Buck 101 Hunter Fixed Blade Knife Review

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, suing 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 1964, the knife industry was revolutionized with the introduction of the Model 110 Folding Hunter, making Buck Knives a leader in the field. A positon they proudly hold 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 US, 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 their ongoing commitment to developing innovative new products and improving what they have by third and fourth generation Buck family members that have made Buck the successful knife maker it is today. Frankly, it is what their customers expect from a Buck.

Buck has a forever warranty which means that they warranty each and every Buck knife to be free of defects in material and workmanship for the life of the knife, and they will repair or replace with a new Buck knife, at their option, any Buck knife that is defective.

Today, we will be going over the Buck 101 Hunter knife.


The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 420HC steel. This steel is considered a lower mid-range steel. Generally considered the king of the 420 steels, 420HC is similar to 420 steel but with increased levels of carbon (HC stand for High Carbon) which makes the steel harder. While it still is considered a lower mid-range steel, but the more competent manufactures, especially Buck, can really bring out the best in this affordable steel using quality heat treatments. The quality heat treatment results in better edge retention and resistance to corrosion. In fact, this is one of the most corrosion resistant steels out there, despite its low cost. You are going to find this steel mostly on budge blade and multi tools.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive, usually a sandpaper. The key characteristic of this blade finish is that it shows off the bevels of the blade as well as showcasing the lines in the steel. This is one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to come across. This blade finish does work to cut down on glares and reflections, but it is a medium level finish in terms of how reflective it is. A mirror finish is going to be much more reflective and a matte finish is going to be much less reflective. The satin finish does cut down on rust and corroding to a point.

The Buck 101 Hunter has a blade that has been carved into a clip point blade shape. If you are looking for a great all-purpose blade, then this is the right blade shape for you. This is also one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. One of the most recognizable knife that features a clip point is the Bowie knife, but it is also very popular on many pocket knives and fixed blade knives. To form the shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight from the handle and stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This “cut out” area is curved on the 101. This cut out area is also referred to as the clip, which is how the shape got its name. Clip point knives look as if the part of the knife from the spine to the point has literally been clipped off. The point that is created by this clip is lowered, which provides more control when using the knife. Because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. This lowered tip helps on this hunting knife because the easily controllable tip helps to not slip and ruin the meat of the game that you are dressing, or slipping and piercing one of the inner organs of the game that you are dressing. Clip point blade also make for a great hunting knife because they feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing, skinning, and dressing game. The only real disadvantage of the clip point blade is its relatively narrow tip. Because it is so sharp and narrow, it does have a tendency to be weak and break fairly easily. The clip point blade shape is going to prepare you for almost any situation.

Because this is a hunting knife, it sports a plain edge. The plain edge will work for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, and skinning a deer. All of these applications involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. The plain edge is also the more traditional edge that you are going to come across and is well equipped for a wider variety of tasks.


The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Macassar Ebony Dymondwood and Brass. Wood has been used as a knife handle since knives came into existence.  A good quality wood handle can be durable and attractive, making wood a relatively inexpensive material for heavy duty knives. Wood also adds a lot of beauty to a knife, making wood handled knives popular among collectors. Dymondwood is a type of stabilized wood, which means that the wood is injected with plastic. Manufacturers inject polymer resin and then compress under high pressure to create a very dense and durable material that still exhibits natural beauty. This material is very similar to Micarta, G10, and Carbon Fiber, except that the base material is wood, instead of unnatural materials. Dymondwood is a very affordable material and is commonly used on budget knives. The combination of Dymondwood and brass gives you a very traditional, gentleman’s knife style. The look of this knife is a classic that is never going to go out of style.

The handle has a continuous curve on the bottom side to provide you with a comfortable grip all the way down. The butt of the knife has a flared handle to help with grip and control.


The Mechanism:

Buck 101 Fixed Blade
Buck 101 Fixed Blade

The Buck 101 Hunter is a fixed blade. When someone is a fan of a folding knife, they think that folding knives are more discrete and easier to conceal, which also means that people don’t know that you have a knife. Folding blade fans also are convenient and can be easily transported in your pocket. However, there are such a wide variety of fixed blades, especially when you are using it as a hunting knife that make a fixed blade the right option for you. For starters, they are stronger and bigger. A fixed blade comes in whatever size you need, form very small to massive. No matter which size you choose, you are going to find the same strength in all. Fixed blades also don’t break, because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. This advantage comes especially in handy when you are field dressing your game, because you need your knife to be reliable. Fixed blades are also much easier to maintain. You do not have to worry about the hinge as you do with a folding knife, plus cleaning is straightforward and simple. This is one of the biggest advantages of having a fixed blade for your hunting knife. After you work with your game, your knife is going to be bloody and messy—so the easier it is to clean, the better your life is going to be. The next advantage to having a fixed blade as a hunting knife is the blade length. Fixed blades are usually twice as long as the blade on a folding knife. They also make for a superior tactical use. This is because fixed blades can be brought into play much faster than a folding knife is going to be able to in a tactical situation. Lastly, a fixed blade is going to make for a superior survival tool. A fixed blade offers more versatility for any number of tasks associated with so-called survival knives, including but not limited to cutting, digging, splitting, first aid tool, food preparation, a hunting knife, hammering, and a prying tool.

Because the Buck 101 Hunter is a fixed blade, you are going to be able to use this knife as much more than just your go to hunting knife.

This is a full tang blade, which means that the blade extends all the way through the handle. This adds exceptional amounts of strength to the knife, because there is no weak spot where the blade meets the handle.


The Sheath:

This knife comes with a black leather sheath that provides a convenient belt carry option. Leather is a very traditional material that is used to make sheaths, and it’s still one of the best types of sheath material to have. There are many good things about leather, but one of the main advantages is the aesthetics. Leather is a well-known material that looks exceptional, feels nice in your hands, and even smells good. Leather is the kind of stuff that hearkens back to the days of cowboys and ruggedness. Leather is also very quiet when you’re putting a knife in and out of the sheath. However, since leather is made up of natural material, it will eventually become unusable., but it also depends on how well you take care of your sheath. If you’re jumping into rivers and going into situation with extreme heat, the oils in the lather could dry out and cause the sheath to crack pretty quickly. If you take care of the leather by oiling it occasionally, it could last longer than the knife itself.


The Specs:

The blade length on this hunting knife is 3.75 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.12 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.5 inches long. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.75 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.1 ounces.


The Conclusion:

Full-tang, fixed version of the classic 110 Folding Hunter. One of America’s best-selling knives is now available in a fixed version. The full tang, 420HC blade creates a sturdy option for those hunters looking for a clip point, fixed blade knife. Featuring the same classic Macassar Ebony Dymondwood handle with brass bolster and built with the same attention to detail, high quality and craftsmanship. Made in the USA