A Classic Goes Automatic: The Story Behind the Buck 110 Auto (and its Siblings)
By Larry Oden
The Buck 110 Folding Hunter put the Buck Knives company on the cutlery industry map when first introduced in 1964. This iconic folder transformed modern knife history and arguably became the most important factory folding knife of the twentieth century. Although the early models were plagued with a combination of shortcomings, Buck applied a steady progression of improvements to its action, lock-up and aesthetics and the 110 became the industry standard of what a lockback folder should be.
In 1970, a switch from cast brass integral frames to heavier forged brass frames combined with a separate spacer of first, brass and later, stainless steel resulted in a substantially stronger knife. This improved version increased the frame width to approximately 9/16 inch while keeping the original look unchanged and in so doing, established a new standard of quality and strength in a folding knife. Not surprisingly, the 110 became the most copied knife of its generation. Not willing to sit on their laurels, Buck engineers have continued to improve the knife along the way. One major upgrade involved a 1975 transition from the forged brass frames to a powder metal based sintering technology thus providing tighter tolerances and reduced machining while using less material. The Model 110 design and functionality has withstood the test of time and over fifty years after introduction, it remains the flagship in the Buck line.
From our February 2020 issue. KnifeMagazine.com Premium Members, click the blue box below to read the whole thing.