Hunting, Fishing, & Bushcraft

Classic Knife Review: Buck 110 Folding Hunter

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

Few knives are as iconic as the Buck 110 Folding Hunter. Its design is so elegant and timeless that it seems like it’s been around forever, while still feeling contemporary at the same time. Hard statistics are scarce, of course, but the Buck 110 has probably field-dressed more game than any other single knife of the last half-century.

The second knife I ever owned (after a Victorinox Tinker) was a dismal Pakistani knockoff of the Buck 110 because I couldn’t afford the real thing. More than 30 years later I finally treated myself to the original, and I really shouldn’t have waited so long.

Overview

Buck has sold millions of 110s, and millions of words have been written about them. In case you’ve been living in a fallout shelter since the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Buck 110 is a lockback folding knife with a brass frame and bolsters, and wooden scales.

Buck designed the knife in 1963 as a folding hunting knife with a mid-sized blade that couldn’t fold closed on your fingers. The lock was reported to be the world’s strongest and safest knife lock at the time, although some of them have failed over the years.

Blade

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

The 110 Folding Hunter wears a 3.75″ hollow-ground clip point blade with a sharp swedge on the reverse of the clip.  The blade uses plain 420HC stainless steel,which in most applications is a so-so performer at best. After a heat treatment from industry legend Paul Bos, however, that ho-hum 420HC punches well above its weight and performs almost like a higher-priced supersteel with a hardness of HRC 58-60.

It there’s a weakness to the Buck 110’s blade design, it’s the thin and rather delicate tip. There are a lot of old 110s out there that have been hand-ground down to 3.5″ after their tips snapped off.

Image: Chris Dumm

Other knife makers have learned from the Buck 110’s history. Many newer clip-point designs, like this Cold Steel Mackinac Hunter, have strongly reinforced tips.

Opening

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

The Buck 110’s blade has a right-handed nail nick for two-handed opening. The nick is just large enough to catch with your right thumb, but this method of opening is awkward and a little unsafe unless you’ve got huge hands. If your needs require one-handed opening, there are aftermarket thumb studs that clamp onto the spine of the blade. In my opinion, however, this old cowboy works best in its original ‘single action’ mode like a Colt SAA.

Here’s why: Unlike newer liner-lock knives, the 110 has a fairly stiff closure spring; it’s the same stiff spring which forces the lock closed and keeps it locked. It requires a lot of leverage to open the blade against this spring pressure, and this is why the nail nick is so far forward on the blade. Aftermarket thumb studs also have to be mounted fairly far forward, and they start to interfere with cutting.

Regardless of my tastes, many owners swear by their 110 thumb studs, and they’re easy to remove if they don’t work out for you.

Ergonomics

The Buck 110 is not a small knife, and it really fills average-sized hands like mine. The grip is nearly 5″ long by 5/8″ thick, and 3/4″ wide at its narrowest point. This is a large grip for a folding knife, and what it gives up in ease of carry it gives back in comfort and control when you’re actually cutting with it. It handles more like a comfortable fixed-blade knife; it’s got excellent tip control, and you’ll be cutting for a really long time before your hand starts to cramp up.

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

Carry options are kind of limited, however. There’s no pocket clip, and this picture shows how the 110 is too big for ideal front-pocket carry. (Please, no Ron Burgundy jokes this time?) If your wallet is the right size and shape you can wedge the 110 next to it in your back jeans pocket, but you’ll probably carry it in a belt sheath.

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

Buck 110s used to come with handsome full-grain leather belt sheaths, but these have been replaced with lower-cost nylon sheaths. The Buck 110 is extremely affordable for an American-made knife, and the low-cost nylon sheath is part of the math that makes that possible. I know that nylon has a lot of advantages: it’s lighter, thinner, more durable, easier to clean, dries more quickly, etc. But this sheath doesn’t speak of premium materials or skilled craftsmanship, and it just looks wrong next to the beautiful 110.

I think the 110’s brass and wood just look better with leather.

Image courtesy eBay

And I’m not alone in this. Buck offers the premium leather sheath as a $15 accessory on their website, and there’s a large market for custom 110 sheaths. Open-topped leather sheaths like this custom basketweave are popular, along with cowboy-style loop holsters.

Testing

Box Cardboard

Image: Chris Dumm

The 110 did quite well on the cardboard edge-retention test, cleanly slicing through 87 linear feet of corrugated box cardboard before it started to crush and plow through it. This edge retention is noticeably better than the excellent Kershaw Skyline and the equally outstanding Benchmade 300 Axis flipper.

