Buck 639 Fieldmaster Question

Discussion in 'Buck Knives' started by winchester73, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. winchester73


    Jan 6, 2008
    My parents bought me this knife sometime in the 80's. I need to look on the chart to see how old it is. My question is how rare are these. I still have the old parchment box and paper. It hasn't been used much. I read where Joe Houser said they had a problem with old Kraton handles coming loose. Wonder if this happens to mine if Buck would rehandle in something else?
  2. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Without my notes, I'm thinking they came out in the mid eighty's. That model is more rare. I think Desoto collects those and will check in with info. shortly. DM
  3. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I found it in Buck's 1987 catalog. Stating; 'kraton handles now available for these models'. So, a date of 1986 may be correct for
    their introduction. They may do that. DM
  4. jb4570

    jb4570 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2005
    With the little use you said yours has, I doubt the kraton handle has failed. However, you can pay to have it customized with a new handle.
  5. Stumps


    Feb 9, 2011
    They don't get any nicer than that!! Very nice John!! :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
  6. GIRLYmann


    Nov 7, 2005
    That model was sort of a poor man's buck master.
    IMHO, the Design of its Kraton handle simply didn't do it enough justice for folks to go "wow"!
    Jb4570, now that's bound to turn heads.
    What a piece of Great customization!
  7. Haebbie

    Haebbie Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2006
    Really? I think the Mate-Series has great knives, not only the
    "poor mans Buck Master". If you ever have the chance do your
    wet work with the mates you'll love them.

    Unsurprisingly a lot more than the knives on the picture have
    a Kraton handle, just like the fillet knives lake mate, stream
    mate, ocean mate and other.


  8. DeSotoSky

    DeSotoSky Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    Kraton is a synthetic rubber developed by Shell Oil in the 50's. As Haebbie points out, Kraton handles are great for wet work.
    Unlike other rubbers which get slippery when wet, Kraton handles get a bit tacky making them easy to get a good grip.

    I can't address the loosening reports first hand as most all of my knives are "collectors". I do have a 102 Kraton handled knife which appears to have been well used in a previous life and the blade does have vertical play inside the rubber handle. If I was to want to use it, I think I would try intecting epoxy or cyano type adhesive down alongside the blade.

    Some more pictures. Aways thought it funny they gave a "Mate" name to all but the 603 Skinner.
    102 = 602 TrailMate
    103 = 603 Skinner
    105 = 605 PathMate
    119 = 619 WoodsMate (black) or GameMate (olive drab)
    120 = 620 CampMate
    639 FieldMate, available black or olive drab and was in the catalog 1986-1993.
    There also a less common version without the broached spine.

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  9. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    About time you guys showed up on this topic. Win. 73 this should have given you some thorough information. Yes, I 've always thought it 'strange' as well that Buck named the 603 a Skinnner. DM
  10. Sithus1966


    Jan 24, 2008
  11. Pack Rat

    Pack Rat Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    SkinnerMate might have sounded a bit funny. :eek::D

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