As with art and technology, pocket knives aren’t created in a vacuum. The knife is one of the oldest tools known to man, and as such, it’s an object that offers makers hundreds of years of inspiration to draw from in creating new designs. Some classics, like Buck Knives’ 110 Hunter, aren’t quite that dated though. The famous knife was created in 1963 as a folding alternative to the heavier fixed blades that were commonly used in outdoor pursuits. The 112 followed it nine years later as something even more pocketable, and this year that model received a remake in the form of the 112 Ranger Pro.
The new 112 Ranger Pro is like its forebear but is modernized with a G10 handle, nickel bolsters and an S30V stainless steel blade. The hallmarks of the original still stand: it’s 7.25 inches open, features a clip-point blade shape and uses a time-honored lockback design. It comes on the heels of last month’s release of two different automatic versions of the 112 but forgoes that new, button-activated opening mechanism for the original nail nick. The Ranger Pro is also accompanied by a more affordable Ranger LT that uses a full nylon handle.
It’s easy to write off re-releases and retro-inspired remakes as shallow plays to leverage nostalgia into sales, but timeless objects maintain their allure for a reason. The 112 Ranger, as well as the 110, are still in circulation because they’ve remained practical, and even though they were originally designed for hunting, both are worthy of any contemporary everyday carry. The Pro keeps that level of function but offers the benefits (and attraction) of upgraded materials — and there’s nothing wrong with that.
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