A couple months ago I picked up a mini lock blade knife from Buck called the Bones-Small. As you may have guessed, this happens to be the “Small” version of the Bones knife offered by Buck. I specifically got this inexpensive knife because I wanted a small but, not to small lock blade knife for small or detailed tasks. I also wanted a quality knife at a good price point. I figure that this knife would come in handy if I would prefer to go ultra light with my EDC (Every Day Carry) kit. This tiny knife could keep you from violating Gibbs' rule #9: “Never go anywhere without a knife.”
When I took the Bones out of the package I immediately commented on how tiny it was. I then heard a familiar voice on my left say something you never want to hear when you’re thinking about the coefficient of coolness for a new piece of kit. It was my wife saying, “Oh, that’s cute.” Of course I laughed and told her to apologize. I then noticed that the knife was made inChina. A number of Buck’s knives are made overseas but, Buck still stands behind the product with their Forever Warranty.
The blade on the small Bones is a 2 1/8” long, straight edge, frame-lock tanto blade that is oxide coated and made from 420 HC stainless steel. This is a good general purpose knife steel with decent resistance to corrosion. It also holds a pretty good edge. The handle on the small Bones is skeletonized (hence the name) and has an anodized finish on the aluminum handle. A lanyard can easily be attached to the handle through one of the holes but, pick the right one because the edge of the blade is visible through some of the holes and could slice though your lanyard. The skeletonized grip helps keep the weight to a minimum at 51.3 grams. To get an idea, the total package equates to about 51 large paperclips which as you can imagine, is not heavy at all and you’ll hardly notice that you’re carrying it. The closed length is 3 1/8”. To get another idea of how small this knife is, it will easily fit through a loop of MOLLE on a vest or plate carrier. The Bones comes with a stainless steel pocket clip that is secured in place with three hex head screws. The handle is also held together with three hex head screws on the left side.
Something I noticed about this knife was that it’s made to be operated one handed but it’s extremely hard to do so because of its overall small size. I have given up on thinking of this as a one handed knife. Don’t get me wrong, once you get the hang of it, you can open and close the small Bones one handed but, it’s more efficient to just use both hands. Once you open the blade and lock it in to position, the lock up is positive and feels solid. The lock up is so tight it can be a little hard to close with just one hand also. The inability to smoothly operate this knife is its biggest drawback.
Do you always need to carry a 3.5” or 4” folder? No, you don’t. For the average person there’s probably very few times that you’ve needed a knife that large but, why do we typically carry such large knives? The simple answer is that they feel good in our hand for the few seconds that we need to use them. Then think about what we typically use that knife for, opening boxes, packages, cutting webbing or cord, dressing out small game, etc. Let’s face it: you can get away with a small folder with no problem. Explore the option of switching out to a smaller knife like the small Bones.
The MSRP on the Bones-Small is $29. If you’re in the market for a very small and very solid knife, check out Bones-Small from Buck Knives under their Tactical/Survival tab at: http://www.buckknives.com/