Buck 110 Automatic Lockback Knife
Knives are some of humanities oldest tools and we've gotten pretty good at making them along the way. In recent times there have been a few that have stood out from the rest, and some that have become legendary.
One such modern legend is the Buck 110 Folding Knife.
The Buck family has been making knives for 4 generations, with their first over 100 years ago in 1902. Al Buck, the son of the founder Hoyt, created the first 110 folder in 1964, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The official knife of the BSA, the 110 is a veritable standard in American society.
Dare we "review" such a knife? No, that would be beneath its heritage and a little too presumptuous for us.
Instead we would like to celebrate it, and introduce you to one of its newer incarnations; an improvement on the original classic design: The Buck 110 Automatic Lockback Knife
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We don't normally do nostalgia much around here, but with this particular product I think we should speak to the legacy of the Buck 110 for a moment.
Many of you reading this have probably used this blade, or had a family member who had/has one, or had a knock-off model at some point.
Since we tend to skew our conversations around here towards emergency planning, then we should point out there is something to be said about the sense of well-being that tradition and familiarity can bring to people during stressful times.
Having the same dependable knife that your Dad had, or that you had around growing up can be of immense comfort when the chips are down. I know that might sound trite, but there are some of you out there that know exactly what I'm talking about.
Anyways here is a little video about the heritage of this particular knife.
The Buck 110's design lends itself to a multitude of uses but its original intent was to offer Outdoorsmen and women an alternative to full-tang knives for field dressing game.
Millions of this kind of knife have been produced, sold, and used for the last 50 years and there is a reason for that: it does what it needs to do very well, and it's darn handsome to boot.
What makes this version of the Buck 110 interesting is the addition of a button which activates a retention spring and opens the blade with a quick press. This allows for simple and fast one-handed opening.
Once the blade opens fully it very securely locks into place.
At the time the blade was originally introduced it boasted the worlds strongest and safest lock, ensuring that the blade wouldn't fold back on itself until you closed it. That design still holds up and does the job as it should.
In order to release the blade back into the handle, you push the steel rocker on the top of the handle. It's very difficult to press inadvertently but easy to do so when you need to.
The blade is made from plain Jane 420HC steel turned superhuman by the addition of the Paul Bos heat treatment and performance test. It is tempered to the right Rockwell Hardness via heating, freezing and reheating.
This improves the lifespan of the blade. It supposedly makes the blade easier to sharpen, although some have noted that the blade is not the friendliest in the world to sharpen.
That's generally OK because it holds its edge quite well anyway. Still, practice it. Knife sharpening isn't hard and a very good skill to have.
The crescent tip is well suited for small detailed work, like making small holes or cuts. Its not as tough as the rest of the blade, so treat it with some care.
The 420HC Steel is also nicely corrosion resistant, so it doesn't require a whole lot of care.
NOTE: since this is a spring loaded blade, it might not be legal where you live. Do your homework before you buy one!
The Buck 110 design defined a genre and has been copied throughout the world since it's introduction. It's considered a classic, and it isn't hard to see why.
It's made with very durable materials and each knife has its own look and feel thanks to the fact that they have Crelicam Ebony Hardwood handles and solid brass for the grip. I think the more you use your 110 the better it looks.
The handle is ergonomic and easy to grip and hold, even when wet.
I've lined up 3 of our new blades together to give you a perspective on size and shape.
The ESEE-4 full tang, the Buck 110, and a Benchmade 940-2. They each represent different use cases but are more or less the same size.
The Buck 110 will fit in a pocket, but it's a little bulky in there, and there isn't a clip on it to hold it vertically. Thankfully it comes with a nice leather belt sheath to live in. The sheath also makes sure that you don't accidentally hit the opening button.
If you are looking for a classic knife that has stood the test of time and that has been used millions of times over decades, well then the Buck 110 is the right knife for you, whether you go for the Automatic Lockback or the traditional model.
Its heritage speaks for itself, and it can be passed along to your family over generations. What higher praise is there than that?
Where to Get One
Typical Price: $150
The 110 Automatic is quickly deployed with a simple press of the firing button. This knife is equipped with a 420HC stainless steel blade in a satin finish.
Its handle is made with an eye-catching combination of genuine ebony and brass bolsters.
Includes a genuine leather sheath designed to prevent deployment when removing the knife.
- Cryogenically treated blade offers improved edge retention.
- Friction fit leather sheath for secure carry and storage.
- Push button automatic deployment allows fast, one-handed operation.