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Most Toolmongers know that I’m a total multi-tool hater.  Most of ’em are designed primarily as a combination tool (that just happens to have a knife blade), and while that’s handy, I want a real knife.  That’s what the X-Tract claims to deliver: a multi-tool that’s primarily a knife, but offers some other functionality, too.

It’s really intended as an “outdoors and sports” knife, but we decided to see if the X-Tract could serve a more traditional working-shop role.  The results were surprising.  Read on past the jump for lots of photos and hands-on goodness.

Unboxing

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The buck is packaged in a “way too big for itself” box that made us suspect we might find a full-sized boot knife inside.  When we opened the box, though, the not-so-huge X-Tract slid right out, presented in a compact holster that’s not any bigger than a standard folding blade.

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Picking up the blade reveals that it’s extremely light at only 6.1 oz.  We were surprised to discover that it feels strangely comfortable in our hands, even considering its odd shape and the 3/4” span.

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The X-Tract has five blades. T he first — and arguably the most important — is the 3” drop point blade with a half serrated edge.  It features a sturdy liner lock and a one-handed opening stud.  This blade is the heavy-lifting backbone of the X-Tract system.

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But what would a multi-tool be without a pair of pliers?  The X-Tract features a pair of heavy pliers that side forward along the handle’s spine, locking via a push lever located near the front corner. The pliers are spring loaded and include a small wire stripper and cutter near the pivot.

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Flip the knife over on its back to reveal a clever screwdriver system that slides a common bit out of one end and a Phillips head out of the other. The bits are connected in the middle by a sliding push-button lock.

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The fifth tool is the ever-present bottle opener; no multi-tool worth its salt could show its face if it didn’t have one of these somewhere.

Read on to page two for our in use experiences.

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10 Responses to Hands-On: Buck’s X-Tract

  1. F451 says:

    I like what I see, and Buck knives are typically excellent. But if it is made BF Egypt, or China then count me out. If it is made in made in the US of A then count me in!

  2. Eric says:

    Leatherman makes a bunch of similar styles of knife, http://www.leatherman.com/products/knives/k502x-k503x/default.asp being one example. While you lose the pliers you do gain interchangeable screw driver bits. The downside is that they’re a bit on the heavy side. That said, I use mine quite often…

  3. Chuck Cage says:

    Eric: Not quite the same without those pliers.

    F451: It’s made in China, so I guess you’re out. I still like it, though.

  4. F451 says:

    Chuck Cage,

    I’m out. Too bad as I liked what I saw. Oh well…

  5. joel says:

    Thanks Chuck– I’ve never thought of carrying a knife but this looks really useful, I can think of many times I could have used one of these. I have a standard-sized Leatherman but it’s too heavy to carry in a loose pocket… how heavy is this guy?

    I’m also not sure about knife laws in NYC these days, people are still pretty jumpy here.

  6. Chuck Cage says:

    Joel: It’s heavy, but not as heavy as it looks, if that helps. FWIW, I wouldn’t carry this as a daily-carry knife. The blade is big enough to scare the crap out of people in an office or on the subway. And the serration doesn’t help in that matter as well. It’s not a knock on the kinfe in any way, as the serration is really helpful in the field; you can “saw” through small branches and such with it, so it’s really practical. But it’s still a bit scary-looking when you’re not out and about.

    I’d carry this kinfe in the shop, though, or on the trips Sean and I make to pick up cars or rummage through tools in a barn.

    If you’re looking for a daily carry that’s useful and unassuming, hit eBay for Buck’s Mini-Buck. They don’t make it any more, but they’re still available if you look and only run about $10. And if you want something big but still “friendly-looking,” try the Pioneer that Sean wrote about a few weeks ago. The Swiss-Army logo makes it more palatable in the office, even though the blade is pretty large.

  7. looks cool, but as with some other designs, I’m guessing it’s useless for a lefty. That 3/4 gap between the outside edge and the blade is on the wrong side for me. But might be worth looking for and trying in the hand.

    As for the serrations being “scary” in the office. No one will see them until you open the blade – anyone walking around with an open lockback is kind of “scary” for the office, aren’t they?

  8. Joel,

    NYS is pretty wide open with regards to knife laws.. the key thing is that you need to have intent to hurt someone for carrying the knife to be illegal. If you’re also carrying drugs, the intent is assumed to be there.

    NYC on the other hand is a whole other world. No switchblades, no double edged blades, no open carry. 4″ is the maximum blade length for concealed carry. In NYC you don’t need to have intent to harm to be found in violation.

    For the non-New Yorkers there’s a ton of sites out there, but there’s two that spring to mind:
    http://www.bladeforums.com/ – you need to register to see the content
    and
    http://www.knifelawsonline.com/knifehome/
    The latter is a site for a book on knife laws in the 50 states. He has some content that changed monthly on there, but it’s not complete. If you buy the book, it should be more complete, albeit possibly dated.

  9. crashin says:

    This doesn’t look in the photos to be much larger than the knife I carry with me generally. I might have to see if I can find one in a store to check out. Very nice find.

  10. MANU says:

    well we are looking for a distributorship for these products in india please leme know if any of these companies are interested in doing work in india
    gentingproducts at yahu dot com

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