Things That Don’t Suck: The Buck 112 Slim Pro EDC Knife

Buck makes some of the most-loved and most classic knives in the world. If there isn’t a photo of the Buck 110 Folding Hunter next to the entry for “folding knife” in the dictionary, there should be. But let’s face it. Great as it is — and it’s truly one of the all-time great designs — the 110 is not everyone’s cup of tea as an EDC knife. It’s long, has a big 3.75″ blade, it’s heavy and lacks a pocket clip.

For those of us who love the Buck aesthetic, the classic, nearly ideal blade shape and the strong lockback action, but want to carry something smaller and lighter, there’s the 112 Slim Pro.

At first glance the 112 looks like a scaled down 110, but there’s more going on here. The smaller, lighter 112 Slim Pro has a 3″ blade. Gone is the 110’s nail nick. Instead, the 112 has handy thumb studs for easy one-handed opening.

The 110’s heavy metal bolsters are gone, too. Instead, you have the option of either G10 or micarta scales…there isn’t even a metal liner. That keeps the 112 Slim Pro’s weight down to a svelte 2.6 oz. compared to the 110’s beefy 7.2 oz.

Another difference is the blade steel. Rather than the venerable 110’s 420HC, Buck’s upgraded the 112’s blade using Bos heat treated S30V. That gives the 112 amazing edge retention, as good as any knife I own, even under some heavy use.

The 112 Slim Pro still has the classic Buck clip point blade, though this one is a little more gradually clipped and therefore less aggressive looking that the 110’s.

And for EDC convenience, the 112 Slim Pro has a reversible stainless steel deep-carry pocket clip. Ah yes…about that clip.

The 112 Slim Pro has a strong, secure clip that works well. I prefer a deep carry clip and its presence is a big reason I own this instead of a 110.

But this is unquestionably one of the ugliest pocket clips on any knife made. If you don’t recognize it, that cut-out is the Buck anvil logo. In order to accommodate that, they had to widen to clip substantially into a sort of bowling pin shape, something there’d be no need to do if the logo wasn’t there.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty good clip that’s very functional. It’s just ugly as sin and far bigger than it should be. I know…first world problem. True enough. Still, I’ve briefly looked for aftermarket options a couple of times, but haven’t found one yet. If you know of a good one, please leave it in the comments.

Clip aesthetics aside, this is a truly great EDC knife. I’ve owned the 112 Slim Pro for more than a year and a half. As someone who owns a lot of knives, this is unquestionably one of my favorites. It’s probably the knife that finds its way into my pocket on more days than any other. It’s light, tough, functional, and just plain works.

I’d rather it had a different, simpler clip. And if I had to do it all over gain, it’d get the green micarta version. Because micarta. But for about $80, with this steel in a light, US-made classic design, EDC knives don’t get much better than this (short of paying two to three times as much).

 

comments

  1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I’ve got a knife with an S30V blade.
    I’m not impressed with its edge holding at all.

    1. That’s my experience, too. But from my experience and what I’ve read from others, the Bos heat treat works some kind of alchemy on it. They apparently really know what they’re doing.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Alchemy scares me.
        Wouldn’t surprise me if they do some voodoo on their steel to make it better.

        It’s like cryogenic barrel treatment.
        I’m glad there are STEM people out there.

    2. avatar RGP says:

      I’ve had one S30V blade from Benchmade. I’ll never buy S30V again either.

