Welcome back Knife-fans. Game 3 from the USA Legend division pits #2 seed Schrade against #7 Buck Knives. This is a bit of a strange matchup as the Schrade label has bounced around a bit whereas Buck is now under the 4th-generation leadership of CJ Buck.
Just a quick reminder how the tournament works… You can vote twice per day. Once on Facebook, and once in the comments below. Name your pick below, or on Facebook vote for Schrade by clicking “like” or vote for Buck by clicking “love”. You can read more about the contest and see the complete brackets here.
It is going to be the subject of a future post, but Schrade is a company in flux. The original company was founded in 1904, merged with several competitors including Imperial Cutlery, and closed its doors in 2004. The name was sold to Taylor Brands (which included Old Timer and Uncle Henry labels as well), and manufacturing was shipped overseas. This past year saw Taylor Brands acquired by Smith & Wesson Corp., but if you look at the Schrade company website now it is listed as BTI Tools LLC – a shadowy entity that my “in-the-know” connection does not in this case know anything about.
Our only actual review of a Schrade is a guest review by Stuart B. of the SCHF14. Our other notable Schrade post is a “Deepest Depths of Uselessness” post on the Schrade (Technically “Old Timer”) Bowie.
BTI Tools LLC – Manufacturing, designing, and distributing high-quality stainless steel cutting tools and accessories since our inception. BTI Tools owns and produces Schrade, Old Timer, Uncle Henry, and Imperial branded products, and are also licensed to produce multiple product lines under the world famous Smith & Wesson brand. In total BTI Tools manufactures several hundred different products including fixed and folding knives, collapsible batons, tactical pens, handcuffs, tactical and survival accessories, and flashlights.
It is a shame that the above milquetoast paragraph is all one can learn about a company with the history of Shrade. Just writing this has bummed me out.
If you want to read the history of the company that used to be Schrade, this Schrade collectors page is a great place to start.
Buck is one of those companies whose name transcends the industry and becomes a popular colloquialism. One need not be a “knife person” to conjure up the image of a Buck 110 or Buck 119 if they read “Buck-Knife” in print. Both are among the all-time classic knives, and the more than 50,000 views of Chris’s 110 review is an objective measure of the knife’s popularity.
A young Kansas blacksmith apprentice named Hoyt Buck was looking for a better way to temper steel so it would hold an edge longer. His unique approach produced the first Buck Knife in 1902. Hoyt made each knife by hand, using worn-out file blades as raw material. His handy work was greatly appreciated during World War II. Hoyt’s eldest son Al had relocated from the Pacific Northwest to San Diego California after finishing a stint in the navy a decade earlier. Hoyt, and his wife Daisy, moved in with Al and his young family in 1945 and set up shop as H.H. Buck and Son.
Following the death of his father, Al kept the fledgling custom knife business going until incorporating Buck Knives, Inc. in 1961. Al introduced his son, Chuck, to the knife business at an early age and Chuck and his wife, Lori, were both involved when the company was incorporated. In 1964, the knife industry was revolutionized with the introduction of the Model 110 Folding Hunter, making Buck Knives a leader in the field. A position we hold proudly today.
Chuck worked his way up through the company serving as President and CEO for many years before handing over the reins to his son, CJ, in 1999. Chuck remained active as Chairman of the Board until his passing in 2015. Lori now serves on the Board of Directors and is actively involved with Buck promotional events throughout the U.S., continuing Chuck’s legacy.
CJ, the 4th generation family member to run Buck Knives and current CEO, President and Chairman, started out with the company on the production line in 1978. He has been quoted saying, “We have been helping people thrive with reliable and trustworthy edged products for over a century. Since our own name is on the knife, our quality, focus and attention to detail is very personal.”
Hoyt and Al Buck’s ingenuity may have put the company on the map. But it is our ongoing commitment to developing innovative new products and improving what we have by third and fourth generation Buck family members that have made Buck the successful knife maker it is today. Franky, it’s what our customers expect from a Buck.
Yesterday’s match was a bit of a snoozer. KA-BAR obliterated Utica Cutlery 27-1However, it wasn’t a total loss for Utica or TTAK for that matter. Writing yesterday’s piece inspired me to reach out to Utica, a major player in the flatware arena, but a company just reentering the outdoor/EDC market. I spoke with a representative who will be sending us some knives to test, and will be looking to us to pass along information from the company as they try to carve out a niche within this side of the industry.
Like yesterday, I am not expecting much of a contest in today’s matchup. I would be surprised if Schrade even garners a single “Underdog/Sympathy” vote from Cmeat. I would be shocked if Buck doesn’t breeze on through to the next round where it will join Case and KA-BAR pus the winner of tomorrow’s Gerber and Great Eastern Cutlery contest as the USA Legacy component of the Sweet 16. You can see the complete brackets here.
Don’t forget to vote, and please tell us what you think of this Tournament. Are you all enjoying it so far?