Buck Knives 119 Hunting Knife

9.6 score
(Gearweare.net) score (9.6)/10

Our Gearweare.net score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
Editor rating: 9.6 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Buck Knives 119 Hunting Knife Review Facts

The Buck Knives 119 isn’t your regular old knife. This very large, traditional American-style hunting knife can handle rugged wilderness tasks with its solid fixed blade and ergonomically shaped handle. Its clip blade made of 420 high carbon (HC)  steel boasts outstanding strength and increased sharp edge retention and will put the worry of packing a dull knife out of your mind. Easily maneuverable whether you are the serious or recreational hunter this lightweight knife makes you want to bring it along for those what-if moments out in the woods. In its genuine leather sheath, you will have instant access to cut down branches in your path or slice fruit for a snack. Insanely affordable for its multi-use alone, to ease the weary purchaser this Buck knife arrives at your door with the always reliable Buck Forever warranty. An effective cutting tool with no obvious design flaws and solid construction, the 119 just celebrated its 75th year in production. We go over all of these features of this staple camp knife in our in-depth review below. See why this fixed blade has such a following and why it should be the next addition to your knife collection.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Amazing edge retention
  • Very easy to sharpen
  • Lightweight and convenient to carry
  • Comfortable handle with good grip
  • Affordable
  • Versatile in use
  • Traditional sturdy design
  • Too big for EDC
  • Can eventually rust if not maintained
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 3.5 hours analyzing a total of 1457 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

  • This knife has a classic design that a lot of reviewers like.
  • For many reviewers, the 119 has lasted decades.
  • Reviewers like this knife for hunting, fishing, camping, and similar activities.
  • The handle allows a natural grip.
  • The design and performance make this knife worth the price.
  • Buyers are impressed by the quality.
  • Even if the tip breaks, it can be sharpened and reshaped back.
  • Most are satisfied with the leather sheath.
  • The vast majority of reviewers are satisfied with the durability.
  • A high level of craftsmanship is apparent in the design.
  • It is easy to sharpen and care for.
  • The snap on the sheath keeps the blade in place so it won't fall out.
  • Many buyers prefer the 119 to hunting knives from other makers.
  • Although rare, there one or two reports of the blade breaking off of the handle from misuse.
  • It is a bit weightier than some other new styles on the market.
  • Some are bothered by the smell of the sheath.
  • The handle can be a bit slippery when wet or while wearing gloves.
  • Without the sheath secured, the knife can fall out of it.
  • This knife is smaller than some buyers expected, and the handle may feel a little small for people with large hands.
  • Larger finger indentations would be an improvement.
  • The top of the sheath is made of thinner leather than the rest.
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 1457 reviews we found in total, 4% were negative, and 96% were positive.


Buck Knives is one of the most popular producers of fixed blades and folding knives for survivalists, hunters, campers, and every day carry. Founded by Hoyt Buck back in 1902, he was famous for making all of his knives by hand using found blades as raw material. His goal was to forge steel that would hold an edge longer and this unique approach spawned the first ever Buck knife. They may no longer be making knives by hand but the company is still run by its 4th generation of Buck Knives, and they hold true to their commitment to creating innovative products. When you pick up one of their knives the detail and craftsmanship are apparent and of a high standard that their loyal customers have come to expect.

Weight & Size

On its own, the Buck Knives 119 weighs 7.5 oz, with a total weight of 11.1 oz that includes the leather sheath. Now that may not be normally light for a multi-use knife but users online rave at the weight balance evenly distributed between the blade and handle. This gave it the ability to be compact in its weight while conveying the feeling of sturdiness and well-made craftsmanship to the holder. This a relatively large knife with a blade length of about 6 in. and an overall length of the knife is 10.5 in. that can be easily carried, wielded, and put away quickly. Some retailers online and in-store offer a nylon sheath that cuts down a few ounces overall but the quality look also seems to diminish.


A nicely contoured base cradles your hand while the classic clip point blade deals with an assortment of tasks indoors, and ultimately showing its strength lies in the outdoors. A superior hunting knife allows good grip while still being flexible to movements during the cutting and skinning process of game preparation. The phenolic materials in the tapered handle hold onto hands while in use and the slightly curved edges of the handle keep them in place and safe from slipping onto the blade. The round edges and ergonomic design are supremely comfortable while using the 119 in any scenario. Even under the immense pressure of cutting wood or precision cutting, the user will be able to hold on with perfect ease and effectiveness.


Some would say the 420HC steel is not the best possible steel type available but is Buck's standard blade material. Harder than stainless, better than the industry norm for producing on a massive scale and offers some unexpected advantages. It's very easy to resharpen if the blade gets dull and is still durable even after constant use under immense pressure thanks to the Buck trade secret. The 420HC steel is heat treated so that it is corrosion resistant and has the strong edge retention they are famous for. By the process of heating, freezing and reheating they increase the holding power of the steel as it hardens to RC 58 on the Rockwell scale. The tang of the blade goes through to the base of the handle and because of the tough processes steel construction it can withstand the abuse of long term wear. Many say they know they can rely on the 119 sustainability to perform even on the most rigorous long-winded, hunting trips.


