When it comes to manufacturing multitools Buck may not be as prolific as some companies, but they really shouldn't be discounted either.
In an age where there is a fierce competition between the knife and the multitool, many companies are producing hybrids. Tools that are more knife than tool, still offer functionality that we would otherwise not have with a traditional knife. Before this hybrid was becoming the new thing to do, Buck and Peter Whittaker produced a knife that was both a useful camp knife as well as having a few “extras”. Like with most of Whittaker’s designs, you can see his flair for the non-traditional mixed with what Buck knows will work for a real world design. The end result is something that is very useful, both in the woods and in the concrete jungle.
In the most basic definition of the term, the Buck Metro could be considered a “multitool” since it has multiple functions. Or, at least a dual purpose.
When Buck teamed up with Outdoorsman Peter Whittaker to create the next line of multitools, I don’t think Buck thought they would be as popular as they ended up being. Buck was defiantly bold when they pushed forward with a design like none other; a tool where all the tools are opened with one hand. This vision and determination has gotten Buck back into the multitool market and given the tool community a product that is both of quality and totally unique. Since its release Buck has produced their original X-Tract model, the LED model (a basic X-Tract with an LED) and the FIN which adds a plain edge blade and scissors to the tool. It was only natural for Buck to take the next logical step and do what X-Tract fans have been yelling about from the start, make the X-Tract with a pocket clip.
The Buck X-Tract hit the multitool scene last year and made quite a splash. Buck had wanted to break out of the mold and had designed a multitool that could be operated entirely by one hand. The tool has become quite popular and a lot of that is due to the fact that the knife blade plays a major factor in the tool rather than the pliers. This year Buck decided to give the fans a one-two punch with the X-Tract line, they released not just one but two new models. The Buck X-Tract LED is simply an X-Tract with an LED placed into the side of the thermoplastic handle. The LED is not real high intensity but works well for finding your way in the dark when no other light is available. I think the LED is more of a novel idea then convenience, a lot of us usually consider a built in electronic device makes for just one more thing to go wrong with the tool. The LED is a nice idea but it's not Buck's bread and butter, the other tool they released was called the FIN. Buck took their popular X-Tract model and aimed the design towards fishermen.
Buck has been involved in the multitool market for a while now; ever since their release of the Buck Tool and the Buck Mini Tool they have kept a strong footing due to its brand name. Not many companies make a knife/tool that becomes a brand of its own, how many people you know call any lock back style knife a Buck Knife? Because of this iconic branding and their dedicated customer base their tools although discontinued have remained popular to this day. The Buck Tool simply didn’t take off like it should have, trying to get a piece of the market that is Leatherman, it sometimes takes a lot to get noticed. The Buck Tool is a fantastic tool and very underestimated in spite of what design problems it did have. This is round two and Buck has decided to produce a new multitool for the market that they feel will not only be easier to use but easier on their pockets as well.
The Buck Model 350 "Mini-Buck."
*Although this model is currently discontinued by the manufacturer it still be readily found second-hand at auction sites and internet classified listings.
When I first saw pictures of the Buck X-Tract I thought it was a cool looking tool but wasn't sure how well it would be. Then when I found out it was selling for just around $30 on most knife and tool sites I thought I would take the risk and get one.