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.

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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.

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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

Posted by Dan - 12/30/2011 02:24 PM

These look pretty cool! I like the tiger stripe version. Seems very lightweight and has some attitude. I’m sure it will sell well for Buck.

Dan @ BladeReviews

Posted by Michael - 05/20/2012 04:54 PM

I bought one today, Its not as lightweight as it looks but everything else is spot on I love it. The only problem for me is its closed locked position is a little stiff to get out off, but im sure as I use it thatll go away.

Posted by faultroy - 08/10/2012 11:28 AM

If you are a knife nut, then buy this knife, but if you are interested in a user, this is about as useless a knife as one can possibly purchase. First, let’s get one thing straight: the term “tactical” means nothing, and really there is no such thing. The term was created by some marketing female to stroke the testosterone of budding adolescents. (Yeah, and that includes the 40 year old “law enforcement” types that should know better). If you are interested in a using knife, look for a lock back blade with a thin blade and flat grind. This will give you the best chance of putting a decent edge on the blade. Hollow grind knives today are very poorly made by cheap labor that really do not know how to properly grind a knife. Try to get a flat grind knife blade if at all possible—this will give you the best chance of putting a decent edge in the least amount of time and keep the blade workably sharp without a lot of investment in sharpening. The thinner the blade, the better it sharpens, and the easier it is to sharpen. Stay away from fat blades.

Posted by Jeff - 02/19/2013 06:32 PM

Faultroy chill out and realize your old lock back would more than likley be to slow and small to take on a wolf. While my hollow ground buck 870 would be formidable. Secondly open a dictionary tactical has been a defined word since before modern advertising . Thirdly once you learn a hollow ground they sharpen as easily as a flat blade.

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