The Buck 110 also exhibited really good ergonomics in the cardboard test, and the cutting didn’t to require much effort because the grips are so comfortable. My left hand was cramping badly from holding the cardboard, but my right hand was going strong wielding the 110. Grade: A

Newsprint

The 110 was an exceptionally good newsprint slicer right out of the box, and it even showed some ability to slice ultra-thin Shotgun News newsprint before I dulled it in the rope and cardboard tests. It was marginally sharper than the Skyline and Benchmade 300, but slightly less sharp than the Spyderco Native FRN. Grade: A-

Rope Cutting

After its solid performance on newsprint and cardboard, the Buck 110 was a big disappointment at the rope bench. It cut through 3/4″ Manila rope with surgical precision, but it took a dozen tedious sawing cuts to do it. It almost, but not quite, pulled through a loop of rope in one extremely hard draw stroke.

This was the last of the cutting tests I did, however, and the blade had gotten dulled pretty badly in the cardboard test. My sharpening routine of diamond steel, ceramic sticks, fine-grit waterstone and polishing strop couldn’t restore the super-keen factory edge, and the 110 couldn’t bring it’s best game for this test. Grade: C+, but I’ll be revisiting this test once I can really resharpen this knife.

Food Preparation

A hunting knife like the Buck 110 is built for hunting and camping, so I tested it on basic food preparation tasks: chopping celery, slicing tomatoes, trimming steaks and cubing chicken breasts. The blade performed amazingly well as a general-purpose kitchen knife, compared to the other non-kitchen knives I’ve tested. It handles like a thick paring knife, and despite the hollow-grind blade I had no trouble with wandering cuts or uneven slices.

The only thing I found myself wishing for was a few more inches of blade to work with: there’s a reason most kitchen knives are a lot longer than 3.75 inches. I also had to be careful not to get the handle or frame of the knife dirty, because this brass and hardwood classic isn’t dishwasher-safe.

Grade: B+. It’s a great little food slicer/chopper, but it’s a pain to keep clean.

Overall Blade Performance: B+, but this is likely improve after I figure out how to sharpen it. Or strike my colors and take it to a professional.

Sharpening

Image: Chris Dumm

I’m not a master knife sharpener, but I’m no noob either. Regardless, this isn’t an easy knife to sharpen. If my Buck’s 420HC steel blade is in fact hardened to 60 HRC, this would explain why I’m having so much trouble putting a great edge back on it.

Knife forum users typically describe Paul Bos 420HC as ‘extremely hard but damned difficult to sharpen’, and my experience seems to confirm this.

Fit And Finish

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

As I keep saying, this knife is drop-dead gorgeous. The fit of its many metal and wooden parts to each other is all but impeccable, and the solid feel of this 7.5 ounce folding knife is very satisfying in your hand.

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

All of the metal-t0-metal and wood-to-metal fit is seamless, just like this. When the blade locks open, it feels as solid and precise as the slide racking shut on a Sig/Sauer P226.

But all was not quite perfect with this particular Buck 110. Blade lockup was Fort Knox-solid out of the box, but during testing it developed a small but perceptible sideways blade wobble. This would be a ridiculously easy fix on a knife with a pivot screw, but the Buck 110’s lovely flush-fit rivets cannot be tightened except at the Post Falls, Idaho factory so I’ll just have to live with it.

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

And the middle rivet shown here is maybe .3mm too tall, just enough to feel wrong under your fingers. There’s also a tiny blemish in the brass of the hilt, which escaped final QC hidden on the inside of the blister packaging it arrived in. But I’m really picking nits with these small blemishes, on a fabulous knife that costs less than $40.

Favorite Feature

There is no single feature about the Buck 110 that stands out above the rest. It’s a balanced package of comfort, beauty, performance, and strength. Buck got this knife almost exactly right almost 50 years ago, and it’s still popular because it’s still good.

Least-Favorite Feature

I really wish I could tighten the pivot myself to eliminate that little bit of blade wobble. (And it’s so shiny that I’m going to feel terrible when it inevitably gets scratched up.)

RATINGS (Out Of Five Stars)

Styling: *****
Modern and traditional at the same time, this beautiful knife looks great on your belt (in a leather sheath, that is), in your hand, or elbow-deep in an elk carcass.

Blade: ****
Very sharp and precise, with great cutting performance from plain-Jane 420HC steel. Just two drawbacks: the tip is a bit delicate, and it’s a bear to sharpen.

Ergonomics: ****
Super-comfortable to use and cut with, but carry options are pretty much limited to belt sheath carry. If you absolutely must have a one-hand opener, you can do it with a $10 thumb stud.

Ruggedness/Durability ****
The blade tip is a bit delicate, and the rocker lock isn’t the strongest design out there. But these are theoretical weaknesses, and this knife has withstood the real-world test of time. There are a lot of Buck 110s still in use after 30+ years on the job with hunters and contractors.

