Buck Nighthawk

Dec 20, 1998
I find myself wanting an all around field knife and was wondering if the Buck will stand up to real world use. I don't want a blade for the collection, this blade will have to earn a place for itself.
I've handled the Buck and it feels great in my hand, and I've always been happy with the 425 steel they use. I guess I'm just looking for some feedback from people who know fixed blades.
I've already determined the sheath is not up to the job, so that won't be an issue. I'm thinking that Kydex might be the way to go here. Any thoughts?
I'm well aware that this is not a high end blade, but I use work knives pretty hard and I'd rather not abuse a high dollar knife.
Thanks for listening, Tim.

It's not too bad a knife. It is quite strong, as it is very thick, but the blade geometry doesn't make for a great cutter. I don't like the handle ergonomics, but that is obviously not an issue for you, as you have held it.

Mine just sits in my drawer, so if you want to make a trade or something, shoot me an email.

All in all, it is not a bad knife for the price, particularly as a work knife, but I wouldn't want it as a survival tool.

Clay Fleischer

"10,000 Lemmings Can't Be Wrong!"

I have read that the steel is 425, also. However, I have also read that it is 420HC.
Joe Hauser of Buck Knives confirmed ( on rec.knives ) that it is 420HC.
I do not know how 420HC and 420J2 differ but I suspect "HC" stands for "high carbon". If so, HC is an improved J2......?
Anyone know for sure ?

BTW....Joe says that , from now on, all Nighthawks will be made with improved edge geometry. Frankly, I never felt that the edge geometry was all that bad.

Brian W E
ICQ #21525343

[This message has been edited by brian w edginton (edited 30 December 1998).]
I went back to that thread on rec.knives, and it made for some interesting reading. Thanks for pointing it out.
I don't know about the 420HC steel, does anyone know how it compares to others? Please tell me it's not like J2.
I like my Nighthawk, but I keep it mostly as a pretend toy.
Its hardness, corrosion resistance and ergonmics make it particularly attractive to me.
Mine came with a very poor edge and required many hours of work to move the edge back to the center with proper bevels.
In hindsight, I should have sent it back and requested another.
However, this knife, after much TLC, has the sharpest edge I have felt on a real knife. By real, I mean a knife thick enough to moderately abuse.
Not Mad Dog abuse, like a prybar, but normal person abuse, like around camp.
The sheath does not provide adequate protection from the blade and will not hold up to even casual use.
I have made a slip sheath out of the thickest leather I could find, and feel safe with this.
With a proper sheath (and I had fun making mine), I would feel very well equipped in a camping, hunting, survival, combat or self-defence situation with this knife.