Nature's Secret Larder - BUCK Ranger Lock Knife Review

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Bushcraft Blog

BUCK Ranger Lock Knife Review
3rd November 2008

BUCK Ranger Folding Lock Knife Review

BUCK Ranger Lock Knife Review

I have been after a good quality folding knife for some time now, and having field tested many over the years I really wanted to see how the BUCK Ranger performed out in the field.


I have to say, this has been a very lengthy review in terms of timeframe (over a year of extensive use) but I really wanted to be sure that what I say here is accurate. So as always I will put my findings down and leave the boring technical jargon for someone else to write about. This review will only cover what I feel is important to someone who is considering the purchase of a top of the range old fashioned reliable folder.


BUCK is an American company and produces a large range of knives, but for me this was the one that I was drawn too due to its rugged and traditional appearance. I would like to point out its NOT one of those cheap lookalike wood and brass handled knives that you see adorn boot sales and market stalls, this is a high quality tool.


The first thing you notice is the weight (5.6oz), this knife has a very good weight to it, not like one of those lightweight knives that you don't know you're holding! The balance is very well thought out too.


BLADE - when I think of a penknife, I tend to imagine weak brittle blades, and indeed some have just that, but this knife has a thick and strong 420HC stainless blade, rather like that of a small sheath knife. The edge was exceptionally sharp from day one and it really surprised me how little it needed sharpening, and I mean very rarely, in fact in all the use I have put this knife through I have only needed to sharpen the blade twice. I used the DC4 sharpener for this, and what a dream combo they make, a few strokes and I could quite easily have a shave with it!


HANDLE - The BUCK Ranger comes in two options, a smooth plain handle or the one with finger grooves which was my personal choice for this review; it just feels right in the hand. What more can I say?


USEABILITY - I wanted a good all-round knife, but let's be honest, a folding knife is never the choice for bigger tasks such as making feather sticks for example is it? Well, let me tell you, in the past 12 months I have been using this knife for not only small tasks such as cutting the stems of hogweed, but I have made feather-sticks, carved spoons, and even used it in place of my main sheath knife the Helle Harding (CLICK HERE FOR THE HELLE REVIEW). It has stood up to everything I have thrown at it, and it's still just as strong, and sharp as it was on the day it came out of the box. No wonder they come with a warranty!

SHEATH - The knife comes with a black leather sheath, which is very durable. One issue I did have is that of the popper button clasp. I don't like them, but I have to say it never let me down at all.


SPEC

  • Handle: Natural Woodgrain
  • Blade: 420HC Stainless Steel
  • Blade: Clip
  • Blade Length: 3"
  • Knife Length Closed: 4.25"
  • Weight: 5.6oz
  • Brass Bolster & Liners
  • Black Leather Sheath

Blade 10/10
Sheath 8/10
Price 10/10
Performance 10/10
Overall 38/40

CONCLUSION - Having used the knife for so long I have fallen in love with it. It's now my number one when it comes to a folder and pretty much lives in my pocket, apart from when I'm in a public place of course. Not only is it great at carrying out small tasks such as skinning and preparing wild food, but it also stands up to much larger tasks such as splitting small logs!


If you want a quality lock knife that will last you a lifetime, then look no further than the good old American BUCK Ranger, it's that good!

To view or the purchase the knife, Click here

Catch you on the trail

Kris


Comments

ian on 23/11/12

I was given a Buck Ranger as a present a good number of years ago & rarely used it. One day I opened it to use it & the steel locking mechanism snapped, which, given the quality of the knife, I was surprised happened. I took the knife & sheath to my local gun / fishing / outdoor equipment supplier who sent it to Buck. Even though the knife was over 7 years old Buck replaced the knife & sheath. The original knife had squarer edges on the bolster, whereas the new knife has a rounded adge to the bolster, which I actually prefer. I also have a small Buck pocket knife which has been "bomb proof". I think I was unlucky with my first "Ranger" breaking, as these knives are old school top quality knives & are a pleasure to own, &............. sometimes use!

Claire on 15/05/12

Hello I also live in England and from I can see on the law it is ok to carry to a folding knife up to a 3" blade length.

knives with folding blades, like Swiss Army knives, are not illegal as long as the blade is three inches long (7.62 cm) or less
it is a crime to carry a knife in public without good reason for example, if you work as a chef

I am looking to buy a knife for my boyfriend as a 30th birthday present, he likes foraging etc and I'm treating him to a bushcraft day and night with friends in the Sussex countryside as part of the celebrations.

I was recommended the Buck Canoe knife as a good folding knife but it doesn't seem as good as the Buck Ranger knife, the price alone says this. Any one have any opinions?

Also, would everyone recommend getting the finger grooved version of the Ranger if I was to? He currently isn't doing any wood 'carving' but one day perhaps...?

Thanks
Claire

(Edit - please note these are the views/understandings of the original poster. NSL nor I take any responsibility for the accuracy of the legal information contained within this post)

Tom Reid on 14/11/11

I'm going back to using these old school type folders,classic looks and a solid feel.Been through a number of different makes and models but These Buck knives,112 and 110 are hard to beat.
Although designed in the sixties they seem to have been around forever.To me they have 'soul'.

Jim on 13/06/10

Buck knives are great i have carried a buck 110 hunting folder for over 15 years for skinning dear/foxes/coyotes it is a great knife but i purchased the buck 112 ranger recently and i love it its just like the buck 110 but smaller and much better for the pocket. its a must buy!!

Kris on 07/07/09

Hi

Go to greenmanbushcraft.co.uk and look under bushcraft knives and you will find it there. Mention that you read the review here and you will most likely get a free gift too!

r handscomb on 07/07/09

where can i purchase the knife in england.And the cost/

Kris on 12/03/09

Thanks for the comment Steve. It‘s illegal here in the UK to carry a knife of this size in a public place, unless you have a very good reason for doing so. This law may well have changed now, but sadly laws are very tight on this sort of thing here. I have my own views on this. It’s just sad that the actions of ‘some’ are reflected on all.

Steve Lee on 12/03/09

Kris,
Nice review. Why would you not carry your Ranger in your pocket in public places? Who would see it in your pocket? Here in Arizona nearly everyone carries a folding knife all the time. Some people carry two. Are there legal restrictions in England?
Regards,
Steve

steve on 05/03/09

I have owned a buck 110 finger groove for over 15yrs, and it is brilliant, probably the best folding field knife ever, it's easy to sharpen, comfortable to use, and the blade still locks tight to this day


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