The knife manufacturing industry has become increasingly competitive, but Benchmade and Buck are two of the most well known manufacturers in the industry, and both have continued to improve on an already impressive catalog of knives.
Benchmade and Buck cater to slightly different crowds. Buck tends to be on the more affordable end when it comes to price point, while Benchmade truly focuses their efforts on premium steel and premium knives.
Buck is synonymous with reliable outdoor/camping knives that any boy scout can rely on, while Benchmade really hones in on quality and caters not only to the gentleman needing a high quality every day carry blade, but knife collectors as well.
1. More About Benchmade
Founded in 1988, Benchmade makes a wide variety of different knives. They are most popular for their high quality folding pocket knives, but have also added a number of fixed blade options to their catalog. The steel quality of all Benchmade knives is some of the highest quality steel you can purchase in a knife.
It’s hard to make a bad choice with any of the knives available from Benchmade. In addition, many of their high quality folding knives (similar to Spyderco) hold up extremely well to stress tests. Their knives are also some of the sharpest you can buy, right out of the box.
2. Knives and Specifications
Here are some of our Benchmade favorites:
The Benchmade Bushcrafter: This field knife is a fixed blade knife made from CPMS30V steel. The blade is 4.40 inches in length and the overall length of the knife is 9.15 inches. The knife has a plain blade edge and a satin finish.
Steep County: This knife offers a wide variety of handle colors and blade styles. This fixed blade knife is 7.65 inches overall with a blade of 3.50 inches. The blade is made from CPMS30V steel with a Santoprene handle. You can choose from a drop point blade or a drop point with hook.
Triage: These rescue knives are tough, high performing, and well designed. The Triage is a versatile triple utility tool that has been field tested by rescue professionals. The blade is made from N680 steel and you can choose from two different blade styles to suit your needs.
3300BK-1701 Infidel: The 3300BK-1701 Infidel is a 10-year anniversary edition knife. Sleek and stylish, this assisted opening knife comes with a 3.91 inch blade made from CPMS30V steel. The open length of the knife is 8.91 inches and it has a plain edge with a spear point blade style.
570SBK: If you want a lightweight knife that you can carry with ease, the 570SBK, is a folding knife that opens manufally. The CPMS30V steel blade measures 3.72 inches while the overall length when open comes in at 8.72 inches. The knife has a serrated blade edge and a drop point style.
Foray: The Foray is tough, versatile and is a beautifully styled folding knife that opens manually. The blade is 3.24 inches and made from CPM20CV steel. It has a black contoured G10 handle and an overall open length of 7.32 inches.
3. More About Buck
Buck was established in 1902. They have long standing history of making quality knives, similarly to other manufacturers like KA-BAR. With well over a century in this industry, Buck has been known as the first knife given to many a young men over the last century, especially Boy Scouts.
Buck does manufacture some of their knives overseas in an effort to keep costs down, but they still back it with their “forever warranty” even if one of their knives was made overseas. Buck has some knives that definitely fall into the “budget range” on quality, but they also have some higher end offerings as well.
4. Knives and Specifications
Like Benchmade, Buck categorizes has many choices when it comes to knives. Here are some of our favorites:
113 Ranger Skinner: This knife has a blade of just over 3 inches in length, and this is made from 420HC stainless steel with a satin finish. It has an American Walnut handle and a weight of 5.2 ounces. It comes with an ergonomic handle for ease of use along with a leather sheath.
The Selkirk: The Selkirk has a blade made from 420HC stainless steel and is measures 9.9.cm. It also has a Micarta handle and an injected molded nylon sheath. The contoured handle provides a comfortable hold and grip.
Matt Would Go: This tactical knife has a blade made from 5160 carbon steel and a drop point shape. The blade measured 4 inches and the knife has a Micarta handle. It comes with a Textured Kydex belt clip and weighs 6.3 ounces. It hangs in there with many other top end service-ready options.
Abyss Fillet Knife: If you need a solid fishing knife, this is a great option if you are on a budget. It’s an attractive knife with a blade made from 420HC steel. The blade measurement is 6 inches and it has a Kryptek Pontus camo handle. Weighing 3 ounces, this is a lightweight fillet knife with a unique design.
Thorn: The Thorn has a 420HC stainless steel blade measuring 3.25 inches. The G10 handle provides easy grip and the knife is versatile and lightweight, weighing in at 1.7 ounces. It comes with a black leather sheath.
Buck does have a custom design service when you buy directly through Buck, which is ideal if you are looking for something more personalized.
5. Picking Between Buck & Benchmade
Picking between these two manufacturers really means picking between cost & quality. Benchmade is on the higher end quality wise, but like any consumer good – you often get what you pay for. Benchmade knives are premium knives that are extremely sharp, right out of the box.
You can’t go wrong with a Buck knife, especially if you are on a budget. While they do have some higher end options, Buck mostly carves a name for themselves as manufacturers that also respect that most Americans have a budget.
Bottom Line: If you are tight on cash, Buck is a perfect choice. If money doesn’t matter, few knives have the same quality as a Benchmade knife.