BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Buck Knives

We don't just produce knives — we help create memories.


In 1899, when a ten-yr old blacksmith apprentice from Kansas began experimenting with the metal filings leftover from horseshoes, wagon wheels, and plows to find a better way to temper steel, he surely never imagined a company 118 years later, bearing his name and making over a million knives a year.


Hoyt Buck's ingenuity created a blade that could hold a sharp edge longer, and he produced the first Buck Knife in 1902. Making knives was a casual pastime until World War II when he learned that there were not enough knives for soldiers. Hoyt bought an anvil, forge, and grinder and set up a blacksmith shop in the basement of his church.

The original maker, Hoyt H. Buck, circa 1948

After the war, Hoyt joined his eldest son in San Diego and together they made knives in a wooden lean-to as "H.H. Buck & Son".


The business grew into a California institution with $33 million in annual sales. One knife, the Folding Hunter, introduced in 1964, quickly became the top-selling outdoor knife in America.


The 1964 Buck 110 Folding Hunter became an instant best seller and continues to be the top selling Buck Knife.

The company continued to thrive in California until 2000, when soaring business costs threatened their very existence. A riveting read on how those calamitous times played out is showcased in Inc. Magazine's