Buck Knives Inc. dates it history back over 100 years to the first knives made by Hoyt H. Buck. Hoyt H. Buck became a blacksmith apprentice in Kansas in 1899 at the age of 10. During his tenure Hoyt learned to make knives and in 1902 when he was 13, he developed a method of heat-treating the steel in hoes and other tools so they would hold an edge longer. Hoyt left Kansas in 1907 for the American northwest and eventually enlisted in the United States Navy. He is not known to have made knives until 1941 in Mountain Home, Idaho after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hoyt made each knife by hand, using worn-out file blades as raw material.These early knives are called "four strikes" by collectors, because each of the letters in BUCK was struck with an individual letter stamp, which in 1961, was replaced by a one-piece stamp.
With the entry of the USA into WW2 the government asked the public for donations of fixed blade knives to arm the troops. Upon learning there were not enough knives for soldiers who needed them, Hoyt Buck bought an anvil, forge and grinder to set up a blacksmith shop in the basement of his church and started making knives for US troops. Hoyt later explained, “I didn’t have any knives, (to offer) but I sure knew how to make them”.
After World War II, Hoyt and his son Al moved to San Diego and set up shop as "H.H. Buck & Son" in 1947.These early knives were handmade and more expensive than a typical mass-produced knife, Hoyt Buck made 25 knives a week until his death in 1949.In the 1950s the company began making knives on a much larger scale marketing through dealers as opposed to direct mail.
Note: The Tang Stamp of the 2002 Buck/Anvil/Custom/U.S.A. has been used since 2002 for various "Limited Edition" and/or "Special Project" knives Therefore the existence of the Anvil symbols not limited solely to 2002 models IF it is accompanied with a "Custom" marking.
Here is some additional date information about the 110 Folding Hunter and the 112 Ranger:
PRIOR TO 1974 - NO MARKINGS -
- 1974 to 1980: one dot on either side of the model # (example: .110.)
- 1980: two dots on the right side of the model # (example: .110..)
- 1981 to 1986: two dots on either side of the model # (example: ..110..)
- NOTE: Buck uses the Year Symbols on all knives, not just Folding Hunter & Ranger.
Today Buck is going the direction of Case & Sons by introducing the US Made 110 Folding Hunter with different scales and engraved bolsters not to mention work by Brian Yellowhorse. Buck is also gone offshore (China) producing a large number of knives (see list below).
Types of Vintage Buck Knives
Buck has long passed the ten million mark on one single model, the 110 Folding Hunter. No other knife ever made has reached anywhere near that number. Can you imagine how many of the more than twenty different variations of the 110 are out there?
Early hand-made knives
Limited Edition knives
Hard to Find, but Worth Finding
China Buck Knives
LIST OF BUCK CHINA KNIVES
283BK Nano Bantam™, 379BR Solo, 371BRW Stockman®, 372BRW Muskrat, 373BRW Trio, 375BRW Deuce, 380BRW Mini Trapper, 382BRW Trapper, 384BRW Large Trapper, 421PL Newt, 421OR Newt, 421BK Newt, 421GR Newt, 754BK NRG™, 754PLT NRG™, 754RD NRG™, 754BL NRG™, 283BK Nano Bantam™, 284BK Bantam™ BBW, 285BK Bantam™ BLW, 286BK Bantam™ BHW, 316GY Parallex™, 316BL Parallex™, 318BTTX Parallex™, 318GYX Parallex™, 318BLX Parallex™, 325 Colleague™, 326 Scholar™, 327 Nobleman™, 327TT Nobleman™, 173 Buck/Mayo Northshore™, 174 Buck/Mayo Cutback™, 179 Buck/Mayo Hilo™, 177BK Adrenaline-BK™, 177SPX Adrenaline-SPX™, 178BK Adrenaline-Ti™, 198 Mantis™, 198X Mantis™, 199 Pilot™, 199X Pilot™, 318BTTX Parallex™, 472BK Diamondback Guide™, 478BK Diamondback Outfitter™, 473BK Diamondback Guide™, 479BK Diamondback Outfitter™, 471BK Diamondback™ 4.25, 476BK Diamondback™ 3.25, 284CM Bantam®
BBW Camo, 285CM Bantam® BLW Camo, 286CM Bantam® BHW Camo, 730CMX X-Tract™ Camo, 472BK Diamondback Guide™, 478BK Diamondback Outfitter™, 224 Ulti-Mate™ Stream, 226 Ulti-Mate™ Lake, 229 Ulti-Mate™ Ocean, 815BK Utility Shears, 720BK Pruning Shears, 821BK Grip Saw, 730RDX X-Tract™, 730PLX X-Tract™, 730BLX X-Tract™, 730BKX X-Tract™, 760GRX Summit, 760BLX Summit, 760RDX Summit, 760BKX Summit, 751BLX Approach™, 751BKX Approach™, 752GRX Short Approach™, 752BLX Short Approach™, 752FGX Short Approach™, 752ORX Short Approach™, 752BKX Short Approach™, 752PLX Short Approach™, 756RD Transport™, 756PE Transport™, 756SMK Transport™, 756BL Transport™, 758SMK Metro™ LED, 758RD Metro™ LED, 758BL Metro™ LED, 758FG
Metro™ LED, 759BLW Metro™, 759FGW Metro™, 759GRW Metro™, 759BKW Metro™, 759ORW Metro™, 759PLW Metro™, 759RDW Metro™, 777SMK Lumina™LED, 777BL Lumina™LED, 777RD Lumina™LED, 755RD Folding Saw, 755YL Folding Saw, 755BK Folding Saw, 757RD Camp Axe, 757YL Camp Axe, 757BK Camp Axe, 198BKX Mantis™ - All Black, 199BKX Pilot™ - All Black, 870X Bones™, 872CMX Sandman™, 872BKX Sandman™, 873X Iceman™,