Overall Rating: ****
There’s a reason why Buck has sold millions of 110 Folding Hunters. They’re made in America, they’re beautiful, they’re sharp, they go like stink and they last for decades. Along with the Case Stockman, the Buck 110 is ‘the’ American pocketknife.

If you love knives, you should have one.

Specifications

Type: Rocker-lock folding knife.
Length Closed/Open: 4.875″/8.75″
Grip Thickness: 7/8″
Weight: 7.2 oz.
Blade: 3.75″ hollow-ground clip point, 0.12″ thick.
Blade Steel: 420HC stainless, 58-60 HRC
Scales: Macassar Ebony Dymondwood
Construction: Brass frame and bolsters, steel lock, wooden scales.
Origin: Post Falls, Idaho. USA.
MSRP: $69, street price $35 and up.

 

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Discussion

90 responses to ‘Classic Knife Review: Buck 110 Folding Hunter

  1. Blade wobble on a new knife after one session with it? And hard to sharpen? We don’t live in the stone age anymore. There’s no excuse for these problems in a modern knife with quality control steps in place at the factory.

    • I’ve yet to find a knife maker, or a knife, that doesn’t have far worse problems on occasion. Quality control never has been, and never will be, perfect. Real life just doesn’t work this way. I have a friend who owns a $35,000 Rolex, and it stopped working after a week.

  2. If you go on the forums you can hear how mad people are that these knives have degraded in quality. One guy put it simply: They used to be $30. Nowadays they are still $30 (meaning they had to sacrifice quality for affordability)

  3. I’ve owned a 110 since 1983-4 that I bought at a the PX in Camp Lejune NC…carried that thing pretty much around the world. It’s as every bit serviceable today as the day I bought it, although I stopped carrying it everyday awhile back. Mainly for sentimental reasons. Dont want to lose it. It always was a bit of a chore to keep sharp. I recall spending a lot of down time trying different methods of honing the blade. Cant say that I ever could get it “shaving” sharp, but I could always get a decent usable edge on it. I hate to see another great American product decline in quality just to keep cost down. I know that I’d be willing to pay a few bucks more for a well made knife (or anything really) than save a little on a lesser product. Lets hope Buck doesnt become another had been American company.

  4. If you figure out how to sharpen this thing please….please (PLEASE) pass the word to everyone here in another post.

    I have this knife and a prince. I can get it OK sharp with some work, but I can not for the life of me get it as sharp as practically every other piece of metal I own. Heck I can sharpen a pop top from a spam can sharper than I can get this knife. I was thinking that it was just a stubborn wire that I couldn’t shed. Then I was thinking that the angle was wrong. Then I thought I would reprofile with a diamond. Nothing seems to work past sharp, but not even shaving sharp.

    I know it isn’t just the 440HC because I have some gerbers that also use this metal and I can get them sharp. Maybe it is the combination of great hardening and odd grind that is thowing us off.

    If you can figure this out – I would love to hear it.

    • I’ve had a 110 since ’70. Bought it on the Hill at Ft Bragg as a new SFer and I carried it till the mid ’80s. The tip went at the phase 3 FTX. (DON’T ever let a commo guy use your knife!) It now resides in my collection drawer, along with its 3d sheath. Back then they only had 3 pins. It is a b…h to sharpen. Back then I used 3 grits of Ark. stone, now I use 2 grits of diamond stone/steel. The key to shaving sharp is TIME!

      • Hey Dave, i used to say the same about bravos, always keep a good guard of my leatherman. Only kidding i was an echo. I still have my 112 which i finally learned to get a good edge (you can tell where the less than good sharpening was). Pull it out and laugh should i get a new blade but always say no has sentimental value. Right in brother (red flash). Stay well

    • if you havent figured it out…20 dagrees works perfectly. I use a Work Sharp WSGFS221 Guided Field Sharpener and im shaveing with my 110.

    • EVERYONE OF MY COLLECTION IS RAZOR SHARP AND THAT IS BECAUSE I PURCHASED A KEN ONION KNIFE SHARPENER. TWO STROKES ON BOTH SIDES AND IT IS SHAVING SHARP, IT HAS ADJUSTABLE ANGLES AND IT DOES NOT SCRATCH BUT I STILL TAPE THE UPPER PART OF THE BLADE.

    • I just got a 112 a few days ago and I don’t understand why they couldn’t put a leather sheath with it don’t make any since. Anyway to sharpen the knife don’t the best you can on a stone the take a thick glass Picture frame on its side and do 20 strokes like you would on a sharpener and it will shave your face

    • Its super easy to with naniwa superstones, I go 400,1k,5k,8k. I set the bevel on the 400, take the scratches out with 1k, then set the micro bevel with 5k, take the scratches out with 8k, and its done. The 400 grinds it fast and everything else polishes out with just a few strokes.

