I have been in the market for a new blade for a few months now, and found one in the least expected spot and from the least expected manufacturer.
Buck 290 Rush assisted open
First off, I have always thought of Buck knifes as something that only Jim Zumbo and the likes would carry and that they only came with a bone grip. Well was I wrong and very pleasantly surprised when I cam across this little gem at Wally World, of all places, today. My first surprise was that Wally would even carry assisted open blades.
I started my fondling with the usual suspects; Kershaw and Gerber. They were nice and I almost purchased the Kershaw, but I thought what the heck let me try the Buck real quick. I was blown away at how smooth and fast the action was. I would have sworn that the action was ball-bearing based. It made the action of the Kershaw and the Gerber feel gritty and slow.
I made my purchase and went on my way. Shortly after getting and home and playing with the Buck a little more, I did notice something that I did not like; the safety. I have never liked safeties on my blades, but have always just left them un-engaged and not thought any more about it. Well, the Buck safety is on the back of the case and can be very obtrusive and even snag on you pocket. I fixed this by simply removing it. Well, at least I thought it would be simple. If you happen to have this blade, you will like it much better with the safety removed, but let me warn you that this can be a tricky task. You will need lots of patience and a colorful vocabulary to complete this. Disassembly is very simple, assembly is a completely different story as there are 2 different springs to deal with. After this fix, I simply cannot find a fault with this knife.
Here is a picture after I neutered the safety, you can barely see the safety in the picture of the link above.