Kit test: Buck folding hunting knives

The Trunk (top) and the Open Season, two folding hunting knives from Buck

The Trunk (top) and the Open Season, two fantastic folders from Buck - Credit: Mark Underwood

Mark Underwood reviews two great-quality folding hunting knives from Buck in this outdoor knife test

Two folding hunting knives from Buck

Both knives have very secure locking mechanisms - Credit: Mark Underwood

Buck have been producing quality fixed blade knives since 1902, but their range of folders also includes some very practical tools. Among the advantages of folding knives are that they are generally safer to carry, take up less room and are less noticeable.

Two folding hunting knives from Buck

Grip is achieved with texturing on the Trunk, and grooves and slots on the Open Season - Credit: Mark Underwood

The Trunk knife from Buck
The Trunk is Buck’s first cleaver-bladed knife, and the absence of a sharp point does not take anything away from what is a very practical and useful tool.

The 2.875" blade is 7Cr stainless steel, which is not the hardest of steels but is very easy to maintain and keep sharp. There is a clever ‘flipper’ on the spine to allow one-handed opening, and once open the blade is held securely with a liner-lock mechanism. A thumb stud on the 
side can also be used to open the knife.

Because the cutting edge is so straight it is very easy to hone on a sharpening stone, so you don’t need to be an expert to maintain a razor-sharp blade. Edge retention is also very good.

The scales are made of a strong resin laminate called G10, and the surface is well textured to improve grip even when wet. The handle is also very well shaped to further enhance hand hold, and you can do heavy cutting or chopping without your hand slipping. The Trunk is only four inches long closed and it sits nicely on your person without getting in the way. There is also a slim belt clip. 

This is an extremely comfortable knife to use and the whole thing is very strong and rigid. There is no fine point to break off if you are doing really heavy cutting, and the blade shape is extremely practical and well thought out. Once you get used to the cleaver-shaped blade it is actually better than a pointed tool for many jobs.

Two folding hunting knives from Buck

Very different blades both offer great edge retention and durability - Credit: Mark Underwood

The Open Season knife from Buck
The Open Season is one of Buck’s heaviest folding knives, and at over 6oz in weight it has a real heft to it. At 8.5" long when open, and with the blade locking very securely, it immediately feels like a fixed-blade knife. Along its entire length the Open Season has a curved shape that makes it very comfortable and easy to use.

The scales are Dymalux, which is a combination of natural wood veneers infused with resin, and shaped finger grooves and short slots cut into the surfaces make for very effective grip.
The drop-point blade has two areas of jimping on the spine that really improve safety and grip when doing fine work, and the 3mm thick, 420HC stainless steel blade is certainly strong and stands up to all sorts of heavy use without flexing.

For a folder this is a very strong tool that can match many fixed blade alternatives. Shaped and styled for maximum grip and razor sharp, it is a real work tool. 

Technical specs
    Buck Open Season Folding Skinner Knife
Price:    £99.95

Name:    Buck Trunk Folding Knife
Price:    £34.95

Contact:    Whitby & Co.