      Quick resharpen is just hit the micro bevel with 2 or 3 swipes across the 1k,5k,8k progression.

      There are faster stones available too, but this steel really isn’t anywhere near the hardest most wear resistant so they aren’t necessary at all.

  5. Been toting a 110 since 1974, owned 5 in that time. Pop the tip within the first 2 years, usually. Snapped one off at mid-blade cutting up a deer, Buck replaced free, no quibbles. Yea. I know, I’m hard on equipment from time to time. And sharpening is a beeatch, as Dave said, the secret is time. Been carrying in the nylon holster for a couple years now, the leathers they sell are just not up to the job anymore. First one lasted 10 years, repaired twice, next one about the same. After that I bought several leather sheaths and they got progressively worse. Got cheapy fleamarket leather sheath and it lasted till 2 years ago, was setting roof trusses and it got caught and ripped the loop completely off, boohoo. Switched to the nylon and it is doing OK. Thinking of getting a kydex custom made from Hellbent Holsters for it.

    And for the record, I carry the 110 and a Kershaw Vapor clipped in right front pocket. Rule #9 always applies.

  6. Oh, and opening. I one hand, no added stud. The trick is to always place in sheath butt down and blade back facing forward, so when you draw it you are holding it pivot end up, thumb to blade. Push it about half open and flick the wrist. With authority. Don’t be timid, and practice, practice,,,,well, you get the idea.

  7. I too loved and lost a 110–my first good quality knife. And I am still buying Buck knives (I’ve donated a couple to the TSA), and I too was disappointed with the quality of the last one I bought (a Bantam I bought for $20) as the “satin” grinding on the blade uneven (and ugly) and the edge on the bevel was not (still is not) smooth. But the Bantam blade has proved sturdy, has a reinforced tip unlike the 110, and is easy to re-sharpen 420 HC stainless steel. And it is made in the USA. I’ve been polishing out the grind marks, and it is turning into a fine little knife.

  8. This knife is truly an American icon, and not just simply among cutlery fans. And it has spawned a million customized versions — including those you can order via the Buck site.

    However, I wonder if Buck were designing and introducing a 110 Hunter today if it would have such an extreme clip blade?

    My hunch — please correct if I’m wrong — is that the blade’s design reflected the popularity of clip-point hunting knives in the first half of the 20th century. Such as the Marbles Ideal and countless others that echoed it, including the Ka-Bar (and siblings), all certainly familiar to guys who had recently carried them in WW2 and Korea.

    But today’s hunting knives have a strong trend toward drop-point blades. If Buck were starting from scratch today, would the 110 Hunter be a drop point?

  9. Now made in China and quality is definitely not what we have used for over 45 years. Sorry the company would have been better off raising the price and keeping the quality……..
    Just my personal opinion as I was just trying to find a sheath for a Buck 110 that was tan in color or Buckskin color and had the flap over the end.
    Thanks for letting me put my two cents in on this.
    W.M. Westfall

    • Some of Buck’s knives are made overseas.
      But I believe the entire 100 line (110 through the 120), are made in America.
      The 110 DEFINITELY is.
      The nylon sheaths however, are still made overseas, and I believe the leather ones are made in Mexico.
      That’s how they keep the costs down so that they can still charge $30.00 for an entirely American-Made knife.

  10. Use the folding DMT Diamond sharpeners. Start with either coarse or fine, depending on the condition of the blade, and finish with the extra fine 1200 micron sharpener. Hold the knife up to a light and align your eye with the knife so that you can see the bevel. Lay the sharpener perfectly flat across the bevel. Give five consistent strokes on one side and do the same to the other. Then go four and four, three and three, two and two and one and one. Your knife will be shaving sharp as long as you take your time, don’t press too hard and stroke smoothly.

  11. Will Buck replace the blade pivot pin on my 110 and return it with the original blade and handle? I want the blade but have a lot of play due to wear. I think a new brass pin would do it.

    • I believe their policy now is just to replace. What you can do is use a narrow tip punch on the exposed head of the pin. Make certain that it is clean between the blade and each side of the frame, then use a vise to press it tightly back together, got to remove any play, then use punch to expand the head of the pin. If you can see the pin on both sides then use punch on both sides. This will leave visible marks that you can work with a bit of 220 wet sand paper but will still see. Ought to get you a few more years of service.

      • Thanks, I will give it a try. I don’t want to lose the blade when I send it back. Do you think I can punch it through and replace the pin?

        • I never removed one, just reset. If the pin is of uniform diameter, not tapered on one end, you should be able to. If it is tapered then you kinda got to get one to match, probably from Buck. Can you see and feel the face of the pin on one side? Raised just a hair? Setting that flush should take care of the problem.

          I know how it is once you get a blade that sharpens well for you.

