Buck Makes Too Many Great Hunting Knives

So I organized every hunting knife by Buck I could find by series and type into tables so you can see the differences at an easy glance to find your best option. Buck has been one of the biggest go-to knife makers for hunting and camping for decades. Whether you plan on hunting deer or duck, there’s a Buck knife you should take with you. On the one hand, that’s a nice, strong legacy. The problem is that any company that’s been around for that long has put out a lot of different products by necessity. Buck knives might be the American hunting knife, but which Buck knife?  They make a lot of knives, and too many variations of all those knives to keep track of… unless you spend too much time going through their catalogue specifically to start keeping track of them.

I’ve tried to categorize all these knives according their style or the collection they belong to. Not all of them fit so cleanly into a category so you might see outliers, but every Buck knife that seemed (to me) to be made especially for hunting is in the blog.

Table of contents:

 

Buck Knife Features

You’ll see a few odd things attached to some of these knives that you might not recognize right away. I think most people know what it means when they see BOS 420HC steel, but what about DymaLux wood? I didn’t know either. Here’s what I’ve found about that kind of thing:

Edge2X Blade Technology: This is a whole “new” process of creating edges that Buck start in 1999. It involves laser cutting machines and a different way of heat treating, but essentially it’s a reduced angle on the edge’s bevel from what had been around 45 degrees total to 30 degrees total (meaning a 15 degree bevel on each side of the edge). This makes the blade a lot better at slicing, and a little easier to sharpen, although it does require a gentler touch.

Crelicam Ebony: This is ebony wood bought from the Crelicam wood mill owned by Madinter (a wood supplier) and Taylor Guitars (a guitar manufacturer). The idea of the company is to promote and encourage legal and ethical sourcing of ebony wood, which has been a problem in the past.

DymaLux Wood: This is basically dyed birch laminate injected with resin. If you were ever familiar with the Dymondwood scales Buck knives used to have, it’s similar to that.

 

Hunters and Rangers: The EDC Hunting Set

These are the designs that made everyone fall in love with Buck knives, and probably knives in general. The 110s and 112s have been around for a long time now, and we’ve never stopped buying the crap out of them because they’re great EDCs, but hunting and general camping was their original intention.

Table of Buck 110 and 112 Variations

Recently the 110 and 112 models have had several evolutions. Buck updated everything in this series with different steels, handle materials, and carry systems. The clip point blade style and blade sizes remain the same throughout the versions.

SteelHandleOpen SystemCarry System Amazon Links
Standard420HCWood HandleNail Nick OpenSheath110 / 112
ProS30V VanadiumG10 HandleNail Nick OpenSheath110 / 112
LT420HCNylon HandleNail Nick OpenSheath110 / 112
Auto420HCWood HandleButton OpenSheath110 / 112
Auto EliteS30V VanadiumG10 HandleButton OpenSheath110 / 112
Slim420HCNylon HandleThumb Stud OpenPocket clip110 / 112
Slim ProS30V VanadiumMicarta HandleThumb Stud OpenPocket clip110 / 112

 

101 Hunter, the Fixed Blade Buck 110

  • Overall Length: 8.5”
  • Blade Length: 3.75”
  • Blade Steel: 420HC
  • Style: Clip
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle Material: Crelicam
  • Carry System: Leather sheath

Just what it says. The 101 Hunter is exactly the same as your standard Buck 110 except it’s a fixed blade. I don’t hear a lot of chatter about this little outlier, and I definitely don’t see many people carry it, but it’s a nice thought from Buck, whether or not it’s actually a good idea. A full-tang 110 seems like a neat thing to own.

Check Price On Amazon

 

Orphan Hunting Knives

There are a few good hunting knives by Buck that aren’t part of a series and don’t quite fit cleanly into any category beyond “hunting”, so this is where they go. I’m putting them up here at the beginning so they don’t get missed, because some of these really are fantastic knives.

Overall / Blade SizeSteelCarry SystemHandleBlade StyleFolding / Fixed BladeCheck Price On Amazon
Alpha Hunter8.125” / 3.5”420HCNylon pouchRubber HandleDrop pointFoldingAmazon
Omni Hunter 10 pt7.75” / 3.25”420HCNylon pouchRubber HanndleDrop pointFixed Blade & FoldingAmazon
Omni Hunter 12pt9.75” / 4.0”420HCNylon sheathRubber HandleDrop pointFixed Blade & FoldingAmazon
401 Kalinga10.0” / 4.75”420HCLeather sheathDymalux wood HandleSkinnerFixed bladeAmazon
103 Skinner8.25” / 4.0”420HCLeather sheathPhenolic or Dymalux HandleSkinnerFixed bladeAmazon
Vanguard8.5” / 4.25”420HCLeather sheathRubber or DymaLux HandleDrop pointFixed bladeAmazon
Zipper8.5” / 4.125”420HCNylon sheathRubber or DymaLux HandleGuthook drop pointFixed bladeAmazon

 

 

Buck Bowies: The Survival Set

By all rights, these should probably be included in the Big Game knives category, but Buck’s bowie knives are a little more versatile than that. Many of these are the kinds of knives you could take into the woods with nothing else. They all have pretty long blade, but many are thin enough to work with smaller game in a pinch, and they can handle some bushcraft and survival jobs a lot better than the skinning-oriented knives that dominate this list.

