Buck/Mayo Kaala knife

This knife, which weighs just 1.9 ounces, looks perfect for backwoods survival situations where you need one always-there knife for potential emergencies. It’s simple and strong like a Mora knife, though probably of higher quality than that famous Swedish commodity blade.


Buck ships the Buck/Mayo Kaala with a molded nylon sheath that holds the knife securely in place and a 30-inch stainless steel chain to carry it around your neck. Or, clench it in your teeth and run blood wild through the jungle, man and tool charging on toward fate.

Made of S30V steel, this durable skeletal knife is 6.75 inches long overall with a 3.1-inch drop-point blade. The 1/8-inch thick blade has been “heat-treated by Paul Bos to a Rockwell hardness of Rc60,” according to Buck press materials. (Knife geeks forgive, but who’s Paul Bos?)

It costs $100.

That’s the down and dirty.


Posted by Eric - 12/30/2007 09:03 PM

I know this is an old posting,but I figured I’d help with a detail.

Paul Bos is Buck’s heat treating specialist. He is widely considered to be the best in the business. Many, if not most, custom knife makers use his services to ensure their steel performs to the exacting standards demanded by knowledgeable knife buyers.

Posted by Pete - 02/12/2009 10:45 PM

For half the cost (or less) of this knife, you can get any number of knives that will serve you and your Grandkids as well or better than this knife. Here are my main issues with this particular design.
1. S30V is a very trendy knife steel right now, but tends to be very hard – which is okay if you’ve already got it sharp, but is a pain to get back to sharp.
2. This blade is hollow ground, which also makes it harder to sharpen than a Mora type blade profile – which you lay flat on the bevel to sharpen. Pretty much anyone can get a scandi grind knife sharp on a flat rock.
3. Price – at a hundred bucks, you could buy ten to twenty of the cheap Moras. Or two or three knives that are at the least of equal quality to the Buck. A good example of a similar knife, made in the USA, would be the $20 neck knife from Blind Horse Knives (not a scandi grind, but I guess that you have some sharpening experience)
I do own a Buck 110 folder, which I like quite a bit. But I can’t agree that the Kaala is better than even the cheapest Mora, in quality or functionality.

Posted by Sally Savage-Lebhart - 10/25/2009 05:13 PM

Buck builds a beautiful knife of the highest quality. That’s why we carry Buck knives on lifeonthecuttingedge.com – it reflects our slogan that second best is never an option. LinkText

Posted by Buck Knife Reviews - 02/16/2010 12:54 AM

For those who are unaware, S30V was essentially the first steel specifically designed for cutlery. It’s a great steel, isn’t difficult to sharpen, and holds an outstanding edge. Consider this a premium steel.

Posted by Frank - 02/27/2010 10:59 AM

This knife has a street price of only $65-$75 and thats a bargain for a Bos S30V blade. S30V widely known as among the best blade steels available especially with a good heat treat. Anyone who owns a few s30v blades knows that it isnt that hard to sharpen as long as you use diamond hones and it will hold an edge much longer then even a laminated Mora. I highly reccomend the Kaala. A few others that are similar and also very good knives are the Rat Izula, Becker Necker and the Tops Shango.

Posted by Michael McMillan - 02/06/2011 06:05 AM

just get a Opinel and don’t look back. Sure it isn’t stainless, but it gets sharper than any stainless knife I have resharpened, and stays sharp. The only knife I have used which is sharper is a factory sharpened spiderco.

It looks like you are a gear head, The Opinel knives are cheap, even if you get one to prove me wrong… I use it for things where I want a sharp blade, and don’t abuse it, but it is a a cheap knife so I don’t baby it either, and it has served me well for years.

Posted by koolaidguzzler - 10/21/2011 12:54 PM

Potentially too slippery for me to use with cold hands when tired and brainfarting in the dark. Hands get cold, hands get wet, and so do knives, and one slashed hand in the woods is a bad idea.

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