The Buck brand is such a familiar one to many Americans that it has become synonymous with a type of knife rather than the company that produces it. That company has been around since the early 20th century when Hoyt Buck found a new way to temper blades so that they held their edges longer than other knives of the same period. The Buck brand has grown in reputation over the years, its knives are still carried by hunters and others who just want a reliable everyday carry. As far as everyday carries go, the Buck 110 is among the more popular pocketknives. It is one of the few consistently given a five-star rating on the web’s most popular retail sites. The subject of this review is the Buck 55 Hunter, the 110’s little brother.
Size, Weight and Blade Information
The length of the blade is 2 3/8 inches and the knife weighs 2.2oz. The blade features a crescent tip that makes it thinner while also providing a sharper point. This size and shape makes it perfect for cutting in tight spaces and for tasks where piercing ability is needed. It is made with a heat treatment process that makes it resistant to corrosion and that adds to its overall durability. The steel used to make the Buck 55’s blade is 420HC, which is not the newest or trendiest type of steel used for knife-making, but is tried and true nonetheless and has been used to make Buck knives for many years. Many reviewers believe 420HC to be equal to 440C and AUS-8. It manages to capture the qualities of being strong while also being easy to sharpen. The blade’s size makes it easy to carry in a pocket while handling everyday tasks whereas the 110 could be more cumbersome. Additionally, it will arrive well-oiled and sharp enough to shave hair.
Handle and Feel
The Buck 55 has a slim profile that makes it easy to carry in a liner pocket or in the front pockets of jeans. With the blade closed, it is 3 3/8 inches long. The handle is made of the same natural grain Dymondwood used to make the handle of the Buck 110. The design also includes brass bolsters to give the knife a more elegant and finished feel. The fit of the metal and wood parts is smooth to the point that it can only be described as impeccable. Despite its small size, the Buck 55 feels sturdy enough to heavy duty tasks.
Opening and Closing
There is no thumb stud on the Buck 55; it uses a nail notch instead. The precise machining that is visible in the knife’s construction can be felt with the knife’s opening and closing mechanism. Yes, this American-made knife is slightly more expensive than many made in China; however, the quality that sets it apart is tangible in its open/close action.
Pros of the Buck 55 Hunter
- The Buck 55’s small size makes it perfect for tasks as diverse as field dressing small game to whittling.
- It comes with a 4-Ever lifetime warranty from Buck.
- The Buck 55 is small enough to be used as a paring knife in camp but is still sturdy enough for most hunting-related tasks.
- It holds an edge and is easy to sharpen.
- It is made in the USA.
Cons of the Buck 55 Hunter
- While the vast majority of users find the rivets in the Buck 55’s handle to be an aesthetically pleasing element that helps to make the handle stronger, some owners consider them unattractive.
- The brass bolsters will need to be polished occasionally if owners want to keep their knife looking its best. Brass may oxidize due to humidity and skin oils from being handled. For the many who like the way that brass looks when it patinas, this will not be a con.
Buck knives are popular because of their history of quality and attractive looks. These are knives that can provide users with years of use, which is why they are popular with everyone from search and rescue personnel to serious hunters. The Buck 55 is a great choice for a compact pocket knife that will serve you well in many ways.