Buck 110 Automatic Folder, by Pat Cascio

Iconic, is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as: “…relating to, or having the characteristics of an icon…widely recognized and well-established an iconic brand name…widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence…” This pretty much describes the Buck Knives Model 110 folding hunting knife. Today, we’re taking a look at Buck’s newest addition, and this is a 110 that opens automatically, instead of manually.

I wish I had a Dollar for every time I heard someone say “hey, that’s a Buck…” whenever they saw someone using a folding knife, with brass bolsters and a wooden handle scale. While it might have “looked” like a Buck, it was just a copy, an imitation, or rip-off – call it what you want, but it wasn’t a genuine Buck. Right now, sitting on my computer desk, is a three knife set, made by Remington, the gun maker – okay, not made by them, but made for them, in China, and it has the Remington name on it. The largest knife in the set looks very similar to the Buck 110 folder – but upon closer examination, you can see it isn’t anywhere near the quality of workmanship of Buck.

Buck Knives has been in business more than a hundred years, and that’s a good long time, for any sort of business to be around. That says a lot about the company. If they didn’t turn out quality products, then they wouldn’t still be in business. Some years ago, Buck, wisely made the move from Kalifornia to Idaho – good on them.

Back in 1963, Al Buck, designed the original 110 folder, and it has been a huge hit with hunters and outdoorsman alike. Many hunters wanted a folding knife to take afield, instead of a fixed blade knife. However, they demanded that any folder be the best it could be. If you’ve ever dressed out big game, like a deer, you know how tough their hide can be to penetrate – well, the Buck 110 was and is up to the task.

First, There Were Conversions

For quite a few years, and even now, there are some fellows out there, who convert a manual opening Buck 110 folder, into an automatic. Some of them do a decent job, some are really bad at it. However, with Buck making their 110 folder into an auto, that takes all the business away from those guys.

Let’s take a quick look at the 110 folder, needless to say, it has a push button that you press, to open the blade – it is a one hand opening folder. It also has the heavy clip point blade, that hunters demand, and the blade is 3 ¾-inches long, and made out of 420HC – high carbon steel. This is a Buck standard. However, some years ago, Buck changed the edge geometry on the blade, so it would be easier to re-sharpen. In the past, this steel, at the Rockwell hardness Buck was using, was extremely difficult to re-sharpen. Many users would just send the knife back to Buck, for them to re-sharpen. But you don’t have to do that today, you can easily re-sharpen the blade, with a little practice.

Crelicam Ebony

Buck 110 Automatic KnifeAs already mentioned, the bolsters are made out of highly polished brass, but they “stain” easily with use – they easily pick-up your finger and handprints, but it is easily wiped off. The handle material is a natural ebony hardwood. This wood is sourced from the Congo basin in Africa, and it is re-planted in this same area. This particular wood is called Crelicam Ebony and it is very attractive. Keep in mind though, that this is a natural wood material – not man made – so each knife handle is a bit distinctive. It may or may not have tiny imperfections. This is natural, so don’t think you received a factory second–you did not.

Each 110 comes in a friction-fitted leather sheath, from the factory. The belt loop on the back of the sheath is large enough to fit most belts, other than military spec web belts. To be sure, the Buck 110 was highly prized during the Vietnam war and other conflicts since then.

The original 110 has no thumb studs for one handed opening, however, the 110 automatic has a neat little Buck 110 Automatic Knifebutton on the handle scale, and with a simply push of that button, the blade opens – and it opens with authority, as well as extremely smoothly – very nice job on this aspect. The 110 is a lock-back design, and the lock is in the rear of the knife – and it locks the blade open solidly – in either the manual or the automatic versions.  To be sure, there is no pocket clip on the 110 – you can carry it in your pocket, of the sheath, I’d do the sheath for a more secure carry. I don’t see myself having to draw any folding knife, in a knife fight.

