First post here - 117 or 120?

Discussion in 'Buck Knives' started by dpsk, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. dpsk


    Nov 7, 2019
    Hey, first post on this forum.
    I'm going to add both the 117 and 120 to my collection, but am torn between which one to order first. I'll be getting the cocobolo dymondwood with brass handles. They're just going to be collectibles, as I have other knives that are "working" knives. I plan on buying one before Christmas, and the other model sometime after the new year. Just wondering which model would be better to buy first based on price/availability. Looks like Copperandclad has the best prices, and availability for both models is good right now.
    Thanks in advance,
  2. bertl

    bertl Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 17, 2011
    First, welcome to the forum. If you stick around, you'll find there are a lot of people who can answer specific questions.

    Everyone has their own opinion about collecting—here is mine. When you start on this adventure, set limits on what you want to do. No one can buy every Buck ever made. If you are going to be a collector, you need to set limits and have focus. I started with the classic 110 and had a fantasy of getting every variation made. It didn't take long for me to realize that for most of us that isn't realistic. I have since concentrated on the early versions and pretty much limit myself to the Two Dot knives and earlier. Unfortunately, I don't have much discipline, so it wasn't long before I added the 100 Series from the 1960s to my focus. About the same time I got interested in the 300 Series and of course the problem with that is that there are a lot of models, versions, and variations over the years. Even with the 300 Series—I have most of the early versions and variations for the early knives—there are limits, and I now concentrate on the 303.

    My suggestion is to first decide why you are collecting and then find out as much as possible about the knives that interest you. I think both the 117 and the 120 are great knives. My personal opinion is that the 117 is more versatile. If you start collecting the 117, you are getting in at almost the ground floor—it's only been around for a few years—and it won't be too hard to get most of the variations. If you decide on the 120, you are looking at roughly 60 years with many variations.Good luck.

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  3. kossetx

    kossetx Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2017
    Howdy and welcome. I don't have much use for either knife but I would think If your just collecting, flip a coin.

  4. Der Verminator

    Der Verminator Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Aug 23, 2019

    The 120 is beautiful and has a rich history.

    I suggest you start with the oldest and nicest 120 you can afford.......and work your way up to the current versions (which are not as beautiful).
    Oldtimer47, ItsTooEarly and DeSotoSky like this.
  5. DeSotoSky

    DeSotoSky Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    I would start with the 117. At the moment it is not a regular catalog item directly from Buck. The three currently available from Copper & Clad are exclusive special factory orders by them. I'm sure the 117 is not going away but that said.... get while the gettin is good.
  6. DeSotoSky

    DeSotoSky Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    Them's fightin words buddy..... :):):)
    ItsTooEarly, Tecate and Lesknife like this.
  7. Lesknife

    Lesknife Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I got the 117 brass and cocobolo from C&C and I really like it. You better buy two if you want one for display because I’m sure after you get it in hand you will want to use it. Lol they are nice! I don’t have a 120 but one just might find it’s way to my mailbox someday.
  8. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    I like the 120 myself.
    ItsTooEarly, Tecate and Lesknife like this.
  9. Der Verminator

    Der Verminator Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    Well, I'm talking about stock knives.......not the gussied up versions.

    The old ones are far more pleasing in shape and style than the new.

    But I'm willing to be convinced if someone thinks that is not true.

    DeSotoSky likes this.
  10. Der Verminator

    Der Verminator Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    It might be worthwhile to discuss your selection of the 120 and 117 with the folks here.

    There are many, many wonderful Buck models that you might enjoy collecting.
    st8yd likes this.
  11. afishhunter


    Oct 21, 2014
    For "collecting", as @kossetx said, just flip a coin.

    For a potential user, if it was me, I'd go with the 117.

    1) It is a little more versital, in my opinion,

    2) I really don't need a 7 inch blade at this stage of my "life".

    If I'm gonna stick a wild boar or something, I believe I'll use a boar spear or an arrow with a good broadhead, and maintain a little distance between me and them tusks and hooves.

    (I presently have zero intentions on sticking a blade in any ham and bacon on the hoof, regardless of size.)

    Both are a great knife.

    Wichever way you go, good luck, and welcome. :)
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  12. GPyro

    GPyro Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 18, 2019
    I use my 120 to slice ham.
    That's the only thing I've ever used it for.

    I agree the 117 is a better size for use.......
    But I do like ham
  13. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    52920574-2B01-4177-A71C-B10DDAA0859F.jpeg My opinion. Just order them both, you’ll end up with them anyway. The 100 series of knives all fill a certain roll and most could do it all of they had too.

    Just get yourself on a plan to buy them all. Then you will be in a position to choose the best one for the task at hand.

    But I’d start with the 117 for the reasons DeSotaSky pointed out. It’s not a regular catalog knife so potentially could be harder to find someday. Also don’t overlook the 212.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  14. afishhunter


    Oct 21, 2014
    The 117 isn't a regular catelog item?
    Buck always has it listed on their website and as an option in the custom shoppe.
    I thought the 117 was their most popular production fixed blade ... just celibrated its 75th anniversary last year ...

    Maybe I shuttna traded the one I had for a professionally rebuilt/restored comfortable pair of boots that fit ... :(
    (even if I do use the boots more oft than I ever did the knife ... I thought I done good, too ... I paid like $30 for the 117 (had the standard black "plastic" handle) at a pawnshop, the boots had a asking price of $95 ... I didn't have to give more than the 117 for the boots ... He even tossed in and installed a set of metal "horse shoe" heel protectors/wear plates so I can sound like a brigade of heavy cavalry when walking on a hard wood or linolium floor ...)
  15. Tecate

    Tecate Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 28, 2017
    You may be thinking of the 119...since that just had the 75th anniversary and is available all of the time.
    Der Verminator and st8yd like this.
  16. DeSotoSky

    DeSotoSky Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    Well, I'll concede that point on the old blades perhaps.
    It's kinda soothing to hold one of the old semi hollow grind knives,
    pinching the blade between you fingers and repeatedly pulling across the profile,
    feeling the blade thicken again just before the edge.
    It's not a weird as it sounds, really. Try it.
  17. Der Verminator

    Der Verminator Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    Blades carefully and artfully done by hand have soft and beautiful lines.......not weird to appreciate them.

  18. dpsk


    Nov 7, 2019
    First off, I'd like to thank everyone for their input - it's very much appreciated. I'm leaning heavily towards buying the 117 first. It seems as if there are more options to buy a 120 over the 117, and I rather like the practical size of the 117 as well. I will still buy a 120 a little down the road.
    Secondly, based on past experience, are there typically Black Friday (or other) sales from popular Buck vendors this time of year? Copper and Clad currently has the Cocobolo Dymondwood with brass handle 117 listed at $89.99.
  19. GPyro

    GPyro Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 18, 2019
    Go to Copper and Clad and sign up for their updates.
    They have flash sales they only seem to advertise on facebook. (I don't facebook but you can still check it out if you don't) sometimes you can score stuff on sale that way too.
    I have found some nice unused stuff on ebay for a good price if you watch.
    Good Luck.
    dpsk likes this.
  20. dpsk


    Nov 7, 2019
    Done - good idea. Thanks
    GPyro likes this.

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