Buck Knives have been around for generations, and to me, are the quintessential classic pocket knives that you would expect to find in any old man’s pocket to this day. The classic 110 was created in 1963 when Al Buck decided that outdoorsman needed a sturdy folding lockblade instead of carrying a longer fixed-blade. The 110 was born and has been a best seller ever since.
Out of the box I was quite surprised by the weight of the new 110 Auto Elite. The Nickel silver bolsters pack a ton of weight, but it’s this weight that makes the blade feel light as a feather during the opening. With an overall length of 8.5”, this is no dainty pocketknife. The blade is a good 3 ¾” allowing you plenty of space for cleaning a deer but still nimble enough to handle a rabbit. Now during this T&E, I was not cutting up any freshly harvested venison, but I did filet some Bluefin to see just how sharp this updated S30V steel is from the factory. I was incredibly impressed that it wasn’t butchering the flesh. It looked as good as my sushi knife which is no easy task for a pocketknife.
The new G10 scaled have a perfect texture to them, allowing for better retainability compared to the older versions. It also adds a modern look to what is typically a finely finished wood or bone scales. I can see the performance really shining with blood-soaked hands. I would be curious to see how the spring action performs over time under harsh backcountry environments. Will a mixture of blood, dirt and hair gum up the springs? Only time will tell I suppose.
If I have one critique with the 110 Auto Elite, it’s the fact that it doesn’t have a pocket clip, which would be a much-welcomed option. I know this will detract from the classic appearance and may be taboo to some, but you won’t find me putting this in my EDC collection just yet. The leather pouch is meant to have a belt woven through it for ideal carry. But outside of a camping/hiking environment, I don’t wear anything on my belt. I tried for a week to carry it in my pocket like the good ole’ days, but with the weight, the knife would fall down sideways inside my pocket. This caused me to look like Steven Tyler pitching a side pipe on stage. So I switched it out for fear of some mother catching me making eye contact. Overall I’m insanely happy with this knife and it will find its forever home in my camping kit that I hit the trail with. I’m glad to see Buck breathed some modern metallurgy and updates into this classic.