This list of small Buck pocket knives will help you find a practical tool that gets the job done.

Buck’s Best Small Folding, Assisted Open, and Keychain Knives With Blades  Under 3 Inches

 

If you’re hunting or fishing, odds are pretty decent you have a Buck in your pocket. You can’t really ask for better than the 110 Hunter or the 120 bowie knife for outdoor work. But those are pretty big blades, on the whole, and as much as we love pulling out our big knives and swinging them around for all our friends to marvel at, sometimes all you really need is a couple inches.

Fortunately, Buck seems to understand that, and makes a pretty decent selection of small knives with blades falling at or under the 3-inch mark. So if you’re looking for a reliable blade to put on your keychain, sit around your desk, or just need something that won’t scare people at the office, you should be able to find something around here.

If Buck’s not your style, you can check out our small assisted open knives blog. We cover a few more brands in there, but if you’re reading this you’re probably looking for Bucks anyway, so I’ll stop wasting your time and get on with it.

Buck Keychain Knives

Let’s be clear about this: Buck makes some of the best knives you’ll ever lose. These knives are great on the keychain, and I highly recommend you put them on your keychain immediately after getting them. Or you could be like me and collect a half dozen of each, then spend the rest of your life finding them sprout out of every corner of your car and house.

283 Nano Bantam

The Buck Nano Bantam is a great little keychain knife.

  • Blade length: 1.88
  • Overall Length: 4.88
  • Steel: 420HC
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle: GFN
  • Lock: Backlock
  • Carry: Lanyard hole
  • Made in: USA

I don’t know how many of these I have now. There’s one on my desk, and I bet if I reach down into the dust tundra piled behind my desk I’d find three or four more.

These are the perfect size for losing, but they’re also the perfect size for being useful at the exact moment you weren’t expecting to need a knife. They open letters, they cut random pieces of string, or less random strings off the hem of the shirt you’ve probably worn beyond usefulness, if you’re being totally honest with yourself.

The point is, I don’t actively like this knife, but I do actively use it even though I never intentionally carry one or even plan on using it around the house. It’s just there and it works and thanks to the GFN handle, you can find it in pretty much any crazy redneck design your little heart could wish for.

Click here to check out our in depth review of the Buck Nano Bantam.

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425 MiniBuck

The 425 keychain knife is a hnady pocket knife.

 

 

  • Blade length: 1.88”
  • Overall Length: 4.75”
  • Steel: 420HC
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Grind: Flat
  • Handle: Injection molded thermoplastic
  • Lock: Lockback
  • Carry: Pocket or keychain
  • Made in: USA

Again, an easy knife to lose, but more useful than you’d think. Buck certainly didn’t go in for looks on this design, but the MiniBuck is the kind of thing that will hang around for decades. Like the Bantam, I’m sure I have three or four collecting dust in dark corners, but at least one sitting on a desk or side table if I can help it. Which is weird, because I don’t remember buying one at any point in my life. I have to assume that there’s either one person in America who keeps buying them up and scattering them about the country like a steel-minded Johnny Appleseed, or that Buck has found a way to make the MiniBuck spawn in gloveboxes.

But also like their other keychain knives, the MiniBuck is sturdy as hell. If someone were to go mountain climbing with this in the pocket and fell off a cliff, they would find the scattered remains and would be able to determine only that he was someone who owned a Buck knife.

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Buck Manual Folders

The bulk of Buck’s line is manual, and even two-handed open in some cases. In recent years, though, they’ve finally started to embrace modern times with thumb studs, holes, and even assisted open, when they’re really feeling adventurous. This is their manual stuff that’s mostly between two and three inches. We get into assisted open at the bottom.

112 Slim Pro

The Buck 112 Pro is a new addition to Buck's small pocket knife line-up.

 

  • Blade length: 3”
  • Overall Length: 7.25”
  • Steel: S30V
  • Blade Style: Clip point
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle: Micarta or G-10
  • Lock: Backlock
  • Carry: Right or Left hand clip, tip-up
  • Made in: USA

By now the 112 Ranger is pretty well known as a solid EDC, to the point that it’s almost unnecessary to mention it at all anymore. Except that Buck recently updated both the 112 Ranger and 110 Hunter to sport fancier steel and lighter scales with pocket clips. It’s the version that Buck fans have been wanting for years now. I’m not really sure why it took them this long to at least put thumb studs on the damn thing. But now that they have, we can celebrate by destroying the edges of our pockets from carrying these things over the next fifty years.

If I’m honest, I’m not sure I care for the S30V steel upgrade. It’s a fantastic steel for general EDC. but I have no gripes with their 420HC. Not only is it plenty durable for any house or outdoor work I’m doing, it’s also a lot more cost effective. But S30V is in vogue now, I guess, and since Buck is one of the masters of heat treatment in this country, I guess it’s worth shelling out for something on the higher end from them.