    3. avatar anonymous says:

      Not sure what everyone’s complaints are about s30V. It is an excellent – well rounded material for knives. It is a balance between edge retention, corrosion resistance, and toughness. Typically the better edge retention you go, the less toughness because as materials get harder, they get less flexible and tend to chip or break rather than bend. And a soft flexible material that’s springy and don’t chip, typically isn’t going to hold a edge for very long. Obviously if you use your knife as a crow bar or screwdriver, I would NOT get s30V. 1095 would be better. Or if you want some slightly improved corrosion resistance – a D2 blade. D2 is an excellent material for knives and is cheap too, but has deficient corrosion resistance. In a knife, when you start packing high carbon, high chrome, with moly and chromium crystals/vanadium crystals, you are going to get extremely long edge retention and excellent corrosion resistance, while trying to maintain toughness. To get all three qualities, is akin to magical merlin s***. The powdered/sintered/heat treated metals like S30V and S35VN, etc. are an attempt at that.

      https://knifeinformer.com/discovering-the-best-knife-steel/

    4. avatar Setarip says:

      I haven’t had a knife is s30v for a while, but I do wonder if most of the hate is because it isn’t hard enough? Most steels really excel above 60HRC and that’s the minimum I heat treat my knives. I use CPM-154 though. I may give s30v a try.

  2. avatar My2cents says:

    It’s nice, but I think that I’ll stick with my Spyderco Delica.

  3. avatar DrewN says:

    The whole point of a 110 is a 5 year old can put a razor edge on it. Otherwise, meh, I’ve had mine since forever and I quit carrying it about forever minus a week ago. Not that great at field dressing, harder to open then it needed to be and as heavy as an anvil. But it’s like 5 minutes between completely dull and wicked sharp.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      that works both ways.

  4. avatar Debbie W. says:

    Looks and sounds very well made. Only thing missing for me is a half serrated blade for seat belts, etc.

    1. avatar Geoff "Ammo. LOTS of ammo..." PR says:

      Spyderco… 🙂

      1. avatar Texican says:

        Cold Steel! 😉

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          chinese!

  5. avatar Truckman says:

    I have a buck with one of those blades I have been tempted to tape a quarter to it before I threw it away then I could say I threw something away

  6. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    carried rangers in my teens. grew to dislike upswept clip points. and they were heavy. these are improved on all counts. micarta is great, i’d still take g10 over frn but nylon is lightest.
    this heat treat has their 420hc punching above others, 440v level maybe. it makes all the difference in s30v as well, but the spray and (even more so) powdered versions have a (smaller) carbide structure advantage from the get go. steels as tough as these can be edge profiled to reduce the angle degree which allows for better edge retention. buck (and others) often use the same grind, not exploiting the steels capabilities.
    invest in mdt (metal diamond technologies) hones, for the really tough stuff. i see them hangin’ on the peg at the bigbox. 20/ 30 dolla for two grits (coarse/ med or med/ fine).
    m390 (s20v, 204) is my current affordable fave.

  7. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I have a 110 from youth.

    Think I’d get a 110 lightweight with nylon scales instead of this.

    No pocket clip, but its 25 bucks.

    But that’s just me.

    Buck has very good knives….not great knives.

    1. avatar Red says:

      I have used Buck knives for years. Who’s better for work-a-day knives?

      1. avatar John says:

        “Better” is subjective but Case is at least just as good. And every Case knife is made in America. I own several Bucks and Cases that I rotate carrying.

        1. avatar Todd in the sticks says:

          Yup. Case makes pretty good knives. I like them all, including KA-BAR. What I choose to carry depends on what I’m doing that day.

      2. avatar roger says:

        use a utility knife

  8. avatar Mark says:

    Wasn’t there a site called The Truth About Knives? I have no idea what this article has to do with guns.

    1. avatar John Bryan says:

      According to the interwebs total loadout for EDC is a primary gun, in 9mm or .45ACP, two extra mags, a backup gun, anything .38 cal, revolver or pistol, with a reload, a taticool flashlight, at least 500 lumens but 1000 is better, a sheath carried folding knife, 4-6” blade, from Spyderco or some obscure custom knife maker, a pocket knife – seems this can be any throwaway from the discount store, a tourniquet, mini 1st aid kit, multitool, usually with AR pattern rifle tools included. Either the most up to date cell phone in an Otterbox case or an old flip phone without even text capability. Oh, and a really big, “military style” watch. And a magnesium fire starter. Plus a whistle. And a secret decoder ring. And don’t forget your compression-style “sheepdog” emblem black base layer wicking shirt!

