Buck makes some of the most-loved and most classic knives in the world. If there isn’t a photo of the Buck 110 Folding Hunter next to the entry for “folding knife” in the dictionary, there should be. But let’s face it. Great is it is — and it’s truly one of the all-time great designs — the 110 is not everyone’s cup of tea as an EDC knife. It’s long, has a big 3.75″ blade, it’s heavy and lacks a pocket clip.
For those of us who love the Buck aesthetic, the classic, nearly ideal blade shape and the strong lockback action, but want to carry something smaller and lighter, there’s the 112 Slim Pro.
At first glance the 112 looks like a scaled down 110, but there’s more going on here. The smaller, lighter 112 Slim Pro has a 3″ blade. Gone is the 110’s nail nick. Instead, the 112 has a handy thumb stud for easy one-handed opening.
The 110’s heavy metal bolsters are gone, too. Instead, you have the option of either G10 or micarta scales…there isn’t even a metal liner. That keeps the 112 Slim Pro’s weight down to a svelte 2.6 oz. compared to the 110’s beefy 7.2 oz.
Another difference is the blade steel. Rather than the venerable 110’s average 420HC, Buck’s upgraded the 112’s bladel using Bos heat treated S30V. That gives the 112 amazing edge retention, as good as any knife I own, even under some heavy use.
The 112 Slim Pro still has the classic Buck clip point blade, though this one is a little more gradually clipped and therefore less aggressive looking that the 110’s.
And for EDC convenience, the 112 Slim Pro has a reversible stainless steel deep-carry pocket clip. Ah yes…about that clip.
This is a strong, secure clip that works well. I prefer a deep carry clip and its presence is a big reason I own this instead of a 110.
But this is unquestionably one of the ugliest pocket clips on any knife made. If you don’t recognize it, that cut-out is the Buck anvil logo. In order to accommodate that, they had to widen to clip substantially into a bowling pin shape, something there’d be no need to do if the logo wasn’t there.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty good clip that works well. It’s just ugly as sin and far bigger than it should be. I know…first world problem. True enough. Still, I’ve briefly looked for aftermarket options a couple of times, but haven’t found one yet. If you know of a good one, please leave it in the comments.
Clip aesthetics aside, this is a truly great EDC knife. I’ve owned the 112 Slim Pro for more than a year and a half. As someone who owns a lot of knives, this is unquestionably one of my favorites. It’s probably the knife that finds its way into my pocket on more days than any other. It’s light, tough, functional, and just plain works.
I’d rather it had a different, simpler clip. And if I had to do it all over gain, it’d get the green micarta version. Because micarta. But for about $80, with this steel in a light, US-made classic design, EDC knives don’t get much better than this (short of paying two to three times as much).