Many are customizable, and Buck offers a decent range of handle and blade materials, but for the most part these are all 420HC with phenolic or DymaLux wood handles that could stand to be a little grippier.

Overall SizeBlade SizeBlade StyleS30V VersionCheck Price On Amazon
102 Buck Woodsman7.75” Overall4.0” BladeStandard Clip pointNo S30V VersionAmazon
105 Pathfinder9.125” Overall5.0” BladeModified Clip pointNo S30V VersionAmazon
118 Personal8.5” Overall4.5” BladeModified Clip pointNo S30V VersionAmazon
119 Special10.5” Overall6.0” BladeStandard Clip pointHas S30V VersionAmazon
120 General12.0” Overall7.375” BladeStandard Clip pointNo S30V VersionAmazon
124 Frontiersman11.75” Overall6.25” BladeSlight Drop pointNo S30V VersionAmazon

 

 

Open Season Knives: The Dedicated Hunting Set

This is Buck’s dedicated hunting series. Whatever you’re planning on doing or hunting on your next trip, Buck has tried to make a knife under this name that will be perfect for the job. Right now, there are two versions of these knives made: the regular Open Season knives which are mostly BOS 420HC Steel and DymaLux scales, and the Pro versions, which have S35V steel and Micarta scales.

NOTE: I left out the 550 Selector 2.0 here and put it in the Multi-tool section.

Overall / Blade SizeSteel: Standard / ProHandle: Standard / ProBlade StyleGuthook VersionCheck Price On Amazon
535 Moose Skinner11.2” / 8.0”S35VNMicarta HandleSpear PointNo Guthook VersionPro
536/537 Skinner8.5” / 3.75”420HC / S35VNDymaLux / Micarta HandleDrop PointHas Guthook VersionStandard / Pro
538/539 Small Game7.63” / 4.25”420HC / S35VNDymaLux / Micarta HandleDrop PointHas Guthook VersionStandard / Pro
541 Boning10.25” / 6.5”S35VNMicarta HandleBoningNo Guthook VersionPro
542/543 Caper7.0” / 3.5”420HC / S35VNThermoplastic / Micarta HandleCapingNo Guthook VersionStandard / Pro
556/557 Folding Skinner8.5” / 3.75”420HC / S35VNDymaLux / Micarta HandleDrop PointNo Guthook VersionStandard / Pro

 

 

PackLite Knives: The Backpacking Set

These are stripped designs for longer trips. If you plan on packing gear through the woods for an extended period, PackLite blades are made to be as light as possible and still offer the same degree of function you get from other Buck knives. They aren’t the most comfortable knives, but that can be helped a little if you have some paracord to spare. There’s a similar range of selection here to the Open Season knives, including blades for small and large game, plus a few for dressing game in the field.

Overall / Blade SizeBlade StyleHandleGuthook VersionS30V VersionCheck Price On Amazon
135 PakLite Caper Knife6.75” / 2.5”CaperSkeleton HandleNo Guthook VersionS30VStandard / Elite
136 PakLite Boning Knife9.25” / 5.25”BoningSkeleton HandleNo Guthook VersionS30VStandard / Elite
140 PakLite Skinner6.625” / 2.875”Recurve drop pointSkeleton HandleNo Guthook VersionNo S30VAmazon
141 PakLite Large Skinner8.0” / 3.5”Recurve drop pointSkeleton HandleHas Guthook VersionNo S30VAmazon
143 PakLite Skinner Black7.75” / 3.875Recurve Drop pointSkeleton HandleNo Guthook VersionNo S30VWalMart Exclusive
673 BuckLite MAX Small Knife7.75” / 3.25”Drop pointRubber HandleNo Guthook VersionNo S30VAmazon
679 BuckLite MAX Large Knife8.75” / 4.0”Drop pointRubber HandleHas Guthook VersionNo S30VAmazon
684 BuckLite Max II Small Knife7.5” / 3.25”Drop pointRubber HandleNo GuthookNo S30VAmazon
685 BuckLite Max II Large Knife8.875” / 4.0”Drop pointRubber HandleHas Guthook VersionNo S30VAmazon

 

 

Buck Hunting Multi-Tools

There are a handful of nifty Buck, especially if you’re into bowhunting. None of these are Leatherman-style multi-tools with ten different kinds of bottle openers tucked inside the handle. They’re task-driven designs boiled down specifically to cater to hunting.

It should be noted that the 550 Selector 2.0 is technically part of the Open Season series. Its overall design is the same as the 556 Open Season Folding Skinner, but the Selector’s interchangeable blade feature puts it in a different class for me.

ToolsHandlePurposeCheck Price On Amazon
183 Alpha Crosslock3.0” spear point blade

Saw blade w/ guthook

Anodized Aluminum HandleMulti-purpose huntingAmazon
737 Bow Tool11 allen hex drivers

Scissors

2.0” blade

G10 HandleBow maintenanceAmazon
738 Bow Tool TRX8 torx drivers

2.0” blade

Phillips head

Scissors

Broadhead wrench tool

G10 HandleBow MaintenanceAmazon
550 Selector 2.0Interchangeable blades:

Drop point

Drop point serrated

Guthook

Thermoplastic HandleMulti-purpose huntingAmazon