPS technical know-how with Buck’s timeless dedication to true quality. At the perfect intersection of practical and tactical, this is both the best knife you could use for hard labor under the noonday sun, and for when you’re under fire in the so-called DMZ. The blade is 154CM Steel and the handles are G10, but there’s more to this knife than the surface. Several drivers hide in the handle for when you need to do gear repairs before the next firefight.
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