  12. Just a question and short story here….
    My first Buck 110 came to me with serendipity attached. Girlfriend at the time saw a “small brown thing” on I-5 traveling home one day and, for a reason she couldn’t figure out, pulled over, backed up and retrieved it. She told me the story when she got home and gave me the booty-a Buck 110 with my initials already etched in the brass! That was 1991. I used the knife all over the world until it was stolen (much to my dismay) a couple of years ago. A friend recently gifted me another one (looking pretty beat up). Knowing how much I loved my first one, I put my “new” one through the reconditioning process and it’s now beautiful/razor sharp again. Now to the question: Why is everyone having so much trouble sharpening these knives? Both that I have owned have sharpened easily and beautifully on a waterstone (hair popping/easy paper slicing). I have no idea when either of the knives I’ve owned was manufactured. Have I come upon a different kind of steel, from a different era, than those mentioned above. Can anybody lend some insight here?
    p.s. I’ve always considered the edges fairly durable also (not great, but not bad)

    • Buck has changed the steel they use a couple of times over the years, so it is a bit hard to judge which you are working with. Buck 110 blade is a hollow grind which is one reason they can be a chore to sharpen for some people. As much as hate to do it I refer you to wiki for a concise rundown on the changes in metal used for their blades.

  13. Great review.

    I got min for my 15th birthday. That was 1985 and I carried it 6 years, until I bought a Buck Lite. There were no folders with clips back then and I mostly carried in my back pocket beside my wallet.

    Now I have a new Buck Lite Max that I carry in rotation as others have said the 110 is a safe queen that I don’t want to ever lose since my dad who is now deceased gave it to me.

    As far as sharps, I use the a leather strop fixed to a block of wood with black and green compound (Ala Bark River Method) and the 110 as well as my 3 other Buck’s are all shaving sharp.

    Thanks for the great review!

  14. I did punch the pivot pin and the knife blade is solid. Didn’t push it through and replace it. I did make a small divot in the pin.
    When I look on ebay, there are several offerings that have been punched

    • Good deal, always glad to help. If it seems a little stiffer to open use a bit of powdered graphite to smooth it out.

  15. I HAVE A BUCK 110 MADE 1974/1980 TWO DOT MINE IS A FIFTH VERSION VARATION SIX . I TRADED MY 1999 110 BRAND NEW BACK THEN TO GET A FRIEND’S 110 WITH ORIG SHEATH I USED IT SQUIRRL HUNTING THAT YEAR ENDED UP GETTING FOUR SQUIRRLS THAT YEAR. USED IT DEER SEASON THAT YEAR TO FIELD DRESS MY VERY FIRST DEER. MINE HAS THE 440 CARBON STEEL BLADE. I BOUGHT A NEW 110 IN JANUARY 2013 CARRIED IT EVERYDAY TILL FEB 22 2014 WHEN I RECIEVED MY NEW BUCK 112 I ORDERD NOW IM CARRING THE 112 RANGER AS A EVERYDAY KNIFE CAUSE IT IS LIGHTER WEIGHT, THE 110 FROM THE 70’S I OWN JUST STAY’S IN MY SAFE DONT CARRY MUCH NO MORE CAUSE I DONT WANT TO LOSE IT. MY 110 FROM THE 70’S AND MY NEW 2012 BOTH HAVE LEATHER SHEATH WHICH I LIKE THEM BETTER THAN THE NYLON ONES. MY 112 RANGER ALSO HAS LEATHER SHEATH AS WELL. I HAVE NO ISSUES SHARPENING MY 1974 110 OR MY 2012 110 OR MY 2013 RANGER BUT I HAVE SHARPENED SINCE 1997 WHEN I WAS 15 YRS OLD AND NOW IM 32 YRS OLD.

    • I REALLY ENJOY MY BUCK 110 FOLDING HUNTER I HAVE TWO ONE FROM 1974-1980 ERA THAT I TRADED FOR IT STILL HAS THE ORIGINAL SHEATH WITH IT. THEN IN DEC 2012 I ORDERED A NEW BUCK 110 FOLDING HUNTER SO I COULD KEEP MY OLDER ONE PUT AWAY DUE TO I DONT WANT TO LOSE IT. I USED MY NEW 110 DURING HUNTING SEASON 2013-2014 . THE NEW 110 DID THE EXACT SAME THINGS AS MY OLD ONE FROM THE 70’S. I JUST RECENTLY BOUGHT A BUCK 112 RANGER IN FEBUARY OF 2014 TO HAVE A SCALED DOWN VERSION OF THE BUCK 110 I AM READY TO TRY MY NEW 112 RANGER OUT THIS COMING FALL DURING SQUIRRL AND DEER HUNTING. I THINK THE BUCK 112 RANGER WILL JUST BE USED FOR SMALL GAME HUNTING RABBIT,SQUIRRL THINGS OF THAT NATUARE AND THE 110 FOR THE BIGGER GAME LIKE DEER AND COYOTE.

