The Buck Large Trapper is a folding knife manufactured in the United States.
It is model 384 and weighs 3.4 ounces, featuring a wood handle and brass bolsters. The clip point and spey blade are made from 420HC stainless steel and are 3 1/8 inches long each. The tool measures four inches long when folded.
Much like many models in the Buck folding knife line, the Large Trapper has a traditional design with convenience and multipurpose use in mind.
The clip point blade is intended for most light-duty cutting and piercing tasks, while the spey blade is excellent for jobs in which the user wants to avoid accidentally piercing the flesh or material being cut.
The handle is contoured for comfortable. The length and size of each blade feel like natural extensions of the hand. It requires little effort to re-sharpen a blade to factory condition. The folding mechanism is smooth and true.
Buck offers a lifetime warranty on all its products, and the purchase price for this tool is relatively inexpensive.
The poor 420HC stainless steel is the biggest disadvantage to the Large Trapper and many other models in the Buck folding line.
The designers have done their best with the low-grade material by using a heat treatment process and hollow grinding the blades. However, Buck’s efforts have only slightly mitigated the lackluster performance of this kind of stainless steel. The blade edges can be made to be serviceable for short periods but will never be outstanding in condition, endurance and sharpness.
Another major flaw is the friction locking mechanism, which can have a blade close at the wrong time if accidentally pushed along the spine with enough force. More reliable and safer locking mechanism designs are available.
In tests, the Buck Large Trapper moved naturally and responsively in the hand. The blades processed and sectioned an uncooked turkey reasonably well, though the barely adequate edge performance made for extra work in places.
This was expected because of the low-quality stainless steel , but it was still frustrating when trying to get the overall task done in a timely manner. We were pleased to note that the edges did not chip or roll when ex-posed to bones and joints.
For the price, it is difficult to beat the traditional styling and serviceability of the Buck Large Trapper. It would make for a good pocketknife, which an owner would not be particularly upset about losing.
Kim Quintin is a Saskatoon outdoor enthusiast and knife maker. He can be reached for column content suggestions at [email protected]