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Buck Hoodlum: What's the Story?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Confederate, May 22, 2012.

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  1. Confederate


    Sep 5, 2005
    I saw a Buck Hoodlum recently and knew I had to have one. So I got one and am impressed...that is, until I began knocking around YouTube. Two people were able to break their Hoodlums right at the notch, and they were bitter. "When it's wood against steel, steel should always win," they said. But one of the videos showed what to me was brutal batoning. Not the type of batoning most people would do in the wilderness, but brutal beating. On the other hand, if one batons in really cold weather, I imagine wood could get very dense!

    The knife isn't very large, but it's made of 5160 carbon steel. It seems like it would be an excellent self defense knife and it appears to take a substantial amount of abuse. The knife's critics question its heat treatment. One said: "a friend of mine is on his 3rd hoodlum already! It is clearly a heat treat issue as one of the breaks was not even at the notch, and both breaks were from chopping, not even batoning!"

    Here is one YouTube video showing a broken knife...(hey, what a great name! ©)...anyway, what are you hearing about the knife? At $125, I'm starting to think I made a mistake.

  2. awh


    Oct 20, 2010
    i think nutnfancy has a video on it and it performed well. i own one and I like it.
  3. retzius


    Sep 17, 2009
    Those videos tell you nothing.

    I watched the batoning video you mentioned and that was not batoning, that was savagely beating the knife with a log like a retarded monkey.

    I can break any knife in 10 minutes if you want me too. It's not that hard...

    It's a knife. Use it like a knife and it will give you a lifetime of service.
  4. retzius


    Sep 17, 2009
    Here is the batoning video in question:


    The idiot literally is trying to baton the knife through a 5 foot tall 1 foot thick log. At one point he picks up another log so heavy he can't lift it, misses the knife, and hits himself in the hand. This is a good example of people that should not breed, but more than likely, will.
  5. Confederate


    Sep 5, 2005
    Oh my goodness. Is this guy human or is he an ape wearing a human suit? If the knife can handle that much abuse before breaking, I think I'll get more!
  6. EZ Bake

    EZ Bake

    Mar 5, 2009

    I don't know why, but this tickled me a lot - I'm still giggling when reading it.
  7. Ramil839


    Feb 11, 2012
    I dont think its a heat treat problem,its a major design failure to put that hook or whatever that is on the blade,its a natural weakness point,that and the knife is thin.Call me whatever you like but i dont think itsabuse at all,the man is batoning wood with a knife using wood,if it breaks its not intended for use outdoors when you life might depend on it.I've done much worse with a lot of knives,some broke like that pos Bear Grylls knife and a couple made in China ones,the ones that made it after prying,accidental impact on rocks and batoning like crazy are the ones i trust my life to like the BK9,HI CAK,BK2/BK3,Glock knife,Outcast and Kabar USMC(D2 as well).
  8. retzius


    Sep 17, 2009
    I can break ANY knife you send me in 5 minutes or less. ANY KNIFE. Including all the "indestructible" ones you think you can count your life on. Take your pick and send it to me, Ill post a video of me breaking it faster than you can say "indestructible". Its really not that hard if you understand physics, stress, lateral forces, and simple geometry.

    Knifes are meant to cut things. Not be bludgeones or log splitting wedges.
  9. ArfinGreebly


    Apr 3, 2008
    Anyone have a video of Ron Hood batoning the Hoodlum?

    I don't think I ever saw that demonstration.

    I haven't seen anything in the advertising that positions that knife as Teh Ultimate Batoning Knife!

    That said, I have seen some of the test videos (like nutnfancy) wherein a substantial amount of baton work was done.

    I, too had some initial concerns about that notch ('cuz, hey, it certainly looks like a point of failure), but I've decided that given the blade width and the type of steel used, this is not an issue.

    Can you break it there? Sure. Especially if your batoning/hammering has a lateral vector and you're using a caber to hit it.

    Otherwise I'd relax about the notch.

    It's a knife. A very capable knife, designed by a guy with a lot of experience both with knives and the target environment.

    If your plans include uber brutality for your knife, then buy a sharpened pry bar instead.

    Otherwise, use it to cut stuff.

  10. chiral.grolim

    chiral.grolim Universal Kydex Sheath Extension Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 2008
    What's with all the ad hominem attacks and exaggerations?

    3 feet long, 4" thick post. He got the blade jammed in that knot and was so tired from his earlier efforts, he went for a heavier baton which he admits was stupid. He also states that he was trying to demonstrate just how impressive the blade truly was... but it failed in his use of it. And regardless of what you think of his particular performance, his was not the only Hoodlum to fail, and other were treated far more gently. The blade broke at a "stress riser", the notch-gimmick, which Buck expected when they manufactured the blade and even tested for failure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoxiHS0gHn0
    But after numerous failures at just that point and warranty demands on the blade, Buck redesigned the notch to a shallower level - still a stress riser though. There are a lot of other silly things about the design of this knife, imho, but it's apparently what Hood had in mind so...