      • FOR SHARPENING SPEND THE MONEY ON A GOOD ARKANSAS SHARPENING STONE I HAVE SEVERAL I USE ALL THE TIME AND THEY REALLY WORK GREAT. YOU CAN ALSO USE THE BACK OF A GOOD LEATHER BELT AND GET IT SHARP IF YOU NEED TO. IF YOU CAN FIND SOME OLDER ANTIQUE SHARPENING STONES MADE BACK IN THE 20’S OR 30’S THEY DO WORK I OWN QUIT A FEW THAT WAS MADE IN GERMANY AND REALLY PUT A EDGE ON A 1970’S 110 WITH 440 C STEEL AND ALSO GETS THE 420 HC SHARP AS A RAZOR AS WELL. DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON DIAMOND SHARPENERS THEY DO NOT WORK I HAVE TRIED THEM SPEND THE EXTRA MONEY AND GET A GOOD NAME BRAND SHARPENING STONE EITHER A 6″ OR A 8″ I HAVE BOTH AND USE THEM ALL THE TIME . FOR SMALLER FIXED BLADES I USE THE 6″ FOR THE 110 AND LARGER ONES I USE MY 8″ STONE.

        • I agree with Matt. I have had 110s for decades. I have purchased two since 2013 and one of the fiftieth anniversary ones early this year. Maybe it’s just me, but I hit any one of my Buck 110s on my 6″ hard Arkansas (smith”s) stone with some honing oil, then strop it on an old leather belt I have nailed to my bench rubbed with red rouge, and they will shave like a razor. I keep two with me to skin deer, so I don’t have to stop midway to steel the edges. I also use them to skin wild hogs (very tough hide). I don’t understand the sharpening issues at all. They sharpen the same way they always did as far as I can tell. I have a Kirshaw black watch that I sharpen the same way and neither are more difficult to sharpen than the other. Consistent angle is the main ingredient to a great edge on a blade like this, I also do not see any difference in quality build of older to the newer 110s. I think some folks read something and convince themselves of it. OH and the leather sheaths, some baseball glove dressing occasionally will help your sheath last a very long time as well as keep it supple and looking decent. But maybe I’m just blind and cannot see all these problems folks are having.

  16. I got mine a month or so ago and I love it. Has a little blade wobble which sucks but its still very sharp. I pocket carry it in my front right pocket. I like the longer blade length for kitchen use. I don’t own a 112 but I don’t think the shorter blade would be good for food prep

  17. Sorry for the old post, but you can tighten the blade, by wrapping your bolster for protection and giving it one solid thwack hit over the pivot with a hammer to fix that issue. That’s just how I do it.

  18. Sharpening merely requires proper technique and tools. Japanese water stones are the tool of choice (for typical sharpening, I use a Naniwa Chosera 1000 followed by a Gesshin 8000 stone, followed by proper debarring), and with proper technique, these knives can be polished to hair popping very quickly. They are fairly hard, but not tough, so water stones, which constantly refresh the abrasive material, work wonderfully. The stones mentioned are fairly expensive, but most people reading knife reviews have many knives, and sharpen plenty. I know I do.

  19. I love the Buck 110, a unique slice of Americana. I am always thankful that Buck resisted the financial pressure to move production overseas.

    Interestingly my (modern) Buck 110 came with a leather sheath, maybe its because its the anniversary edition?

