I’ve never been really fond of the modern thumb stud knives which open with one-hand, but I do like the Buck Rush. The reason for that statement is that I like things that work well. Most one-hander’s don’t — the Buck Rush Assisted Opening Knife does.
Granted, there are better one-handed folders, but most of those are illegal for civilians to carry unless you fit into some unusual categories like secret agent, paralysis victim or amputee. If all you have is one good arm, you can get a good stiletto or switchblade even if you don’t work for Homeland Security or The Company. They’re legal in Europe and exactly why they’re illegal in the U.S. is something I don’t know. Maybe it had something to do with competition and business instead of lethality. Bowie knives are legal and they’ll do a lot more damage. I’m not going to try to figure all that out because it obviously was an argument about something other than good knives.
The real issue is that many of us could find a one-hand opening knife very practical, and whenever some manufacturer finds a way to skirt that switchblade law we check it out carefully. Usually we’re extremely disappointed in the alternative. Thumb stud knives have been good sellers, but I’ve not found them to be good knives. Opening is unreliable and awkward and especially with a cheap one I sense that there’s a good chance for shearing off the side of a person’s thumb. If you’ve ever owned a good switchblade you probably won’t be interested in a thumb stud folder.
Then Buck came up with its own better idea, the ASAP system used in the Buck Rush. ASAP Assisted Opening Technology tackles two obvious problems with thumb stud knives. First, many one-handed opening folders will occasionally partially open up in your pocket, when the thumb stud gets accidentally bumped. Then when you reach for the knife, there’s a sharp edge down there waiting for your fingertips. This is not a good thing.
The second problem is that many one-handed opening knives don’t open up very well. Bearings get sticky, tolerances aren’t right, and the blade jams partway open. To get it all the way open and locked you wind up hooking the blade on gear or clothing or using both hands. That’s not the way it should work.
ASAP solves the first problem with a slide lock that keeps the Buck Rush blade closed until you want to open it. OK, no system is foolproof, but this approach is lots better than most of the alternatives out there.
ASAP solves the second problem with spring assisted opening. All you need to do is start the blade. Once your thumb gets the blade partly open the spring snaps into action and finishes the job. It’s not quite switchblade perfect, but it works pretty well. The action — if you keep the knife clean and put a drop of oil on the works from time to time — is smooth and efficient. The liner lock keeps the blade open and fixed while you work, and releases with thumb pressure when you’re done.
Today it’s easy to find a good knife, and in most ways the Buck Rush is unremarkable, a good knife like many modern good knives. Skeletonized handle of aircraft quality aluminum, solid construction, high carbon stainless steel blade — all that is industry standard. What’s different about it is the ASAP system, which makes this one of the few civilian one-handers that’s legal (in most places, always check local laws) and works well.
Comes in two blades styles: plain-edge and combo-serrated edge. I learned knife work in a place and time where a nick in a blade was considered a bad thing, something you had to fix; and a sharp flawless blade went through leather and rope and canvas like it wasn’t there. But if you like serrated blades, Buck makes them, too.