      All kidding aside, carrying a solid knife just seems to fit with being properly armed – knives and guns go together like vodka and gin.

      1. Yes. Yes they do. Well, gin and tonic, but whatever.

      2. avatar RGP says:

        Today, my carry is a box stock 35 year old 4″ S&W Model 29 in .44 Magnum, a Bark River Canadian Special with a 4″ blade, a hand wound Omega Speedmaster like the watch NASA used to issue to astronauts, a Surefire Stilleto, and an Original Astronaut Pen that writes upside down on grease in boiling water on the surface of the moon. That makes everybody a nerd except for ME. The phone does however have a semi tacticool MagPul case…

      3. avatar b72512ga says:

        Vodka and Gin? Heresy I say, we need a new Inquisition!

        1. avatar John Bryan says:

          I have a thing for the classic “Bond” martini – the Vesper. Wouldn’t mind having a PPK too but I think I’d have mine in .380ACP rather than .32ACP.

          In the movie SPECTRE Bond carries a Gerber 06 Auto, which has an S30V blade – a little big for me to pocket carry. Though it’s a better choice than strapping on a Sykes Fairbairn dagger, now that’s a knife!

    2. avatar Geoff "Ammo. LOTS of ammo..." PR says:

      “Wasn’t there a site called The Truth About Knives?”

      Started by the founder of TTAG, actually.

      It folded awhile back.

      *Sobbing*… 🙁

  9. avatar Jimmy James says:

    My experience, YMMV, thumb studs stick in my jeans pocket and slow the draw. Now with tip up carry, another thing I dont like, this may be a way to quickly deploy the blade. I’m a thumb hole, tip down kinda guy. I love knives and have way too many. Cheers!

    1. avatar BCE56 says:

      ^^ Agree. Tip down carry works best for me too.
      Knives w/ dual thumb studs won’t grab the pocket seam if the outboard stud is removed or shortened. I have done this on several EDC knives.

  10. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    A Buck 110 was my first really “real” first knife. Steel, brass and wood. I was 12 or 13. Heavy? I didn’t notice. How do some of you guys carry your balls around?

    1. avatar b72512ga says:

      My 110 is over 40 yrs old, I love it. Stays sharp, didn’t have specialized tools back then, cut a lot of seat belts, wire, and other stuff. Never let me down.

  11. avatar CentralVirginian says:

    Good…long awaited…review. I was thinking about getting one of these but Im indifferent to s30v and it normally doubles knife price. Im now eyeballing a 112 drop point. I might grab one of these in 420hc as specialist38 has pointed out the $25 price tag.

  12. avatar The Rookie says:

    Nice knife, though I don’t think I’d drop $80 for one. I’m really happy with my K-Bar Dozier folder. I’ve used that thing for everything from trimming drywall to jointing a rabbit (uh, not in the same session). Edge retention isn’t great (AUS-8 steel), but a little time on the strop takes care of the problem, and she’ll get razor sharp with a bit of care. Best $20 I’ve spent in a long while.

  13. avatar possum says:

    the 110’s started getting cheaper, the old ones blades were thicker. Everything is getting cheap made now.

  14. avatar LKB says:

    Meh. I’ll stick with my Kershaw Leek.

    Especially given that it is inexpensive enough that losing it won’t cause you to lose any sleep, in my book it’s a damn near perfect EDC knife.

  15. avatar Wood says:

    That’s a pretty good looking knife, I always liked the Rangers. My only Buck is a 110 in Damascus with stag scales and nickel silver bolsters. Quite the looker. Bought it one summer with proceeds from working on my mom’s house for her when I was… I don’t remember. Only 3 decades or so ago.

    I don’t care for s30v, it’s too hard to sharpen for the return. I much prefer tool steels to stainless steels; CRUWEAR, CPM-M4, REX45, K390… if I want stainless I’ll grab a Mora 😁. Maybe they’ll offer a better steel choice in that solid platform.

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