The History of the Buck Knife

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The Buck Knife originated in Kansas over one hundred years ago when a 10 year old blacksmith apprentice named Hoyt Heath Buck quit school and started making knives in 1902. When Hoyt was thirteen, he discovered a method to heat-treat and temper steel in a way that tools would keep their edge for longer; he then applied this knowledge to agricultural tools. In 1907 Hoyt left Kansas for Washington and became an insurance salesman, there he met and married Daisy Louise Green on October 20, 1910, with whom he had six children. The oldest child, Alfred Charles Buck, enlisted in the Navy in 1927 when he was very young, and was stationed at the Naval Training Center in San Diego, after he was discharged, he joined the coast guard. Al had a long military career and developed a passion for the armed forces.

When the United States entered the Second World War in 1941 after the attack of Pearl Harbor, the government asked for knife donations to arm the troops since there were not enough for every soldier. At this time Hoyt was a pastor of the Assembly of God Church living in Mountain Home Idaho, and when he learned about the army's shortage, he began making knives to support the war effort using some worn-out blades as raw material and setting up a blacksmith shop in the basement of his church complete with an anvil, a forge and a grinder. Hoyt's knives earned a great reputation during this time and many servicemen started asking for handcrafted Buck knives.

When the war was over, H.H. Buck & Son was set in San Diego, after Hoyt and his wife moved there and asked his son Al to form a knife business company in 1947. They sold knives by direct mail order with a production of 25 knives per week and although these knives were more expensive than regular knives, their blades were sharp and enduring. After Hoyts death, due to cancer, in 1949, the company scaled up and in the 1950s they started mass-producing the Buck knives and selling them through dealers. The buck knives are widely popular among the military for their design and endurance.

In 1961, Al Buck incorporated H.H. Buck & Son and the company became Buck Knives Inc. The Buck Folding Hunter Model 110, a folding lock-blade knife and the most popular Buck Knife, was approved for development on April 18, 1963. With wood handles and brass bolsters the blade of this knife measures 4 inches and possess a high-tension lock. This knife, which was introduced to the public in 1964, has become the most imitated model in the world.

Buck knives are still arming the army, and in the mid 80s two new models, the Buckmaster, a survival knife with a hollow handle, and the M9 Bayonet were manufactured. The Buckmaster, with a 7.5 inch serrated blade, became popular amongst Rambo movie fans. Another example is the Nighthawk, introduced in 1992 and used by the Navy Seals, this knife has a fixed blade measuring 6.5 inches and an ergonomic black handle. In 2005, the family run and operated Buck Knives Inc. moved to Post Falls, Idaho.

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Alexander Malroy has 1 articles online

Alexander Malroy is an avid knife and sword collector. His collection of over a 1,000 Buck Knives spanning the history of the blade is one of the most complete held by a private citizen. Mr. Malroy also enjoys researching the historical weapons of the mid to late Dark Ages, and owns a vast number of replica swords and knives from that era.

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The History of the Buck Knife

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This article was published on 2010/03/30