Buck Quest (yes, I'm serious!)


Jan 31, 1999
Go ahead, laugh. No, it’s not tactical, or collectible, or expensive ($5.99), but most of us own and use some pretty mundane knives, so why not review it?

Here goes… I picked up 3 of these from Smoky Mountain, mostly because I cannot pass up a good bargain. I was tempted to buy this at $12.99, I’m glad I waited for it to come down again. Also, I am right now looking at replacing the cheap POS’s I have scattered around (briefcase, toolbox, car console) in favor of some entry-level quality blades. (The moral dilemma of whether or not I decide to keep or throw out the POS’s is fodder for another post).

Another reason I bought this was a desire for a really low profile, but quality and one-hand folder for carry to work and church. Very low risk areas, where someone might ask to borrow a knife. Sheeple friendly, high quality and low drag in kahki trousers. (I only use pocket clips on jeans). In the last year I have carried a Delica (with & without clip), small Point Guard, and Mirage in this role. They are all small, but I figured the Buck would be even more unobtrusive, while not sacrificing a lot of serviceability.

Here’s what you get and don’t get for $5.99:

Overall: no clip, no inner liners, so it is really, really slim. Unnoticeable in the pocket.
Blade: Buck stainless steel, probably 420HC, part serrated, very sharp, and the plain part is a true double hollow ground, unlike the one side grind that you would get on a POS, grooved thumb ramp hump to allow for the stud. The inner serrations still show a ‘wire edge’. The plain part has perfect grinds.
Stud: cheap plastic, moves around in the hole
Lock: very tight lockback
Handle: cheap plastic, not even Zytel. Combined with the plastic stud, looks cheesy – like the $2.99 “Eagle” Delica knockoffs. Weird oval shape. I’m thinking of taking a hot knife or a dremel and reprofiling the handle to be a more crescent or Delica-esque shape.

The verdict:
I’m glad I did not pay retail for this, but I’m glad I bought it at the price I did. I do not think it’s worth the $20+ it was MSRP’d at, mostly due to the cheap plastic stud and handle. (The picture actually showed a metal stud, so I was considering returning them, but what do you expect for $6?)

It carries great. The slim, light, clipless design is totally at home in dress or casual slacks. Even the Zytel CRKT’s seem to weigh down my pockets too much. (I also don’t like carrying loose change or my wallet in my pants pockets, FWIW). The blade is plenty sharp, with excellent grinds. The lock is rock solid. It’s not real scary to sheep, but at the same time the blade is only a hair shorter than the Delica, so it’s “tacticality” is really in the eyes of the beholder, so to speak.

Even though it’s a real low end knife, I feel good about the fact that it is a Buck, made by a (American) company I respect and want to support. The overall lock, blade, and fit & finish is much better than a knockoff that you could pay as much for. For an entry-level lockback for a friend or relative, or to just put in a place where you would like to keep a knife handy, get one (or three)!

Dec 30, 1999
RH - the fact you considered putting the time into this post proves beyond any reasonable doubt that you have WAY TOO much time on your hands...

Seriously now - I had this trend a few years back - upgrade all the POS in my life...

I just scattered the knives I had around - toolbox, car, offices etc.

Now I see a spyderco endura or a leatherman supertool almost every time I open a drawer...

Oct 9, 1998
RH, same sort of deal with the Buck NXT. In my opinion, it's certainly not worth the $40 retail, but $25 is a fair price for a decent knife that you can put in drawers and tool boxes.