Legendary Knife-Making Giant Chuck Buck Passes Away
Chuck Buck (photo courtesy www.buckknives.com)
Chuck Buck, chairman of Buck Knives and a legendary member of the iconic American knife making family that helped to revolutionize the hunting industry, has passed away according to a company social media post.
"It is with heavy hearts that we regret to inform everyone that we have lost a legend," said the company's Facebook page on Saturday afternoon. "Chuck Buck, Chairman of Buck Knives, passed away Friday evening. He was an industry icon and friend to all. Please keep his family in your prayers. More details will be released Monday."
Founded by Hoyt H. Buck, who developed a method of heat treating steel to help tools and implements retain their edge longer, the company had humble beginnings near the turn of the 20th century with its first knife being produced in 1902. By the time that Hoyt Buck passed away in 1949, his cutlery making endeavors would see the creation by hand of as many as two dozen knives each week.
His son Al would soon take the company to even greater heights thanks to the creation of one of the most famous hunting knifes of all-time, the company's legendary Model 110 Folding Hunter design. First produced in 1964, the knife has sold millions of units since its introduction more than 50 years ago.
Countless hunters – this one included – have one or more of the legendary 110 model hunting knives in their possession, a fact that has led some outdoor writers and industry observers to opine that the model is the most widely used hunting knife of all-time.
Thanks to such prominence in knife-making circles, Al was inducted into the Blade Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame in 1982. A man of deep faith who strived to run the company on the Christian principles that comprised his core value set, Al saw such an honor as only continuing the legacy that was passed down to him.
"I know that I still hold a special place in my heart for my mother and father, with an extra spot for what my father taught me, about life and about making a good knife," Al is quoted on the (www.buckknives.com) website. "My hope is that I've done a good job in passing those same beliefs on to the next generation."
That next generation included Chuck Buck, son of Al and grandson of Hoyt. Chuck worked his way through the company from its days in San Diego, Calif., on up to its move to Post Falls, Idaho, in 2005.
From those humble beginnings, Chuck would eventually take on the reigns as CEO and company president. Thanks to his own hard work and expansion of the company's product lines and ongoing cutlery innovations, Chuck was inducted into the Blade Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame in 1996.
In recent years, after passing the leadership torch to his son C.J., the company's current chairman of the board, Chuck would serve as chairman of the knife-making giant and one of the company's greatest ambassadors.
"My grandfather, Hoyt Buck and my dad, Al Buck founded this company on a simple premise, to make a better knife," said Chuck on the company's website. "Our longtime, best-selling knives reflect that tradition. But we also recognize the importance of keeping pace with changing times. As we look to the future, you can be assured that the same attention to quality, performance and craftsmanship will continue."
As he traveled the country in recent years, one thing that always made Chuck smile according to the company’s website was seeing someone pull a well used Buck knife out of their pocket.
"I can always tell when a knife is pulled out, the blade is sharpened to almost nothing, the handle has dings from years of use and your face lights up at the memory of the first time you used your knife – that your knife has been your friend," he is quoted on the Buck Knives' website.
With literally untold millions of such friendships made over the years between outdoors enthusiasts and the knife in their pocket or in the back of their packs, there is a deep sadness hanging in the air around the hunting world's proverbial campfire.
Sadness because one of the industry's best men, one of its best friends, a true American outdoors icon and knife making giant, has now slipped past the bonds of this life and on into the reaches of eternity.
Rest in peace, Chuck Buck. You will be greatly missed.