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Buck 350, 355 and Fin comparison. 8880

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,258 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Buck 350, 355 and Fin comparison.
« on: June 03, 2009, 02:34:40 AM »
I just got today, a Buck Knives Bucklite tool model 355. It was found new buried and well hidden. It was at the same place that I got the Buck Knives Minibuck tool model 350 a while back. I guess they had one of the larger models in inventory and didn’t know it. I thought it was a good find.

So for something a little different, I figured I will give the 3 buck Multi-tools that I currently own a short whirl.

WARNING: Another amateur review in progress.  :D
 

From left to right: Minibuck tool 350, Bucklite 355, and Buck X-tract Fin.


From left to right: Minibuck tool 350, Bucklite tool 355

The Minibuck tool 350 and the Bucklite tool 355 share obvious family traits. The most obvious is the unique way that the tool opens up and closes around the pliers. The handles fold in opposite directions. Rather ingenious that.  Another shared trait is how both have tool icons on the handles to facilitate easy finding of tools when folded closed. Both along with the larger Bucktool 360 are discontinued models however. The X tract Fin is a current model. The Minibuck tool 350 is the smallest, the Bucklite tool 355 is the medium sized model, and the largest of the family is the Bucktool 360 which features locking tools, which both smaller siblings lack! The X-tract Fin is a current design, and it shows just as much ingenuity as the older Buck tools.

Minibuck tool 350:



The Minibuck is a very small multi-tool. It is perfect for a keychain. In fact, this is the smallest multi-tool that I know of. It comes with a rubber cover that you slide the tool into, that would protect the tool during everyday jostling on a keychain.

For such a small package, there are many tools to be found therein.

On one handle we have:
-A knife blade, combination nail file and cuticle cleaner, and a combination bottle opener and very small flat head screwdriver.

On the other handle, we have:
-A small pair of scissors, a pair of tweezers, and a weird looking flat Phillips head screwdriver.

The tools on the Minibuck are very small. The pliers are tiny and almost give you the feeling they are needle nose pliers, even though they aren’t. The build quality is very good though, and I can easily imagine a jeweler or fine tool maker using these for delicate work. The Minibuck exudes quality. It folds smoothly, and has that fine workmanship that many newer multi-tools seem to lack these days. The biggest complaint is that the tools don’t lock.

Bucklite tool 355:



The Bucklite tool 355 is a much larger multi-tool. It is about the same size and weight to a Leatherman Pulse.

On one handle, we have:
-A double sided nail file, an awl punch, a Phillips screwdriver that is flat on one side, and a lanyard ring.

On the other handle, we have:
-A knife blade that is half serrated, a combination bottle opener and small flat head screwdriver, a medium flathead screwdriver, and a large flathead screwdriver.

Once again, this tool speaks of quality workmanship. It is hard to put this into words. It is sort of like opening a door on a cheap car, and then doing the same on a luxury car. It is like that. There was good attention to details on these older multi-tools. The handles open smoothly, albeit with 4 small noticeable notches in the action. I am uncertain to why they were designed this way. It does not detract from the quality feeling of opening or closing the tool.
Once again, the tools do not lock. There is the old flap design at the handle, and the folding tools do sort of snap open when pushed past a certain point, but they do not lock. Newer designed multi-tools have a small 90 degree angle at the end of the flap that moves into a grove when the folding tool is opened fully. This older style doesn’t prevent the movement of a tool during use. Ware the fingers.


This photograph shows the size difference and tool layout of the similar designed Minibuck tool 350 and the Buck Bucklite tool 355.

Buck X-Tract Fin:


(Note: No clue why the word Buck turned red in this photo. I can't see any other weird colour shifts. The text is blue like the two top photos showing the Fin. One plausible explanation, I was wearing a red T-shirt and its possible that when I bounced the flash off the ceiling, it somehow did a colour shift on the text).

The Buck X-Tract Fin is a new model. It is geared towards fishermen as it came with a separate diamond hook hone. I truly enjoy this design. Everything can be accessed with one hand.

