Buck Bantam Knife Comparison and Review

Buck Bantam model 285 in Camo

Buck Bantam model 285 in Camo

When choosing a knife, you want quality. For decades, Buck has been delivering well built, well-thought out knives.

From the battlefields of World War II all the way to now, they’ve earned a reputation for well made knives.

Enter the Buck Bantam, a series of pocket knives in a range of four sizes. With so many options even in the same family of knives, making a choice can be tricky. This is especially true when selecting a knife as a gift.

Our handy guide to the Buck Bantams will help you make the right decision for yourself or the people in your life. See the end of the post for a comparison chart!

Each of the Bantams come in the same four handle colors, aside from the Nano which comes in three.

The handle of each Bantam is made of an easy to grip, textured thermoplastic. Your main difference overall is in size, but there are a couple other key features to be aware of as well.

Buck Bantams in colors

Various colors available on Buck Bantams, from top left down: Mossy Oak Camo, Kryptek Typon, Kryptek Highlander, Blaze Orange Camo, Pink Camo, Black

The NANO BANTAM

Buck Bantam NanoBlade length: 1 and 7/8 inches
Handle length: 3 inches

The smallest size is the Bantam Nano. This knife will go great on a keychain or clipped to bag. The blade is a little on the stubby side, but as sharp as any Buck. Slim, compact, and portable, the Bantam Nano is a perfect choice for those who like to keep a blade handy at all times. Also a great beginner knife, since you’re less likely to cut yourself on this one, and you’ll do less damage if you do. At [measurements?] this is one of Buck’s smallest.

Considering a personalized laser engraving? Due to the smaller size, I recommend keeping personalization to a single word. A first name, for example, will look fantastic. Most logos and longer names will still fit just fine, but could look cramped depending on their shape and length. If you’re looking to engrave something on the more complicated side, I recommend hopping up a size to the Bantam BBW 284.

Buck Bantam 284BANTAM BBW 284

Blade length: 2 and 3/4 inches
Handle length: 3 and 3/4 inches

The Buck Bantam BBW 284 is a middle of the road knife. It’s not too big, not too small. The 284 is lightweight, and still something you could clip onto your keys. The keychain hole gets a slight upgrade here to a larger lanyard hole.

If you’re put off by the tiny Nano, but still want something you can easily slip into your pocket, I would recommend considering this knife. Another upgrade is the thumb-stud on the blade, which allows for one-handed opening. Probably the biggest drawback is the lack of a pocket clip, but once again Buck has a solution in the next size up, the BLW 285.

Considering a personalized laser engraving? As you can see, the blade is a little longer. Perfect for logos, names, and wedding titles. I have seen a lot of corporations use this knife as an affordable safety gift, and their logos often come out looking good even on the modestly sized blade of the Bantam BBW 284.

BANTAM BLW 285Buck Bantam BLW

Blade length: 3 and 1/8 inches
Handle length: 4 and 3/8 inches

The Bantam BLW 285 is probably my favorite of the four. It’s a little bigger than the 284 without getting too carried away. The 285 has a pocket clip in addition to the lanyard hole. If you’re like me and you like to be able to clip your knife to a pocket (or a belt), you’ve got the ability here.

Like the 284, the BLW 285 also features one-handed opening thanks to the thumb stud on the blade. The blade itself is a good size, maybe a little larger than your average pocket knife. The 285 is like a hunting knife in a more compact form. If you’re set on a Bantam but unsure which knife to choose, this one is definitely your safest bet. This size is very popular for personal gifts.

Considering a personalized laser engraving? The bigger, taller blade makes for a lot of engraving space. A taller logo will fit better on this knife, or if you have a lot of text you want to fit in, go with the 285 or consider going up to the fourth and final size. Names, wedding titles, full Bible verses and personal messages are all going to look good on this Bantam.

BANTAM BHW 286Buck Bantam BHW 286

Blade length: 3 and 5/8 inches
Handle length: 5 and 1/8 inches

The Bantam BHW 286 is huge. This is the biggest Bantam, probably perfect for hunters, soldiers or survivalists. Personally, I think it’s too big for everyday use, but don’t let that stop you.

