Hill People Gear Forums
HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsGeneralGeneralInexpensive KnivesInexpensive Knives
New Post
4/11/2017 8:30 PM

Of late, we've been discussing a bunch of custom, hard to find, hard to get, and expensive knives.  I'm no stranger to searching out those "Holy Grail" knives....the proverbial "Neo of the knife world"...AKA..."The One".  Since a knife is such a personal thing as far as what one guy thinks is better over another, it can get downright muddy.  Different steels, hardnesses, blade shape, handle shape, handle material, balance...you could keep going on and on.  Sometimes, it's worth looking at an uncomplicated, but pretty stout design.  Lots of very simple fixed blades and simple folders out there, but one that has truly stood the test of time is the Buck 110 Folding Hunter.  Sure...there are lots of better folders out there today.  Better steel, better handles, better weight, strength, sharpness, etc.  But....I challenge anybody to come up with a more iconic and classic American lock-back knife out there today that is still in use.  Really...it's this one.  A design that was first introduced to the American public in 1964 and is still carried by many a seasoned outdoorsman today.  Hell, I was chatting with Nick Boyle earlier this evening about how Bo & Luke Duke rocked their 110's like bosses in their black leather belt sheaths back in the day.  Sheriff Walt Longmire still carries his out on the plains and mountains of Absaroka County.  Can't argue with that, right?  

For many of us, the Buck 110 was the quintessential knife to have.  That was definitely the case if you were among the squared-away Pennsyltucky Rednecks where I grew up, and you made damned sure you knew how to properly dress your game, gut a trout, or whittle a hot dog stick with it.  Plus...they were just damned cool knives.  Still are, as far as I'm concerned.  

Well, the Buck 110 that I had since the mid-1970s was given away this past year to a good friend's grandson (my tracker buddy Mike Hull's grandkid).  Every young, red-blooded American boy ought to have a good knife, as far as I'm concerned.  Even though I had that 110 for so long, and it had been given to me by my older Paratrooper cousin in the 70s when I was a kid...I didn't think twice.  So I am glad Mike's grandson has a good knife with a real history attached to it.  I didn't tell Mike or his grandson about the part where me as a kid at our hunting cabin...my own grandfather had to fish it out of our outhouse after it slid off my belt and down the hole!!  Yep...true story.  I was beside myself with grief over losing that knife.  The ol' Scotsman Grandpap Clarence rigged up a pole and big wire hook..and then snagged that knife & sheath just like a big rainbow or an extra energetic brookie!  Anyway, we cleaned it up real good, and I carried that knife for a whole bunch more years before it ended up with Mike's grandson.

So, I ended up with a Bass Pro gift card from my Mom-In-Law and didn't know what I would use it on until I saw they had 110 models for about 49 bucks.  Done and done.  I knew I just had to have another one of these knives in my collection.  If for nothing else than....'Merica, Hell yeah.  

I'm happy to say that it appears that Buck hasn't really fallen down on their standards, from what I can tell.  Fit & finish seem great, and it came hair-poppin' sharp right out of the box.  I did upgrade a couple things by adding a Kwik Thumb Stud (8 bucks & change), which works really well...and an open top pancake sheath.  Just liked the look of it and wanted to try it.  If I don't like the sheath, I can always go back to Duke Brothers style and use the black leather one it came with.

To sum up....even though there are plenty of expensive and custom knives out there, there really ain't nothing wrong with a good, simple, American made, tough utility / hunting knife.  Our dads, grandads, and great-grandads did fine with them...why should we be so high-falutin' over it?  There are still plenty of USA made Bucks, Cases, and other brands that are indeed worth a look.  Hell, with all the money we could save by buying less expensive knives...we could then put that against more high quality HPG stuff!

Anyway, here are some photos of my new (but old to me) Buck 110.  It'll be good to hear from others on the Forum about their own less expensive, but good quality field blades...folders, fixed, etc.

Stay safe out there, and if you can't be safe...be deadly.

Ken sends.

Undoubtedly a classic, distinctly American folder....Jed Eckert & the boys probably had these on hand to dispatch invading Russians and Cubans.

