with Lindsey J. Bertomen
Product Review: Buck X-Tract LED
With the Hoiday season here, a lot of us are thinking about the things we might want to get for our friends and fellow officers. One idea worth consideration is the Buck X-Tract LED, which is the Buck Knives contribution to the world of portable tools. It is an excellent choice for the tactical world because every tool can be accessed and operated with one hand and the working area can be lit with the built in LED.
This product excelled as a searching tool for patrol use. We found that the pliers were suitable for light duty prying and easy to sterilize.
The Buck X-Tract LED is smaller and more portable than most other tool/knife combinations. If one were to remove the pliers, light and sturdy two bladed screwdrivers, it would simply look like a tactical blade, complete with liner lock and ergonomic grip. It looks so much like a tactical blade that most testers who viewed it suggested that Buck add a pocket clip for “tip up” carrying.
The X-Tract LED has a stainless chassis composed of both riveted pins, steel frame screws and spacers and thermoplastic scales. The 420 HC 3 inch-long stainless main blade has enough edge holding characteristic for general cutting chores. The spring loaded pliers open to 15/16”, which is slightly less than tactical tools based around a pair of pliers. There is a wire cutting edge close to the pivot capable of cutting small gauge wire and cable ties.
The screwdrivers slide from either end of the chassis so that the user has the leverage of the handle for stubborn jobs. The flat tip is hollow ground and the Phillips is a #2 tip. Both can fulfill a wide variety of applications. The can opener tool is tucked neatly near the lanyard loop/glass breaker.
The Buck X-Tract LED uses three different types of locking mechanisms for its tools: A liner lock for the main blade and a separate one for the can opener, a latch mechanism for the pliers, which slide from the handle, and a pop up detent device for the screwdriver blades.
Our testers liked the LED light, which capably lit the work area for the pliers, knife blade and Phillips driver. This light had a “constant on” switch which shut itself off after about three minutes. The cells were easily replaced by unscrewing a panel in the handle. We recommend recessing the switch a little more as it fired if the supplied sheath was squeezed and occasionally in the pocket if it bumped against anything. .
This product excelled as a searching tool for patrol use. It was small enough for pocket carry (Quite frankly, we would abandon the sheath) and was especially handy for vehicle searching and evidence recovery. We found that the pliers were suitable for light duty prying and easy to sterilize. We predict that officers will also carry this product off duty also because it is also rather inexpensive. For more information about the X-Tract LED, simply click here.
We'll be writing many more product reviews throughout 2009, so if you have ideas about the stuff we should be looking at, just email us by clicking here.
In the meantime, have a safe holiday.