Buck knives are so familiar to Americans that many of us do think it’s a type of knife instead of a company name. Buck knives aren’t just for deer hunters, although hunting and skinning knives do make up a large part of their business. Buck gained an early reputation as a maker of affordable knives of high quality, with blades that you could hone razor sharp with confidence they’d stay that way. If you buy a Buck knife you’ll own it for a long time — the company also sells replacement sheaths, because people carry Bucks long enough to wear the leather out.
Hoyt Buck made the first Buck knife while still a blacksmith’s apprentice in 1902 Kansas. Hoyt invented a new tempering method which produced steel blades that held an edge longer than other knives of the day. Hoyt used old files as stock for his knives, grinding and tempering each one personally. After WWII in 1947, Hoyt and his son Al moved to San Diego and went into business together. Al Buck’s 1967 invention, the Buck 110 Folding Hunter, became a mainstay of the company’s business. Today the Buck family still owns and operates the company. Josh Buck, a member of the fifth generation of the family to work in the business, recently designed the Gen-5 Skinner, a modern interpretation of his great-grandfather’s good ideas.
Buck’s fixed blade hunting knives would probably be the company’s best known products, but from WWII onward the Buck family also produced quality tactical knives, with many offerings in both fixed blade and folding patterns today. Buck’s focus on outdoor knives led to innovations like lockback and one-handed opening systems. Those conveniences enhance many Buck products designed for professional search and rescue workers as well as outdoorsmen looking for a better blade. The Buck Rush uses assisted opening for even faster one-handed operation. Buck’s limited edition series has the collector in mind and employs the unique skills of artisans like David Yellowhorse. You’ll find a few multi-tools and hatchets in the catalog as well.