Although it might look different than most tactical knives you’ve used, the Buck- Strider PUK is designed for excellent grip and has a tough, sharp blade.
A few years back, Buck Knives decided it wanted to enter the market for military and law enforcement tactical tools. But unlike some companies making initial forays into the police market, Buck decided to do more than just create law enforcement and military versions of its sporting knives.
To learn what separates a tactical knife from a pocket knife, Buck decided to team up with some experts. The result was a joint venture with high-end custom knife maker Strider Knives.
The latest fruit of this collaboration is the Model 882 SBT Police Utility Knife (PUK), a custom-production knife designed specifically for law enforcement. Designed by police defensive tactics and contact weapons instructor Steve Tarani in association with former military operators Dwayne Dwyer and Mick Strider, the PUK is intended for daily carry by law enforcement officers.
This knife has a great pedigree, but I have to admit that when I first got a look at it, I was not all that impressed. The texturing of the exposed blade surface (when folded) detracted from the knife’s look and its angular lines really didn’t thrill me either. But I decided to give the PUK a chance.
And after spending a little time with it, I noticed a few things that I really liked. First, thanks to the checkering in the tactical composite (TACCOM) handle, the PUK is very secure in your hand when you grip it. No matter how wet your hands or gloves are, the knife is secure. Also, the PUK’s forward finger groove and serrated liner keep you from losing your grip on the knife, even in the most stressful of situations.
I also learned that the aspects of the PUK that I didn’t like at first were actually functional. The modernistic, angular look of the PUK gives it a positive grip. And the texturing on the handle helps facilitate the PUK’s use as a defensive weapon.
Unlike most tactical knives, the PUK is supposed to be opened with two hands. It can be opened with one hand, but you can open it much faster and assume a fighting position easier if you take a firm grip on the handle with one hand and grab the texturing on the back of the blade with the other and flip the blade open. This move puts you in position to apply a strong rear or forward thrust against an attacker. Remember, if you ever have to draw a knife as a weapon while on police duty, it will be an up-close-and-personal affair. The PUK takes this into account, something many tactical knives don’t.
The PUK’s blade is also designed to take whatever your duty day can throw at it. To aid in cutting seat belts or safety/rappelling harnesses, the blade is partially serrated. To take the punishment of prying, yanking, and general abuse, the blade is .145 inches thick and only the last half inch is tapered, giving it a sharp, tough drop point.
After using the PUK for several weeks, it grew on me. It looks different from most of the knives that I have used, but it’s not just different looking for the sake of fashion. Also, it carries well in the slash pocket of 5.11 Tactical Pants.
Overall, the Buck-Strider Model 882 is a great knife. Don’t let its futuristic looks turn you away. As in nature, everything on this knife was done for a reason and its form follows function. The Buck-Strider SBT Police Utility Knife is truly up to the tasks of daily duty use.
Buck-Strider Model 882 SBT Police Utility Knife
Blade Length: 3.59 inches
Overall Length: 8.125 inches
Weight: 4.8 ounces
Blade Material: ATS-34 steel hardened to Rc 59/62
Handle Material: TACCOM glass-reinforced nylon
Scott Smith is a former active-duty Army MP. He is airborne qualified and currently serving with the 171st Security Police Squadron of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.