Dating Buck knives can be a challenge to those not familiar with the nuances of Buck’s many models since the company’s 1961 incorporation and transition from a small mail order company to a factory production manufacturer. This article will cover the major models and series of knives offered by Buck Knives from the 1961 onset of factory production through 1985. In 1986, Buck Knives greatly simplified the task of dating by implementing a symbol stamped or etched on most models. Each year symbol represents a particular calendar year and has been affixed to an overwhelming majority of all Buck models produced since this implementation. A copy of Buck’s year symbol chart is included at the end of this article.
The dating of pre-factory knives has its own rules and we will not be addressing these. However, a one line stamp of BUCK is found on the earliest Buck factory production models as was the case with most pre-factory knives. Over time, Buck Knives has used various model number designations, dots and even model names in the tang stamps and they have done so in a way that can help us approximate the year or range of years a particular knife was produced.
This article was featured in the October 2020 issue of KNIFE Magazine. Premium Online Subscribers can read the whole thing by clicking on the blue box below.