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In Use

We really wanted to know if the X-Tract could serve as a work knife and replace a multi-tool, so we used it like one in a long-term test.  These are just a few examples of our experiences.

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In the Toolmonger shop, “standard knife use” involves cutting all kinds of materials from cord to foam.  As expected, the Buck felt solid and handled the job like any other serious work knife would — very well.

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Shop work also calls for prying little objects out of bigger objects, such as this rubber O-ring out of this hose connector; and, of course, opening a beer after a hard day’s labor.

We also had good luck with the pliers.  It’s easy to apply lots of pressure with them, and they feel quite durable.  The wire strippers are a bit iffy, but no more so than those on any other multi-tools we’ve owned.  In short, they’d work if you were stranded in the jungle.

Finally, we really liked the way the X-Tract carries.  Unlike most fold-down-the-middle-style multi-tools, you can cram the X-Tract into jeans pockets if you must, and it rides nicely in cargo shorts pockets.  Of course, you can always wear it Batman-style, but we’re not big on that.

Read on to page three for our conclusions.

pages: 1 2 3


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
    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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