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The 55

 

Buck Knives The 55 is a great looking small pocket knife.

  • Blade length: 2.36”
  • Overall Length: 5.72”
  • Steel: 420HC
  • Blade Style: Clip point
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle: Walnut w/ Brass bolsters
  • Lock: Backlock
  • Carry: Pocket
  • Made in: USA

The 55 is basically a tiny 110 Hunter, which makes it a smaller 112, because Buck can’t help but make every variation of these knives they possibly can. As redundant as this seems though, I think it actually has a good place in the Buck line up as a classier alternative to something like the Buck Bantam.

It doesn’t have a pocket clip or case, and it’s treading into the dangerous size that gets lost at light speed the minute you look away, but when it turns up again, it’s cool to have around. You probably won’t be dressing deer with it, but a hollow grind with Bos 420HC steel is more than enough for your standard household uses.

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818 Apex

The Pock Apex is a great foing knife with tha carabiner clip.

 

  • Blade length: 2.63”
  • Overall Length: 6.38”
  • Steel: 420HC
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle: Carbon Fiber
  • Lock: Frame Lock
  • Carry: Right hand, tip-down
  • Made in: China

The Apex is a pretty fascinating knife, especially when you put it in a lineup of Buck’s other knives. It stands out. It has carbon fiber scales, a partially open frame with a front flipper design and a carabiner feature at the bottom. It’s just a lot of things you don’t see coming from Buck very often.

Apparently they designed it with mountain climbers in mind, and it definitely has that look. But speaking as someone who is way too lazy to tie a rope before trying to scale a cliff, and is usually opening beer bottles more than climbing these days anyway, I can tell you that carabiner section is going to see much lighter use than it was designed for. The blade style is pretty interesting too though. Technically it’s a drop point, but they let that sweep go so far down it’s almost a spear point. That’s gonna be a pretty severe point with how extreme they’ve made the hollow grind, so there’s a lot of poking and slicing jobs you could do with this thing in your pocket.

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722 Mini Spitfire

The Mini Spitfire is a very popular small folding knife.

 

  • Blade length: 2.75”
  • Overall Length: 6.5”
  • Steel: 420HC
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle: Aluminum
  • Lock: Lockback
  • Carry: Right or left hand clip, tip-up
  • Made in: USA

This is another one of their more original designs in a couple subtle ways. The recurve blade adds a lot to the swerving look of the knife overall, although it also adds some sharpening nightmares to the mix. But it also has a steep drop point with a hint of a false edge on the back to make what might otherwise by a stout point into something with a bit more poke to it.

The aluminum handle adds a lot to the style of it too, and Buck was smart enough to make this in a few different colors that come out really nice. Even the orange doesn’t come off all that obnoxious. They’ve also kept the handle shape pretty standard, and put in a small choil so you have some options in how to hold this thing. Not much, since it’s only six inches open, but more than you would have otherwise.

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325 Colleague

The Buck Colleague is a stainless steel pocket knife that has a great handle.

 

  • Blade length: 2.0”
  • Overall Length: 4.88”
  • Steel: 420HC
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle: Stainless steel
  • Lock: Frame lock
  • Carry: Right hand, tip-up
  • Made in: China

If the 55 is a classier version of the Nano Bantam, than the Colleague is just a classy alternative in a more modern direction (although, the Bantam is the only one you can put on a keychain). It’s the smaller version of the Nobleman, which we’ll talk about next, but has all the usability you should expect from a two-inch blade, only with an all stainless-steel body. It’ll be a little bit heavier and a little bit sturdier, if a little more plain. You even have a similar drop point blade style to the Bantam, so it really becomes a matter of taste, and how much you want to have thumb studs and a pocket clip on a tiny knife.

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327 Nobleman

The Buck Nobleman comes in a variety of sizes including this one which is has a blade under 3 inches.

 

  • Blade length: 2.63”
  • Overall Length: 6.38”
  • Steel: 440A
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle: Stainless steel or carbon fiber
  • Lock: Frame lock
  • Carry: Right hand, tip-down
  • Made in: China

You could call this the larger version of the Colleague, but there’s a very important difference in the choice of handle materials, namely that you have one. As far as I know, the Colleague only comes in stainless steel, but the Nobleman can come in stainless steel or carbon fiber, plus it has a removable pocket clip.

Another odd difference though is that it’s made in 440A steel. That’s a bit of a disappointing budget compromise since 440A is a softer steel, and it just feels weird to get a Buck knife without their signature 420HC. But it’s part of what keeps the knife under $30, which is maybe good for a knife this size just from a business perspective. Beyond that, though, this is a decent gentleman carry.

