Buck Packlite Review

Even after that much abuse, still lookin good.

Even after that much abuse, still lookin good.

My son picked this knife up for himself a while back for about $22.  He really liked it and I used it a little and although I’m not a big fan of scale-less knives, this handle is fairly decent and works well with a set of gloves on.  (Extended use without gloves may cause some hot spots).

I was going through Walmart one day about a year ago and the last one they had was on clearance for $17, but they gave me a big discount because it was the display model.  I ended up only paying (if memory serves me, but that’s no guarantee) about $12.95 for it.

I used it a couple times, made some fuzz sticks and it was good, but as par for the course, I’m just not a fan of knives that don’t have scales.  Any hard use will cause hot spots in the hand where the sharp metal corners touch the skin.   It had a great edge and held it well, so I made it my backup knife, stuck it in my outdoor kit (Saddlebags setup coming soon).  Where it’s sat for almost a year without getting used.  (I’m kind of addicted to my Tops HOG so it gets all my love).

Well my work participates in the United Way “Day of Caring” annual volunteer event.  This year we were tasked with planting 51 replacement trees for trees that were destroyed last year in a big storm.   My team of 3 people did 15 trees in 2 hours, and I swear it was because of this knife.  The tree root balls were covered in tough wet burlap and tied with some heavy ¼ inch twine cordage.

In the pocket carry.  This works well because of the plastic liner in the sheath.

In the pocket carry. This works well because of the plastic liner in the sheath.

The fellow we were working for had brought a box knife.  The blade was new and was dull before he got ½ way through cutting the 1st burlap sack off the first root ball.  (About 24 inches of cutting).  I wasn’t about to use my hog to cut into the dirt, so I dug the old Packlite out (which is extremely sharp, I keep all my knives very, very sharp and ready to go).  Is went through the ¼ inch rope like butter.  I then plunged it into the root ball and proceeded to cut. (It was just easier than trying to slide the knife around the ball in the pit which didn’t work well).   I touched it up with a rod after the 6th, and 12th bag I cut off and it easily cut every one and all the cordage.   It held an edge great and even cutting into burlap wrapped around dirt, it didn’t do any damage to the blade.  I washed it off, touched it up again and it’s back to shaving sharp.  This knife is tough.  Performed far better than expected for an inexpensive $20 knife.

I was never a big fan of recurved blades because they can be a little tougher to sharpen.  Nothing practice and learning the individual curves of the knife can’t fix.  But the more knives I use with recurves, the more I like them.  Now, I just need to come up with some scales for it.

Plastic Liner

Plastic Liner

The sheath I have mixed feelings about.  The belt loop is crap, little 5/8 inch piece of thin strap.  My boys broke off after 3 or 4 times wearing it.  The sheath is formed around a plastic insert that holds the knife well.  Since I don’t trust the belt loop strap, I just stuffed the whole knife in my pocket and drew/inserted it from the sheath there.  That worked quite well.

Very thin weak poorly designed belt loop

Very thin weak poorly designed belt loop

All in all, for a knife this inexpensive, I was truly amazed at what it handled.  I’m going to work on a new sheath for this one and it may become my primary “Tear it up” knife for when I need to go all primitive Pete with a knife and don’t want to tear up my good knives.    If you’re looking for a cheap (Almost disposable at that price) knife that will not let you down, this Buck fits the bill.

Solid Sheath, good quality all around except the belt loop.  Good locking snap to secure the knife

Solid Sheath, good quality all around except the belt loop. Good locking snap to secure the knife

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About Docwatmo

Just an average guy reviewing equipment for the average guy (or gal). View all posts by Docwatmo

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