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Tuesday, 18 November 2008 21:38

Buck FIN Review

The Buck X-Tract hit the multitool scene last year and made quite a splash. Buck had wanted to break out of the mold and had designed a multitool that could be operated entirely by one hand. The tool has become quite popular and a lot of that is due to the fact that the knife blade plays a major factor in the tool rather than the pliers. This year Buck decided to give the fans a one-two punch with the X-Tract line, they released not just one but two new models. The Buck X-Tract LED is simply an X-Tract with an LED placed into the side of the thermoplastic handle. The LED is not real high intensity but works well for finding your way in the dark when no other light is available. I think the LED is more of a novel idea then convenience, a lot of us usually consider a built in electronic device makes for just one more thing to go wrong with the tool. The LED is a nice idea but it's not Buck's bread and butter, the other tool they released was called the FIN. Buck took their popular X-Tract model and aimed the design towards fishermen.

Buck FIN

Buck FIN

The X-Tract FIN is still the same old X-Tract but with three very cool changes made to the design. First we have a plain edge blade rather than the combo edge that was offered before on the original model. Also the blade is offered in bead blasted finish as opposed to the polished kind were use too. I was not too sure about the finish on the blade at first and was concerned with rust, having used this blade quite a bit (with proper maintenance) I have not seen an ounce of rust on it. Even though the blade doesn't sport any fancy steel; Buck 420HC is heat treated well and holds and excellent edge.

Buck FIN

The most ground breaking change for the tool to me was the introduction of spring loaded scissors. The original X-Tract was aimed at the camper outdoorsman and featured a can opener. I personally didn't use mine very much and always wished to have a more useful tool in its place. The scissors are like all of the other tools on the X-Tract; they are opened via one hand. You simply rotate out the thumb stud and the scissors spring to life. The scissors are tough and work well on a variety of materials; I didn't find much of a problem with them binding on anything they couldn't handle. Scissors make an excellent addition to any EDC multitool and they make the X-Tract just that much more reason to carry it.

Buck FIN

The last change to make its way to the FIN is the change in handle material. The X-Tract still uses the thermoplastic handles but they now have a rubberized feel to them. This is a great addition considering it's aimed at fisherman. How awful would it be to grab your tool to pull out a hook and the tool slips and end up in the drink? When wet the FIN doesn't slip like its brother and is very secure when you need it out on the lake.

Initially I didn't like the idea of Buck taking their multitool line overseas; but with the success of the X-Tract I feel it was the right choice for them to make. Not only docs the tool seem to retain the quality that Buck is known for but allow them to price the tool to consumer at a lower cost than it would if it was manufactured here. The FIN is an excellent upgrade to the X-Tract model and it's great for fishermen and do-it yourself folks alike.

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