Monday, February 8, 2010

Buck Knives goes green with 100% recycled paperstone handles.

New for 2010 is a line of knives based on Buck's timeless 110 folding lockback hunter series of knives.

The EcoLite 110 and the slightly smaller EcoLite 112 are both available in green or red handles. Buck has the following to say:

""We understand the importance of integrating eco-friendly materials into our products, and we are enthusiastic about our major step forward with the use of PaperStone for our handles. Made from 100% post-consumer recycled products, it's the greenest material you can find. More importantly, it's rugged, withstands heat or cold, and is very durable. First used on handles for our Metro, with positive results, it's now key to the beginning of our line of EcoLite knives, which are very light but extremely durable. Imagine a knife with exactly the same great features as our classic 110, but now with half the weight and without sacrificing any of the features and advantages you want and need on the trail or on the job.""

* Handles are made of eco-friendly PaperStone, the greenest material you can find, made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and a proprietary petroleum-free resin.
* EcoLite knives are strong and rugged, able to withstand extreme temperatures and moisture, providing a very reliable knife.
* They are ultra lightweight, making them very convenient.

Paperstone is used in a variety of industrial applications including countertops, furniture and siding. From Paperstone's website

""PaperStone Certified is made of 100% FSC-Certified recycled paper, water-based phenolic resin with cashew nut shell binder and pigment. Heat and pressure transform this mixture into a thoroughly impregnated network of cellulose fibers that give PaperStone its hardness, density and strength in span or cantilevered designs.""

Wow! that's CRAZY! recycled paper, water based resin and cashew nut shells?! How Eco-Friendly is that. Way to go Buck Knives. Best of all, like almost all of Buck's current and future product lines, the EcoLite 110 and 112 knives are MADE in the USA! Ever since Buck re-dedicated themselves to USA manufacture, I've seen an immediate jump in overall quality, and it's nice that most of their prices haven't gone up as a result of manufacturing in their new Idaho, USA factory.

Here is a sampling of some of the colors in which Paperstone is available:

I'm willing to bet that Buck's use of Paperstone will be successful, and lead other companies in the same direction. From everything I've read, it's an incredibly durable material. Just think, if it can be used for exterior siding and countertops, it's going to hold up very well on a knife handle. Recycled materials just make sense, and often times companies in manufacturing can earn tax credits for reducing their carbon footprint by employing recycled or less environmentally harmful materials in their processes. Remember how damn heavy the classic Buck 110 folder is? Well, the EcoLite Paperstone series is said to weigh less than half of what its brass and wood cousin does! Hopefully we'll see some more tactical-flavored knives in other paperstone colors, with more aggressive texturing from Buck or others in the future. I'm curious enough about this material that I may just need to order the smaller EcoLite 112 (3" blade, whereas the 110 is 3.75" blade).

I really have to applaud Buck for living up to their reputation as a classic, innovative American sporting knife manufacturer. It seemed for a few years they were taking the almost all-overseas manufacturing route, and not really putting out anything that could compete with the countless other high quality companies that produce reliable factory-made bladeware. I can say from my ownership of Buck's USA made PakLite skeletal fixed blade knife, their USA stuff is far superior to some of the made in Taiwan designs they used to put out. Let's hope their example leads companies like Gerber back toward predominately American craftsmanship!
Many of Buck's upcoming 2010 items are available for sale or pre-order on sites like Knifecenter

Now that Buck Knives is neighbors with TOPS knives, keep your eyes peeled for future collabs between two knife factories with great reputations, and a wide range of quality knives and tools. It looks like a new seatbelt/webbing cutter/oxygen tank wrench tool will be coming soon, manufactured by Buck and designed by TOPS Knives.

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