So there I was, wasting a bit of time scrolling through Instagram when I noticed a rather cool photo of a wooden handled knife sporting a red blade. ‘That’s cool, I could do with a new camp knife.’ I thought, and within a few days one had arrived at Muddy Towers for me to review!
As it transpired, the knife in question, giving it its Sunday name, was a 104 Compadre Camp Knife which is among the Compadre Series of outdoor tools made by Buck.
Apart from the powder coated blade, the first thing I noticed was its weight. At 200g it isn’t heavy, but feels weighty in your hand, if that makes sense, it’s also very well balanced. On the top it has ‘ridges; for your thumb to stop it from slipping down the bade, which works well, especially if your hands are wet.
The knife is made with a full tang construction and a heavy-duty Heritage Walnut handle, which I’ll get to later. Continuing being technical, it has a drop point shaped blade which means it’s full bellied with a strong, thick point for heavier tasks. Buck say that it can also be used as a general work knife. The top of the blade drops down toward the tip, which minimises accidental puncturing while skinning, though I haven’t tried this yet.
Now, the red powder coating, let’s get that out of the way. Personally I like it, it not only gives the knife a fresh look, but it’s also distinctive, and not something that I’ll lose in a hurry. I’m not sure if it’ll limit the Compadre’s uses as I don’t think I want to prepare food and eat with it.
Although when I’ve used it to ‘baton’ timber, it has rubbed off a little, but the quality of the coating seems superb. Of course the real value of this is to limit the amount of exposed steel to help prevent rusting, and this coating clearly works.
It’s spine is square enough to start a fire using a ferro rod, and if you’re not comfortable, or any good at feathering, rub the spine against a branch and you’ll have plenty of shavings to use as tinder.
On some American review sites they’ve bemoaned that some bystanders may mistake the coating for blood, I can see why! However, you don’t notice the blade when it’s in its sheath, and I wouldn’t be using it whilst in public anyway.
On the subject of its leather sheath, it’s great and fits many sizes of belts and has a retaining strap attached that keeps the Compadre secure.
The handle is made from walnut and I’ve found it very comfortable to hold, no matter what the temperature or weather. It's well finished, smooth and pleasant to the touch.
I’ve had the Compadre for well over a month and I wouldn’t say that it’s been used everyday, but certainly on a regular basis, and so far it doesn’t appear to have lost any of its powder coating or sharpness. In fact, out of the box it’s the only knife I’ve had with which I can actually have a shave with!
Have I mentioned that it also comes Buck’s lifetime warranty?
No, well it does.
Overall I’ve found the Buck 104 Compadre Camp Knife to be a great piece of kit, and if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, and I’ve been eaten, I’ve instructed Muddy Madam that this is one of the first things she must grab as ventures out into the great unknown!
Company website: www.buckknives.com - RRP: £109.95
Where to buy in the UK : www.buck-store.co.uk - Currently 15% OFF + £5 off new orders