The standard Buck quality is still there, in a size that dwarfs the Nano. For the size, I will say it remains lightweight. Compared to other hunting knives I’ve used, this one is by far the lightest. If you’re on the go, camping or traveling or what have you and carrying a lot of equipment, this could be a major plus. You still have a pocket clip like the BLW, as well as the lanyard hole and the thumb stud for one-handed use. A very popular knife with hunters, particularly in the green and pink camo.

Considering a personalized laser engraving? Being the largest, naturally the 286 has the most engraving space. Perfect for showing off an extra-complicated logo, but of course just about anything will work here, including names, wedding party titles, and lengthy, personalized messages.

Summary

I have a hard time finding anything negative to say about any Buck knife, and the Bantams are no different. Consistently sharp, well-made, and reliable. In all my experience handling knives (and I handle hundreds any given week), I have not come across any crafted with as much care as Buck makes their knives.

You might pay a little more for the Buck name, but this is one case where the brand is actually worth it. Whatever size and color Bantam you might choose, I think you’ll be glad you did.

We hope this brief guide to the Buck Bantam will help you make a decision. If you have any questions or comments let us know.

BUCK BANTAM COMPARISON

NANO 283 BBW 284 BLW 285 BHW 286
Blade Length 1 7/8″ (4.8cm) 2 3/4″ (7 cm) 3 1/8″ (7.9 cm) 3 3/4″ (9.5 cm)
Steel type: 420HC 420HC 420HC 420HC
Length Closed 3″ 3 3/4″ 4 3/8″ 5 1/8″
Pocket Clip No, keychain hole No, lanyard hole YES YES
Thumbstud NO YES YES YES
Weight .6 oz (17.1 g) 1.5 oz (42.7 g) 2.4 oz (68.3 g) 3.2oz (91.1 g)
Made in: USA USA USA USA

 

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The Best Personalized Valentine’s Day Gifts

Our top Personalized Valentine’s Day Gift Picks

See our top picks below, and mention you would like one of our exclusive infinity heart designs laser engraved on your Valentine’s Day Gift to make it extra special for the lucky guy or girl in your life!

add hearts to your engraved valentines day gifts

Infinity Hearts Collection for personalizing your Valentine’s Day Gifts


VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS FOR HIM

Leatherman Wingman – Affordable, all the tools you need and quality you expect from Leatherman
Wingman engraved
Flask and Buck Nobleman Gift Set he’ll use both gifts all the time, for years!
Flask Knife Set Personalized
5pc Bamboo BBQ Set – Get him ready for BBQ season, with the best spatula he’s ever laid meat on
Personalized BBQ set for him
Top Gift: The all new Money Clip for the 21st Century Guy – The Credit Card Wallet Tool, featuring 7 tools so he is Mr. Prepared. Give him the gift he’ll keep close for years.
money clip for cool guys
See our best selling pocket knives for guys

PERSONALIZED FOR HER
Bamboo Cuttig Board – Complete her kitchen with a high quality cutting board she’ll keep for decades!
cutting board
Pink Maglite – give the gift of light! In pink!
pink maglite for her
Pink Mug – give her somewhere special to put her coffee – she’ll think of you every time she sips!
engraved pink mug
See our best selling cutting board designs for her

For Her or Him, Personalized Valentine’s Day Gifts that are great for anyone!
Thermos Mug – leak proof, spill proof, vacuum insulated, with or without a handle, in choice of 3 colors, what’s not to love?
engraved mug
Compact Rescue Knife – A gift for guys and gals, keeps her safe, keeps him prepared
rescue knife
Bamboo Wine Box – Engrave wine box, with tools, pair with a nice bottle you will share together!
engraved wine box
See our most popular drinkware for this season
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Best Personalized Christmas Gifts for 2015

Photo Credit: katedahl via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: katedahl via Compfight cc

As the holiday season rolls around, it can easily catch us off-guard or inspire panic. What can we possibly get our loved ones that we haven’t gotten them before?! How can we express how much those gift recipients mean to us without resorting to gift cards, cash, and socks?

