Buck factory edge

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Benuser

from The Netherlands, EU.
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Bought a Buck 110, out of curiosity about the steel, 420HC, and was pleasantly surprised by the level of F&F. Bought a second one for a friend. Very nicely polished brass, smooth locking mechanism. Ebony with brass is a beauty.
I'm never satisfied with a factory edge, and hardly care, but this is a special case. The edge looked like ground with 30 or 60 grit diamond and lots of pressure, and then highly polished by buffing. The intermediate steps were skipped. Totally blunt. More concerning: crazy deep grooves up to the very edge, I had to remove. They would hinder any stable edge. Never had to work that long with the coarsest material I have, a Shapton Pro 120 with a Naniwa Gouken 220 to add a bit of mud. Didn't want to start with automotive sandpaper. Crystolon and India don't do much with this
seriously abrasion resistant steel. By the way: they did indeed do an excellent job with the HT. Stable, taking and holding a fine edge, still toothy, as you might expect with its abrasion resistance, very easy deburring, though, not tending to wire edges. Really good stuff.
Now looking at the description of their factory edges in another forum: not the slightest hint about it. Crazy sharp etc.
Does it sound familiar? Wondering how an average consumer is supposed to handle such a case.
 
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I have known and respected Buck for many years.

But unfortunately my old Buck 110 (my faithful companion) was lost a long time ago and I always missed it.

I recently bought a Buck 110 lt as a replacement. The ht of the 420 HC is still absolutely great! In general, the F&F too, even with this inexpensive version.

But the factory grind was terrible, completely messed up on one side towards the tip, uneven as if someone with shaky hands had been working on the belt grinder and had made the grind... and you couldn't really call it sharp, you would have on the edge ride bare bottom without hurting yourself!

But - I prefer my own edge with every new knife anyway, so the faulty edge was quickly fixed (ok, with a bit more work than usual) and since then I've been really happy with this knife in EDC use!

And I'm sure there will be more Buck knives coming in the near future, I'm definitely a fan of these knives. But with less expensive Buck knives, such a faulty grind would be a definite reason for an exchange!
 
I work in manufacturing in the same area as Buck. I can tell you that the past two years have crushed manufacturing and it has been EXTREMELY difficult to retain and hire workers. It could be that Buck is dealing with turnover issues impacting consistency.
 
Not buck specifically (although I've had some bucks) but I've had a lot of customers bring me knives with the factory edges on (in various states of use) to sharpen. not to mention the ones ive bought myself.

Usually any pocket knife I see will have a variation of the same thing. They'll have the super coarse grind marks that have been buffed over, or with a very small buffed micro bevel.

Some do this well, some not so well. Benchmade, seem to send out there knives with a decently sharp for a factory edge, but they always need some evening out when I put them on the stones. Case sometimes have similar problems.

Generally most name brand pocket knives just come with a mediocre factory ground edge.

Spyderco have the same style edge, but they tend to seem like they're done particularly well, although by the time a customer brings one to me it's usually pretty beat up.

Any of the crappy gas station knives (wild turkey, mtech, etc.) all will have it exactly as you described. They're very coarse, and absolutely blunt. The only difference is, theres about a 50/50 chance that the steel hasn't been hardened (or at least not correctly,[if the steel actually has enough carbon for that to be an option]).

With all that rambling out of the way. Im surprised some 420hc was giving you so much trouble. Even buck's particularly well heat treated 420hc usually doesn't take too much effort to grind away on a norton, or a shapton kuromaku 120. Although, maybe I'm just a bit more heavy handed on the coarse stones than some.
 
Absolutely true. With an unknown steel I'm indeed very cautious about pressure. I now know better. If I had to do it again it would take only a fraction of the time.
 
I feel like buck's 420hc can do well polished, or with a good bit of bite. A pretty versatile steel when it comes to how it responds to finishing.

If it was softer 420hc by some other company, I would say to go on the toothier side.
 
I feel like buck's 420hc can do well polished, or with a good bit of bite. A pretty versatile steel when it comes to how it responds to finishing.

If it was softer 420hc by some other company, I would say to go on the toothier side.
Agree completely!

