Buck Hartsook

Review by Phil Elmore

Buck Knives' Hartsook is a diminutive fixed blade packaged with a simple plastic sheath.  Designed for neck or possibly keychain carry, the little Hartsook is primarily a low-profile tactical backup knife, but it could function perfectly well as a small utility blade or even a backup field knife for fine work. Its specifications are as follows:

Blade Length:  1.88 inches
Blade Steel:  S30V with Black Oxide Coating
Overall Length:  4.25 inches
Sheath Material:  Molded Nylon
Weight:  0.5 ounces

The little knife is extremely thin.  At half an ounce, you'll barely know it's there, in or out of the Nylon sheath.  The sheath has loops large enough for paracord (though if you go hanging a simple, knotted paracord strap around your neck, you're taking the risk of choking yourself).   

The blade fits snugly inside the sheath with just the tiniest amount of rattle (which is caused mostly by the weight of the paracord lanyard hanging from the handle). Drawing it with one hand is just a little awkward, because you have to push the sheath away from the handle in order to make the plastic knob on the sheath clear the hole in the handle where the two mate.  When reinserting the knife, I found I usually pushed the handle past this retention knob and had to back the handle off to get it seated properly.

The Hartsook's cutting edge is ground on both sides and had a nice working edge out of the box. It penetrates well because it is so thin, and it slices decently thanks to its curve and taper.

In my large hands, the paracord lanyard formed a handle extension of sorts.  The contours of the handle locked the little knife into my mitt without difficulty, while the grooves cut into the handle and spine improved handling and traction. The forward set of grooves is the natural purchase point for the thumb, while the rear grooves just help the knife stay in the hand.

This is the sort of little knife that anyone can own, carry, and conceal. It's accesssible to all knife buyers.  I have to admit that there's a certain elegance in its simplicity.  Its form follows its function and is no more or less than required. >>

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