The KwikThumb Stud works really well for such a simple thing.  The set screw holds firmly.  It is available on Amazon for about $8 & change, in stainless and black, as well.  I've pretty much gotten used to having one hand openers.  Yes, a standard lock-back can be opened one handed, but this is way easier and probably safer.

Open top pancake sheath I bought off of eBay for about $20.  Good leather, but I'll probably darken it some with Obenauf's or similar, and soften it a little, just to break it in and give it some richness.

My model 110 Folding Hunter was plenty sharp right out of the box.  I never had much trouble keeping my old one sharp and I don't expect this one will be any different.  I've got a Ken Onion Edition Work Sharp....that ought to do the trick.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
New Post
4/12/2017 8:39 AM
Man it's funny you should mention that. When I was a small child, my dad, freshly from working his way through engineering school with summer jobs in the oil fields of Wyoming, carried his Buck 110 daily. I admired it greatly but over time as he moved into being an engineer, he stopped toting it around. I hadn't thought of it in years, until the other day while watching Longmire. He never carries it anymore, but I bet I know exactly where it is, as he never gets rid of anything like that. Then it occurred to me that it could probably be mine someday, but I'm not looking forward to that day.

Good on you for giving a young man his first Buck 110.

On another note, I get quite a bit of mileage out of Mora Companions. Both the steel and the sheath lend themselves to corrosion resistance, which is important here in Southwest Washington. They are cheap enough to throw in various vehicles and emergency kits and leave unattended until you need them, but strong enough to do things like baton wood. I gave one to my super cool hiker girlfriend on our first Christmas. We're married now and she still carries it.

I also like it as a game processing tool. Blood can't make its way down into the gap between the handle and the blade, nor can it saturate the sheath. My only complaint about it in this role is it's a mite long, which has me off to Google to see if they make a shorter knife with the same features....
New Post
4/12/2017 9:32 AM
My first hunting knife was a Buck 110, still have it. If it weren't for the blade profile which I don't care for much I would still use it. My Buck Stockman 3 blade pocket knife goes with me on all hunting trips. A Gerber A400 was my work knife for years. For the money you can't beat these mass produced knives.
New Post
4/12/2017 11:36 AM
I wish I could find my 110.
New Post
4/12/2017 3:01 PM

Yep.  Even though I don't use knives like this all that often, every once in a while I just like carrying a 110 and using it for tasks.  There's a certain nostalgia and comforting feeling with knives like these.

Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
New Post
4/13/2017 6:05 AM
I had a Buck 110 when I was in the Army ('75-78). I lost it and used something else for a while. Then I found one by Chicago Cutlery that is almost an exact copy, in a hardware store in Denton, TX. It is a very useful design.
Now I will have to look for one of those Kwik thumb studs.
New Post
4/13/2017 9:35 PM
I have a similar Uncle Henry knife with the faux stag handle my grandparents gave me around my senior year of high school in the early 80s. I carried it for a while on my duty belt when I started my LE career but bought a cheaper Schrade version so I didn't risk losing or damaging the good one. I get it out once in a while.
New Post
4/14/2017 11:56 AM
So I thought I'd share two of my cheapest knives. As much as I love fine knives, cheapos sure can be nice. The only Buck I've owned are the Vantage and Vantage Pro, but I never cared for carrying them or using them. And except for my first knife, a Swiss Army Knife, I've never bought, carried, or wanted a folder without a pocket clip. (I lose things if they're not attached, and this includes things like keys, knives, and etc. Even things that are attached I lose... like my head.)

So here's my most used and most loved and most carried knife of all time: the Ontario Rat II.


It is small, thin, light, and actually a fairly nice handle - I've done a lot of carving and fire prep with this guy, mostly because it's always with me.

This is the third of these I've bought - the first one my wife stole (the only knife she's ever really liked, and surprisingly she carries it with her everywhere), the second I gifted to a knifeless friend (he literally owned none, and was amazed at the sharpness of my little guy).

Because I use this a lot, and it is "cheap" steel, it gets stropped... a lot. I recently resharpened my wife's and noticed that my edge has actually been effectively reprofiled with all my use. It easily shaves hair.


(I have no idea how Ken took a picture of himself shaving his arm... three hands? A head mounted camera? Alien DOJ technology?)

