Sunday, July 24, 2011

Essential Gear - Buck 284 Black Bantan BBW knife

There are few tools as useful as a good pocket knife. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that there is no tool as useful as a good pocket knife. I know I use mine dozens of times a day. Today we are going to look at the Buck 284 Black Bantan BBW pocket knife. It is a very inexpensive knife made by one of the best known knife makers in America.

First lets look at its specs:

  • Blade Length: 2 3/4"
  • Blade Material: 420HC Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Thermoplastic, textured
  • Length Closed: 3 3/4"
  • Locking: Yes
  • One Hand: Yes
  • Weight: 1.5 oz.
It's MSRP is a shockingly low $19.00. Which makes me both dubious and curious. Can a knife this inexpensive hold up to Buck's good name? Or is this just a cheap knife they are putting out for Walmart.

I carried the Buck 284 for a week so that I could give it a good review. I used it whenever cutting was needed, which was a lot. I use my pocket knife dozens of times a day.

420HC Stainless Steel is the same steel buck uses in almost all of its knifes, including their most popular hunting knives. So, it is safe to say that they did not skimp there. The blade is ground true with no noticeable discolorations or scratches. "Buck USA" is prominently stamped on the side of the blade.

It came out of the box razor sharp the entire length of the blade and the point is sharp as a needle. The blade holds an edge well. I could still shave with it at the end of the week. A quick run with my porcelain rods and it was like new. Sharpening was quick and easy.

Opening and closing the 284 is smooth effortless. It came so naturally I could do it without looking right away.  The thumb buttons extend on both sides of the blade making it easy to open one handed with either my right or left hands. The lock is solid, but easy to depress. There is no play in the action of the knife when it is open.

The handle is made out of plastic and feels cheap, but looks rugged. It is nicely textured and conforms to my hand well. I must note that I have small hands. Someone with larger hands my feel that it is undersized. It does not have a belt clip which is good if you keep your knife in you pocket. Buck makes a version of this knife with a clip, but it costs an extra five dollars.

The Buck 284 is amazingly light. Many times I worried that it had fallen out of my pocket, only to find it still there. It will not wear you down. This is actually my only criticism of the knife. All of the weight is in the blade, so it is not well balanced.  I prefer a knife that has most of its weight in the handle. I feel it gives me the most control. This is just a personal preference though.

Overall I can give this knife a big thumbs up. It is perfect as an extra in the truck, backpack, or tackle box. It would also make a great everyday knife. While I did not try to skin game or clean fish, I believe it is more than suitable for that purpose. It is probably to little for any big game stuff. Although, it would work in a pinch.

No one paid me to do this review and I purchased the knife with my own money.

I am going to give away the knife I used for this review to one of my readers. So, head over to the Giveaway page and enter!

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