This is Buck's standard blade material because it approaches the wear resistance of high carbon alloys while delivering the corrosion resistance of chromium stainless steels. Add our exclusive heat-treat process and you have a very user-friendly combination of superior corrosion resistance with excellent strength for wear resistance and durability. You also have a blade that is easy to resharpen. For best performance we harden to a Rockwell hardness of Rc 58.
Best suited for skinning game. The tip is narrow, while the wide curved belly gives a nice skinning sweep that aids in getting through thick layers. The downward angled, more blunt point makes it harder to make an accidental slice through the hide.
If I could have only one tool in the bush it would be a hatchet or hawk. But give me any choice in addition and it would be the Buck Ergo Hunter. You may see my reviews of other brands and blades and you'll find only this one that I call my "Go-To", or knife of preference. I'd be glad to illustrate around any campfire, but this'll do for now. Mine is the 12C27M steel upgrade, which is a step up in edge retention, though possibly a half-step down in extreme durability, from the standard 420 HC. You won't go wrong with either steel choice as long as it shows the Bos heat treatment certification. It has proven its value to me in camping & woodcraft for three consecutive years. I've had other brands with more "exotic" steels that showed chips and visible wear in identical use, even when processing the same tree branch, but the Buck finishes the task still sharp, still solid, with a gleam all along the edge. Though the skinner blade shape makes a wider fireboard divot than the typical bushcraft knife, the Ergo Hunter works well enough. And only a few strokes of a file brought the spine (just forward of the thumb jimping) to a squared edge that works like a demon on a ferro rod when you've broken your flint/quartz or lost your saw blade striker. The only thing it doesn't have is a pommel tool for those crushing & scraping tasks making tinder from raw materials, but that's another place where the hatchet or tomahawk come in. Though I'm too old & broken for the hunting & trapping work, I would have given anything to have had this Ergo Hunter in those years. It is nearly the same shape as the highest end skinning knives, the shape that was perfect for trophy-grade skinning of big game and small. And that superlative heat-treated edge retention would have saved sharpening time, every time. Those are the reasons that if you could have only one knife to complement the requisite hatchet/hawk, I'd recommend the Buck Ergo Hunter. In fact, that's why I recently gave my oldest son Bucks top-of-the-line Ergo Hunter in S30V to add to his best-of-the-best collection. No rust. No big dollar hype. No movies are made around it. Buck's Ergo Hunter is pure function. It works in the real world.