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