One easy and meaningful way to get out of the gift card rut is to try personalizing your gifts. Throwing in a little customization makes presents special and one-of-a-kind.

At LazerDesigns, we specialize in one-of-a-kind gifts which inspire surprise, joy, and sometimes tears — the good kind, of course!

Here is our 2015 roundup of the best personalized Christmas gifts:

 

– Looking for a Christmas gift for a master griller? Take a look at our elegant 5-piece bamboo BBQ set!

It comes complete with a BBQ fork, tongs, knife, basting brush, and spatula with built-in bottle opener.

Just customize the design with your own information, or send us your unique art or message.

 

– For a unique and impressive Christmas gift for a wine enthusiast, try a custom engraved bamboo wine box.

The box includes a foil cutter, decanting pourer, stopper, and corkscrew. Plus, you can add names, logos, clip art, or a custom message for no extra charge.

 

 

– Or, our personalized barrel wine set with tools is a great Christmas gift idea for wine lovers.

Just like the bamboo wine box (and like so many of the best gifts), it already includes all the tools you’ll need. Just add wine!

 

– For a camper or an upcoming celebration, get ahead of the gift-giving curve by ordering a personalized leather flask set.

The cap holds three handy shot glasses, while the leather sleeve can be customized to make it a portable-but-personalized Christmas gift.

 

 

–  Try giving your favorite cook a quality bamboo kitchen setThis set comes with a lettuce knife, salad hands, and a 10×7″ Totally Bamboo cutting board. 

Plus, the whole set can be engraved, and comes in a wooden crate for easy and attractive gift giving.

 

– Present your favorite camper with a personalized fire starter and rescue knife gift set

The set includes a genuine Zippo lighter (with Zippo’s famous lifetime warranty) and a black rescue knife, both with the engraving of your choice.

 

 

 

– Looking for a gift for a guy in your life this Christmas? Try our tough, tactical, and customized rescue knife.

One of our most popular items, this rescue knife features a seat belt cutter, glass breaker, and pocket clip.

The knife can be engraved on either the blade or the handle, giving you plenty of space to personalize.

 

– Stay ahead of the Christmas gift-giving rush and order an engraved Leatherman Skeletool for your tool man.

The Skeletool comes with wire cutters, pliers, bit driver, bottle opener, and a partially-serrated knife.

This variety of uses will certainly come in handy when trying to break into the various kinds of packaging on Christmas morning.

 

– For a Christmas gift for that person who always gets the job done, try a custom engraved Leatherman Wave multi-tool.

The Wave comes in your choice of stainless steel or black oxide finish, and includes tools including (but not limited to) pliers, scissors, ruler, saw, bit drivers, screwdriver, wire stripper, and wire cutter.

What more could your favorite handyman need?

 

– Shed a little light on someone’s Christmas this year by giving a personalized LED flashlight.

The Cree R2 LED Tactical Flashlight is rugged and unique, with an incredibly bright and energy efficient beam.

This flashlight comes with a stainless steel belt clip, batteries, and a black gift box for easy presentation.

 

– Give a gift that’s both elegant and practical with our personalized decorated grip hunting knives.

These knives pack a lot of elegance into a small package, with engravable rosewood handles and decorated bolsters.

 

– Put a twist on ordinary travel mugs! Our customized stainless steel barrel mugs are sure to be a hit this Christmas.

With 14 oz. of space and a double-walled structure, you can fill this guy up with either hot or cold drinks. Have it engraved with the recipient’s name, and everyone else will always know they can look but not touch.

 

 

– Or, for cozy Christmas cocoa and cider, try our deep-etched ceramic mugs.

These mugs have a classy black coating, a bright colored inside, and your engraving shows up in bright white for great contrast.

Whatever you engrave is sure to look sharp and impressive on these custom mugs.

 

– Give the gift of a caffeinated commute with a customized 16-oz Thermos travel tumbler.