  20. I OWN A 1974/1980 110 THAT I GOT IN 1999 BY TRADING A BRAND NEW ONE TO GET MY FRIEND’S OLDER 110 THAT STILL HAD THE ORIGINAL LEATHER SHEATH WITH IT . I HAVE HAD IT SINCE 1999 AND IT STILL HAS THE ORIGINAL LEATHER SHEATH TO THIS DAY. I USED IT IN 2007 TO SQUIRRL HUNT AND TO FIELD DRESS MY VERY FIRST BUCK. IN 2013 I ORDERED A NEW 110 NOW MY OLD ONE JUST STAYS PUT UP AND DOES NOT GET CARRIED AT ALL I JUST USE MY 2012 110 TO HUNT WITH. I ALSO OWN THE BUCK 110 50TH ANNV EDITION THAT IS ONLY BEING MADE FOR 2014 ONLY I PLAN ON USING IT AS WELL BUT TAKING VERY GOOD CARE OF IT. I SAVED THE ORIGINAL BOX TO THE 50TH ANNV EDITION CAUSE IT WILL BE A HARD KNIFE TO FIND IN A FEW YEARS. I ALSO SAVED THE BOX TO MY 2012 BUCK 110 AS WELL. I ALSO BOUGHT THE BUCK 112 RANGER A SMALLER VERSION OF THE 110 MINE IS A 2014 PRODUCTION CANT WAIT TO TAKE IT SQUIRRL HUNTING AS WELL. I HAVE CARRIED MY 2012 BUCK 110 WHILE COYOTE HUNTING THIS PAST WINTER. IF YOU WANT A GOOD QUALITY HUNTING KNIFE BUY A BUCK 110 OR 112 THEY ARE MADE AT THE BUCK FACTORY IN POST FALLS IDAHO THEY ARE BOTH MADE FROM 420 HC STEEL AND COME WITH A LEATHER SHEATH. I LIKE THE LEATHER SHEATH BETTER FOR THE 110 ITS MORE NICER AND EASY TO CARE FOR. THE BUCK 110 THAT WALMART SELLS COME WITH THE NYLON SHEATH I JUST LIKE THE LEATHER SHEATH ALOT BETTER. THE BUCK 110 WEIGHS 7.2OZ THE RANGER WEIGHS 5.6 OZ THEY ARE BOTH GREAT KNIVES I HAVE SWITCHED BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THE TWO AND REALLY CANT SEE MUCH DIFFERANCE OTHER THAN THE 112 IS A LITTLE LIGHTER WEIGHT . THEY BOTH HAVE THE MACASSER EBONY WOOD AND HOLD UP GREAT.

  21. Exact age of an older buck knife 110
    I am trying to find out the exact year of manufacture of the buck knife 110 I own.
    I have the general age because the blade has BUCK over U.S.A.
    But I can’t find a picture of one with the same rivets on the side. This knife was left to me by my good friend who died a couple of years ago at the age of 92. So I can’t ask the person who bought it originally.
    My knife (110) has three rivets…
    One toward the back. and toward the bottom.
    Then One a bit forward of center and just below the top of the handle,
    And one toward the front at a level not far below the level of the middle rivet …about the same distance form the top as the rivet farthest to the back is from the bottom of the handle.
    The middle high rivet is significantly larger than the other two.
    If anyone can tell me where to look for answers I would really appreciate the help.
    Thank you Molly Wilder mollywilder1947@gmail.com

    • There is a lot historical information on the Buck 110 on the web. A quick search will let you pin point the age of your knife. I will say the earlier years are a bit more difficult. When they began putting the makings before and after the 110 stamp the age is easy to tell. Good luck

  22. Hello all. I do custom leather pocket or belt folding knife sheaths. Specifically for the 110. If your interested email me and I can send you some pics of ones I’m working on. I either stamp a deer head or tool a deer head. It could also be plain. They are affordable as I have full-time income elsewhere. The best part….american made 100% all the way down to the leather used.

    Coolhandleather@yahoo.com

  23. I use lansky croq sticks at 25 degrees. That is it. The whole secret to keeping an edge on these a 10 dollar sharpening box with 2 ceramic sticks. Shaving sharp in a few passes and done.

    • I think I may have the same wooden box from, Lansky. (croc-sticks ,course and fine, store in box itself) That croc-stick set has sharpened every knife I own including the Buck 110 and the 119 to an awesome degree of sharp. For the cost and portability it’s my all time favorite sharpening system.

  24. Read all your posts my experience with buck knives varies.I own a 112 DA conversion it stays locked up,I have a Cabelas Buck Alaskan Guide S30V hunting knive and and a half dozen others.Sometime back I bought a 110 carried it a very short time, sharpened it gave it to my son couldn’t take the bulkiness with the leather sheath and all.I just bought another one from Walmart with nylon sheath not so bulky but had to go through and look at a bunch of them to find a tight one most were loose and one was stupid sloppy.I don’t know why all of you invest in expensive stones, I researched on the Internet on sharpening and found out how to use wet or dry sand paper.I use 220,320,400,600,1200,2000 and finish with DMT diamond extra extra fine 8000 grit flat steel. One week end I spent all day learning to do this ,sharpening various cheap knives till I had it perfected. If you use a mouse pad under the sheet of paper you will convex the edge, the end result will be a mirror finish that is so sharp it will take your breath away, it will go though paper like Moses departing the Red Sea.It is all about learning a skill developing muscle memory to hold a consistent angle and any body can do it I just sit down get in the zone and go ,remember the paper will get it very very sharp, the extremely light strokes on the 8000 grit diamond flat steel will get it SCARY sharp

    • I have done my share of sandpaper sharpening. Nice trick with the mouse pad.

      I have said it before but I consider the Spyderco Sharpmaker to be the best tool for 90% of sharpening situations.

      Results to effort ratio tops the pile in my opinion. It is not cheap but I have owned mine since 1999 and it is still going strong.

  25. I’ve used the110 for hunting, fishing & even self-defense. I carry one on the job every day. It’s like the Colt 1911. This is the one by which all others are judged.

