When I was a kid I wanted a Buck Model 110 more than any other knife. My Dad had one he that he carried at work as a mechanic. I can remember him showing it to me and telling me how you could cut a nail in half without damaging the edge. When I’d visit a knife store, my face was usually pressed up against the glass admiring the Buck knives. Being a poor kid I was never able to get a Buck Model 110.
By the time I was able to afford one my interests had moved on to one-handed opening knives. So when I was offered a shot at the Buck Spitfire I jumped at the chance.
The Buck Spitfire is made to be a practical knife for everyday carry. The slim 4.5 inch aluminum handle has an integral guard and jimping for a secure grip. Buck offers the Spitfire in three color options – orange, green, and grey. Pocket carry is via a 4-way ambidextrous clip. The 3.25 inch slightly recurved blade can be had in plain-edged or partially serrated. Blade steel is Buck’s excellent 420HC in a satin finish. Opening the knife is accomplished by a sort of oval shaped thumb hole. Once open the blade of the Buck Spitfire is held open by the lock back mechanism.
The Buck Spitfire I received was nice shade of orange with a plain-edged blade. It came set-up for right side tip-up pocket carry like I prefer. If you wanted to change the pocket clip it is easily done using a T6 sized hex bit on the clip screws. Opening the Buck Spitfire for the first time it was a bit stiff and gritty. A random hex bit (1/8th I believe) I had in my gun safe was used to loosen up the pivot. A little break-free, and a shot of compressed air cleared up the grittiness. After that the Buck Spitfire opened and closed nice and easy. Out of the box the edge was scalpel sharp. Since it was sharper than I could probably get it, I left it alone.
The week I received the Buck Spitfire the company I work for was moving to a new office. All our personal stuff was packed into boxes, labeled, shipped, and left at our new cubicle. After watching multiple co-workers struggle to open their boxes with car keys, I finally walked around and used the Buck Spitfire to cut the packing tape on their boxes. Amazingly no one complained that I had a weapon.
That weekend I had volunteered for staff duty at Camp Sidney Dew for an annual Scout event. The Dew Dog Challenge gives Scouts a chance to show what they have learned by competition. Each group of Scouts (Boy Scouts, Venturers, Webelos, and Cub Scouts) was divided into Patrols. The Patrols then went through various stations designed to test their Scouting knowledge and skills. As these tasks were designed to test the Scout’s knowledge, there could be no help from adults or Scout Leaders. I was tasked to run the fire-starting challenge for Webelos. The fire-starting challenge was to build a fire using material gathered from the surrounding area in 20 minutes using only a lighter and 5 matches. Blazing pine cones and pine straw did not count, wood must catch fire. As a reference aid I constructed a small tipi-style camp fire for the Scouts to look at. First I made a small base of twigs for my tinder to rest on. Then using the Buck Spitfire I easily made a small pile of wood shavings on top of the base. Grabbing some sticks and twigs no bigger than my finger, I formed a small tipi structure around my tinder. While I’d hoped all the Patrols would be successful, only about 2/3rds of the Patrols got a fire going. To be fair, the previous day’s rain had made the available tinder a bit damp. A couple of the Patrols had some inexperienced Scouts that had just gotten their Webelo rank. Hopefully they all came away from the event having learned something.
Once the challenges were over awards were handed out, then everyone went back to their Pack or Troop campsites. Back at my youngest boy’s Cub Scout camp the Buck Spitfire was put to work helping get Hobo meals ready for dinner. A bag of charcoal briquettes was cut open to supplement the wood coals of our camp fire. Chicken, bell peppers, and onions were quickly diced up. Then each Cub Scout went through and placed what he wanted on a section of aluminum foil and added whatever sauce or seasoning he wanted on it. Each Scout then folded it up in his piece of aluminum foil and placed it on a section of the simmering coals to cook. About 30-40 minutes later (depends on the chicken) dinner was served. Later that evening some sticks were sharpened for roasting marshmallows – not to poke other Scouts with. Once we were back at home and unpacked, I touched up the edge of the Buck Spitfire on my Spyderco Sharpmaker.
The following weekend saw the Buck Spitfire accompanying the wife and me on a quick getaway to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Our hotel was actually an old riverboat called the Delta Queen. As she is permanently docked there was no opportunity to cut the ropes with the Buck Spitfire and cast away. After stowing our gear in our room we went ashore to explore. Finally after a few stores of knick-knacks we made it to where I wanted to be – The Chattanooga Brewing Company. While savoring a Hill City IPA, the Buck Spitfire sat ready in my right front pocket. Later that evening we were enjoying some excellent German food at a restaurant called Brewhaus when I finally couldn’t stand it anymore. Opening the Buck Spitfire I used it to cut up my brat into neat little slices. As usual my wife just rolled her eyes and sighed. Afterwards the Buck Spitfire rode comfortably clipped inside my right front pocket as we strolled alongside the Tennessee River.
Next the Buck Spitfire came along to Camp Westin on the shores of Lake Allatoona. While the Boy Scouts enjoyed themselves canoeing and kayaking, the Scout Leaders discussed the upcoming summer activities and what the Scouts need to work on. As the sun went down, the canoes and kayaks were pulled on shore. Some sections of rope and paracord were cut with the Buck Spitfire to lash the canoes and kayaks down for the night. I then loaned out the Buck Spitfire to my oldest son to cut up some chicken for the quesadillas his Patrol was cooking. Dinner over, utensils cleaned and put away, the Buck Spitfire and I headed off to my tent for bed.
All in all I am pretty pleased with the Buck Spitfire. It has handled everything I needed a knife for on 2 Scout campouts and day to day stuff for the last month. The orange color made it easy to spot when Scouts forgot to hand it back to me. While 420HC is not as fancy as some of the newer steels out there, it held a good edge during my use of it. What was nice is how fast and easy it was to restore it to shaving sharpness. Lock-up was good with only a little up & down rocking when put to hard use. The handle was generously sized and comfortable during use. The few rough spots along the blade channel were sanded down. What’s nice is seeing a well made, low priced knife that is made in the USA. Selling around the low $30s at places like BladeHQ and AG Russell, the Buck Spitfire is a great deal for the money.
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