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Buck Large Vantage Select Review

Buck Vantage Select Knife

I like expensive knives – the problem is that, generally, I can’t afford them. My edc knife has been a Kershaw Nerve, which I love and highly recommend in my review, but I haven’t been able to carry it recently and needed a good but inexpensive folder to replace it temporarily. My requirements for a folder right now include a blade between 3” and 3.5”, a pocket clip, and preferably a stainless steel blade. My favorite lock is the axis, but I can’t put out the money for a Benchmade, so framelock or linerlock is fine.

 

After a look locally and on the internet, the Buck Vantage Select seemed among the best options. I have always been a fan of Buck Knives, so this seemed like a great choice, and I ordered a large model. When I first opened it, it looked a little odd, like the proportions were off, but the more I looked at it, used it, and played with it, the better it looked!

 

The Vantage Select has a blade of just over 3” (about 3.25”) of 420HC steel. Sure, it isn’t the greatest steel in the world, but it is a good steel and Buck does a great job with it. Buck is world-famous for their heat treating. The drop point blade style is awesome – it is my favorite blade shape by far and reminds me a little of my all-time favorite folder, the Benchmade Griptilian. The blade is fairly wide compared to the Kershaw Nerve, but I like the additional width.

 

The blade  has a thumbhole which works reasonably well, but does not exactly fit my thumb. I can use it without much trouble, but it isn’t ideal. However, it also has a flipper which works very well after a little practice. Just catch the flipper and flip your wrist and the blade is locked open. The lock type is a linerlock, which I much prefer over the lockback Buck Bantam BLW that I used as a work knife before. The handle is made of glass-reinforced nylon, which is new to me, but at least feels good in the hand. I haven’t used it enough in all conditions to say for sure about it. The pocket clip works well, but it is limited to tip-up carry. It can be modified to right or left hand carry, but not tip-down. I have no objection to tip-up carry, but I know some people don’t prefer it.

 

All in all, at this point, I really like the Vantage Select! It is made in the United States, which is a big plus for me. If you want a cheaper medium-large Buck knife, this is probably the model for you. I would consider it approximately on the same level as the Kershaw Nerve that I really liked and a big step up from the Buck Bantam BLW. The Vantage Select is usually between $5-10 dollars more than the Nerve depending on where you get it, and the choice is purely up to preference and whether you want to pay more for a knife made in the USA. It is a much better choice, in my opinion, than the Bantam BLW and usually costs very little more.

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4 comments

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  1. William

    I have owned Buck knives for years, and they are treluy great. The Buck 290PLT is a very convenient knife, which is small and portabe to be carried around in your pocket daily. It’s construction is super and great to look at as well. All my freinds are impressed when I show it to them. I would also recommend buying the sharpening stone and oil as it makes good sense to look after your investment, and its prolongs the life of your knife. Hands down, the best small knife money can buy.!!!!!!

  2. craig

    I sent my Vantage Select back to Buck for an off-center blade problem. They “fixed” it by tightening the pivot screw so hard it is no longer a flipper knife. It does, however, make a handsome paperweight! Save a little money and buy a quality knife from another company as this offering is pure junk.

  3. Hi Craig, thanks for the comment! I’m sorry you had that problem. As I said in the review, my Vantage has been excellent all around. I understand that they early runs had major issues with off-centered blades, so maybe you got an early one.

    1. Paloma

      i’m a country boy and have cerirad a knife since about 8 years old. i got it for christmas one year and once i was cleared with dad and the cub scouts i’ve had one since. i use my knife for everything. i feel lost without it. knives to me are one of the best creations ever, funny thing is my one real fear is being cut..

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