Buck Knives 119 Special Hunting Knife 2020 Review

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Buck knives 119 is an American classic, fixed blade, hunting knife, that has been around for a long time. It is probably one of the most iconic knife designs of modern times, the current iteration of the 119 is still just as pretty as day one.

Buck Knives is a renowned brand from the U.S.A. It is one of the oldest knife makers in the U.S.A. The founder, Hoyt Buck, was an apprentice of a local blacksmith from Kansas who was looking for a better way to temper steel so it would stay sharp longer. Hoyt made his first Buck knife in 1902. The company gained fame during WWII when the original 119 Specials were designed by Hoyt for U.S. soldiers and crafted using surplus files and recycled airplane canopies.

The Buck Knives 119 has come a long way since then, but the initial design has withstood the test of time. The 119 Special model is known worldwide.

Size and weight

The Buck Knives 119 is a very large hunting knife whose has not changed much in the last 40 years. It has an overall length of 10.5 inches. The knife weighs 7.5 ounces, which makes it relatively lightweight for its size. Its strong design stood the test of time and its balance is nearly perfect.


The Buck Knives 119 special comes in two versions with different types of material used for the handle. You can choose a Buck 119 with a black Phenolic handle, which is a type of high-density quality plastic, or a high-gloss polished Cocobolo handle. Cocobolo is a type of central American hardwood. Because it stands up well to repeated handling and exposure to water, the material is a common use for knife handles. It is very tough, fine-textured, and dense. The downside is of wooden handles is that they do not fair well during cold weather and you cannot use it if as effectively as you want when the handle is wet. The Phenolic handle offers a little bit more grip.

The handle is treated with some sort of very hard clear polyurethane that makes it nearly indestructible. The handle is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand. It features slight finger grooves on the belly of the handle for a firmer grip. An aluminum bolster/finger guard prevents forward slippage. The guard helps with grip and prevents unfortunate incidents caused by slippage. A solid pommel extends downward. The pommel as well as the bump plate are made of brass.


The Buck Knives 119 features a typical plain edge clip-point 6″ long blade. The blade is 3/16 inches thick and has a fairly shallow belly. The blade is designed to offer deeper and faster punctures. The crescent tip makes the blade thinner with a sharper point while still maintaining its strength. The tip is perfect for fine detail work but it is obviously not that strong like the thicker clips on drop points. The blade is razor-sharp and it has great edge retention. The blade has a nice satin finish and features a milled out blood groove.

The Buck Knives 119 has a blade that is forged from 420HC stainless steel, which Buck uses in almost all of its knives. Each blade is put through a rigorous heat treat process and undergoes extensive quality performance tests. The steel has a hardness of 58 HRC, which is not the hardest steel out there but it is really sharp and has great edge retention. The blade is easy to sharpen and thus a good pick for beginners.

Buck Knives 119 Special Hunting Knife

Buck works closely with Paul Bos for their famous heat treatment of their blades. Paul is an absolute master when it comes to hardening steel. He knows how to get the best out of a certain type of steel and makes the 420HC blade perform optimally.


The Buck Knives 119 special comes with a nice snap-close black genuine leather sheath that is made in the U.S.A. The leather has a good thickness and feels of high quality. The sheath has a so-called “inner sheath” that protects the sheath from the edge of the knife. The sheath features a drainage hole. This is a sheath that compliments the knife in terms of quality, fantastic!


Buck Knives 119 is a well-balanced knife that is fit for any task a hunter requires. It is lightweight and easy to maneuver. It is just long enough for outdoor work as well as smaller chores. I use this knife for hunting and have used it to finish several large game animals. It holds an edge so well that you do need to be careful when finishing an animal as it will not hesitate at spine bone. It is also a good general camping knife. It is less fit as a heavy-duty survival knife, however, this knife will work fine for most field tasks. It is not so good for chopping wood but great for finer wood carving.

Buck Knives 119 special comes with a lifetime warranty that you probably never have to use.

note: Buck knifes does not warrant its products against normal wear, misuse or product modifications.


Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife

Check price on Amazon

Knife type:

Overall length:

7.5 ounces

Blade length:

Blade thickness:

Blade shape:
Clip point

Blade steel:
420HC stainless steel

Steel hardness:

Handle material:
Phenolic or Cocobolo

Carry system includes:

Sheath material:
Genuine quality leather


Pros & cons


  • The knife has great edge retention and is easy to sharpen
  • Extremely well build
  • Iconic design
  • Made in the U.S.A.


  • Not exactly full tang


The Buck Knives 119 has been one of the most popular hunting knives worldwide for over years. This iconic knife is build in the U.S.A. and still is of outstanding build quality.

You can see from the blade that attention is paid to the finish and quality. The quality of the sheath is also excellent, many brands fail at that and the price-quality ratio is more than fair in my opinion.

All in all, the Buck Knives 119 is a legendary hunting knife and a must have for every hunter and / or knife collector out there!

For other suggestions for the best knives to buy in 2020 click here.

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