Buck fixed blade handles

Discussion in 'Buck Knives' started by CVamberbonehead, May 29, 2020.

  1. CVamberbonehead

    CVamberbonehead Gold Member Gold Member

    727
    Nov 6, 2017
    I have a question, and I figure that you fine folks in the Buck subforum are the people to ask. So, I used to have a Buck 119 that I used on a trapline and I liked the knife. The issue was that it too chunky and the handle was so square! It actually hurt to cut trap stakes because of that awful square chunk of a handle. I sold it to end the torture. lol Now I have a hankering for a smaller Buck knife that might be more practical. I want something stainless and water resistant for going fishing and rafting with summer approaching.
    After I sold it, I found out about the Buck 102. My father in law has one (but lives across the country from me), and it seems like a practical knife. Its been a long time since Ive seen or held one though so I dont know if the handle is blocky like my old 119. I also like the looks of the Buck 105 (ALOT:cool::Dthats a good looking knife, and just the right size for me in theory).
    My question is, would either of these knives have a chunky square handle? How do they feel in use? They look a bit square but Im wondering if the smaller handles will be more comfortable since they dont resemble a phenolic 2x4. lol In particular, the 105 worries me. How much smaller is it than a 119? I dont mind a squarish handle in a smaller knife like a trapper or other pocketknife, but a chunky square handle just cuts into my (glove size: Large) hands.:(
    Im sorry for the wall of text here, but I couldnt find anything talking about the handles. Just a few knife comparisons that didnt say much about the handles. Thanks for reading all this! :)

    P.S. Bonus question: How do the Buck leather sheaths hold up to water? I take good care of my leather sheaths but Ive never used one where it could get dunked like on a rafting trip. My old 119 sheath was fine, but it never got really soaked (just some rain/snow). Is that black coloring a waterproofing treatment or just dye? Help me!!!:confused:
     
  2. guy g

    guy g Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 22, 2000
    The best way is to go to a B&M and handle the 102 and 105 (I have all three) The blades are thinner and shorter , will they do the job you need? That's the biggest question.
    I prefer the 4" class of fixed blade and the 102 is an extension of my hand, and the 105 is slightly larger in the handle and slices brisket nicely. ( I use a filet knife for thinner slices there)
    Now to the bonus round.. prob sno coat or bees wax or something else you know of will help with the water proofing. Me? I gonna find a nylon sheath of some sort .
    Not much new here but I hope it's a start.
     
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  3. sassafrassdogs

    sassafrassdogs Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2016
    A 105 is relatively smaller than a 119 it should fit in your hand better. A 102 is relatively smaller than a 105. The sheaths are dyed...
     
    guy g likes this.
  4. MT_Pokt

    MT_Pokt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2014
    If you felt the 119 handle was blocky, the bad news is that I don't believe the handle shape has changed much at all over the last 3/4 century.

    There are other options though. I have a 118 in my hunting pack, always. The handle is slightly leaner than the 119, but generally the same shape.

    Like @sassafrassdogs3 said. Best bet is to find a shop that has them in stock and try them all out.

    I'm sure one of the nice folks here will post one of the many side-by-side comparison photos here as well.
     
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  5. sportingspecialist

    sportingspecialist

    Dec 11, 2014
    I apologize for parsing your post but these are the two sentences that throw me off.

    The handle of the 119 is large but it's round and smooth not square at all.

    Are you sure you didn't own a 124 Frontiersman? Now the handle on that knife is chunky and square.
     
  6. CVamberbonehead

    CVamberbonehead Gold Member Gold Member

    727
    Nov 6, 2017
    Youre fine.
    No it was a 119. I picked it up because it was lost on the bottom of the Walmart knife case and they had 119s with new packaging, so they marked it down to $20. I couldnt resist. I think the 124 looks cool, but yeah that is one super blocky handle!!! :eek: Plus theyre so expensive, and I dont have safe queens so Ive never bought one.....
    My 119 was square, kind of rounded on the edges yes, but it still dug into me. Especially cutting stakes, since I would lightly chop points on them and chop the edges to chamfer the end I would hammer on. It felt like holding a board and whacking it on the ground. Not pleasant. Im a wimp, so I dont want to deal with that again.:D lol
     
  7. Lesknife

    Lesknife Platinum Member Platinum Member

    877
    Mar 31, 2018
    Yes that’s what I was thinking it was maybe a 124 which also is a full exposed tang with a slab on each side of the handle. I had to round the corners off my 124 near the guard to make it usable. All the 119 I’ve ever seen were round handles and very comfortable to use. I have a 2019 model that is so nice in the hand. You might also consider the model 117 small special that has a 4.5 inch blade. I really like the size.
     
