This week I received a few of the new Buck Auto knives. We all knew it was just a matter of time before we saw the Buck 110 and 112’s get ‘automated’. There have been numerous custom Buck auto’s built and the one’s I’ve handled were great. It’s nice to see Buck jump in with a ‘real’ Buck Auto.
The first knives I received are a pair of the Impact 898 CFII Damasteel Limited Run knives. Only 150 serialized knives were built and they are gorgeous.
The blade steel is a Stainless Steel damascus from Damasteel. The Bos tempering results in a blade registering a Rockwell of 59-61. It’s as good looking as it is tough. The handle material is a Marbled Carbon Fiber with a Desert Ironwood inlay. Just a great looking knife that will be a prized collectible. This is all wrapped up in a wood presentation box with the knife specs stamped in the side of the box.
The next knife in the Impact line is the standard 898 Impact. A bit more basic with an S30V blade, it is one smooth operator.
The handle is aluminum with a textured insert for a positive grip. As you can see in the photo, there is a slide lock that secures the blade until your ready to deploy it. Move the slide forward and unlock the blade for opening or closing. Slide it back and you prevent accidental closure or opening.
I’ve handled much faster opening mechanisms but the Impact is as reliable as you can get. Some of the faster opening knives can actually be a bit difficult to hang onto if you have smaller hands. The Impact is very comfortable to open and close. A nice smooth opening and solid lockup.
The final pair of Buck Auto’s I received were the legendary Buck 110 Folding Hunter Auto and the 112 Ranger Auto. Both of these rely on the Bos heat treated 420 steel blades like the original non-auto’s. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?
The first thing I noticed on the 110 and 112 is the blade lock release is the same as the non-auto versions. You deploy the blade via the button on the side, but to close the knife you press the release at the rear bolster. Personally, I found it a bit awkward but typical of the aftermarket conversions I’ve handled. I understand that using the backspring rather then a coil spring to operate the blade necessitates this type of release without a major over haul of the pattern.
All that being said, the blade deploys considerably faster then the Impact series. Is that good or bad? I think it’s just different. The Impact functions great even though it’s a bit slower.
Another note that I’ll make is in regards to the operation of the larger 110 Folding Hunter. I don’t want to say the blade is ‘lazy’ but it required a bit of a wrist flick to get the blade fully deployed and locked. After a dozen or so operations, it got to be second nature to slightly add a light flick of the wrist to operate reliably. I played with it for a few more minutes and could feel it smoothing out. I’ve got a feeling it needs a session in the recliner watching TV and working the action to smooth out the lumps.
As a final observation, the price on all of these models is competitive. You’ll find a deluxe version of the 110 and 112 with an S30V blade known as the Elite Series. There are cheaper auto’s out there but when you consider the quality, blade steel and the Buck Forever warranty….hard to beat.