Buck 110 Automatic Knife Review

This story about Buck Knives goes like this. A young 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 handiwork 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 n1964, the knife industry was revolutionized with the introduction of the Model 110 Folding Hunter, making Buck Knives a leader in the field. A position that they still hold proudly today.

Chuck worked his way up through the company serving as President and CEO for many years before handling over the reins to his, 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.

Today we will be talking about the Buck 0110BRSA 110 Automatic knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this sleek knife is made out of 420HC High Carbon Stainless Steel. This comes from the 400 series which remains one of the most popular choice for knife makers because it is easy to sharpen and it is resistant to corrosion. 420 series contain several types with various carbon content between .15% and .40% this steel grade is widely used to make high end razor blades, surgical scalpels, etc. It obtains about 57 HRC after suitable heat treatment. 420HC is a higher carbon content, which is where the HC comes from. It holds a higher carbon production rate than stainless steel. The content is much softer than the higher number steel count 440, yet it’s more rugged than other similar proudcts. This steel can be brought to a higher hardness than 420 and should not be mistaken for it. Buck Knives is known for using this type of steel in many of their knives. This steel material has a greater carbon base and is mixed to a harder content than 420 stingless steels. There are many different levels of steel, but products made from 420HC steel are definitely different from other types of steel in terms of performance and reliability. Knives that are made with this steel are easy to sharpen and are durable when in constant use. Blades made from this steel are less prone to corrosion.

Buck Auto Knife
Buck Auto Knife

The blade has been finished with the classic satin finish. This is one of the most typical knife finishes. It is slightly less shiny than a polished finish, and it is less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. The luster of this finish usually falls between bead blasted, which is a matte finish, and a mirror polish, which is a high gloss finish. This finish works to show fine buffing lines with two directional finishes that better display the bevels of a blade. It actually takes great hand skill to finish. This finish is created by sanding the blade in one direction with increasing degrees of a fine abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. The finer the abrasive and the more even the lines; the cleaner the satin finish blade looks.

This blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point is one of the three most common knife blade shapes used today. The other two are the drop point and the spear point. Clip point blades have the appearance of having the front third of the blade “clipped” off. Traditionally, the spine or unsharpened edge of the knife begins at the hilt and continues to a point between one third to one fourth of the blade length. The blade spine than tapers in thickness in a recurve to the knife’s point. The clip point blade design actually dates back to at least Macedonian times, where examples of knapped flint clip point knives have been unearthed. Variants of this style include the California clip, which uses a clip greatly extended in length, and the Turkish clip point with its extreme recurve. One of the most recognizable clip-point blades is used on the famous Bowie knife. The clip point allows a quicker, and thus deeper, puncture upon insertion because clip point blades are thinner at the spine. The clip point lends itself to a quicker stabbing advantage with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. However, when you are comparing the clip point design to the drop point design, the clip point is going to seem a lot weaker because of this thin characteristic. If you want a knife that is going to be able to take on all the challenges that you throw at it, I would recommend the sturdier drop point. The clip point blade does feature a large belly that is perfect for slicing or skinning. And because this knife has a plain edge, you are going to be able to skin or peel just about anything with this blade. The plain edge is also going to excel at push cuts of any kind, shaving, and traditional uses for your knife. The plain edge is going to give you the clean cuts that you long for, without fraying what you are working with.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of Dymondwood and brass. Dymondwood is phenolic resin impregnated wood veneers that are laminated and compressed. This material is extremely similar to Micarta, G10, and Carbon Fiber, except that the base material is wood instead of an unnatural material. Wood has been used as a knife handle since knives came into existence, really. A good quality wood handle can be durable and attractive, making wood a relatively inexpensive material for heavy duty knives. But, unlike many of the other budget friendly options, wood has a quality aesthetic that it adds to the knife, making your knife look sleek and elegant. In fact, wood hands are very popular among collector’s knives. There are many different types of woods used in knife handles, so you have to choose based on how you are going to use the knife. In this case, the handle has been made out of Macassar Ebony wood. This is an exotic wood with heartwood that is reported to be strong, very heavy, and very hard. The black heart is usually brittle, and the wood is used mostly for decorative purposes. This is a very dark wood that contrasts nicely with the bright brass hardware and ends.

Brass is known and valued for its easy machinability and the ease that the metal can be formed into desired shapes and forms while still retaining its high strength. All brasses are considered malleable and ductile and due to its low melting point, brass can also be cast relatively easily. This metal has both good heat and electrical conductivity and it is wear and spark resistant. Other you won’t need to worry about the electrical and spark related characteristics, the other two are important to knife users. The heat conductivity means that even if you are planning on working with this knife in cold environments, you won’t have to worry about it biting into your hand because it will quickly draw in your body heat. And, being wear resistant means that it is going to stand up to many of the elements and resist scratching easily.

The combination of the dark Ebony Dymondwood and the bright brass create an elegant feel to your knife. This knife is going to be a classic and as the years pass, this knife will always be in style. The handle has a slight curve to make your grip comfortable and secure, even after using it for long periods of time.

This knife does not sport a pocket clip.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, sometimes known as a switchblade. The typical switchblade knife has been around since the 1920s and is really not all that different from a folding knife. The handle is going to be longer and thicker than the blade itself because it has to be able to store the blade in the handle. The handle has been hollowed out and has a slit going down the length of one side. IT contains the folded knife blade, a spring, and a locking mechanism that is attached to a button that extends form one of the flat sides of the handle. When the knife blade is hidden, it is folded into the base of the handle form the side, passing through the slit in the side of the handle. This pulls the spring, which catches on a lever connected to the activation button, effectively preventing the spring form exerting force on the hinged base of the blade. When the button is pushed, the lever, which is on a small rocker, is pulled out of the spring’s way. The spring snaps back into its original shape, pulling the base of the blade around das it does so, flipping the blade’s point out from the side of the handle. The only way to then close the knife is to physically pill upward on the hinged hilt before folding the blade back again. The lever attached to the activation button simply clicks into place against that underside the blade the same way as it would against the spring.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this Buck knife is 3.75 inches long, with a handle measuring in at 4.875 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 8.625 inches long. This knife weighs in at 7.1 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

The Sheath:

Because this knife does not have a pocket clip attached to it, it does come with a leather sheath. Leather is one of the traditional materials that is used to make a knife sheath. Leather is very rugged, tough, and strong. A leather knife sheath feels and looks good, and the attractiveness of a leather sheath only gets better as it ages. One of the best features about a leather knife sheath is that they are silent, so you can easily pull the knife out or put it back in without making a sound. Unfortunately, leather is not waterproof, so getting it wet a lot or exposing it to extreme heat can dry out the oils in the leather which could lead the sheath to crack. To combat that, oiling the sheath from time to time can help make it last longer.

 

Conclusion:

The iconic Buck 110 folder first debuted in 1964 and quickly propelled the company into one of the country’s most prominent manufacturers to date. The name and style has always maintained its heritage but over the years we have seen emerging variations in both finish and functionality. Buck finally took wind of the popular auto-converted 110 model and now produces the knife from start to finish and is 100% eligible for Buck’s limited lifetime warranty. Each product features a high carbon stainless steel blade that has been hardened to a standard RC 58-60 for ideal performance with both edge retention and corrosion resistance and the handle styling boasts a flared base for proper grip security. This model features a brown Macassar Ebony Dymondwood handle complete with brass bolsters, a clip point style blade in a satin finish, no pocket clip and the black leather sheath provides a convenient belt carry option.

 

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