22 May Made in America: Buck Knives
Here at 2ndVote we always advocate for the three pillars of shopping your values; Shop Local whenever possible, Shop the Highest 2ndVote Score whenever possible, and Shop American whenever possible. American production has been outsourced overseas for the sake of labor costs, sometimes even using slave labor, for far too long. It is high time that we as Americans demand that the goods and services we purchase are made by Americans, for Americans, in AMERICA!
That is why 2ndVote endorses a product Made-in-America every week. This weekly message features various products that have been verified to be truly American-produced so that 2ndVote shoppers can better support American economic independence. It should be noted that while any products or companies featured in this series have been vetted for being American made, the goal is to provide information and options for consumers to make informed choices aligning with their values.
This week’s featured Made-in-America product is Buck Knives (3.15).
Buck Knives is a historic American brand, widely regarded as one of the very best American-made knife companies, with a legacy that spans four generations. For over a century, they’ve been dedicated to crafting quality, handmade knives, and tools designed for a life lived outdoors. While they’re a global leader in the sports cutlery industry, the journey began humbly in 1902.
Hoyt Buck, a young blacksmith apprentice from Kansas, discovered a better way to temper steel that held an edge longer. In 1902, his initial experiments used grub hoes for raw material until he upgraded to worn-out files and rasps. After Hoyt retired in the early 1940s from working as a millwright on the Anderson Dam Project—a large reservoir outside his home in Mountain Home, Idaho—he seized an opportunity at a nearby Air Force base. “When Hoyt retired, he began pastoring at a small church, and in the basement of that church he was making knives for the local servicemen,” CJ Buck, the current CEO, and grandson of Al Buck told Filson in a recent interview. “They brought him the materials and he would make them the knives, mostly small, fixed blades, for free.”
Hoyt’s contributions to the war effort ultimately led to the design of the 119 Special that is still manufactured to this day. Buck Knives’ expertise in craftsmanship later resulted in the first major upgrade to the M9 bayonet.
In 1945, Hoyt and his wife, Daisy, left Mountain Home, Idaho, and traveled to San Diego, California, to live closer to their son Al and his family of four children. Hoyt’s health was failing, but he recruited Al to establish H.H. Buck & Son, a Ma-and-Pa operation along the side of their house. “My dad [Chuck] and uncle helped out around there and would make knives, sharpen saws, and tune and service lawnmowers,” CJ said, describing their early days in the trade.
H.H. Buck & Son incorporated on April 7, 1961, and the passion project of making 25 knives a week rapidly gained momentum. Initial designs for the world-famous 110 Folding Hunter went into production and hit the market in 1964.
Hoyt and Al put Buck Knives on the map, but Chuck took the brand worldwide. Chuck and his wife, Lori, operated the company from 1979–1999. During the 1980s, they expanded the availability of their products from small independent dealers to mass merchants, which was the next stage of evolution for the business. In 1999, CJ took the realm and continues to advance the ingenuity of Buck Knives.
One such advancement since 2019 is using Cerakote, a polymer-ceramic composite paint that is applied and baked. It puts corrosion-free skin on top of the knife and enhances the balance between corrosion resistance, the ability to hold an edge, and the degree of softness. “One of the elements of being a good manufacturer is how many of the variable processes you control,” said CJ. “Bringing Cerakote in-house means we can control consistency and quality in the baking and the coating.”
Despite all their success, their modest roots keep them grounded. Every Buck Knives box comes with a Christian testimony, an idea from Chuck that provides a method of giving back to the community that’s supported them all these years.
Buck Knives are made in Post Falls, Idaho
Check them out at: https://www.buckknives.com/
The best way to make positive change in the world of woke businesses is to vote with your wallet, so remember shop local, shop the highest score possible, and shop American! 2ndVote is not paid for this feature.
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