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are all Buck knives their 420HC

Discussion in 'Buck Knives' started by davek14, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. davek14


    May 30, 2009
    Are any still China made? Are the slipjoints the same steel as the folding hunters? I've come close to getting one of their Stockman type knives at Wally World to check out their 420HC I've heard so much about.
  2. dalefuller

    dalefuller Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    Buck uses a variety of steels in different models. AFAIK, some are still m-i-C knives. 420HC is their basic steel, but they use S30V and CPM 154, perhaps others as well. Don't know about the slipjoint steels. I would suspect that they are 420HC but couldn't swear to it.

    I'd ask this in the Buck subforum. They'll probably be able to tell you pretty quickly.
  3. Morrow

    Morrow Don't make this weird Staff Member Super Mod

    Apr 11, 2007
    Moving to the Buck forum.

    BITEME Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Their 420hc is decent but you can only do so much with 420hc no matter the HT,I have a Northshore and it holds an okay edge, but the plus is it's easy to sharpen ,btw the Northshore overall is a super design for the $.They are making some stuff now with Swedish steel 13c26 for me thats a better choice.
  5. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    Buck still makes some knives in China.

    If you want US made, look for the American flag on the front of the packaging.

    Among the US made knives, some use some imported parts (not blades). Read the back of the package carefully if you want 100% US made.

    I think 420HC is a fine EDC blade material. It sharpens up nicely and without as much stress and work as 440C does. A bit more work than carbon steel, but still quite manageable.

    Some imported Buck slip joints use 420J2 steel, not 420HC. I've not owned a knife with this material but from what I've been able to gather, I wouldn't expect as good of performance from 420J2 as with 420HC.
  6. wildbillw


    Jun 12, 2011
    Biteme What is a Northshore? I'm not familiar with that knife.

    Life Member #1341
  7. Pack Rat

    Pack Rat Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    Do a google search on Buck Northshore.
  8. mbjannusch


    Apr 1, 2010
    Buck uses 420HC as a basic steel and uses 13c26 Sandivik as well as S30V as "premium steels". I happen to disagree with BITEME and think 420HC is just as good as the others. Buck also uses 420J2 in their off shore productions.
  9. OhShoot


    Jan 23, 2011
    I have the folding fillet knife in that. It's just fine for that purpose, gets dang near scalpel sharp, but probably not in the same league as their 420HC for edge longevity on harder materials.

    - OS
  10. davek14


    May 30, 2009
    Thanks, that's exactly what I was wondering.

    I'm looking at the stockman types they sell at Wal-Mart as an "everyday" knife. I'm not expecting magic but would like better than 420J2.

    Case's 420HC reminds me of a, softer, carbon steel and I was wondering if Buck's was a little better.

    I'll have to ask to look at the bubble pack in the class case (sheesh) and see what I can see.

    If there is an American Flag on the pack, am I good to go on the 420HC?

    Edit: cut & pasted

    BUCK 301
    Blade Material: 420HC Stainless Steel
    Handle Material: High-impact plastic with stainless steel bolsters
    Length Closed: 3 7/8" (9.8 cm)
    Weight: 2.9 oz. (82.6 g)

    BUCK 371
    Blade Material: 420J2 Stainless Steel
    Handle Material: Woodgrain with Nickel Silver bolsters
    Length Closed: 3 7/8" (9.8 cm)
    Weight: 3.1 oz. (88.3 g)


    Well, that answers the question on one of them I was looking at.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
  11. Plumberdv


    Sep 26, 2008
    I don't think any of the USA made Bucks use the 420J2, at least they don't say so in their catalog if they do. There are still some of the imports that have blades of 420HC but not the stockman types.
  12. mbjannusch


    Apr 1, 2010
    I'm with you, I don't think there are any 420J2 american made Bucks, but to answer DaveK14 not all 420HC is the same and Bucks heat treatment is second to none, They make 420Hc and heat treat it and its the best in the market,IMO. I think the 420Hc knives made by Buck exceed, you won't find a better knife made. I like it better than some of the Premium steels.
  13. BG42EDGE

    BG42EDGE Banned BANNED

    Nov 6, 2009
    Another vote for Buck's 420HC......it's about as good as steels that are called "premium."

    The Sandviks, when they have the Buck heat treat, are about the same.
  14. jacksterp


    Jun 3, 2011
    In my experience, which admittedly is limited, Buck's 420 is hard to beat. I have several knives and they all are top notch.

    I also have an Avid in 1326 and that knife is very good also.
  15. Flatlander1963

    Flatlander1963 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    One other comment about Buck 420HC is that it is made by Latrobe specifically for Buck. I seem to remember that it's a special recipe with a tad more moly than other manufacture's 420HC.
  16. Jeff O

    Jeff O

    Feb 29, 2000
    Buck knives 420HC blades, in my experience, are much better than the Case knives that I have. I haven't bought a Case in about ten years so I cannot say if that is still the situation.
  17. mbjannusch


    Apr 1, 2010
    Didn't Case go to surgical stainless steel??? IMO Surgical is a no go...
  18. Jeff O

    Jeff O

    Feb 29, 2000
    I know they call it surgical stainless but if I remember correctly it's 420HC... with mediocre heat treat.
  19. sitflyer

    sitflyer Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Actually Case hardens their 420hc to the recommended HT hardness range, Buck takes it up a notch, Case's Tru Sharp is a great EDC steel if properly sharpened. Bucks HT takes this steel up a notch, so edge retention is definitely better with a Buck, but for most folks light duty use, the difference will be minimal...
  20. davek14


    May 30, 2009
    Lots of great, informative answers here.

    The only thing is that now I will *have* to get some Buck 420HC. Oh well, at least I can maybe browse for it at a big box store while I'm shopping with the not-so-little woman.

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