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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been camping and carrying my Buck 119 (6” blade) for a while now. I have come to realize that it is rather large for the uses I subject it to. Mostly camp duty and carrying while hiking in the woods. It is long and the sheath tip hangs low and gets in the way when I sit down or fall asleep in my sleeping bag at night. My dad always used a huge Buck General 120 (7 3/8” blade) and the fond memories of that turned me into a Buck man. So, I am looking for a shorter bladed Buck, like the 103 Skinner (4” blade), 102 Woodsman (4” blade), or the 105 Pathfinder (5” blade). Do any of you fellow outdoorsmen have any experience with these? Once I decide I’ll look for an older used one, since I like the old-style leather sheath that wraps over the handle for added protection. Many thanks in advance for your recommendations.
 

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The Skinner 103 is, as its name suggests, for skinning.

Not for all purpose use.

The 105 is not much shorter than your 119 and the 102 is great for cleaning trout and small game, but has a very small handle and is perhaps too small to qualify as a general use knife.

I'd recommend the 118 Personal. It has a good sized handle and a sturdy 4.5 inch blade.
 

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I've used all three you listed....

my favorite is the 102. Mainly used it for field dressing deer.

For hiking or camping the 110 would be a good choice.

Jim
 

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The Buck 102 Woodsman is a smaller version of the Buck 119/120 full sized knives. It's more a bird and trout sized knife. If you like your 119 take a look at the model 102. My hunting set for about 25 years were a Buck 102 Woodsman and a 103 Skinner in a home made side by side sheath.
 

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The model 116 is the Caper used for close work on the skull when skinning for the taxidermists. And the 121 was originally the fishing knife and made with a much thinner blade stock. The Buck line up looks correct to me anyway.
 

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Another vote for the 110. I went to one 45 years ago, from using fixed blade bucks, haven't carried a fixed blade since. The fixed blades ride in the glove box of the various vehicles I own. My current 110 has SV30 steel and a stag handle. It is engraved and given to me by my wife on our 35 wedding anniversary. Beautiful looking and very functional.

Left is SV30, right one is nearly 45 years old, when they were still made with real hard steel blades.

 

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My 1st fixed blade Buck was the Pathfinder . . .

... so my most experience is with it. Not hardly any experience as a fishing knife, but camp - animal processing - kitchen knife uses, yes. Light and small in a pack, hung the flap sheath upside down on belt under jacket to stay out of the way when sitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have old Gerber and Puma folding knifes that suit me at the moment.

I think I will try to pick up an older Buck 102 to complement my 119.:bthumb:
 

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I’ve had the Buck Pathfinder since I was a kid in the early 1970s. Great knife. However, a fixed blade is too large to carry comfortably. A nice folding lock blade is handier. I have several Bucks and Pumas. I rarely carry any of them.

Give me a quality folding lock blade and I’m happy.
 

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If you like the shape of your 119, but it's just that it's a little too big, the new 117 is a smaller version of it. (I have one, it's nice.)

As to the 102, the handle is considerably smaller than the rest of the lineup. Enough so that I just don't care much for it even though I like everything else about it.
 

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You might want to look into different sheath and mounting options for the 119. Look for something that rides higher or at a different angle.

I had the same problem while solo hiking. I was also concerned about weight. I tried a couple different 4 inch fixed blades. The weight difference was nominal. I realized an EDC folder fit the same bill even though the blade is smaller. I was carrying a redundant knife with no added benefit.

For me carrying a fixed blade in the back country is as much about insurance than anything else. I missed the length and heft of the 119 and switched back. I have it mounted on my day pack. It is accessible there and out of the way. It isn't to heavy. It isn't to light.

A small folder with 119 makes a good combo in my opinion. I usually carry a 371 or 373 in my pocket. I know from experience both are capable skinning small game. Chopping with them is an issue. The 119 can handle bigger tasks if I need to make a field expedient shelter or process heavier game.

My two cents. Your needs may be different.
 

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I've had a few of those Bucks and especially liked the 116 but it somehow disappeared on one of my hunting trips. I still have the 102 but it resides in my pack when not in use. Years ago I got a couple 110 folders for safety awards at work and once I started using them I seldom use anything else. I do have a Buck Stockman as a pocket knife every day carry that gets used a lot, but for serious chores like cutting up deer, elk, bears, and camp duties the 110 gets almost all the work these days. A little big for carrying in the pocket, but fits well on the hip in the supplied sheath...

Bob
 
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