buck knife

10 Buck Folding Knives that Will Make Every Hunter Drool

No hunter or survivalist would be equipped without a good knife. And, when it comes to knives, Buck folding knives are considered one of the best options.  Here’s where we’ll guide you through the best Buck folding knives.

What is a Buck Folding Knife?

Before we get into the best Buck folding knives, we should clarify what exactly a buck knife is.

Buck Knives is a manufacturer based in the USA.  However, since they are often credited as inventing the folding lockback knife, the term “buck folding knife” is often used to refer to other brands of folding lockback hunting knives – not just ones made by the Buck company.

Note that Buck Knives did not actually invent the lockback knife.  They’ve been around since the 1600s.  Buck just popularized the lockback in the 1960s.  Their Buck Hunter 110 is marketed as “The Original Lockback knife.”  (source 1, 2)

Thus:

Buck folding knife = lockback hunting knife

Why a Lockback Knife?

In general, fixed blade knives are best because of their strength (especially when they are full tang). However, we don’t always want a fixed blade knife.  Folding knives have the benefit of being lightweight and easier to carry.

If you are going to choose a folding knife as your hunting knife though, the lock mechanism really matters.  You don’t want the knife accidentally closing on you while you’re gutting or skinning an animal, do you? (EDC has a good article on knife lock types).

A lockback knife has a spine on a spring.  When the knife is in open position, the spine locks onto a notch which is on the back of the blade.  To close the lockback, you push down on a part on the back of the spine, causing the knife blade to disengage so it can close.

Compared to other types of folding hunting knives, a lockback is a good choice because of the strength and reliability it offers.  The only major disadvantage is that you usually need two hands to close the lockback.  For more on this, Read: How to Choose a Knife.

lockback knife mechanism

Image credit: Waerloeg, found on Wiki,  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Best Buck Folding Knives



*Because “Buck folding knife” is synonymous with “lockback hunting knives,” we’ve included some knives which are not made by Buck.  They are all excellent knives though!

1. Buck 110 Knife

buck 110 folding knife

Called “The Original Lockback Knife,” the Buck 110 was initially released in 1964 and has remained popular since then.   It is affordable, made in the USA, and has a lifetime warranty.

Note that the Buck 110 is a clip point blade.  This makes it a good choice for an all-around blade for camp shores while still having the functionality of a hunting knife.  For avid hunters though, a drop point or skinning blade is probably the better choice.

2. Buck 398 with Gut Hook Knife

buck 398 folding knife

The Buck 398 has a 4” blade, is 5 ¾” when closed, made from 420HC steel, and is fairly lightweight at just 5.1oz.  The gut hook is well designed so it can be used on a wide range of game.

3. Buck Omni Hunter 12PT Knife

gut omni hunter 12pt folding knife

As far as cheap folding hunting knives go, this is one of my personal favorites. It is one of the lighter-weight models made by Buck Knives (4.6oz).   The rubber handle and finger grip in the design make it easy to hold and give you more control.

4. Buck Bantam BHW Knife – Model BU286CMS14

buck bantam folding knife

Here is one of the pricier models of Buck folding knives.  It is more expensive than some, but is worth it for such a nice looking and nice feeling knife.  Usually I don’t like textured handles because they can cause blistering or chaffing, but this one is made from “copperhead snakeskin glass-reinforced nylon” that feels nice and gives better grip.

Note that the blade is short at 3 5/8” but the closed size is 5 1/8”.  So, if you have larger hands, this is a good choice of Buck folding knife.

5. Buck 550 Selector 2.0

buck 550 selector 2.0

This Buck knife was first released in 1990.  It stands out because its interchangeable blade feature. With the newer version of this knife, you have three blade options: drop point, drop point serrated, and gutting. Not everyone is a fan of interchangeable knife blades, but they are great for people who can’t afford to buy 3 separate knives and don’t want to bother lugging them around.  This Buck knife is a bit pricier than most of their options but you are getting three knives in one.

6. Spyderco Native 5 G10

spyderco native 5 g10

Spyderco is one of my favorite knife brands, and their Delica made my list of Top 10 Knives for Under $100.  Their Native 5 makes the list for best buck folding knives because it is so lightweight at 3.7oz despite having an open length of 6.95”.

7.Viper Start Lockback

viper start lockback

Viper knives aren’t as popular as brands like Buck or Spyderco, but they are equally worthy of recognition.  Made in Italy, these knives have a lot of style and great attention to detail.  The Start series includes this great lockback.  Note that it is a bit larger and heavier than the other buck folding knives on this list (9.25” open, 6.4 oz), which might be preferable for big-game hunters.

8. Benchmade Knife Big Summit Lake Hunter Lockback

 

benchmade knife big summmit

This lockback is made in the USA, has a blade length of 3.77” and weight of 4.59oz, and is made from S30V premium stainless steel.   The reason you’ll love it is because of its traditional style and how balanced it feels in your hand.  The price isn’t bad either.

9. Fallkniven Knives U4 Wolf's Tooth Lockback

 

fallkniven lockback

This knife looks ultra-modern and is incredibly compact.  Thus it is great for your everyday carry.  Yet the knife is quality enough to be used when hunting game.  Left handed hunters will appreciate that this is an ambidextrous knife.

10. Steel Will Gekko Mini 1500 Lockback

steel will gekko minin

Steel Will makes a large, tough knife called the Gekko.  The Gekko Mini is their EDC version of the same knife.  This knife is the most expensive here, but it could also save your life and you’ll love having it with you.  It has a blade length of 3.5”, closed length of 4.37”, micarta handle, and weighs 4.76oz.

What's your favorite buck folding knife?


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About the Author Jacob Hunter

I'm Jacob Hunter, founder and chief editor of Primal Survivor. I believe in empowering people with the knowledge to prepare and survive in the modern world.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime

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