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Buck 110 Folding Hunter Review

Buck 110 Folding Hunter
Price:   $80 List | $39.98 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Classic, large, and strong
Cons:  Heavy, with no modern pocket clip
Bottom line:  A classic, proven product.
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Buck Knives

Our Verdict

This is the most "classic" product in our review. Even the name hints at the lasting legacy of this knife. Referring to your product as "famous" right in the name is bold, to put it mildly. However, it is warranted in this case. When one pictures a pocket knife, they probably picture the Buck "Famous Folder". Does the design prove to live up to the hype and provide lasting function? Read on to learn more.


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Score Product Price Blade Style Opening Style Lock Mechanism
76
$145
Editors' Choice Award
Drop Point, Straight Assisted, ambidextrous thumb stud Proprietary (Axis)
75
$80
Best Buy Award
Drop Point, Straight Assisted, ambidextrous thumb stud. And back-of-knife finger tab. Frame lock
74
$110
Drop Point, Straight Ambidextrous thumb Stud Proprietary (Axis)
73
$21
Top Pick Award
Drop point, straight Fingernail None
72
$97
Top Pick Award
Clip point, straight Assisted, thumb stud Piston lock mechanism
70
$36
Drop point, straight Assisted, ambidextrous thumb stud. And back-of-knife finger tab. Liner locking mechanism
60
$13
Clip point, straight Fingernail Liner locking mechanism
59
$80
Clip point, straight Fingernail Frame lock
56
$16
Drop point, straight One handed blade cutout Frame lock

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Jediah Porter
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Tuesday
September 20, 2016

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The Buck Knife 110 Famous Folder is the most lasting design in our review.

Performance Comparison


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Blade and Edge Integrity


Across the internet and knife blade community, the "420hc" that Buck uses in this knife gets mixed reviews. In order to fully understand any review of knife steel, one must acknowledge that there are competing demands on a knife blade and the material it is made of. It must be hard and strong to hold an edge and relatively rigid for energy transmission. It must also be soft enough to sharpen at home (all knives require maintenance, despite the hyperbole of some manufacturers) and flexible enough to deflect before snapping. Depending on the intended application and blade shape, these attributes will be balanced in different ways. In short, there is no "best" steel for constructing knife blades from. Lastly, the blade is heat treated for hardness after the shape is finalized. Knowing that, we can dive in a little more to the 420hc. This alloy is known to be relatively inexpensive (both in its raw form and in terms of manufacturing process and equipment). Also, it is known to be relatively soft and therefore easily sharpened. This softness, however, compromises edge hold. Balancing the soft make up of the steel is Buck's excellent heat treating process. The end product is nothing special, but holds an edge through weeks and months of "normal" use, and then is readily sharpened.

Ergonomics


As one of the largest knives in our test we expected it to be easy to hold in one's hand during heavy use. The drawback, however, is the shape. The knife handle is long and relatively symmetrical. The wider, more rectangular handle profile of something like the Editors Choice Benchmade Mini Barrage 585 was easier to hold in heavier use. Next, the biggest difference in modern knives and the Buck Famous Folder is in blade deployment. Modern designs can be opened easily with one hand. The 110 requires two hands, one of which must be equipped with a prominent and strong fingernail for activating the blade. This attribute alone greatly compromised the scores of the Buck and lets basically all of the more contemporary, full-size knives shoot ahead in overall score.

Construction Quality


Like any "classic" throwback product, one expects construction quality and lasting design. The Famous Folder meets these expectations. The knife is durable and strong, with smooth hinge and reliable lock.

Portability


This is the heaviest knife in our test, but also the only one that comes with a dedicated belt pouch. Most modern environments aren't real conducive to belt carry. However, if you live and work in an environment in which carrying a leather holster on your belt with your knife in it is appropriate, the Buck Famous Folder could be a viable option for you. Belt carry is comfortable and unobtrusive, as the weight of even this solid tool is transferred to your entire waist instead of just the front pocket of your pants. That being said, the entirety of our testing team preferred the lightweight pocket-clipped carry of something like the Kershaw Leek.

Other Features


There are no other features on the Buck Famous Folder. This is a simple folding blade.

Best Application


This knife would do well living in a tool box or fishing kit. As the name implies, it could be also used by hunters. For "every day carry" there are lighter and more sophisticated knives in our test.

Value


The Famous Folder price point seems to put a premium on the nostalgic design. The materials nor design is particularly sophisticated, but the price is well above the low end of our test roster. For a beefy tool like this, a better value might be our Top Pick SOG Trident Elite Assisted Opening.

Conclusion


This is a nostalgic product with a familiar look and design. Other tools in our test are more sophisticated, but the design and function of the Famous Folder is solid and applicable.

Other Versions and Accessories


None to note.
Jediah Porter

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: January 16, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (5.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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Write a Review on this Gear

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   Jan 16, 2017 - 07:10pm
drg · Hiker
Been using my Buck 110 for about 35 years. A tough knife that stays sharp even when abused.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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