The Thermos Stainless King keeps drinks hot for 5 hours or cold for 9 hours, so whatever your recipient likes to drink will be the perfect temperature for quite some time.

 

 

– For the foodie in your life, try a customized bamboo cutting board.

The Totally Bamboo 11×15″ Martinique Board gives you plenty of space for all your slicing and dicing, plus it looks classy while in action.

Plus, bamboo is naturally microbial and easy to maintain, so bamboo boards make great gifts.

 

– Or, go for something a little closer to home with a state-shaped cutting board.

Totally Bamboo state-shaped cutting boards are great personalized Christmas gifts. You can engrave one of our pre-made designs and make it your own, engrave a heart over a special town, or create your own design with text and artwork.

There are so many possibilities, and they all result in an incredibly special and unique Christmas present.

 

If you’re still keeping an eye out for ideas, check out our other options for personalized Christmas gifts!

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Must-Have Personalized Gifts For Fall Weddings

Photo Credit: cat mayer via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: cat mayer via Compfight cc

With the leaves putting on a spectacular show of color and the pumpkins ready to carve, there is something more then just a chill in the air.

Fall brings with it a special sparkle of love and romance, and it’s the perfect season to tie the knot.

If your refrigerator door is crowded with fall wedding invitations and save-the-dates, it’s time to start shopping for personalized gift for all the happy couples on your list.

Forget giving another generic gift card shoved in a drug-store greeting card.  These are the must-have gifts couples really want.

 

Leather coasters

Whether they are hosting swanky cocktail parties or getting their day started with another cup of coffee, every household needs a beautiful set of coasters.

Unfortunately, coasters are almost always overlooked on registries and forgotten about until a pesky ring shows up on the coffee table.

Fill the gap by gifting the couple with an elegant leather and rosewood coaster set. Customize it with their names, wedding date, or a sweet saying.

 

Wood cutting board

Unlike the wedding day, married life isn’t all glitz and glamour. There’s nothing romantic about chopping kale for a morning smoothie or dicing onions for a last-minute dinner.

But, a high-quality cutting board can turn a boring task into something much more pleasant. Not only is it useful, it’s easy to personalize and turn into a special wedding gift.

The Circle Monogram Totally Bamboo 18×11 Marbled Cutting Board features their names, newly-shared last initial and the date that took their vows, so not only is it a practical gift, it’s a beautiful reminder of how awesome it is to be married.

 

Rustic wood planks

After paying for elaborate floral arrangements, a giant cake and appetizers for 200 people, the newlyweds’ budget is bound to be strained.

Artwork for their new home isn’t likely to make the budget cuts, so a personalized rustic wood plank is the perfect way to add some style to their décor.

Available in many sizes and shapes, these planks can be customized with nearly anything, making them the perfect way to get creative with your gift. Have an engagement photo engraved on wood, or a favorite quote or bible verse.

Whatever you choose, it is sure to become an instant keepsake that will grace their home well beyond their newlywed days.

 

Personalized wine boxes

Another perfect addition to the wedding gift pile is a personalized wine box.

Wine boxes can be engraved, color-filled, and personalized with various messages or artwork, making them an impressive custom gift.

For an upcoming fall wedding, try a more rustic and whimsical look with the Balloon Design Bamboo Wine Box. With a unique design, personalized text, and wine tools to accompany it, this box will certainly stand out among the rest of the gifts.

 

For more wedding gift ideas, look no further!

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What To Engrave On Groomsman & Bestman Knives

Okay, so you have just found this spectacular, way cool knife for your groomsmen gifts. (or Multi Tools)

But, how do you personalize it especially to each one of them?

