Buck Chinese Made Knives Are they Any Good?
You might be surprised at our conclusions! In the end, I reached a conclusion that even I didn’t expect.
I do not dislike foreign made knives. In fact, I love those great German and Brittish and French and Swiss and Japanese knives,
For instance, French knife maker Opinel does not use French steel but rather relies on Sandvick from Sweden, which is great steel. Honestly, I don’t see a problem with that.
Some companies make all of their own components and then have them assembled elsewhere. Some of the old Solingen German knife makers do it this way around I understand.
There are even variations in the variations, but that is getting a little far down the rabbit hole for this article.
Still, by far the largest numbers are those who have the entire product manufactured more cheaply abroad. This is the case with the relatively small percentage of Buck Knives made outside the United States. The Buck Chinese made knives if I understand correctly, are Buck varieties that were designed having in mind, outsourced production. If this was not the purpose, it at least seems to serve the same purpose, which in my mind, is to have a clear line between the original, and solid line of knives that Buck has always, and hopefully always will make in America, and those made elsewhere.
Buck Chinese Made Knives
For the purpose of testing I chose and purchased a Buck 371 large stockman manufactured by Buck in China. For comparison, I chose an American made product of the same design from another company and another companies Chinese product of very similar design.
Fit and Finish
The fit and finish were not nearly as bad as I expected, in fact, aside from a little time at the polishing wheel, nothing more is needed, and that is not even necessary. The other Chinese made product was not far behind the Buck in this regard, and the American made product was more smooth than either. In honesty, none had any fit and polish issues that a week of use and carry would not have solved.
The grinding quality was good. In fact, the quality of the grind on the rear blade to spring when open is far tighter and flatter than on the American. Both were superior to the other Chinese knife overall, although I have to give the blade to spring grind the advantage on the Chinese over the American. On the Chinese Buck, there is a very nice hollow grind in the substantially thick blade, at least as thick as the American, and much thicker than the other Chinese product. The only real difference is that the American-made Stockman had completely polished blades.
The walk and talk is good with nice free travel and just the right amount of tension with nice satisfying clicks at both ends of the blade travel. There is no flex or flop in the blades.
Blades: 440 hc
Bolsters Nickel silver
Springs 440 hc
Liners stainless steel
American knife maker Buck has a line of Buck Chinese made knives, but keeps its good old standbys manufactured in the good old U.S. of A. After doing some research and a good deal of field work on the Buck knives I had always known as opposed to the Buck knives made in other countries, I came to several conclusions:
- The foreign made knives were a pretty good value for a cheap knife. They are not the quality of American made Bucks in regard to fit and polish, but not bad overall.
- It almost seems that Buck is using the cheaper knife sales to finance low prices on the U.S. made products. I can not swear to this, but Bucks old standbys, the 110 and the 300 series are very fairly priced!
I understand that Buck is in the process of bringing some of the overseas operations back to the U.S. or at the very least moving out of communist China to free markets such as Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The thing I regret in this review is that I did not have a Buck American made 301 for the purpose of comparison to the other 3. Just a hunch, but I am betting that the American made Buck would have won the whole contest outright. Perhaps in a future article!