A Buck Of A Different Kind

A Buck Of A Different Kind

I’ve always been a little sentimental when it comes to knives. I guess it’s because I’ve carried a knife almost constantly since I was 10 years old. That knife was a small Old Timer stockman I received for Christmas. I promptly stabbed myself in the off-side palm while opening another gift with it. That didn’t stop me from becoming a full blown knife nut.

So, a while back my wife was looking over the online yard sale she scours and she came across someone selling a bunch of dirty and dejected knives in one lot. I met the gent and purchased them really without giving them much looking over. When I looked through them, there was a Leatherman Original PST, so that made the $30 right there. I carry one of those and always need a spare. There were a few good ones here and there and a lot of China brand knives.

Then, there it was, a knife I didn’t recognize. A plastic green handle with finger grooves, a broken blade….but a distinctive name on the side; BUCK. It was a Buck 426. I did some research on it and found that the knife was made in 1988. It was a really light and handy little knife. It obviously had been abused, with a broken, and then severely reground blade. Lots of chips and dings on the handle told stories of hunts in the high mountains….or at least a few games of mumbley peg. I like to think it was the former.

Being a sucker for the underdog, I took a liking to the knife. If you haven’t figured it out by now, it was Buck’s light weight version of their famous 110. Called the BuckLite, which came out around 1984, with mine being a second variation, it was intended to be a value version, but of course, it had Buck quality throughout and was a favorite to those wanting a very lightweight but fully capable knife. I decided to send the knife back to Buck and see if they would even attempt to do anything. I mailed it to them and waited. I included a letter stating how I came into possession of the old blade, and how I would like to have it refurbished so I could carry it afield with me during my hunting adventures.

I expected a call or an email saying “For a small fee we can install a new blade.”, but much to my surprise, the knife returned to me in a few short weeks with a brand new blade. The new blade was marked 110, and unlike the old blade made of 425M steel, this one is made with 420HC stainless. No surprise there, as the 426 was discontinued around 1995.

They did a great job, and not charging me for the repair was just icing on the cake. I have carried it afield with me nearly every season since I received it back. I haven’t skinned a deer with it yet, but it’s proven itself as a lightweight (3.1 ounces) second knife in my pack or my coat pocket and will continue in that role for the foreseeable future.

Thank you Buck for breathing new life into a neglected old knife, and turning it into a trusty field companion.