The Buck X-Tract Fin has the following tools.
-A very large knife, a pair of pliers, a medium sized flathead/Phillips screwdriver, and a nice pair of scissors. There is also a built in lanyard triangle.

All tools lock nicely and securely. The whole design is different from the folding style of multi-tools. The knife is second to none. Everything centers around the knife blade that is larger then any other folding style multi-tool can give you. The pliers are interesting in that they slide out and lock in position. They are also spring loaded.  The combo flathead/Phillips screwdriver is rather neat. You just slide it to whichever end you want to use. You then press a small center button to unlock it. Rather ingenious.

The X-Tract Fin has a rubber finish that improves your grip on the tool. In all, a neat one hander with a real blade.

Conclusion:
The Minibuck tool 350 is the ultimate keychain multi-tool. It is very small, and you would never notice its addition to a key ring. The tools don't lock, but then, it isn't such a problem for any smaller jobs this tool would be perfect for.

The Bucklite tool 355 is a harder sell. Its older design with non locking tools is outdated. There are better more modern multi-tools with locking blades that are far better than this tool. However, it is a good representative of a Bucktool line that is now discontinued, and fits perfectly in a collection.  I just wouldn’t use this as my every day carry.

The Buck X-Tract Fin is an awesome if unconventional multi-tool. The genius behind this tool is the simple fact that it is a true one hander. The design centers around the knife which is full size. It gives you a descent pair of pliers, screwdriver, and a good sized pair of scissors as a bonus. I am tempted to have this as my carry around, as I don’t have to fold handles to get to any tools. Just brilliant.


Minibuck 350:

Pros:
-   Small size.
-   Quality build.
-   Amazing tool selection for something so tiny.
-   Comes with a rubber sheath that protects the tool from your keys, etc.

Cons:
-   Small tools that are more suited to precision screwdriver type jobs.
-   Handles can shift when using the pliers. You have to apply a small amount of opposite force to prevent this.
-   No locking tools.
-   Tweezers are dodgy. To stiff for comfortable use.
-   Have to open the handles to access the folding tools.


Bucklite 355:

Pros:
-   Quality build.
-   Good representative of a neat form of multi tools for a collection.
-   Tools
-   Very narrow design compared to most multi-tools of today, making it easier to carry if you wanted to.

Cons:
-   Handles can shift when using the pliers. You have to apply a small amount of opposite force to prevent this.
-   No locking tools.
-   Have to open the handles to access the folding tools.


Buck X-Tract Fin:

Pros:
-   One handed operation.
-   Tools lock excellently.
-   Great grip rubber finish.
-   The knife blade.
-   The tool does not feel awkward in the hand when in use.
-   Excellent diamond hook hone included with storage space in the sheath.

Cons:
-   The locking mechanism for the knife is located where I tend to put my index finger. It could be easy to nudge the locking mechanism open during use.
-   The knife blade is bead blasted. From my experience, these things tend to rust more readily then a polished finish. I could be wrong on this, but I find it odd that they would do this to a fisherman directed multi-tool.



« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 03:16:32 AM by Chako »

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles
No Life Club Posts: 4,594 no nacimos con miedo...
Re: Buck 350, 355 and Fin comparison.
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2009, 02:46:41 AM »
great comparison mate :tu: keep the good work

A
No Life Club Posts: 1,014 "Live long and ..useful."
Re: Buck 350, 355 and Fin comparison.
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2009, 04:11:50 AM »
Nice review, you can take the "amateur" disclaimer out of your reviews.  These are solid, well thought out reviews.

This makes me want to get a minibuck 350.


:)
Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 61,240
Re: Buck 350, 355 and Fin comparison.
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2009, 04:53:19 AM »
Great review Chako :tu: pics are great as well ;) I really need to add some Bucks into my collection :cheers:
Chief of the Absolutely No Life Club! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 42,959 Why haven't you got a Farmer yet!
Re: Buck 350, 355 and Fin comparison.
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2009, 07:15:15 AM »
You've definetly got a knack for this mate :tu:

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,258 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Buck 350, 355 and Fin comparison.
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2009, 02:58:51 AM »
Thanks everyone.  :)

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles

 

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