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  8. sportingspecialist

    sportingspecialist

    Dec 11, 2014
    OK. Then if your handy with a belt grinder you can modify a 119 into something that suits you better.

    Like these:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. GPyro

    GPyro Gold Member Gold Member

    985
    Apr 18, 2019
    I think the handle on the 102 is pretty small for any extended use
     
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  10. CVamberbonehead

    CVamberbonehead Gold Member Gold Member

    727
    Nov 6, 2017
    Ok those are prety cool! :thumbsup:
     
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  11. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Rather than a belt grinder which not everyone has, can afford, or has a place to set it up, I was going to suggest modifying the handle with a file and sand paper if you didn't like it in hand.
    Files are fairly inexpensive if you don't have one, can be used almost anywhere, and take up almost no room in a drawer when not in use.

    If you have any in your area, check out the pawnshops. Sometimes they have good deal(s) on decent worth owning fixed blades.
    I found a 119 and a Western L66 for good prices at one of them here. (still no luck finding a new or used Buck 103 locally though.)

    Admittedly, I found the 119 "wrong" for my then, and current needs. Don't get me wrong. The 119 is a fine knife. I just don't need a blade that long, for one thing. I never carried or used my 119, so I traded it for a pair of broken in restored/rebuilt boots (worth roughly twice what the 119 sells for new) I "needed worse" or "needed more", whichever term you prefer, over at the local boot/shoe/saddle repair leather works shop. (sadly, the owner and only guy that worked there died unexpectedly of a heart attack or stroke last summer or fall. :( Worse, I think his was the only such shop with-in several states. The closest one may be in Texas or New Mexico now. Not a lot of help when you stuck in Idaho.)
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  12. 300Bucks

    300Bucks

    Apr 19, 2005
    CV, Should be lots of folks to give you their opinion this weekend. There should be several, if not a bunch of knives that will fill the bill. There are several folks who hunt, camp and trap using a medium size Buck straight knife. It sounds like you need a knife but would appreciate just enough handle size to whack a piece of wood into shape. You might go to the Buck website and look over the knives that look and measure just shy of the 119. There are several. Some of you straight knife guys show some photos of you knives in action.
    300Bucks
     
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  13. CVamberbonehead

    CVamberbonehead Gold Member Gold Member

    727
    Nov 6, 2017
    Thanks to everyone so far, I didnt expect so many responses so soon. :thumbsup:
     
  14. CVamberbonehead

    CVamberbonehead Gold Member Gold Member

    727
    Nov 6, 2017
    Yes, some action shots/usage reports would be great! Those of you who have 105s or 118s (or 117s), how do they work out for you?
     
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  15. guy g

    guy g Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 22, 2000
    There is also the nighthawk and pursuit lines. Maybe something there will fit?
     
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  16. BP_

    BP_ Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2015
    I really like my 117. Handle size is comfortable, and blade length is useful. My OL likes to sneak it to the kitchen with her, too. The 119 is a fine knife. I own several in several steels/handle materials. They are big. Not “too big” for me, I like them just fine. But “one step down” might suit you better. :thumbsup:
     
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  17. BP_

    BP_ Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2015
    I’ve always liked those. Thanks for sharing :thumbsup:

    But what if a person isn’t that handy with the belt grinder? :p:D:rolleyes:;)
     
  18. kossetx

    kossetx Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2017
    I still love those blades.

    OP, If your chopping I don't think you'll be happy with anything less than a 119.
     
  19. BuckShack

    BuckShack Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 19, 2015
    Buck BuckLite Max II 684 and 685 - thin but comfortable and grippy

    [​IMG]
     
  20. BuckShack

    BuckShack Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 19, 2015
    Buck Vanguard 692 and 192 - the size of the Buck BuckLite Max II 685, but thicker handle and probably the most comfortable in my hand

    [​IMG]
     
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