    Did the OP make a mistake buying it? Well, that depends on your expectations of how you can use it. As a ninja short-sword fighting knife :thumbup: As a small machete :thumbup: For chopping/splitting hard materials the way you can use other knives of similar size/materials :thumbdn:

    As someone else already said, it's a knife... like those in your kitchen. Use it like one of those and it'll give you a lifetime of service. If you want something stronger, Himalayan Imports uses the same steel and gets better performance, but theirs aren't designed like the Hoodlum. *shrug* If you are paying $125 for a knife, you might want to be sure that the knife is capable of what you expect it to do, that the design matches your intentions. It's only your money until you spend it.
  11. Ramil839


    Feb 11, 2012
    Never said indestructible,I've broken vices by cranking them,broke plyers,I know how to break tools,HOWEVER for the sake of argument get Dan Keffeler's CPM 3V
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/854294-Monster-chopper-advise and break it without power tools.

    There used to be a video with what his name hitting that knife with a mini sledge and it didnt even budge,good luck and may zeus be on your side.
  12. Danbo

    Danbo Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 28, 1999
    Heh, heh; he said, "retarded monkey". :D
  13. retzius


    Sep 17, 2009
    If you send me one Id be happy to break it without power tools (lateral stress and the judicious application of torque will do it, ask any engineer)

    BTW, just for good-natured arguements sake, if you are gonna carry a knife that big, thick, and heavy to chop wood, you can find a different tool that weighs the same or less (like an axe) that will chop wood much better and you will use less energy in the process.

    Its like racing in a Honda Civic, you can tart it up with all sorts of parts and change out the entire engine to make it fast, or you could have just bought a race car in the first place.
  14. MassMatt


    Apr 2, 2006
    I actually don't get what the notch is FOR. I heard it's to saw away at bone but if that's the case, wouldn't a saw back (which I generally dislike) or serrations work better?
  15. Ramil839


    Feb 11, 2012
    I dont have the knife and my funds are low atm.I agree with what you said and thats why i carry a tomahawk and a kukri along with a small knife,everything has its role,but some blades will be insanely hard to break in the woods,my kukri has proven that over and over,the only way i see it breaking in the woods completely would be if i wedge it between something and hammer on the handle and even then it will bend,i cant see many other ways that wouldnt require additional tools or levers.Geometry of the blade is 1 thing,but when something is 3/8 thick and differentially hardened to withstand abuse i think it will take some imagination to break it.
    Im not disagreeing with you but just for my own clarity would you be able to find or need to use any methods to break a blade you have in mind in a survival situation or on any outdoor trip?
  16. Bishop2Queen's6

    Bishop2Queen's6 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    The notch is for lifting a cooking pot out of a camp fire. There is a youtube video of Ron Hood demonstrating his Buck Hoodlum design and the rational of each design feature. The Hoodlum is a wonderful camping knife. I would not hesitate to put the Hoodlum through the same chores I would put my BK9 through.
  17. A.P.F.

    A.P.F. Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    I think that for my money, to lift a cooking pot out of a fire, I'll just use a crook in a branch.

    As a trained weapons tech from many moons ago, I took one look at the design of that knife and gave it a hearty 'forget it'. A designed in stress riser? Give me a break (pun intended).
  18. Dah-Dee


    Apr 7, 2011

    More specifically, the product description says: "A groove is cut into the blade spine for scoring bone, bending wire, removing pots from a camp fire, or other small tasks."

    Full product description:

    "The Hoodlum is built for ultimate survival. Based on Ron Hood's design and built to Buck's quality standards, the Hoodlum helps ensure survival in extreme conditions. It is light enough to carry in a sheath, but heavy duty enough for any task out in the wilderness. The handle is built with a Shock Mitigation System (SMS) to alleviate shock and wasted energy when chopping. It has a large finger choil for providing control while whittling or other detailed activities. A groove is cut into the blade spine for scoring bone, bending wire, removing pots from a camp fire, or other small tasks. Also, the Micarta handles can be removed to create a spear by lashing a branch to the tang of the blade. There is an integrated hammer and lanyard hole in the butt of the handle and it comes with a heavy duty nylon sheath. The Hoodlum will serve all your survival needs from protection to food prep while out in the wilderness."
  19. jdk1


    Apr 21, 2010
    According to the above advertisement, it appears the design doesn't live up to the billing. No knock on Mr. Hood, as I imagine he would've tweaked the design as reports from the field trickled in. Plus, we can't be sure he designed it for the end of the world. That could have been Buck's idea to market it as such. I would be very comfortable using an ESEE Junglas in an "ultimate survival" situation. Yes, it too can be broken, but the only one I've seen get broken involved a vice and a cheater pipe. Niether of which I normally carry in the woods:)
  20. Hadji Flip Me Over

    Hadji Flip Me Over

    Mar 1, 2010
    I wanted a Buck Hoodlum for a long time, then I finally got to hold one at a gun show and it turned me off. Can't exactly put my finger on it, but it felt too light and the blade just looked like it was not wide enough. Adding several marked failures (one caused by gross abuse, of course) into the mix, I'll stick to the Junglas and Scrapyard 911.
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