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Buck "KALINGA" knives

Discussion in 'Buck Knives' started by dssiverhus, Dec 12, 1999.

  1. dssiverhus


    Dec 11, 1999
    I recently purchased a Buck "KALINGA" knife which was part of a knife collectors private collection. I would appreciate any info about this knife series (including production dates, collectability, value, etc.)
    The knife came in it's original presentation case, and includes a heavy leather brass riveted sheath. It is a fixed blade with stamping: Buck KALINGA usa. It has a dark wooden or synthetic laminated handle with brass fittings.
    Thank you for any info you may have!!
  2. Joe Houser

    Joe Houser

    Aug 24, 1999

    The Kalinga came out in 1970 as far as we can tell. It was discontinued 1988. During that time we made about 60k of them. The earliest ones will have micarta handles. Mostly black micarta although there are some red out there.
    It sounds like yours has the more common laminate wood handles. The fact that there is no date codes indicates that it was made before 1986.
    One way to find out current values is to check the various online auctions such as Ebay. I saw one on there right now selling for $100 so far. For some reason, the kalinga often gets advertised as Rare. We made over 60k of them!
    The suggested retail in 1998 was $138.

    Hope this helps,

    Joe Houser
    Director of Quality, Buck Knives Inc.
    Buck Collectors club Administrator
  3. CJ Buck

    CJ Buck Moderator Moderator

    Apr 15, 1999
    The Kalinga (Model 401) was designed by my uncle Frank D. Buck. He was my father's younger brother and he passed away in 1974. His tastes were very flambouyant and while we made them the Kalinga was one of the most difficult knives to mass produce. My grandfather Al, thought another knife without such an aggressive sweeping blade was necessary for the line and designed the Akonua (model 402)

    My grandfather's favorite knife was the Kalinga and he named his boat after that knife. We also made a Kalinga with Mastodon Ivory handles and engraved with Al's birthdate and the date of his death and sat it in his coffin for his viewing. That knife is in our display in our main hallway to this day.

    I have had bikers tell me they like the knife for it's aggressive look and feel. I have had hunters tell me that the skinning sweep on the blade made it their favorite work knife. To each his own. I just know it is a beautiful knife.
  4. Buckaholic


    Feb 7, 2006
    Is anyone a lucky buck that has both the 401 Kalinga and 402 Akonua and can post a pic of them side by side?
    Interested in the difference of the blade sweep and width when next to each other.
    Thanks for indulgence of this request.
    BCCI 1190
  5. Evil Eye Earl

    Evil Eye Earl

    Feb 18, 2006
    But I am still in the learning stages with my camera and and computer,so no pics unless someone can school me.
    I have 6 Kalingas and 1 Akonua mint that I bought in the 80's,90's and a mint knife that I bought a few weeks ago
    with an abused sheath that I am going to rescale.
  6. chickentrax


    Aug 5, 2005
    Do you have a scanner? It is easier to scan the two together and post to PhotoBucket.com than to learn how to use a digital camera... ;)
  7. Evil Eye Earl

    Evil Eye Earl

    Feb 18, 2006
    No scanner here but I do have pics in my e-mail here.
  8. Buckaholic


    Feb 7, 2006
    Thanks Triple E and Trax...

    Wanted to see them in the same pic so they would be the same scale. But I guess this will work.
    Are the blade lengths actually the same?

    "Borrowed" off of The Bay...


  9. chickentrax


    Aug 5, 2005
    Some mysterious person emailed me some pics of a bunch of knives...Not sure what to do with them (and frankly, the eBay pics look better!), but here's the two in question...


  10. Buckaholic


    Feb 7, 2006
    Hey, thanks Chicken...

    Looks like the Akonua is a bit longer and I kine like the sweep better. And since I am looking at one or the other for EDC (Renaissance Faires or a get together at the OK Corral), it looks like it is more practical for stickin' pickles outta a jar at a church social.

  11. Pack Rat

    Pack Rat Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    I'll try and remember to get some pics up tomorrow. I have one like CJ described in his post. and and older one with black micrta and an akonua.

    This kalinga is just slightly longer than this akonua. 1/8 to 1/4. Just an eyeball....
    Handle is bulkier on the Kalinga. Kinda like comparing a 119 to a 105 as far as hande grip.
    Give or take. Will try and show that in the pics.
  12. Pack Rat

    Pack Rat Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    The ruler didn't help any as far as which ones is longer. click on these.





  13. pjsjr

    pjsjr Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 2, 2005
    Neat knives:cool:, thanks for posting.

    I remember a thread where we were talking about blade shapes that would be used in hunting these were not mentioned. They look like what should be a very useful all round blade.

    Has anyone had the experience of using one of these as a hunting knife? How did it perform? Preston
  14. Evil Eye Earl

    Evil Eye Earl

    Feb 18, 2006
    I have a bad habit of every hunting season I purchase a new knife to use and another of the same type to put back "collect" and admire.The year that I bought my first Kalinga 1976 the Kalinga was used to dress and skin 8 Whitetail bucks and three hogs,in two days.No they were not all my kills.It is a little heavy to carry.Four deer were first then a hog four more deer then two hogs dressed skinned and quartered,never once sharpening from the factory edge that came on the knife,maybe it was the fat of the hogs that kept the blade sharp.
    The Akonua did not enjoy the same type of experience.Too hot and dry oak leaves two feet deep ,1 deer dressed ,drug out of the woods .I lost the Akonua and she was never found to my knowledge .I either left her on the ground or didn't fasten my sheath .I looked for four days and went back in the same location for six years shot three more bucks during that time and attatched a bright "RED" lanyard to every sheath knife since.Never lost one again,but I put my hand on my knife every few minutes..... just to make sure.
  15. Pack Rat

    Pack Rat Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    The Kalinga weighs in at around 13-14 ounces and the Akonua about 9-10 ounces. Both a little heavy for me, but Earl has shown that either will work for hunting.

    Tough on loosing the Akonua. I wonder what it would look like now after laying in the wild for so long. Need a good metal detector.
  16. Mike Kerins

    Mike Kerins

    Nov 14, 2004
    I don't know about a Akonua, but in the 70's I found a 110 in the dirt. I have no idea how long it had been there but it was filled with grit and the brass was seriously green. I took it home, cleaned it up (hosed it off) and oiled the joints and used it for years after. I still have the knife but have put it away. When you stop and think about it, the materials the knife is made of should allow it to withstand the elements pretty well. :thumbup:
  17. pjsjr

    pjsjr Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 2, 2005
    Thanks Earl, good to know that they earn their keep:). Preston
  18. Tilaran


    Jul 29, 2012
    For actual work, as opposed to defending FreeDumb in malls and video stores, a Kalinga is fantastic. If you have one, and a good Nessy (like Carters or D. Koster ) bullfrogs and pigeons to elephant processing are within belt reach LOL.
    Mine came from Leroy.:cool:
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  19. David Martin

    David Martin

    Apr 7, 2008
    The 401 while a nice eye appealing knife... Well, for game work I sooo appeal toward the Akouna. Its design is very correct to my mind. DM
  20. guitar1580


    Nov 5, 2012
    Wow, interesting thread from 1999. I always drooled over the Kalinga in the catalogs. I probably like the similar Akonua a little better. I just ran onto the Akonua with "guitar neck" handle. Dang, my hand would feel right at home wrapped around that! Love it.

    This forum is gonna cost me $$.

    JT ....... note to self: get myself this for Christmas, I've been good this year.


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