Old Buck, New Tricks

The Power, Strength and Func­tion­al­ity of Bucks’ New 110 Auto Has Changed The Game . . . Again

American Survival Guide - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Clint Thomp­son

The power, strength and func­tion­al­ity of Bucks’ new 110 Auto has changed the game…again.

It was my con­stant com­pan­ion. Whether I worked on the farm, at the lo­cal gas sta­tion or the Kansas oil fields, I used this knife for many tasks – in­clud­ing cut­ting cord, clean­ing game, cut­ting hose, clean­ing spark­plugs or even light-duty pry­ing. The year was 1968. That is when I bought my first qual­ity lock-back knife, which I trusted to do the work of a fixed blade knife. This gem was the Buck 110 fold­ing lock-back knife. In­tro­duced in 1964, col­lec­tors called this the Three Pin model. The Buck 110 changed the face of the knife in­dus­try for­ever. Af­ter its in­tro­duc­tion, the pop­u­lar­ity of car­ry­ing a fold­ing knife in a sheath on your belt sky­rock­eted. It seemed every work­ing man had one on his belt. As a re­sult of this, every other knife com­pany did their very best to pro­duce their own heavy-duty lock-back knife and leather sheath for the belt. It would be easy to make the case that Buck Knives rev­o­lu­tion­ized the fold­ing knife in­dus­try. Re­cently, they in­tro­duced an­other spec­tac­u­lar knife, and this one is a leg­end in the mak­ing.

First Look

In 2017, Buck re­leased the long-awaited 110 Auto, which is ba­si­cally the spit­ting im­age of my old Buck 110. Like the one I bought in 1968, this one comes with a black leather sheath. The Buck 110 Auto, here­after re­ferred to as 110 Auto, also comes with a 3.75-inch 420HC stain­less steel blade. The blade is every bit as strong as the orig­i­nal and cur­rent 110 knives. The only dif­fer­ence is the 110 Auto is an au­to­matic. Both old and new have the strong lock-back sys­tem. This means when you press the side but­ton, the blade will open and lock. Un­like other coil open­ing sys­tem au­tos, wherein you press the but­ton again to re­lease the blade to close, with the 110 Auto you must re­lease the lock-back to close. Be sure to close the blade till it clicks, which means the blade is locked in the closed po­si­tion. One could carry the 110 Auto in the front or back pocket, as ap­posed to us­ing the leather sheath—i know there will be some who will—how­ever, I rec­om­mend you do not carry any other ob­jects in the same pocket, to avoid pos­si­ble un­in­ten­tional sur­prise open­ing of the blade. The older brother of the 110 Auto, the Orig­i­nal 110 Buck blade has harder steel than the new Auto. The orig­i­nal 110 Buck was born during the times when Buck ad­ver­tised that their fixed blade knives could be ham­mered through a steel bolt—the 110 Auto would not fall into this group of Buck blades. Hand sharp­en­ing my old 110 Buck is a daunt­ing task. The stain­less-steel blade is harder than the hubs of Hell. My 110 Au­tos’ blade, on the other hand, can be sharp­ened eas­ier and is more ami­able about be­ing tuned up from time to time—

“The Buck 110 changed the face of the knife in­dus­try for­ever.”

even though it comes very sharp and was able to per­form all the cut­ting tasks I put it through. The 110 Auto also comes with the sig­na­ture brass bol­sters and hard wood han­dles.