This is your lucky day…that’s where we come in! So just wipe the sweat off your brow, and check out all we have to offer with laser-engraving.

wood handled knives for groomsmen

Wood handled knives with initials on blade, and Chinese symbol on handle

  • All prices on our website include your custom engraving–cool, huh?
  • No character limits or extra fees, just part of the purchase!
  • The second side does add an additional charge (available on most knives).
  • Many knives (wood handles, smooth metal handles) can have both the blade and handle engraved. Now that’s sweet.
  • We ship knife orders in 2-4 days, larger orders (100+ pcs) take 3-5 days. Wait until the last minute? No problem, just mention it when checking out, we’ll meet it or contact you if you need to upgrade shipping! We’ve got your back all the way!
  • Personalize your groomsmen knives with their names or initials – we do that all the time… makes the knife that much more unique!
Buck Knife engraved for a groomsman

Buck Knife engraved for a groomsman with their initials on the blade, no other information

Okay, following me? Last step. Follow these guidelines when ordering online or over the phone, and you’ll do great:

  • Add all the knives you want engraved into your cart at once (the number will depend on how many groomsmen you have in your wedding party, right? +Best Man, +One for you).
  • Enter your names in the Special Instructions box, one name per line
  • If you are doing more than one line (hey, why not go all the way?), just enter in in groupings. Let me show you:

Name
Date

Joe
5-8-15

Bob
5-8-15

Knife with name and date engraved on blade

Engraved Rescue Knife for a wedding party with Name and Date engraved on blade

Away with all your worrying woes! Anyone can order laser-engraving on knives. And there’s just about a million different ways to personalize the knives for your lucky groomsmen.

A good lookin’ example would be:
Titles and Date on one location, Name or Initials on 2nd side.
Such as, Groomsman or name on blade (that’d look sharp!), and MJH on side 2 of blade or on handle.

Or try Title on Handle, Name on Blade.
Or Name and Date on Blade.
Or just Initials on Blade or Handle.

So many different ways to go with this engraving; how do you ever make a decision? Easy, think individually of your groomsmen, their personalities, styles, etc. (Shouldn’t be too hard to figure out, they are your buddies!). Then, order accordingly!

If you want to get your Best Man something a little higher end, order your groomsmen knives and then look for a knife around 25% to 50% higher price point.

Names and titles of wedding party engraved

Black Rescue Knives with names and titles of wedding party

Once you get your personalized, stunningly-engraved knives presented to your groomsmen on the big day, you’ll have some pretty thrilled guys on your hands.

The thought and personal touch on each knife will mean a lot to your groomsmen, and the whole wedding party will be impressed at your fabulous taste.

Oh, don’t forget to order one for you with your name (the lucky Groom) on it! You’ll want to once you see how cool your guys knives look, so do it now while you can get the volume discount and to save on shipping!

Now that you know how easy it is to have engraving done, get going and order some stunners!

Need help deciding? Here are the engraved knives for groomsmen and best men! Start shopping, don’t wait until the last minute!

PS: Wondering if you should engrave Groomsman or Groomsmen? If you are giving a gift to one person, should be Groomsman (singular). If you are referring to a group of guys, it is Groomsmen (you would use plural in an email or when mentioning them all as a group, but not engraved on the knives).

Name of wedding party engraved on handle

Engraved wood handled knife with name on handle, in a gift tin

 

Engraved multi tool for wedding party

Engraved Leatherman Multi Tool, with couples name on side 1, and then Groomsmen names on side 2

Name and title on handle, and wedding date on blade

Wood handled knives engraved with Name and Title on handle, and couples name and wedding date on blade

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Say “I Do” To Personalized Wedding Gifts

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Photo Credit: amsfrank via Compfight cc

With wedding invitations, save-the-date postcards, and almost-forgotten RSVP cards tucked under magnets and covering every inch of your refrigerator door, it’s time to start shopping for wedding gifts.

You could peek at the couple’s gift registry, but it’s probably already been picked over by the early-bird gift buyers and might contain only a handful of overpriced kitchen gadgets destined for the donation pile.

Instead of falling back on a generic gift card or wad of cash, which shows no imagination and will get swallowed up into the newlywed’s budget and forgotten, get creative with unique wedding gift ideas that can be personalized.

Here are the best personalized wedding gifts to shower every couple with.

