Since the Buck Pathfinder only weighs 4.5 ounces, it’s hard to argue that there’s no need to take a full-sized knife with you on your longest walks. The Pathfinder’s streamlined design puts a 5-inch high carbon stainless steel hollow ground blade in your hand with less overall weight and more convenience than many large pocket knives.
The blade design is slender, and the phenolic and stainless steel handle built on the Pathfinder’s rat tail tang is only just large enough for a secure grip. In spite of the light materials, the Pathfinder has the strength you need for camp chores and field dressing game. The seamless build also cleans up well — a feature that’s always missing from a hunting folder. The strong stainless steel finger guard gives hand protection where you need it and still allows comfortable thumb pressure on the back of the blade for fine control.
Heavy brush could snatch a knife this light out of the black leather sheath and you’d never know it — but somebody at Buck already thought about that possibility. A wide snap loop secures the handle of the Pathfinder, locking it securely in place with a simple design that’s one of the best looking you’ll find. Good knives often come in crude sheaths — this one has a sheath that matches the black and silver simplicity of the knife itself. Like most belt knives, the Pathfinder’s designed to hang on the right hip — lefties will have to adapt.
The 420HC stainless steel blade isn’t pry bar strong, but that’s a necessary trade-off in a knife with the practical cutting ability of a heavy hunting knife, without the heavy parts.