The other inexpensive knife that I feel has to be mentioned is the honorable Mora. I own several, one in my bag, one in my car kit, and one in my wife's car kit. The ones in the car are the Mora Companions, her's in stainless and mine in carbon. The one in my kit is a Mora Bushcraft black. I actually prefer the companion's handle, but I like the sharp spine on the bushcraft (easily remedied on the companions with a file of course). The Bushcraft is the only one I had ready access to, so here's a little glamour shoot.


This may be heresy, I don't know, but I actually strop my Moras. They get beautifully sharp and hold an edge quite well - takes hair off like no body's business!

Quite frankly, I think Moras are some of the best value knives one can buy, and some of the most comfortable to use too. Of all the knives I've used or owned, Moras make me question spending a lot on more expensive knives. Honestly, until I got an LT Wright knife, I had essentially stopped using my more expensive knives (Buck Hoodlum, Tops BOB and Pasayten) because Moras did everything I asked and often... they did it better (or I least they were a perfect compliment for my skill set). Even with the LT, 8 times out of 10 I grab my blaze orange mora companion. Kinda like those old cheap single shots, they just work.

- J
New Post
4/17/2017 4:02 PM
Hi Folks,

Just thought I may have something useful to offer, I'm an "If you can't afford to lose it, you can't afford it!" type of knife user. My knife $ value usually runs max at around $70 - $80 thus I'm a big Mora fan until I got one of these:-


Outrageously good Finnish made knife for $60 I've stopped looking for fixed blade knives now, I want or need no others.
New Post
4/19/2017 5:00 AM
Dammit carl! Now I gotta go buy another knife...
New Post
4/19/2017 7:24 AM
Moras may be a great knife, I wouldn't know. But to look at them, they have to be one of the most uninspiring knives I've ever laid eyes on. I know, don't judge a book by it's cover....still.
New Post
4/19/2017 8:09 AM
El Mac - if you PM me your address, I'll send you one of my Moras (probably the Bushcraft) to play with and test. If you break it, no harm no foul. I have a couple other knives in the rotation right now, so it isn't seeing much use currently. Literally my only hesitation with Moras is that they're a rat tang, but at the same time I've never had one break, and I can't say I baton overly much, but I wouldn't want to try and power it through a hard knot... - J
New Post
4/19/2017 9:26 AM
What is nice about the Mora's is the price, the handle and the edge it holds. The grip is very good when wet and cold. They sharpen easily and stay quite sharp when skinning out critters. They baton well and if you lose one, no bother.
New Post
4/19/2017 1:41 PM
I have access to lots of knives wholesale so I see and handle a lot of them. I'm big into Moras (can dive, kill fish, open coconuts, etc while traveling), my modified Cold Steel Secret Edge (poor man's Tracker Dan blood shark), and Real Steel H6-S1 (awesome steel for a $45 msrp knife).
New Post
4/27/2017 9:51 AM
Gotta love the 110. Buck is doing a short run this year of the 110 auto that I used to drool over as a kid. May have to snag one this year. You can pre order them if interested. https://www.knifecenter.com/item/BU0110BRSA/buck-110-auto-folding-hunter-plain-blade-macassar-dymondwood-handles-leather-sheath
New Post
5/1/2017 12:31 PM
I have a Buck 110, the first decent pocket knife I ever had. I even put the thumb stud on mine too :-)

+1 on the Moras. Best deal for a cheap fixed blade knife. Everyone should have one, and it should be everyone's first fixed blade knife to learn how to take care of them.

For budget folders, there's a few other good budget folders out there. Spyderco has their Byrd line that's pretty legit for the price. I know it's unpopular, but some of the Chinese brands are getting decent, especially for the price. It's hard to beat a $15 pocket knife that won't just fall apart. They aren't Benchmades by any means, but they are decently made and for $15, you can't beat them for the price. Beaters or for a first pocket knife (everyone ends up doing stupid stuff and destroying their first knives) Look at Sanrenmu, Bee, Enlan, Ganzo for some of the halfway decent cheapo knives. Check out the below for an example (from Amazon)

HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsGeneralGeneralInexpensive KnivesInexpensive Knives