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Small Pen Knife for EDC?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Spydiefan04, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Spydiefan04


    Jan 8, 2005
    I must admit I have been reading JackKnife's stories of small pen knives and it reminded me of the knives my grandad always swore by. I have tried on many occasions to use a smaller knife but end up back with a Buck 303. I wear X-large gloves and can be a bit of a fumble fingers and therefore have cut myself a few times with smaller knives. I have found thus far the Buck 303 to be the most comfortable small knife I've tried I have and have carried a Peanut and found it to be too small. One thing I like about the 303 is the large choils which help keep the blade from closing on my fingers. I am thinking about trying a Case 32087 Pen Knife, Boker Medium Pen, Buck Companion, or Buck Lancer. Just wanted to ask if anyone has any opinions/comparisons and I'm open to other knife brands.
  2. SilverFoxKnows


    Sep 25, 2002
    I carried a Boker pen for a year after being inspired by Jackknife's peanut challenge. A tad small for my taste, I moved up to a 3 & 3/8" stockman. But there were very few times I felt handicapped because I didn't have enough knife. The little guys can do more than you think.

  3. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004

    If a peanut is too small for you, maybe a small pen may not be the winning ticket. It don't work for everyone. Your 303 is a very fine edc knife, I carried one for a few years on my downsize journey. If you want to try a pen, I'd go for the Buck 309, as you're already familiar with the Buck brand. The 309 is a great example of a working pen knife, maybe the best one out there. Buck's are built like Sherman tanks, and there may be prettier knives out there, but not as sturdy as the Buck. I watched my non knife nut friend Wayne, punish a 309 everyday in the machine shop and on fishing trips, and it impressed the heck out of me.

    If the 303 is working for you, why change? My old friend and co-worker Andy Warden used a 303 as his only edc knife for years until he passed on. It was his fishing knife, hunting knife, shop work knife, and back porch whittler. You can go a very long way and not find a better knife for edc carry than a 303 cadet. If it fits your hand that's good. I'm not a very big guy, and I don't have big hands, so a small knife like a peanut is comfortable to me. The next guy, maybe not so much.

    Ya gotta go with works for ya.:)

  4. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    Double post, my bad.
  5. puukkoman


    Sep 30, 2004
    Pull those pants up, sonny! ;)
  6. Spydiefan04


    Jan 8, 2005
    I agree 100% and have no concerns or problems with the 303 at all personally. I neglected to post earlier but at work there is a 2.5" blade limit that has always been but they are now actually starting to enforce the policy, Too many guys flicking too many tacticals has brought it about. The main blade on a 303 is 2.5" so technically it's OK but I just want to be be clearly under the limit to avoid any hassles. Thanks for the input.
  7. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    In that case, I'd go with the 309. :thumbup:

    Interesting thing about the 309, judging from 300Buck's postings, it's available in a wide variety of scale materials. So you not only get a very rugged little pen knife, but a great looking one at that. Choices like elk, buffalo, jigged bone, and good old fashioned yella, you can't loose.

  8. moonwilson


    Aug 10, 2006
    If you like Buck and are looking for a nice, solid pen knife, the answer is obvious. The Buck 305 Lancer. You'd be hard pressed to find a finer pen knife in today's market. They're little, but like the other 3 series Bucks, they are solid, tough knives that are built to last. I like the yellow delrin, "comfortcraft" version the bet.

    The Case 32087 is a fine knife, and can be had in carbon, which is good. But it is much larger than the 305, with the master blade just a smidge over 2.5". I have both the 32087 and the 305 right here side by side, and to my mind, the 305 is a better-built knife. The 32087 has single-spring construction, with a catch bit. The 305 has two springs. Back to back, the 305 Lancer is just a tad thicker.
  9. Rsmith_77


    Jun 4, 2010
    If it helps any, i just downsized from a boker rough rider and wenger SI for edc to just a buck 309 (with sears 4way screwdriver and p38 on keychain)
    now unfortunately i havent had much chance to use it yet, but i am already in love it with

    I can see now why Carl is always going on about his little peanut, the blades arent all that much smaller than a barlow but i dont even feel it in my pocket
    looking forward to some cutting chores to really put her to use ;)
  10. thejamppa


    Aug 20, 2009
    I carried today Buck 309 cmfort line with yellow handles. Great little knife. I am sure that 309 will not dissapoint you.
  11. Noddy


    Jul 13, 2006
    There's a lot to choose from. At the moment I find my self looking at the Great Eastern #53 dogleg jack

    The #48 is good too though
  12. 300Bucks

    300Bucks Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    We may have to combine these 'peanut' threads into one......but

    Being a Buck collector I try to share my knowledge of the brand, as a knife user, I envy some of the qualities of the other brands. So I try to bring knowledge and be modest in discussions and guarded in my opinions. That said here is some info. and eventually an opinion....

