Buck Knives is one of America’s oldest knife companies, and with good reason. Buck senses the pulse of the knife buying public, and they have produced some of the most rock-solid knife designs over the years, that are still in production. A knife executive of a major knife company once told me that, a “good” knife design has a three year shelf-life. That means that after about three years, that design no longer holds an interest to the knife buying public. But take a look at many of the Buck designs – like their classic Model 110 that have been around for decades, yet they are solid sellers. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, when they saw a large folding knife, with laminated wood handles and brass bolsters on it, and it was called a “Buck Knife”. This is just like facial tissues are usually called “Kleenex”. It has become a generic term, and in reality, it is kudos to the original maker of that product, that it is so readily recognized.
Buck Knives lives on, in Idaho. They finally packed-up and had enough of Kalifornia, and moved to a more free state – and they don’t come much more free than Idaho is. I’ve entertained the thought numerous times about just packing-up and moving to Idaho, from Oregon. The Oregon I live in now, is nothing like the Oregon I knew, when I first moved here in 1979. Oregon is on the fringe of becoming the very next Kalifornia – a state that is pretty much Communistic. Perhaps if I were much younger, I’d just pack-up and move – but such is not the case…my next move will be, into a nice used 5th wheel trailer, and I’ll sell my small homestead. I don’t need the space and acreage we have now – its hard to keep up with the chores. Not quite sure where the wife and I will place our 5th wheel, but whatever doesn’t fit inside of it, will be sold at a garage sale. More than likely, we’ll remain in Oregon – some place – not about to let the liberals run us out of our chosen home state with their idiotic politics.
In recent years Buck Knives has really turned-up the heat on turning out new knife designs. As anyone who has owned a Buck Knife knows, they always come scary sharp out of the box, and hold that edge a good long time. However, when time came to re-sharpen your Buck, it was a real pain to do so, because of the edge geometry and the high Rockwell hardness of the blade. It took a master or someone with a Master’s Degree in knife sharpening to get that job done. Not too many years ago, Buck made a few changes in their process, and their knives — while still holding a good sharp edge, for a good long time — can now be more easily re-sharpened. Way to go, Buck!
Buck is now coming out with a lot of Every Day Carry (EDC) folding knives – ones that aren’t overly large, and are easy to carry in your pants pockets – even your dress suit pants pocket. Buck is listening to their consumers. I personally like a folding knife with a blade between 3.5-inches in length and 4-inches – and I like the Goldilocks Effect – folders that have a blade at 3.75-inches long seem to be just the ticket for me and the chores I do with a folder. They just seem to balance a lot better in my hand, and get the job done, without reaching for a longer blade or a fixed blade knife.
This is a long way of introducing the new Buck 841 Sprint Pro folder, and this is one honey of a folder, with everything you need, and nothing you don’t need. This isn’t just some “cheap” folder. Rather, it is a top-of-the-line folder, with a blade that is made out of S30V hi-tech stainless steel. I takes and edge, and holds it – a good long time, and is easy to re-sharpen – that is important to me. The blade is the ever-popular Drop Point design, that is great for most chores, and it is 3-1/8th inch long. The blade opens with the fast-growing ball bearing “flipper”. I found that you can effortlessly, apply a little pressure to the flipper, and the blade flings open and locks open solid, with the liner lock.
The Paul Bos Method
The S30V blade is heat-treated by the Paul Bos method. And “yes” I know that he passed away, but Buck is doing the heat-treatment exactly the way Bos did, back when he was doing each and every blade for them. The edge retention – its there – and once again, its easy to re-sharpen, once you get the blade dull. I personally, never try to let any blade get overly dull, I like to touch them up so they stay sharp at all times.
I want to make special mention of the handle scales on the Model 841. I wasn’t quite sure what they were made out of, so I had to check the Buck web site. At first, I thought it was some type of polymer material. Nope! Buck calls these handle scales Burlap Micarta, and everyone who has been around knives for any length of time knows that, Micarta is some popular and super-tough handle material. I like the look and feel of this particular Micarta on the 841.
Made in Idaho
This is very important to many knife buyers, and that is that this Buck is made in the USA! Yes, they are made in Idaho – land of the free, home of the brave. So, keep this in-mind, when knife shopping – while there are a lot of knock-offs and clones of Buck Knives. Those are cheaply made, poorly made – junk – made in an unknown factory in China – some place in China – maybe in a prison labor camp. Don’t accept any substitutes, that “may” look like a Buck – make sure it is the genuine article.
The deep pocket carry pocket clip, allows the 841 to sit low in the pocket. And, the knife only weighs a little over three ounces. So it is easy to forget that you are carrying it – either in a pants pocket, or even a dress shirt pocket, or in the pocket of a suit jacket – on the inside. And, for sure, my wife missed cleaning out a pair of my cargo pants one day, before washing them, and the 841 got a thorough washing – no harm was done at all. But certainly the knife was super clean.
I use a pocket knife every single day, for some kind of cutting chores around my small homestead, so you won’t catch me without a folder or two in my cargo pants pocket. And, I’ve lost more than a few folders during my testing, or while doing chores. And, needless to say, many knives that I’ve lost or misplaced, were really ones that I liked. Every now and then, I manage to “find” one of my lost knives – when my riding lawn mower runs it over – more often than not, the knife is ruined when this happens. However, you’d be surprised to know that, many of these “found” knives just have some scratches on them – and they are still functional.
I don’t have any “planned” testing I do on most of the knives I get in for reviews. I mostly just go about doing whatever cutting jobs that present themselves to me. However, one test medium that I always use are the vicious blackberry vines around our digs – and they are tough. A lesser knife blade will not cleanly sever completely through a thick blackberry vine with one single swipe of the blade. I had some concerns the Buck 841 wasn’t up to the task, with the blade only being 3 1/8th inch long. However, the blade was super-sharp, and it cleanly cut through several of these vines – and the thicker the vines, the more of an “angle” swipe you have to take at them in order to slice through them. I found that the 841 was up to the task. Also, boxes from UPS, FedEx and USPS were cut open, as well as some poly rope, and this is tough stuff – many knife blades will simply slip right off this material – the Buck cut through it.
To say the 841 was shaving sharp is no lie, I could easily shave the several days of growth of my face without too much effort with some shaving cream. And, “no” I’m not Mick Dundee…I just wanted to try it – and it worked – honestly, I was afraid of cutting myself if I didn’t hold the blade at just the right angle. So, I stopped the shaving test.
The Buck 841 retails for $120, and in my estimation it is worth every single penny. I did find them at the discounted price of $99, Amazon.com. If you’re in the market for a top-notch EDC folder, then this would be a good choice. Check one out on the Buck company web site or at your favorite sporting goods store counter.