Buck 119 Special Hunting Knife Review

Buck 119 Knife

Can you remember the first hunting knife you ever owned?  I can.  The very first hunting knife I bought was a Buck 119 Special Hunting Knife so it holds a special spot in my heart. Buck Knives has been making this large classic hunting knife since the late 1960s. Chances are that you have owned one of these knives or known someone who has carried this knife into the woods.

Al and Hoyt Buck begin building this knife in their two-man shop in San Diego California. Today, Buck Knives still makes this knife in the USA.

​The Buck 119 is a great all purpose hunting knife. It's still used in the field today and sought after by knife collectors worldwide. So let's take a look at some of the features that makes this classic hunting knife still popular today.​

Blade Length, Blade Thickness, and Knife Weight

  • 6" Blade
  • 11" Overall
  • .175 Blade Thickness - Just shy of 3/16" thick.
  • Total Weight is 7.5 oz.
  • Not a Full Tang Knife - The knife tapers into the handle.  Keep that in mind if planning on using this knife to baton.

What Comes in the Box?

Blade Design Advantages and Disadvantages

buck 119

The Buck 119 has a clip point blade design.  This makes for a thinner and sharper point.  That makes this knife great for detail work, cutting in tight areas, and good for punching holes where another blade design might not be as good at these tasks.

The disadvantage to the clip design is you might have accidental punctures when you are say gutting an animal.  Also the sharp fine tip is more prone to breaking if you are using it pry something (which you really shouldn't do with any knife).​  However, if you happen to break the knife check out Buck's Forever lifetime warranty below.

Blade Material

Satin Finish 420HC Steel - Buck Knives' standard blade material with gives you a great combination of corrosion resistance and wear resistance.  This makes this blade easy to resharpen.  Buck also uses an exclusive heat treating process to give this blade a Rockwell hardness of Rc 58.

Handle (Scales) Material

Phenolic handles with polished aluminum butt and finger guard - Phenolic material is a resin that is heat resistant, strong, and waterproof.  Basically the scales are durable and will last the lifetime of the knife.  The disadvantage to the phenolic material is it can be slick if your hands or knife is wet.  It's also harder to get a good grip with gloves on.

The Buck 119 does have a finger guard to keep you from slipping onto the blade.  Buck has continued to use this material to keep the classic look of the knife.  If you feel it will be a problem, then you can add some anti skid tape to the handles to increase your grip.

Knife Sheath

Buck 119 Hunting Knife with Sheath

To complete this classic hunting knife, Buck Knives has included a quality knife sheath.  It's made from a good grade leather with a nice snap closure.  The black leather has heavy duty stitching and is stamped with "Buck Knives".  The sheath is made in Mexico while the knife itself is made in the USA.


Buck's Forever Warranty - One of the great things about Buck hunting knives is their warranty.  They will warranty any Buck knife that has a defect for the life of the knife.  That's right, forever.  They will repair or replace the knife if they find it had a defect.

If they find the knife was damaged to misuse (remember don't use it as a pry bar), they will fix it for a reasonable cost.  If the knife is not repairable they will give you a 50% one time discount off the MSRP on any of their standard knives.  

Final note on the warranty is that you pay for the shipping costs to get the knife back to them in Post Falls, Idaho.  Buck Knives pays for the shipping charges to get the repaired knife back to you.​

  • Clip Point Blade Design
  • 420HC Steel Blade Material
  • Made in the USA
  • Good All Purpose Knife
  • A Knife that has been made for over 47 years
  • Resin Handles can be slippery when wet
  • Not a full tang knife

Final Thoughts

It's not surprising to see why Les Stroud of SurvivorMan chose to use the Buck 119 Special Hunting Knife in one of his episodes.  It's a great common man's knife at a common man's price.  It comes sharp out of the box and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

Buck Knives has been making quality knives since 1902.  The Buck 119 is part of this tradition and is definitely my favorite hunting knife for both looks and functions.​  It's a quality heirloom that you can pass down to your children and grandchildren.  I hope you will give one a try yourself.