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The famous Buck 110

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by BladeLover777, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. BladeLover777


    Nov 16, 2015
    So I've been looking for a utility knife for a long time. My main focus has always been tactical knives, but that's changing lately. I'm tired of dulling down my tactical blades with daily cutting tasks. So I started looking around for something to carry alongside them. About a year ago I handled a Buck 110 and just fell in love with the blade shape and the fit and finish of the knife. It was an old one, but it performed like it was brand new. I did a little reading on Buck's website to get the specs and saw they have an option to customize the knife. So I fiddled with all the options and found my dream utility blade. The price was just a bit too high for me at the time. I still can't get that blade out of my head though. So I decided it will be my next knife, until reading some things on the forum.

    Seems like people are mostly happy with theirs until you look at more recent ones. I've even had people tell me the company's quality control has gone to crap and wasting 100$ or more on a custom version of the 110 is a horrible investment for that reason alone. This is mostly due to blade play, blade centering, and even gaps between the bolsters and the grips. So does anyone have some data points as to Buck's current quality control? Is that just talk or should I be genuinely worried? Even better, has anyone used the customization option on Buck's website? Maybe they pay more attention to the quality of those than the standard production ones? I'd just love to hear some opinions before I go and drop 150$ or so on one. Thanks in advance!
  2. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Check out the buck sub-forum, you'll learn all you need to know there. I can tell you that my buck 110 was made in 2012 and the quality is excellent, it has zero blade play and no gaps. You should be perfectly satisfied with your custom shop 110 and if you aren't they're a top notch American company that stands by their products and will sort everything out for you 👌

    Every company can put out a few lemons here and there. it's after someone's given a company a fair chance that they're opinion matters, because sometimes people just swear off of a company after one bad experience which may be an extremely rare one.

    If I got 2 bad examples of something from the same place then I'd be concerned , but not after only one.

    For example , I once got two bad BG compact multitools from the same Walmart in one week.so I swore off of all Chinese Gerber multitools and spent my 15$ on Doritos and mountain Dew ( definitely a better way to spend my money if you ask me 😉 )
  3. bt93


    May 12, 2015
    Go to a big box store and spend a measley 35 bucks on a Buck 110. Best investment you'll make.
    Just out of curiosity, why don't you like using your 'tactical' blades for daily chores. The 110 is a large knife, probably larger than most of the knives you already have. I'm not to sure about the 'tactical' value on any folding knife, but a knife is a knife, totally useless when just sitting on a shelf.
  4. AntDog

    AntDog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    The Buck 110 isn't exactly a "utility knife". In fact, in a lot of ways, it's the original tactical knife. Throw on one of those thumb studs that mount with an Allen head set screw, and it's not that much different.

    If you're tired of "dulling down your tactical blades with daily cutting tasks", you'll get exceptionally tired of dulling down the buck 110. They'll go dull with daily use MUCH faster than the average, whiz bang super steel tactical folder.

    If you just want a 110, get one. If you want one with better steel look around... There are some vendors who sell them with upgraded steel. No custom order required, and they're just barely more than a regular 110.
  5. jill jackson

    jill jackson

    Sep 5, 2006
    I've had a Buck 110 that did loosen up right away and had blade play in all directions very fast. The 50th anniversary one I picked up, is tight and well made although I don't use it, so I can't say if it will loosen up with use. I have heard people say their's did not. They lack a threaded pivot like most modern large folders have. The pivot pin is small and just peened into place. So, they aren't going to hold up as well as the beefy threaded pivots you see. You have to remember that the 110 design came out in the 60s.
  6. JD Bear

    JD Bear Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 4, 2015
    I agree with bt93...get a standard version and see if you like it. If you do you're really gonna like one that's made specifically for you from the custom shop....
  7. Sirryacus

    Sirryacus Banned BANNED

    Aug 23, 2016
    By barely more do you mean 50 to 60 dollars more? Because that's all I'm seeing.
  8. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    Buck moved from California to Post Falls, Idaho in 2009 and have been pretty open that they had some QC problems in the period just after that. They've also had some recurring problems with a few models.

    But my sense is that the QC of the 110s is on par with industry standards and I'm very sure their customer service is near the top. Things coming out of the custom shop should be expected to have some greater amount of variation but I wouldn't hesitate to order one due to QC concerns. I would worry about whether or not the combination of blade type and scales is something I would love for a long time but that's on me.

    All this said, any traditional lockback like the 110 won't be as rough and tough some modern designs, particularly with respect to lateral play. Peened constructions can be loosened through rough use (and usually corrected with a padded vice). Also, lateral play plagues most lockbacks, especially as they wear the lock bar and pivots wear down. Buck will usually repair that under warranty.
  9. sharp_edge

    sharp_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    I purchased one Buck 110 from the big river site and it had bad blade play. Returned for an exchange, which would be centered in a different position every time the blade is closed. I think it is due to the pivot pin that your mentioned. I keep it just for the sake of having this symbolic Buck model. No plan to use it.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  10. BladeLover777


    Nov 16, 2015
    Great info. Yeah, I am glad to hear good things about their customer service.

