Obscure Object of Desire: Bucklehead Belt Knife

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A while back, TTAK Managing Editor Chris Dumm waxed nostalgic and reviewed his beloved Gerber Touche belt buckle knife.  His bottom line was that the Touche was more of a ” ingenious novelty” than a truly functional knife.  It wasn’t particularly robust, it lacked a locking mechanism, it was mystery metal, but none of this changes the fact that it is one of the most cherished pieces in Chris’s collection.  Designer Greg Gillespie has taken Gerber’s design and brought the buckle-knife into the 21st century, and has seemingly alleviated many of the Touche’s shortcomings.

Gillespie markets the Bucklehead as “the Worlds Fastest Knife”.  While there may be some debate about this, judging by his YouTube demonstration video, he certainly makes a case for consideration.

The Bucklehead looks at first glance like any other bad-ass metal custom belt buckle.  Gillespie got his start as a custom engraver and in addition to his stock designs he will customize your buckle/knife combo with any manner of skulls, motorcycles, flags, and more – if that is your thing.

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The knife is held to the buckle with a powerful cobalt magnet.

The knife is held to the buckle with a powerful cobalt magnet and opens quickly with a thumb knob.  There is a line-lock mechanism which alone makes it an improvement over the Gerber.  The blade is a fraction under 2.5″ and is made from either 410 or 440c Stainless steel depending on the model you choose.  The buckle belt post is steel (unlike the Gerber) and overall the knife itself looks to be solid as well.  It certainly looks as if the  ergonomics are as good as any knife of similar size.

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The Bucklehead 3 5/8″ long and 5 1/2 oz.

The Bucklehead knife is a unique blend of form and function.  By all accounts, it seems like a solid knife in a stylish package.  It isn’t cheap, the stock designs run in the $110 range.  I am not sure I am ready to take the plunge at that price, but I know folks who would love to have a knife like this as part of their kit.  I certainly would love to check one out in person.

comments

  1. Matt in FL says:

    The magnet may be “powerful,” but the ease with which he stripped the knife off the buckle makes me wonder how well it would stand up to actual use, like being bumped by a box you’re carrying or a counter you lean against.

    1. You make a valid point. The front of the buckle has a lip so the knife must be lifted as well as pulled. As I said, I have not seen the knife in person though I would like to. In my experience with rare-earth magnets, one that size would be fairly strong. Between the lip and the magnet, the knife is actually slid upwards as opposed to pulled “out” from the buckle.

      The designer actually refers to the buckle as a “holster” rather than a sheath. Whether or not this is actually wishful thinking I can’t say.

      1. Matt in FL says:

        You’re right about rare earth magnets, but that isn’t one of them, or at least not one of the good ones. The first time he demos it close up, at 0:24 in the video, he clearly tilts it away from the buckle before pulling it away. My buddy has been playing with building small electric motors, and he’s got rare earth magnets that are less than half the diameter of the one on that knife, and you can’t “peel” them apart, you can only slide them. If you stuck one of my friend’s magnets on that knife, the only way you’d get it off the buckle would be to stick another knife behind it and pry it away.

        In any case, it’s a neat concept, but I’d definitely have to see it in person before I spent $110 on it.

        1. “In any case, it’s a neat concept, but I’d definitely have to see it in person before I spent $110 on it.”

          I agree entirely.

          I might think differently if I didn’t already EDC 2 knives. Or if I rode a motorcycle and wore a large belt buckle.

          What motivated me to write this was Chris’s review of his Gerber. Whatever one thinks of the price or magnet/retention system, the knife itself seems to be a considerable improvement in terms of functionality.

          Thanks for reading!

  2. Dopefish says:

    I carried one of these for the last 5 years and it is a great tool. I’m a steam fitter and in any construction job it’s always handy to have sharp blade. In response to everyone’s concerns, it is difficult to accede fly get the knife out of the buckle. The strength of the magent is something they clearly played with. It is just strong enough to keep is sitting tight and just weak enough to make removing the knife easy. One note, if you are squeezing between metal studs, it can come out and stick to the stud. I once found my knife 2 days after “losing” it in side a wall.

  3. Gary Miller says:

    I just received mine today, it is made very well, nice job, the hook is plenty tough it should hold up better then most buckles, the design of mine is the flames and skull i have a friend that has a knife buckle ( ? kind ) he has had it for years. it is so handy and you don`t need one more thing in your pocket. or hanging on your belt. you already need a buckle and it is smaller then a lot of the harley buckles i have. worth the money.

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Obscure Object of Desire: Bucklehead Belt Knife

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