Although Buck typically cater for a slightly higher budget, their Bantam products do a great job of delivering value for money at a lower cost.
They’re not fully made in the USA like most of Buck’s knives, but assembled there with products imported from China. That’s fine, and I think at this price point it’s really nothing to complain about.
But what’s the difference between the Bantam 284 and 285? I’ll answer as concisely as possible to help you make a decision.
What’s the difference between Buck’s Bantam 284 & 285?
The main difference, in a nutshell, is that the 285 is slightly larger and tougher. It has 20% extra blade thickness, 0.9oz extra weight, 3/8″ extra length.
It also comes with a pocket clip carry option (removable), whereas the 284 is pocket carry only (or, they both have a lanyard hole too). Lastly, there’s 1 more design option currently available for the 284 (4 options, vs 3 with the 285).
284 vs 285 Specs Overview
|284 Bantam||285 Bantam|
|Blade length||2 3/4″||3 1/8″|
|Length closed||3 3/4″||4 3/8″|
|Blade shape||Drop point||Drop point|
|Manufacturing||USA (with imported parts)||USA (with imported parts)|
|Carry||Pocket clip / pocket|
There’s not a lot in it in terms of price.
There’s just $6 difference in the starting prices, with the smaller knife (284) being the cheaper one, starting at $20.99 at the time of writing.
With such a small gap, honestly, just buy the one you like best. Whether that be for the size preference, or the design option.
Both the 284 and 285 have the standard black design, the ‘blaze camo’ (orange), and the ‘country camo’. The 284 has one extra, the ‘Realtree camo’.
Realtree Camo (284 only)
How do they compare to the other Buck Bantam knives?
Buck sell 4 knives in their Bantam range. It’s super straightforward:
- The Nano Bantam 283 is the smallest
- Next is the Bantam 284 BBW (bantamweight)
- Then we have the Bantam 285 BLW (lightweight)
- Lastly, there’s the Bantam 286 BHW (heavyweight)
It’s chronological, in size order. Simple as that! I think the 284 & 285 hit the sweet spot in terms of EDC popularity. The 283 and 286 are slightly too small or heavy, respectively. They have their place of course, but it’s a more specific need or use case.
That’s a wrap
That’s it! This comparison is super straightforward. No need to waste your time with unnecessary tidbits of information.
The 284 is slightly smaller, lighter, and cheaper vs the 285.