Affordable ‘Tactical’ Blade from Buck Knives

Affordable, sleek, and solid-feeling in the hand, the new Bones line of tactical/survival knives from Buck are touted as viable replacements for blades that might cost three or four times as much. With prices starting at just $23, Buck Knives leads its promotion of the Bones line, which has four models, with claims of an “affordable answer” for anyone needing a no-fuss blade for backwoods tasks.

Buck Knives’ Bones, 870 model

We got two Bones knives to test. The larger model, the 870 Bones, has a 3-inch blade that’s partially serrated and has a tanto tip. It’s made of 420HC stainless steel and has a cool cut-out handle design. In the hand, the knife is nicely balanced and easy to grip. It has a thumb stud to flick the blade up, where it locks in place.

The 870 model comes in black and a gaudier “Tiger Stripe camo,” and it costs $39. Closed up, the knife measures about 4.5 inches and weighs just under 5 ounces.

The smaller 869 Bones models, also in black and Tiger Stripe, have 2.2-inch blades with a tanto tip but no serration. They start at just $23 and weigh less than 2 ounces.

Bones 869 in “Tiger Stripe camo”

The little 869 knives are made of the same stainless steel as their bigger brothers, and they have the same cut-out handle. But in the hand, the little ones are harder to hold and work with — they are made more for precision work, less for serious cutting tasks.

Any of the Bones knives are solid picks. They are a simple, strong product with a price tag that’s attractive for anyone not looking to empty their wallet the next time they go shopping for a knife.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.