For myself normally I'm in the camp "bite" but with the Buck Steel I like sometimes a really fine and polished finish.
 
Agree completely!

For myself normally I'm in the camp "bite" but with the Buck Steel I like sometimes a really fine and polished finish.
How far do you go? Even when relatively finely grained, it's still a 58Rc stainless. Any success in going beyond JIS3k?
 
How far do you go? Even when relatively finely grained, it's still a 58Rc stainless. Any success in going beyond JIS3k?
Looking at the composition of the steel, it only has .45% carbon, and 13% chromium (along with all the other stuff). So that should lead to it basically having little to none of the large chromium carbides (with bucks ht, I would imagine none) that are normally present in stainless steels, that would lead to an advantage with a rougher edge, and it should behave a lot like a carbon steel, except for the stainlessness.

Also with such a low amount of carbon, 58 or 59 is probably about as hard as the steel will get, after being tempered. So its actually not too bad, at least for that steel.
 
My buck 110 is 40 years old, it’s outta the box edge was rather dull. Its a little better now, but definitely not a scalpel.
 
Any success in going beyond JIS3k?
Definitely, I've had good success with a surgical black Arkansas, a hart black Arkansas and a Rozsutec.

With the Rozsutec I only made a micro bevel after a 1000 stone, this edge was impressively good.
 
Weren't the old ones made of 440C? Had a BuckLite in those days. Good steel, keep it a bit rough for better edge stability.
The first Bucks were made with 440C steel. And there, too, the ht must have been first class.

As far as I know, Buck's 440C was hardened quite high, so it had very good edge retention, but some users probably had problems with sharpening. The result was the switch to 420HC, but I can't tell you the exact year.

I would really like to have a Buck from 440C, but I'm probably decades too late..
 
The other problem was their factory sharpening was quite obtuse. My very first knife of my own was a Buck Woodsman about 45 years ago and it was a bear. It wasn't until into my adulthood and gaining some true understanding of sharpening that I got a good edge on that knife. Pretty sure it is 420HC.

Incidentally, my oldest daughter still uses it. :)
 
@Benuser : What do you think of Buck's Chef's knife?

https://www.buckknives.com/product/931-chef-s-knife/0931FAM01/
Could be an interesting candidate as a beater with the 420HC....
Heavy boy, indeed, 258g with a 8". High tip — too high, to my taste.
Serious option within the USA at that price level, though. Never seen in Europe. Individual ordering is not realistic, with the shipping costs, import tax, VAT, handling costs, altogether almost tripling its price.

You're using a beater when you know for sure the edge gets damaged. I use a carbon yo-deba with strongly convexed bevels. Or a soft carbon Sab. Gets restored with a few strokes on cardboard. I wouldn't use an abrasive resistant stainless for that purpose.

If one can live with carbon — C60 @60Rc — there is a Pallarès Solsona 22cm beater for €40 incl. European VAT.
 
I believe that this one’s a 440c. I’ll have it forever.
 

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Heavy boy, indeed, 258g with a 8". High tip — too high, to my taste.
Serious option within the USA at that price level, though. Never seen in Europe. Individual ordering is not realistic, with the shipping costs, import tax, VAT, handling costs, altogether almost tripling its price.

You're using a beater when you know for sure the edge gets damaged. I use a carbon yo-deba with strongly convexed bevels. Or a soft carbon Sab. Gets restored with a few strokes on cardboard. I wouldn't use an abrasive resistant stainless for that purpose.

If one can live with carbon — C60 @60Rc — there is a Pallarès Solsona 22cm beater for €40 incl. European VAT.


I am at this moment sitting just a few miles from the Buck factory and other than people that work there, I have never seen one of their kitchens knives in a kitchen anywhere in this region. :)
 
I FOUND a Buck 112. it had a broken blade and my buddy was about to toss it. I gave him a big, "WHOA there!" and dropped it into my pocket. I sent it back to Buck, and they put a new blade on it for $10. it came back super sharp. I stropped it and it was nuts. it rides shotgun in my hunting backpack 100%. I might bring a mightier blade but that Buck112 gets to do most of the work anyways. it is fun blade. not bad for $10. even the weathered leather sheath it was in is awesome.
 
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