The Buck 277 Folding Alpha Hunter Knife With Rosewood Handle and Leather Sheath
I usually prefer to review knives I have never used before, but I made an exception for this knife, because I think it should be more popular than it is, and everyone I have recommended it to has loved it. This is one of the best all around knives ever manufactured , and it deserves more press than it gets.
Two Different Handle Types
The Alpha Hunter can be purchased with the Rosewood handle or with a black Santoprene® Rubber handle. This review is on the rosewood handle version, because that is the model I happen have. I generally prefer wooden handles on my knives I primarily use in the wilderness, but that is mainly for aesthetic reasons rather than any specific practical application, and a case could certainly be made for the rubber handled version as the ideal. I would probably recommend the rubber handle to anyone who plans to use this knife in the rain or snow on a regular basis, because it offers better grip, but I have used the rosewood handle version in the elements many times and I have never had a problem.
Buck chose S30v stainless steel for the blade on the Alpha Hunter, and it holds it’s edge really well. The only downside to the S30v steel blades is that they are a little more difficult to sharpen than the 420HC stainless steel blades. S30v steel is highly resistant to corrosion, and I can personally vouch for that corrosion resistance of the Alpha Hunter, because I get mine wet on a regular basis. The rubber grip version of the Alpha Hunter (Buck Knives 279) has a 420HC stainless steel blade.
The drop point blade is 3.5 inches long and has a handy thumb grip (ridges on the back of the blade). This thumb grip sits slightly above the conical thumb studs and together they create an easily grippable location for the thumb which is great for both hunting or tactical applications.
Ideal for Everyday Carry in the Woods
The size, weight, handle width and lack of a pocket clip probably exclude this knife from being used as an EDC for most people. However this is my everyday carry knife when I’m in the mountains. The leather sheath fits nicely onto my backpack straps regardless of what type of pack I am carrying, so when I am in the wilderness this is my EDC.
The Alpha Hunter was designed as a hunting knife, but I use it for just about everything from cutting branches and sharpening roasting sticks for trout to cleaning fish, carving and cutting rope. I have only used it for skinning and gutting twice, and it performed admirably, but I would probably choose the rubber handled version if I was going to primarily use it as a hunting knife.
The Smoothest One Handed Opening and Closing Knife Ever
The ease with which this knife can be opened is truly impressive, and one of the most attractive features of the Alpha Hunter. The conical thumb stud on the blade is placed perfectly and is just big enough to get a good grip, but not so big that it catches on stuff when it is open. However, not everyone likes smooth opening knives for every application, because it does make the possibly of accidentally opening more probable. If it were a pocket knife with a clip I would consider this an issue, but it ships with a sheath, and I think that is the ideal carry method due to the lack of resistance when opening the blade.
The blade locks open with a strong liner lock that is incredibly easy to operate. It is not too stiff or too small to easily grip with your thumb like so many other folding knives with liner locks. Other knife companies would do well to shamelessly copy this liner lock as much as patent laws will allow, because it rocks.
High Quality Leather Sheath
The leather sheath that ships with the Rosewood handled version of the Alpha Hunter is practical, tough and looks great. It can be worn vertically or horizontally which is good for me, because I carry it on backpack straps most of the time. This sheath can take a beating. It is made of thick leather and has heavy duty stitching. It also has a cutout that indicates the way the knife is supposed to be carried in the sheath which is a unique feature that is kinda nice.
Almost Everybody Should Own One But They Are Getting Hard to Find
I like to introduce people to the Buck Knives 277 Folding Hunter, and the response is almost always positive. The only two negative responses I have witnessed had to do with the handle width, but both complaints came from petite women with small hands. So I think I can safely say than unless you have really small hands you will love this knife. It is the perfect balance of function, toughness and aesthetics.
The knife is not currently listed on Buck’s website, and supplies of this knife seem to be drying up. Unfortunately we no longer have any in stock here at Pod Outdoor, but there are a few local knife shops that still have some in stock. If you can pick up a rosewood handled version before they are gone I highly recommend it. If not order the rubber handle version of the Alpha Hunter. You won’t be disappointed.