Test and Eval­u­a­tion

I took the 110 Auto and tested the coil spring that cat­a­pults the blade into the open po­si­tion. When I eval­u­ate an auto knife that em­ploys a coil spring, I keep in mind that I am the first to use the knife and am eval­u­at­ing a new mech­a­nism with­out any break-in. Th­ese knives were de­signed for mil­i­tary use to open un­der­wa­ter. If the user ac­ci­den­tally caught the blade on some ob­ject, the blade would stop but when cleared would lock into an open po­si­tion. The coil sys­tem pro­vided con­stant pres­sure on the blade, al­low­ing it to open into a locked po­si­tion. The pre­vi­ous au­tos opened with a cat­a­pult-type sys­tem wherein when the blade was re­leased, the spring flung the blade open. If the blade had too much re­sis­tance, like be­ing un­der­wa­ter, it would not fully open. I took the 110 Auto and opened it many times. I added some lu­bri­ca­tion and worked the blade back and forth, which seemed to help a great deal. Af­ter work­ing the auto sys­tem for about 15 min­utes, I held my hand about two inches above the closed blade. I then re­leased the blade, let­ting it strike the palm of my hand, thereby stop­ping it from open­ing com­pletely. I then re­moved my hand from the blade, let­ting it move for­ward. How­ever, the blade did not lock into the open po­si­tion. Af­ter us­ing this auto knife for the bet­ter part of three weeks, the blade now passes the “blade block test” de­scribed above. I would say other Buck 110 Au­tos may op­er­ate dif­fer­ently than my T&E sam­ple. My test sam­ple does open with a good sound­ing snap and locks up tighter than Fort Knox. Next, I took my 110 test sam­ple and shaved some wood from the side of a dead and well-sea­soned tree. The 110 Auto had no prob­lem in shav­ing thin sam­ples of wood. I was con­fi­dent the blade would not close on my hand due to the

lock-back sys­tem. One could use this knife for shav­ing up some tin­der to start a fire at your hik­ing camp­site. If you are us­ing flint to start the fes­tiv­i­ties, the 110 blade will also ac­com­mo­date this func­tion. I took some 550 para­cord and folded it into eight strands and cut through them all with ease, con­tin­u­ing to cut them up into smaller pieces. I then moved over to cut­ting card­board into strips for some time un­til I ran out of us­able card­board. I closely ex­am­ined the blade and found no sig­nif­i­cant changes. I spend the rest of my T&E during the three-week test run wherein I cut many dif­fer­ent ob­jects from rope to bon­ing out a slab of sal­mon. The 110 Auto never failed me. For this three-week test­ing, I car­ried the 110 Auto on my belt with my Brown­ing 1911-380 semi-auto pis­tol, as well as my S&W 340PD. Each tool com­ple­mented the other. During test­ing of other prod­ucts in the firearm na­ture, I used the 110 Auto for var­i­ous tool func­tions, like re­mov­ing in­dus­trial sta­ples from wood and tar­gets. While in the field, I used this work­ing man’s knife to trim limbs and other fo­liage, to give me a good field of fire. I also car­ried this knife while hunt­ing wild pigs with my Ben­jamin Bull­dog .357 air ri­fle. As I con­tin­ued to carry my 110 Auto sam­ple, I rekin­dled my love for this iconic Buck style. I do like this knife.

Highly Rec­om­mended

Af­ter my T&E of the 110 Auto, I can rec­om­mend this fold­ing knife for work on the farm, in the shop, hunt­ing, ev­ery­day carry with your firearm, as well as of­fice duty. I can see many uses and proper jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for pur­chase and use of the 110 Auto. For every task called upon the 110 Auto to ac­com­plish, it did not fail to im­press me as an out­stand­ing knife and tool. Some 53 years ago Buck Knives in­tro­duced a game-chang­ing fold­ing knife called the 110. For the first time ever, a fold­ing knife could be used as if it was a fixed­blade knife. Last year Buck Knives in­tro­duced the Buck 110 Auto. Once again, Buck has pro­duced a game-chang­ing prod­uct. If you like auto knives and have need of one for heavy work, then the 110 Auto is your knife.

As part of my T&E of the Buck 110 Auto, I car­ried this knife for three weeks. Be­cause I am an Ok­la­homa LEO, I car­ried this knife with var­i­ous off-duty weapons, one of which is the Brown­ing 1911-380. Just like my full size .45 1911, the Brown­ing com­ple­ments my 110 Auto.

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