 

Cherish their memories

After the buzz of the wedding and honeymoon, newlyweds look forward to receiving their professional photographs so they can relive the excitement of the big day.

Whether it’s a posed photo of the pair gazing lovingly at  each other, or a candid of the smashing cake in each other’s face, help them frame their favorite memory with a personalized frame, such as the 8×10 Silver Hearts Wedding Photo Frame.

Or, give them space for all their wedding photos by presenting them with a Personalized Wedding Rings Photo Album.

Be sure to include not only their names but also the date of their nuptials.

 

Stock their kitchen

Dating may have been all about nice dinners out, but for many couples, the newlywed days feature plenty of misguided cooking attempts and pizza delivery.

Help them get a decent dinner on the table with a personalized cutting board.

The Circle Monogram Totally Bamboo Cutting Board is the perfect way to show off their new last name, as well as the year they tied the knot.

Does the happy couple like a little more rustic look?  Try the new Rustic Monogram Totally Bamboo Cutting Board design instead!  With a look reminiscent of a wine barrel, it makes a great addition to any country kitchen.

Or, help them bless the food they prepare by adding their name to the scripture from Matthew 6:11 on the 6×9 Bamboo Cutting Board.

 

Offer a toast

Help them keep the romance alive long after the vows with a wine presentation box.

The Wine Presentation Box With 6 Tools and 2 Glasses contains everything they need for a romantic evening at home, including glasses, corkscrew, stopper, and thermometer.

Just pop in a bottle of vino and encourage the happy couple to use it for celebrating a milestone such as a promotion, new home, or 1-month anniversary. Or, they can use it to reconnect after their first newlywed spat!

Or, give them all the tools they’ll need for their future sips with the Five Piece Wine Tools Gift Set.

During wedding season, it can be tough to keep up with all the gifts you need to purchase.  Put a little imagination into it, consider personalizing, and take a look at these other ideas for wedding gifts!

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Personalized Housewarming Gifts They’ll Actually Want

Photo Credit: Jared Zimmerman via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Jared Zimmerman via Compfight cc

Whether it’s their first apartment, a place to grow their family, or a spot to retire, a new home is a major milestone.

Sadly, housewarming gifts usually end up being bland, boring, last-minute purchases.

No one really wants to top off moving day with a potted plant to take care of, and yet another home improvement store gift card could get lost in the new junk drawer.

Instead, a personalized gift is the perfect way to mark the event. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorites.

 

Cook up a great gift

Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances often lure homebuyers, but on moving day they may realize their kitchen is a bit under-furnished.

Help them channel their inner Julia Child with a custom cutting board.

The Circle Monogram Totally Bamboo Cutting Board makes a beautiful housewarming gift when you add the recipient’s names, initial and the date of their house purchase.

If their cooking needs a little inspiration, the Recipe Design Totally Bamboo Cutting Board is a unique way to pass on a favorite recipe.

 

Offer a toast

A housewarming party is a time of celebration. Plus, unpacking boxes is always easier with a glass of Merlot.

Come ready to toast the new residents. The Wine Bottle Presentation Box with Tools with Burlwood Finish is elegant and comes with everything needed to pop open a bottle of your favorite vintage.

Stash a bottle of red or white inside and know that your friends will use the tools over and over again.

 

Deck their walls

New homeowners have lofty dreams of decking out their space with their own style.

But paying for closing costs, springing for movers, and charging all the unexpected costs of homeownership may leave little left in their wallets for décor.

A wall decal or sign is a fun gift that adds a splash of personality to empty spaces.

The Laundry Wall Decal livens up an often-overlooked room. Or, the Customized Welcome Wall Decal can be personalized with the family’s name and colors while inviting friends and family in.

Or, swap the vinyl for wood and add a little rustic charm to their home.

The Engraved Solid Wood Circle Plaque can be customized with 8 different designs to allow you to pick the message that would best fit the homeowner.

 

You don’t have to agonize about what to get and then wind up feeling like you settled on a gift.

Just think outside the box a little bit, throw in a little personalization, and check out these other ideas for customized home and hosting gifts!

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