Featuring a unique crescent tip that thins out towards the end making for an extremely sharp point that allows better control during detail work and cutting in close places. This is an effective cutting style dependent on use but is also prone to breakage. The handle comes in colors black, red, natural bone, and genuine crown stag colors. All handles have a silver tip base and guard with the exception of the stag handle that curves down for use as the pommel. The design of the knife makes it a perfect addition to any hunting gear ideal for carving snares, notches, or traps into wood pieces and also skinning game, with the added bonus of easy concealment when needed. Material options for the handles are phenolic plastic, bone, or horn with an aluminum guard and pommel base (with no base on the staghorn).


This solid fixed blade is intended for outdoor use but still maintains incredible versatility and the well-made heft of a quality tool. Use it for any hunting or fishing related tasks such as trapping, field dressing, filleting fish, or skinning small rodents and quartering meat. With a rather sharp controllable point, the clip style blade is ideal for detail work, piercing and slicing through animal skin and hide. It can also be used while on an extended hiking trip to cut away at stray branches or feathering wood for kindle. While camping one user fastened this knife into the ground overnight as an extra tent peg. Many say they would leave bushcraft and survival needs off the long list of the 119’s abilities but it has proven to hold up exceedingly well if needed in a pinch. It is not suggested to baton, or chop wood in half, or other super intensive tasks as it is not designed to be hit with a hammer, we suggest soliciting the help of a machete or larger width blade to handle the heavy-duty chopping. Built as an effective light duty cutting tool that doesn’t have weak joints or components that may make the blade incapable of doing its job.


They’ve been making this knife, now referred to as the “Special”, virtually unchanged since 1955. While there are variations of steel grades that alter the blade thickness and a beautiful handle made from exotic Cocobolo wood, they are not shown as standard because some of these options almost double the price. Steel options are geared towards knife collectors with specific carry preferences either because of work style or personal taste and dictate the hardness, durability and corrosion resistance of the blade. S30V is a common blade option available that is used for high-end premium pocket knives or kitchen cutlery but it is difficult to sharpen at home and calls for special equipment. 5160 is an alloy “spring” steel blade option that is more impact-resistant for hack jobs and is commonly found in axes and hatchets. After 60 years of continuous production, there’s something for everyone with Buck knives.


Deciding on a specialty knife that fits your needs can be difficult with a lot of different blades and handle types available, and of course the price tags. With a brand like Buck Knives that’s been around the block -- or bush a few times, the 119 is a safe bet. The price of this knife is very reasonable when considering the different processes that the craftsman go through to build the handle one piece at a time and to reheat the steel ensuring durability. These knives range in price depending on which handle you choose but the combination of total fit and finish quality we think its a worthy investment.


Customers online say they continue to come back for Buck Knives' products through the years because of this companies commitment to standing behind its products. The Buck Forever Warranty is in place to guarantee the lifelong use of your knife. It will repair or replace any product with defects in the material or workmanship. According to the website, this warranty does not cover normal wear or misuse. If you use this knife as a hammer or pry bar and it breaks you will not be covered. It’s good to know the limits of these knives and do your homework before deciding on which type will best suit your needs.

Ease of Use

The clip point blade shape enables the user to make a small puncture or a long cut within one swift motion. With a beautiful handle that not only looks great but is practical in use and grip, it is very easy to hold and manipulate even in wet, muddy, or bloody conditions. The curve of the blade paired with the finger guard keeping fingers safe from the blade and an ergonomic handle helps with overall sharp and concise cutting. Whether you are a serious or recreational hunter with a little bit of skill and practice you’ll be able to easily hold and control this lightweight hunting knife during any situation you find yourself in out in the wild.

Fixed onto your belt loop or hunting gear, the leather sheath holds the 119 securely in place. You will find a thin plastic insert within the sheath to keep this very sharp knife from piercing through. The knife can be quickly deployed with one hand or sit nice and tight without wiggling when not in use. Afterward, when the day is done the small leather strap that sits at the top of the sheath with a singular button snap keeps this Buck knife locked in position ready for tomorrow.

Key Features

-A razor sharp 6” clip blade
-Weighs a solid 7.5 oz
-Excellent length: 10.5”
-Constructed with 420HC steel and full tang
-Strong, compact fixed blade knife
-Phenolic, Stag, or Bone handle options
-A comfortable silver pommel and guard
-Genuine leather or nylon sheath
-Made in the USA

Bottom Line

For any skilled hunter, this is the perfect all-around knife capable of handling any task from filleting fish and even piercing bone. If you are searching for a great all-purpose fixed blade knife that is also strong enough to withstand a thorough beating in the field, this is the iconic choice. It's common to see plenty of knives that cost 10 times if not more in a collection and those pieces still don’t hold up as well or look as good. From its incredibly sleek phenolic handle with silver tipped handle to its bowie-style crescent tip 420HC blade, this cutting tool is equal parts style and utility -- and that’s just the start. This knife is perfectly balanced between handle and blade for the ultimate in cut control and sits in a premium leather snap-closure sheath. Proudly made in the USA with a long history of quality and durability in the name, the lifetime warranty is a testament to Buck and covers all production defects. This isn’t a hunting knife with super modern refinement or elaborate design, and you will find no advanced materials used on the Special. It’s a plain old-school, rugged hunting knife that your father or grandfather probably carried a version of. Even without all of the new age frills, the 119 holds its own against modern knives in honest ruggedness, durability, and performance. When you hold it feels like an heirloom knife with a legacy that you’d want to pass on for generations.