Buck has a long history of producing quality knives and the latest model I have looked at is the Buck “Selkirk” which is described as a “multi-functional survival knife” and has proved a versatile bushcrafting tool.
The full tang construction knife is made from 420 HC stainless steel hardened to RC58 which, although not everyone’s first choice, offers good corrosion-resistance and good edge retention, combined with ease of sharpening.
The blade is of 11.9cm long drop point design with a flat grind and a secondary bevel and boasts a very short ricasso and a small choil. Made from 3.5mm thick steel, the blade is 3.2cm wide at its widest and has jimping on the spine at the thumb rest area. The spine of the knife is just sharp enough to give sparks from a ferro rod, but the choil is designed to act as a striker for the supplied “fire-steel” and it works well.
The 12cm long contoured handle – which I find just the tiniest bit short for my mitts – is made from micarta with extra groves cut in, alongside the exposed tang, for extra grip and boasts a steel bolster and pommel or butt. The pommel is textured with a “spiders web” pattern to reduce the risk of slippage when it is used as a hammer or crusher.
The fit and finish of the knife is generally good, but I found a bit of a “wobble” in the grind towards the choil and although this is minor, has little effect on the knife’s cutting performance and is easy to fix, it does detract from the good overall impression of the knife.
In use I found the knife – which comes very sharp – to be comfortable in the standard cutting grips and to perform well in all the standard bushcrafty chores, from whittling feather-sticks through to food preparation and batoned well through a variety of woods without dulling too fast or rolling. Sharpening was easy using a diamond block and leather strop and, in all, it proved a versatile, comfortable and practical choice for my bushcrafting usage.
The knife comes with a 6cm long 0.6cm wide ferrocerium fire steel that has a whistle incorporated into the handle and fits into the tube holder on the sheath, either way up, with a neat and secure bayonet fitting, as well as a mini lanyard security loop. The fire steel gives a good shower of sparks when used with the knife blade as a striker.
The Buck Selkirk comes with an injection moulded nylon sheath that can be configured to give a vertical or horizontal, left or right-handed carry and is secure enough to be used inverted. The belt loop has a “width reducer” which can be used to give a secure fit on belts of 3/4”, 1.1/4” or 2” widths (but will not take my usual, just over 2” wide knife and pouch belt…) and gives a high carry. There is a moulded “thumb push” on the sheath to help in drawing the knife and a fire steel “tube” carrier with bayonet fittings to secure the fire steel either way up. The matt finished nylon sheath elements are held together with black screw bolts and is a very secure and functional item.
However, the sheath is a bit of a “marmite” piece of kit in that you either love it or hate it, and I am afraid that I am one of those who hate it! Although it is incredibly strong, versatile and practical, I dislike its looks (intensely!), the fact that it does not fit on my favourite (admittedly wide) belt, and I much prefer a low carry to the very high carry the sheath gives. Not my cup of tea at all, though I am sure that others will love it!
The Buck Selkirk Bushcraft/Survival Knife comes with Buck’s “forever” warranty and costs around £99.95.
For more information contact Whitby & Co