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Mark Underwood takes a look at the Buck Bantam BHW Mossy Oak Blaze orange camo knife
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The Buck Bantam is available in a number of sizes, with the BHW on test being the largest option. Although designed to be sleek and lightweight, the knife is extremely strong and durable with some great features.
The 3 1/8" long 420HC stainless steel blade has a drop point, which is a very practical and durable design, and at 0.12" thick it is really rigid and strong. The mid-back locking mechanism is also a very strong design that holds the blade securely but can still be operated easily. Thumb studs on both sides of the blade mean that you can open it with either hand, which is another very practical feature.
420HC stainless steel is Buck's go-to steel for most of their products because it combines wear resistance comparable to that of some highcarbon steels, with the corrosion resistance of chromium stainless steels. Buck have also developed their own heat treatment system, which puts every blade through a lengthy process that ends with tempering, during which the blades are heated, frozen and reheated. The result is a blade that has a longer edge life and is very easy to sharpen.
The handle is made of glassreinforced textured nylon and shaped to give excellent grip, even when wet. Jimping on the back of the handle, at the forward end, means you can put a lot of force through the knife without your thumb slipping forward.
The shape of the handle has been well thought out, with a profile that can be held firmly with or without gloves. There is a lanyard slot at the rear. The striking colour is also useful as the bright orange does make the knife hard to lose in the grass or leaves on the ground. The Bantam is available in various less ‘obvious’ colours, but the orange does have its advantages. The stainless steel pocket clip is very low profile and can be removed if you wish.
The blade length and the fact that it locks means that this is not a legal everyday carry knife, but in the correct circumstances it is very useful to have around. The closed length of the knife is 4 3/8" and it weighs just 2.4 ounces, so it is a nice lightweight tool. In use the knife is great for detailed work and slicing meat, and the edge holds up really well against tough materials such as cardboard and rope.
While a folding knife is sometimes considered second best to a fixed blade tool, the Buck Bantam is strong enough to hold its own against a fixed blade yet offers the safety and convenience of a folder. The materials and design are top quality, well thought out and practical. Buck knives are always well priced, which is presumably a benefit of the scale of production the company achieves, but the relatively low price should not put you off. They are great tools.
CONTACT Whitby & Co. Ltd
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