    Buck made 305 Lancers

    Group of 305s

    Top three 305 lancers, bottom two 309 Companions, pre 1989 305 and 309 issues had only one spring (cami)

    Heres the opinion part. If you work in an environment that made you wear - Marrin', burin' and Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes everyday and you had a knife limit then the little 305 would be fine. But, have several and carry none. I call on the 309 to fill my small knife needs. I am a sort that if you need a "knife" bigger than 4 inches I will be getting a fixed blade out. In everyday life a small stockman is just right for me. You ask me to come to your ranch and help feed cows, or cut a bunch of new cabinets out of a bunch of cardboard boxes and I 'might' slip a big 307 in a belt sheath on. I would rather have a 305 as nothing and with skillful use it could skin a bear. Maybe not a Polar bear.......

    If someone feels shorted by the 309s two blades, you might look at the 310 whittler, it is a 309 with a coping blade added. Not carried in the Buck catalog but just by Bass Pro. SMKWs may still be selling stock also.
    Buck 310 Whittler, 309 with a small coping blade added. Knife on right is discontinued and a little tough to find.

    310 group with traditional wooden box it comes in. Only black sawcut available.

    This is for those folks that are into 'how its contructed'. I rescaled this one latter. A 309 with scale stripped off. This black sawcut material (Valox*) is hot pressed over the shield and the holes in the liner form sort of 'rivets' to hold the scale on tight.

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011
  13. Johnny Numbers

    Johnny Numbers

    Jan 23, 2010
    I have a Buck 303 Cadet that finds its way into my pocket pretty regular, but when I think of "pen knife"...I always look to my Case yeller Pen.

    It's bigger than a Peanut and yet small enough to disappear into my pocket. I haven't been carrying it as much lately as it is a CV and I have been sweating my bohonkus off everyday in this Texas heatwave, and I don't want to risk it forming rust just in case I forget to wipe it down. As soon as it starts to cool off a little bit...back in my pocket it goes.
  14. Jug Johnson

    Jug Johnson

    May 17, 2011
    How bout a Conductor?

  15. Henry44


    Nov 6, 2007
    I bought my Buck 309 "Companion" in 1977. There was a period of about 10 years that i went minimalist, and the 309 was all i carried. It is ALWAYS in my pocket, no matter what else i do or don't carry. It is not EDC, it is 24/7. I also wear an XL glove. Anything smaller seems a bit too small, anything bigger is , WELL, bigger. It is a 3'' tank, with a 1-7/8" blade.

    I have read all the stories by Jackknife etc. I side with him completely on peanuts,Hartsooks and especially love his praise of the 309. His buddy Wayne allegedly wore a 309 out, and then was happy to be gifted a brand new one. I already have my second one (just in case) it may never leave the box. I must not be tough as Wayne, mine still has lots of blade.

    I rarely put mine to a stone. I just put it to the crock stick, the minute it quits shaving hair. The blades may out last me. regards Henry
  16. popedandy


    Dec 8, 2006
    Another option is the Case Texas Jack. It is enough bigger than a peanut to make a difference in how it feels, but still meets the 2.5" blade length limit at my office. But like Carl said, if you are satisfied with the Buck, there's no need to change unless you just want to try something a bit different.
  17. Spydiefan04


    Jan 8, 2005
    I have been EDCing a Buck for a good while but I am very familiar with other slipjoint brands, esp. Case and Boker. It looks to me as though the Buck 309 and 305 have almost the same main blade length but the 309 has bigger handles. Although Case is the main slipjoint brand I collect, and I carried a 4 1/4" Case Stockman for YEARS I just love the way Buck makes their 300 series. Unless I see something more interesting I think I am going to order a yellow 309 (and yellow 303 as I don't have that color yet). Funny thing is, I used Buck fixed blades, lockbacks, and one-handed openers but it took me forever to try their slipjoints, I really wish I had bought one sooner.
  18. Rsmith_77


    Jun 4, 2010
    I liking my yella 309 so much i am considering getting a "set" of the buck 300 series in yella


    think thats all of them? wife is already displeased with this decision :D
  19. Spydiefan04


    Jan 8, 2005
    I finally went on GEC website and all I can say is WOW!!! Are their knives as nice in person as they look in photos and are they really expensive?
  20. JAB

    JAB Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    While the difference between the 087 and the peanut may seem small on paper, I find the pen to feel substantially larger. Here's a comparison between the two (I wear a large size glove).




    Hope this helps make your choice even more difficult.;):D

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