  26. Buck pedals garbage now. Used to be a quality tool. Now I’m getting new knives from them with crap Mexican sheathes that dull the blade before you draw, bolsters that don’t match, pins that are peened crooked. How about a sheath that fits, with out a plastic liner. I’ll buy a Chinese Cold Steel before I buy another cheap Buck Knives.

  27. I’ve used 110’s & 112’s for decades. I use a King 1000 grit stone to sharpen. Shaving sharp every time. In the past 10 years or so I acquired a King 6000 grit to polish. Notice the edge holds longer after a good polishing. Doesn’t take long once I get the bevel from factory to my “stroke”. I use my 110 everyday at work, and every couple of days about 1 minute on the stone keeps the edge razor. I have had to retire a couple of 110’s due to the blade becoming a stiletto. But they are great knives. My son just received one from a friend of mine this past weekend for his 11th birthday. He was extremely stoked. He kept commenting on how “nice looking” the knife is. I’m sure he will appreciate it for years to come. Just like I have.

  28. You likely had an issue sharpening due to the hollow grind.

    On the Buck site there was a review saying the tip chipped off white gutting a deer. I suppose the hollow grind, steel type, and design really makes that a weak spot.

  29. The Buck 110 is not hard to sharpen, but like any hard steel, it is SLOW to sharpen. But,please, don’t use a diamond sharpener on it, or any good knife. Yes, they will get a knife sharp, but they do so at the expense of a lot more metal than Arkansas stones, Japanese waterstones, or even fine sandpaper, destroy. Don’t allow the knife to get dull before touching up the blade. If it does get dull, then know what you’re doing, and expect it to take at least an hour, and maybe two or three or four, to get it back to razor sharpness. If you want fast, stick to 1095 high carbon, or to cheap stanless steel. All quality stainless knives are slow to sharpen, some far more so than a Buck 110. This is why KEEPING a good knife sharp is essential. If you let it get dull, that’s your fault, and you can expect it to take hours to regain a shaving edge.

  30. I have 2 110’s. One I got in 1996, that i bent the blade on while using it for a screwdriver. One I got recently with finger grooves. If quality is down, I have not seen it. New one still has that that solid heft in the hand and great looks. I have a custom 112 on order with the sv30 drop point. For those wanting a drop point option on the 110, you can custom order one any time.

  31. I think that could be a steel treatment problem. I own many Buck knives. Most produced years ago. But for two of them I cannot get a decent edge. No problems with two 110’s, 120, 650, 124 and 103, but my 1987′ mod 102 and an early ’90 mod 619, cannot reach, by far, a shaving edge. My idea is that, with a so big number of knives around, few could have had some temper issue.

  32. I bought my 110 in the 60s. I am 79 and have a few years of hunting left in me. I remember buying it just before an elk hunt in Washington State. I have field dressed many animals including almost anything walking in Alaska and Washington. Now, sharpening. At the end of the day and with the guns locked I might spend an hour with my handy diamond sharpener in one hand and a bourbon in the other. It always takes time but boy can I get an edge. By the way I still have the original leather sheath that came with my beautiful companion

  33. The Buck 110’s and 112’s are outdated. They are heavy, made with subpar blade steel, not made for one handed opening and closing, and no pocket clip, and no pivot screw to adjust blade play for goodness sakes. A good modern folder is made with strong lighter handle materials like aluminum, fiber glass reinforced nylon, G10, carbon fiber, maybe even titanium. They have better blade steels. They all come with either thumb studs, thumb holes or flippers for fast one handed opening. And a good pocket clip is design puts your knife in the right position, in the right location, so it won’t turn sideways in your pocket and feel like you’re carrying a 2×4 in your pants. It’s no longer the Stone Age.

    • You don’t really get the concept of “the proper tool for the job at hand” do you? Buck 110 and 112 are sheath knives meant for heavier work, as well as EDC type use. But hey, go ahead and dressout that deer with a 2 inch clip-on pocket knife, I’ll just stand back and enjoy the show.

  34. My Dad gave me my 110 when I was 11. I’m 51. I never used it too hard, so I never snapped the tip. It’s skinnier than it used to be. I don’t remember what the scales are made of. Walnut maybe? The leather sheath is ridiculously supple. It sits in my safe. I think I last put it on my belt when I went to a carbine class a few years ago. It’s become more of a symbol to me now.

    It’s not the best pocket knife I own. Far from it. It, and the Randall Dad gave me for college graduation are my most important knives. I’m going to give the 110 to my son when he graduates HS. I’d have done it by now, but I know him. He’d want to carry it just because it came from Opa. So we’ll skip that temptation. Don’t even get me started on schools these days. One more year, and it’s his.

    The Randall? Well…

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