    Of course. I just prefer to keep those sharp and ready and pray I don't need to use them. I'm too young to carry a concealed firearm, so they fulfill a self-defense role. Yeah, I'm beginning to think picking up a normal 110 first may be a good idea.
  11. jill jackson

    jill jackson

    Sep 5, 2006
    Something from Cold Steel, is going to be stronger and lighter if all you want is a defensive blade to carry and not use.
  12. timberweasel


    Jan 5, 2011
    Back in its heyday, the Buck 110 was really something and it has certainly earned its place in the annals of the cutlery industry, but times (and knives) have changed. There are far better knives to be had nowadays, imo. Even though I can remember the time when the Buck 110 sheath was a common sight on many a belt, I did not own one so I can't even carry one now for the sake of nostalgia.

    That said, if I wanted a 110 just for the collection, I wouldn't buy one from any of the big box stores; I'd opt to order one from the Buck Custom Shop or buy vintage instead... :)

  13. Poez


    Jul 5, 2010
    Buy a cheap regular one or spend a bit more on upgraded s30v steel blade from Cabelas. If you like the fit and finish and the weight and the size and the feel and will not get tired of dulling it down on your daily cutting tasks: then go for the expensive custom version.
  14. AntDog

    AntDog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    No, I mean 50-60 dollars total.
  15. Sirryacus

    Sirryacus Banned BANNED

    Aug 23, 2016
    I can't find anything with better than 420hc in that price range care to share more information on keywords to search? I certainly can't see a Buck 110 in s30v selling for that.
  16. hank_rearden


    Jun 7, 2002
    i wish the custom guys would stop making special blades from s30v, cpm 154, etc. make them from O-1 or 1095 and i'll be happy.
  17. AntDog

    AntDog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    The auction site. 5160 blades.
  18. Sirryacus

    Sirryacus Banned BANNED

    Aug 23, 2016
    Thanks sorry I had to drag it out of you haha.
  19. CelticCross74


    Oct 14, 2013
    Ive got 4 Buck Custom Shop 110's from about two and a half years ago. All 4 came in perfectly fine shape. This was just a touch before they added G10 as a handle option. Ive got the stag handle which is thick its very impressive, Ive got the waterbuffalo its polished black bone with brass, American Oak w/nickel and Indigo wood with nickel. At least two and a half years ago I believe these knives were assembled by hand not slammed together by machines like regular production models. The action on my CS models is light, smooth and easy. You dont have to fight with the pressure of the lock bar like you do on the production models. 3 of the 4 have the CS finger grooves which are closer together than the production finger grooves. Ive got average sized hands and the CS finger grooves feel much better than production 110's.

    You can choose between black or brown leather sheath and a black cordura sheath which is actually very good its got vertical and horizontal belt straps on the back you can wear it either way. The CS knives come in a nice black box with a authenticity card signed by the person who built it. My stag/brass model has the polished serrated blade in 420HC it and the other 3 CS knives all came sharp as hell and with even edge geometry.

    Personal favorite is actually the indigo wood/nickel/S30V one. It is much lighter in color than it looks on the Buck site its gorgeous. The American oak would be second favorite it also looks totally different than on the site the color is lighter but grain structure very nice. I did the no visible pin option on all of them.

    I also unfortunately blew 240 bucks on the Lochsa 110. Despite being made of top materials its a horrible knife. There is zero thumb access room beneath the thumb studs. Its not a CS knife it is slammed together by machine like regular production 110's. At first the action was so stiff it was like un springing a bear trap. About a quarter of a gallon of lube later it is livable. The G10 on the Lochsa is some of the best I have ever seen. Idk if the CS G10 is the same stuff or not I hope it is. The brushed nickel bolsters are beautiful. The clip is perfect and perfectly placed. The S30V blade was perfect at first but when you close a Lochsa just under a quarter inch of the tip smacks into the butt end bolster. On Youtube there is a guy named The Apostle P he has a channel that is awesome. He is a veteran pro edger. Hes got two or more videos about the Lochsa and how he had to dremel down to the frame through the G10 beneath the thumb studs in order for them to be usable. Also goes into details about how he had to take 2mm off the inside of the butt end bolster to get the blade to stop smacking into it whenever you close it.

    To sum up-I still believe in the Buck Custom Shop all 4 of mine were worth the price. I see they also now have a black palm wood handle option. I cannot tell by the photos if it has what appears to be texture or if its a polished over smooth pattern or not. The elk handle option is a hell of an option. The elk on mine must be more than 3mm thick at the middle of each side and the scales have tons of texture. Unless you must have a polished blade get the S30V option. BOS heat treated 420HC is nearly as hard as regular S30V. My CS BOS treated S30V blades I swear are harder than S35VN and more like tool steel hardness. The only thing that worries me is that I see the CS offers multiple models now which means they are busier than ever. When I got mine only the 110 and 112 were customizable so Idk if that will affect quality or not. The blades on all 4 of my CS knives came with centered blades and action so easy if you work on technique you can thumb push and swing the blades open. Do NOT buy a Lochsa. Mine is now just a $240 paper weight.
  20. Daniel Dorn

    Daniel Dorn Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 1999
    Yup, try the cheap base model, and if you like it, upgrade to Cabela's Alaskan Guide version in Bos-treated S30V, with nice cherry wood and brass handles, with a black DLC coated blade. Super Sexy! Even when I'm not in the mood to carry it, I take it out just to look at.

    FYI, unless you can get it on sale, it will be right under $100, shipped. I found mine on a Christmas sale, for $80 shipped a few years ago.

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