Sharp, Of Course

My sample came, as expected, hair-shaving sharp out of the box, and I mean it was S-H-A-R-P!!! The button release is easy to access, and I don’t think this folder would accidentally open if you carried it in your pocket.  But be advised: carry it in the provided sheath. When the blade is opened, and locked in place, you have to press on the lock in order to fold the blade back into the handle. The spring is more than a little stout, so it takes some effort. What surprised me is that, even though the spring is stout, the blade opens smoothly.

Testing was the usual around our small homestead, cutting down blackberry vines, opening packages and even used in the kitchen – the super-sharp blade made all cutting chores a piece of cake. I never once had to re-sharpen the blade after several weeks of use. Nice!

If you’re in the market for the newest Buck 110 folder, and you can legally own an automatic folding knife in your locale, then check this folder out. Be advised though, since this knife was introduced at the SHOT Show, it has been in great demand. I had to wait a good while before I could get a sample for this article. And, to be sure, this folder is made in the USA!

They’re Selling at a Premium

Full-retail is $200 – however I checked around the ‘net and found that they are selling for much more than that, due to the scarcity of this automatic. Keep checking back with Buck on their web site, or your favorite cutlery shop – maybe you’ll luck out and snag one.

Its just hard to not like anything Buck Knives makes, and this latest 110 may just be the best improvement that they have come up with.




16 Comments

  1. Have had 3 of the regular 110’s for years as an everyday carry work knife. I now carry one of the pocket clip folders that they offer…can’t remember the model though. Great knives that last!

  2. I’ve a few Bucks and Case that are kept squirreled away in a box. Also have the Chinese knock offs of these which are my EDC. Chinese version is 20 years old and still looks pretty good. Paid $10 for a two knife set with cases in clearance bin at wally world. Should have bought the whole bin!

  3. Back in the early 70’s my future wife gifted me with a shinny new Buck 110 for Christmas. I carried it throughout my Navy years. (even has some deck plate indentions where I accidentally stepped on it after laying it down doing some chore). Lost it! I was sick. Bought another one for more than the $10 the original cost. Several years later during a move I found the original. I gave the new one to my Dad. The original is tucked away in my safe.

  4. Back, late 70’s maybe early 80’s I bit the bullet and spent a whopping $49.00 for a Buck 110 in Damascus. Do they still make a Damascus 110. I still have it and it’s in great shape.

  5. The only knife I have had longer than my Buck 500 is my issued TL-29. Both hold an edge like nobody’s business. This winter with several feet of snow on the ground I pulled them both out of my knife drawer and gave them some lovin. I’ve left both of them out on my desk for me to admire. One of life’s simple pleasures.

  6. For those in the Redoubt, the factory father’s day sale is coming up June 10-14. See their website for details. They sell “factory seconds” and first runs at discount. I am had pressed to ever find the flaws.

  7. I have three of the “older” Bucks from the early 70’s. Two were presents from my parents, a Personal and a Special. The third I saved up for and purchased is the Fillet. I remember my dad thought it was crazy to spend so much money on a hunting knife. They were about $20 bucks each at the time. I believe the steel Buck used back then was 440C. I do know they must be 60+RH as they are extremely hard. Diamond stones which are quite common nowadays made keeping them sharp much easier!

  8. I’ve owned a few Buck knives in my time and have never been disappointed. Thanks for doing a knife review about an American made knife. I’m sure the good ole boys and gals who made them will appreciate it also since your review is bound to generate some sales.

  9. I have a Buck 110 that I inherited from my wife’s uncle. He worked around Grand Mesa Colorado for the water district and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He “used” this 110 and when I got it, it was in perfect condition and razor sharp. He hunted deer and elk and didn’t own another hunting knife that I am aware of. Nothing like quality. It now resides in my truck for “just in case” events.

  10. My local Walmart stores have the 110 for $40 and the ones with plastic handles for only $20. Buck told me they would match the Walmart price if ordered directly from Buck. Same thing with the fixed blade models that Walmart sells.

  11. Just chatted with the buck website. If you’re planning to get one of these by Father’s day try going through a dealer. They won’t be available though the website by then.

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