|First things first, yes I admit it, I bought it because it goes with this light - you'll see why.|
|I love the bright blade and hardware against the brushed grey anodized handles.|
|Some of the little details. Fit and finish are amazing just like that jimping.|
|The blade opens one handed and is smooth as glass thanks in large part to this highly polished surface which contacts the lock. This knife has class, and tradition behind it so there is no call for assisted opening or thumb studs.|
|It is very slim, the absolute perfect size and very nicely put together.|
So if I didn't make it clear, the bottom line on the Buck 722 Spitfire is balance - the flawless balance of function and beauty. Every single aspect of this knife was considered in both appearance and utility, not just one or the other and without compromise to one or the other. The unique jimping adds the final touches to a stunning knife but is still perfectly useful. The pocket clip isn't just 4 position adjustable because lots of knives are made that way, in each position the clip still looks right in the knife's design. The finish, the accent (mild to wild), the bright finished hardware and attention to detail on the blade finish. The polished lock contact surface. The absolutely perfect thumb hole. The weight and width. I liked the looks of the knife from the moment I saw it and maybe that drives a lot of the opinion written above, but it only took holding it in my hand to realize that I had accidentally found the perfect EDC knife. I hadn't realized the balance of form and function until using it and I've not held a knife that produced that kind of feeling before. I cannot for the life of me see this knife not becoming one of the most popular pocket knives made today. If Buck offers it in other steels like their Vantage line, they will have every box checked for this style knife. I believe the 722 is worth creating variants, special editions, limited runs, alternate locking systems, blade styles, the works, and while that sort of thing has never interested me before, I might get a couple others if Buck should ever go that route - I like it that well.
Please feel free to comment and visit my Tumblr for a few more pictures. Thanks!
It seems only fair and right that any review also include the negatives and for sure, I only had good things to say about the Buck Spitfire. I've been carrying it daily since then - which is only a couple more weeks - but I still don't have anything bad to say. But a thirty dollar knife can't be perfect, can it? Every review or thread I've read or watched has said something about blade play. Mine has the same issue. At first this was reason enough for me to want to wait until it had been out longer. I'm glad I didn't wait. The blade play is difficult to describe but it is "up" only, not side-to-side and not up-and-down, just up. It would appear, upon close inspection, that the blade and pivot and the lock can all move very slightly upward when you apply downward pressure on the edge. Yes, I am saying I can actually see the pivot move as if the hole it rides in is not a perfect fit. What does it mean, is it bad? Personally, I just don't think hard use was a part of this knife's design, so my opinion is, this isn't a real issue. Ultimately I will be curious to see if Buck sorts it out. I am sure there is some compromise that must be accepted when you create an easy opening lock-back, however, I suspect Spyderco gets it right with theirs and it's obvious that there is heavy Spyderco influence in the Spitfire.
Minor fit and finish issues are present which are completely unfair to address at the price point but for that same reason, worth talking about and I'll explain why. One thing to keep in mind is that macro photographs show imperfections you simply don't notice with the naked eye without white-gloving every millimeter of the product, but there are still a couple. You may have noticed a deep scratch in one side of the handle - deeper than the other "brushed" scratches that is. The spine of the blade at the jimping isn't perfectly square, and well, I can't think of anything else to complain about. Oh yeah, the swedge isn't perfectly centered. But yesterday I noticed something interesting. I saw some nicely taken close ups of Emerson knives. In case they weren't expensive enough, they were also "customs" in one fashion or another, and I noticed something. These knives are 10 or 15 times the cost of the Buck (at least), let's keep that in mind and I have no idea what the extra custom work cost. But, since we had nice close-ups I was also able to see those imperfections that macro photography reveals. The pivot sides of the blades were still rough from where they were either machined from stock or stamped. I don't know how these blades are made but I could see tool marks. If you look very closely at my photos of the Spitfire, you can also see very light marks in the same area - the rear of the blade where all the pivoting and locking happens. For the most part this is hidden but I noticed on my knife someone had taken at least a second to clean those tool (or stamping) marks up just a bit. In fact, even the inside of this knife has been touched. The lock bar is almost completely smooth finished inside and out. I also pointed out earlier the polished lock contact surface and even though it's part of the function of the knife, how can a knife costing 10 times more, NOT have completely perfect surfaces? What's more I noticed areas in these pictures where the scales on these Emersons weren't flawlessly fit to the liners and bolsters (on liner lock knives). To me, that's unacceptable. I am good with paying more for better steel and physically stronger knives for people who use them, but as with most things that are over priced, you are dealing with massive diminishing returns beyond that. For a hard use knife I will pay more for steel and strength, but there is no way you are getting 10 or 15 or 20 times either of those with high end production knives. So what makes up the bulk of the balance? Well, handle materials and fit and finish. Micarta isn't special, it just isn't, and obviously the fit and finish of the examples I was looking at wasn't anywhere near worth the money spent. This is why fit and finish is worth talking about when it comes to the Buck Spitfire. The bottom line is that for $100 you might get 3 times the steel and strength but at $400 or $500 you are getting very little for the extra coin. As with anything I consider high value, I must get more value than I paid for so paying many multiples while getting less and less with each one is the opposite of what I am looking for as a consumer. My philosophy for how products should be made is probably becoming clear from my other posts but it's simple. Skip on the stuff that doesn't matter and deliver on the things that do. The Buck Spitfire is not just a perfect example, but delivers more than it had to for the coin exchanged.
And I believe this is officially my most epic review! Thirteen images, some of which are multiple images! OK no bragging. In fact, that might not be worth bragging about. Reading and scrolling online gets old so I hope that the bits of text accompanying the images get the gist of it across so that you can skip the rest and for those who like reading in depth, I hope I have provided for you as well. Thanks for getting this far and thanks for visiting. Now go get yourself a Spitfire.