Hoyt Buck is the person accredited with the origin of the Buck knives. He was a young Kansas blacksmith apprentice who had a passion for knives and sharper edges. While Hoyt was searching for better techniques to temper steel, he used a technique that gave birth to the Buck knife in 1902.
Ever since, this line of knives has been synonymous with survival and outdoor expeditions. There is a certain feeling of confidence and courage that creeps into you the moment you hold the Buck “Reaper” Knife in your hands.
Features of the Buck Reaper Knife
This knife has some of the excellent features only seen in high caliber knives. Each of these features serves to make it a better tool in accomplishing its task. Some of the outstanding features embodied in this knife include:
6.75 Inch Fixed Blade
By any standards 6.75 inches is considered a larger blade. This width enables you to comfortably rest your knuckles on it while cutting making you apply a considerable amount of force which translates into cutting power. The degree of control that this blade size allows you to have makes it possible to have straight cuts. Fixed blades are considered faster to deploy compared to folders. The reason is that fixed blades only have two steps in deployment that is drawing the knife and presenting it in combat. Being a fixed blade, this knife is studier because it has no hinge in the middle that makes it loosen. It is a great knife for combat and tough outdoor jobs like field dressing.
Drop Point Blade
The Buck Reaper Knife has a gently sloping convex curve blade that descends to the tip. This type of blade allows this knife to be a great fit for hunting because it is controllable. The drop point blade has a lowered point that gives more control and adds strength to the tip. Even though the tip is not very sharp, it enables the knife to hold up to heavy use. This is the primary reason why the Buck knife is such an excellent, tactical and survival knife. In addition, this blade design features a large belly area which is makes the knife a perfect slicing machine.
420 High Carbon Stainless Steel Blade
This is one of the toughest types of steel. It is an improvement from the 420 type featuring 0.4 to 0.5% carbon, 0.8% manganese, 0.6% molybdenum, 12 to 14 % chromium and 0.18% vanadium. The chromium component makes the knife corrosion resistant while the carbon content makes the Buck Reaper Knife hard without being brittle. Manganese is usually used to increase the knife’s toughness and hardenability.
Molybdenum on its own increases the hardness of the knife blade. When combined with chromium, it forms a hard carbide bond which improves the corrosion and abrasion resistance of the knife making it last longer. Vanadium is critical in producing fine grain during heat treatment a property that improves wear resistance. In addition, vanadium refines the grain structure of steel which makes it possible to sharpen the knife to a very keen edge. Matte black traction is used to prevent any corrosive effect.
Full Tang Construction
The Buck Reaper Knife has the blade and the handle constructed from one piece of metal. This makes it a great tool for batoning, prying and chopping without loosening. This type of handle construction is the strongest and it is known to resist bending. Despite the fact that it is a little heavier compared to partial tang, full tang can be tapered towards the end of the handle and its cosmetic appeal enhanced with decorative liners or colored spacers.
Deep, Hollow Sabre Grind
This type of edge makes the Buck Reaper Knife, an excellent hunting companion. It cuts clean and sharpens rather quickly and easily. This is because a straight edge can be sharpened easily as compared to a serrated edge. Also, this type of grind gives you better precision when using the knife. When it comes to woodworking or whittling, the deep hollow sabre grind gives this knife a unique functionality.
Molded Nylon Handle
The handle is made of glass reinforced nylon (GRN) which is famous for its high strength and abrasion resistance. Because of its strengthening with fiberglass, molded nylon is also impact resistant. It does not easily chip or crack. In temperatures that are a little bit high, the nylon handle allows some degree of thermal expansion. The major selling point for the handle is the thermoplastic polyamide formulation which gives it resistance to common chemicals such as methanol, transmission fluid and water oil. It is also comfortable to handle and gives you a firm grip.
Heavy Duty Nylon Sheath
The sheath is thick and tough. This makes it last longer than other types of sheath. Because of the fact that heavy duty nylon is not affected by water, you can use it in areas that are wet without suffering wear and tear. It is relatively quiet and will give you the secrecy that you require when slotting in or removing the knife from the sheath. The heavy duty nylon is woven from nylon yarn such as 1680 or 840 denier with a 2 x 2 or 2 x 3 basket weave. Denier here refers to the weight of the nylon fabric used.
Areas of Improvement
As a whole, the Buck Reaper Knife is a great choice because it has the best features that enable it to clear the way during outdoor operations. There are certain things however which if improved can make it even a greater asset. Even though a drop point blade is great, a clip point can even be a more excellent one. This is because the latter has a sharper tip that can be used for skinning large animals. The handle can also be improved to include Micarta which is a very hard and tough material that at the same time gives an excellent grip.
The finger grove section located at the back of the spine is however an excellent feature that provides you with a greater leverage and control when engaging the knife in curving activities. The Buck Reaper Knife is one of the few survival knives that can be used in almost all conditions. It is indeed a one stop solution to all your outdoor needs.