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341 Vantage Avid Small

The Buck Knives Vantage Small is a scaled down version of the popular full size Vantage.

 

  • Blade length: 2.63”
  • Overall Length: 6.38”
  • Steel: 420HC
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle: GFN
  • Lock: Liner
  • Carry: Right or left hand carry, tip-up
  • Made in: USA

The regular sized version of this knife is definitely underappreciated as a solid, mid-range knife. That’s partly because of its unassuming design. It doesn’t really stand out until you start handling one or sizing it up with other similar knives. It has such a simple look and manages to house a pretty tall blade in a thin handle that you barely feel in the pocket.

It does have a couple of issues, though. For one, the uncharacteristic flipper design is a little harder to work on a smaller size since there’s less weight and less material overall to work with. And you don’t get the same durability out of this that you do in other Bucks. A few people have complained it tends to loosen up quite a bit after dropping it, and the screws are so small it makes it tricky to tighten back up. But those are the kinds of things you can usually expect from a $30 and under knife, if not necessarily from Buck overall, so I still think this is a perfectly fine casual carry in context.

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Buck Assisted Open Folders

Buck is not especially well known for their AO designs, but they’re out there. There aren’t many, especially in the under-3-inches category, but what they do have is interesting, if not actually kinda good. At the very least, they all seem to have a specific purpose in mind, which goes a long way to making the designs worth looking at. One of the big perks of getting assisted open from Buck is the lifetime warranty, because they’ll usually repair or replace the spring once it wears out years down the road.

750 Redpoint knife

The Buck 750 Redpoint is a modern looking pocket knife.

 

 

  • Blade length: 2.75”
  • Overall Length: 7.13”
  • Steel: 420HC
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle: Rubber
  • Lock: Plunge lock
  • Carry: Tip-down
  • Made in: China

The Redpoint is incredibly useful. Any knife with a decent blade and a bottle opener would be. I’ve heard a few people have gotten this with a faulty locking mechanism, but it’s pretty easy to send it back and get another one thanks to Buck’s lifetime warranty.

This knife is great in a lot of ways: it has good jimping, a thick spine, a grippy rubber handle, and halfway decent serrations. I could find tons of uses for this knife as an outdoor or urban carry. But I’ll be damned if I can get past the way it looks. It looks like a Tonka toy shrunken down to the be the most dangerous baby present ever invented. I hope there are people out there who can learn to love this knife, because it deserves to get used. Maybe that person is you, and I fully accept your life choices. But that person isn’t me.

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288 QuickfireThe Buck Quickfire is a small pocket knife that deploys quickly.

 

  • Blade length: 2.75”
  • Overall Length: 7.0”
  • Steel: 420HC
  • Blade Style: Drop point
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle: Injection molded polymer
  • Lock: Lockback
  • Carry: Right hand, tip down
  • Made in: USA

Buck continues their short trip down the ugly trail with the Quickfire, which is technically a solid assisted open with a good price point. Let’s get one issue out of the way, though: they kinda messed up on the safety.

It’s not that it doesn’t work, it’s just that they made the mechanism lock and unlock with an up/down motion, which means every time you put it in or take it out of the pocket you run the risk of disengaging it if you’re not careful. So, you know, be careful.

Beyond that, though, this is a pretty cool assisted open with an otherwise very strong locking mechanism. It’s also manages to be actually functional as an ambidextrous carry thanks to the double-sided thumb studs, and the oddly shaped handle. Normally left-handed people have to work around the pocket clip or take it off, but Buck had the brilliantly ugly idea of widening the handle at the top so you have more room to slide your thumb.

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290 Rush

The Buck 290 Rush is a stylish and practical folding knife.

  • Blade length: 2.5”
  • Overall Length: 6.25”
  • Steel: 420HC
  • Blade Style: Spear point
  • Grind: Hollow
  • Handle: Aluminum
  • Lock: Liner
  • Carry: Right hand, tip-up
  • Made in: USA

This is Buck’s pointiest assisted open, so you can stop your search here. You will not find pointier. As far as its other benefits, it definitely looks slicker than your typical Buck, and that open aluminum-frame handle makes it a lot lighter and sturdier than it looks. You can usually expect the spring to wear out before anything breaks on it.

I have to question the usefulness of that choil, though. It just doesn’t seem finger-friendly, and the lock on the back will get in the way of your hand somewhat in a full grip. But this is the kind of knife that was design for delicate cutting, so maybe Buck assumed we wouldn’t need to be jamming the meat of our hands onto the spine. For me, this knife is probably first choice for getting slivers out. I don’t know what you’ll want to use it for, but with the ambidextrous open and Bos 420HC steel, I’m sure you’ll find something good to point this at.

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