Analysis: The Buck Reaper Knife


Buck Knives was started by a young Kansas blacksmith’s apprentice named Hoyt Buck who was looking for a better way to temper steel so it would hold an edge longer, and his unique approach produced the first Buck Knife in 1902.

The Buck Reaper Fixed Blade Survival Knife is one of the best selling products of Hoyt’s unique approach knife.

The Buck Reaper Knife


Buck Reaper Knife Features: 

The Buck Reaper features an overall blade length of 11” with a 6 /34” drop point blade with Buck’s Advanced Edge2x technology made from 420 high carbon stainless steel which is coated with a matte black “traction coating” to prevent corrosion.

Also, the blade features a deep, hollow saber ground bevel combined with a thick spine to create a blade that is very sharp but will also withstand the shock generated by light chopping tasks. In addition, the blade has a large finger groove and a grooved section along the back of the spine (known as “jimping”) to provide the user with more leverage and greater control when carving or performing other detailed carving activities.

In addition, the handle features full tang construction and a very ergonomic, hand-filling shape with handle slabs made from molded nylon that is available in Buck’s Reaper Black Camo or their Viper Skin finish. The handle also features a single integral quillion. Last, the Buck Reaper comes with a heavy-duty nylon sheath.

Why I Was Impressed By Buck Reaper?

Since I have written about so many different knives on this website now, I decided to take another look at the Buck website this evening, and I just happened to run across the Buck Reaper, and I have to admit that I was immediately impressed by its lines.

For instance, the aggressive drop from the “hump” on the spine to the tip is very graceful, and it does an excellent job of complementing the recurved edge and the positive forward angle. Also, the deep, hollow saber grind is gracefully done, and the plunge line to the finger groove is very elegant. In addition, the tip of the spine is sharpened to provide the knife with an extra sharp point for piercing, and the deep finger groove ground into the edge along with the raised hump and the “jimping” on the spine enable the user to “choke up” on the blade for greater leverage and greater control.

Stainless Steel Blade: 

The blades are made from 420 high-carbon stainless steel, which consists of 0.40%-0.50% carbon, 12.0%-14.0% chromium, 0.80% manganese, 0.60% molybdenum, and 0.18% vanadium. Therefore, 420 HC is an excellent steel for dedicated wilderness survival knives because…

  • it has just enough carbon to convert the iron into steel, so it is hard without being brittle,
  • it contains enough chromium to make it highly corrosion-resistant,
  • it contains manganese which increases toughness and hardenability in steel,
  • it contains Molybdenum which increases hardness in tool steels and forms hard, double carbide, bonds with the Chromium which helps improve the abrasion and corrosion resistance of the steel; and last,
  • it contains Vanadium which helps to produce a fine grain during heat treatment and improve wear resistance. Also, it refines the gain structure of the steel for both good toughness and the ability to sharpen the blade to a very keen edge.

In fact, many people report that they are able to get knives using steels that contain vanadium sharper than they can non-vanadium steels such as ATS-34. In addition, the molded nylon handle slabs attached to the full tang are both very tough and very ergonomic since they are spherically designed to fill your hand and thus distribute the pressure of carving and cutting evenly. Last, nylon is the perfect choice of sheath material for a dedicated wilderness survival knife since the individual fibers will not absorb moisture and thus, they are rot-proof. Nylon is also very abrasion-resistant, so it is impervious to nearly anything that it might encounter in an outdoor survival situation.

Excellently Designed Within Budget:

Consequently, as dedicated survival knives go, The Buck Reaper Knife like many others is both excellently designed and excellently made which is an unusual statement for me to make about a survival knife. Plus, because it’s reasonably within budget, it is within reach of most dedicated outdoorsmen’s pocketbooks.

For all that, the Reaper is one knife that I would actually recommend for those of you who are in need of a dedicated wilderness survival knife but don’t spend enough time in the outdoors to warrant the expense of a truly professional-good quality survival knife.

Other Similar Models

SOG Fixed Blade Knives with Sheath

SOG Fixed Blade Knives with Sheath

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You can purchase this great survival knife in two different variants – either with a deluxe sheath or a molded one. The knife itself has the same exact quality whichever variant you end up choosing.

The SEAL Strike fixed blade knife is a field-tested combat knife, camping knife, boot knife, and hunting knife; it measures 9.6 inches in total length. Its blade features a black titanium nitride coating which makes it far stronger than your typical bushcraft knife. Even better, the stainless steel handle has glass-reinforced nylon which offers a fantastic grip.

Overall, we really think that this is a great replacement for the Buck Reaper Knife in case one is out of stock. We recommend it, especially for its durability and precision – both characteristics come in handy in many more ways than one.

Mossy Oak Survival Knife

Mossy Oak Survival Knife

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Coming with a rubber handle and a clip-point serrated stainless steel blade, you can already tell that the Mossy Oak knife is well worth its asking price and then some.

Not only that, but the package also comes with a fire starter and a sharpener, so you won’t have to worry about purchasing those items separately. As a perfect camping and hunting knife, it’s suitable for a hunter, camper, survivalist, or outdoor sports enthusiast so that you can enjoy your adventure.

The sheath is made out of durable, heavy-duty nylon and it effectively protects the blade from the elements, even in harsh conditions. Leaving the quality of the sheath and the accessories aside, the knife handles every type of task wonderfully. If you want an all-purpose survival knife without having to break the bank, this one might just be the model you were looking for.


The Buck Reaper Fixed Blade Survival Knife encapsulates the essence of craftsmanship and functionality, standing as a testament to Buck Knives’ dedication to innovation and good value gear. Its distinct features, including the deep saber grind bevel and an ergonomically molded nylon handle, amplify its usability and durability in the wild.

Beyond its technical prowess, the aesthetic appeal of the Reaper Knife is undeniable, displaying graceful curves and meticulous design elements that exude both elegance and practicality. With an alloy rich in chromium, manganese, molybdenum, and vanadium, the 420 HC steel blade strikes a balance between hardness, corrosion resistance, and edge retention, catering perfectly to the demands of wilderness survival. The Reaper Knife emerges as an excellently designed and budget-friendly option, resonating with both seasoned outdoorsmen and those seeking a reliable wilderness survival tool without breaking the bank.

The Out sider

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