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Correct pocket knife for Bears?

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  • Correct pocket knife for Bears?

    I need help. My son's den leader has announced on less than a week's notice that the Bears will be doing the whittling chip. I need to buy my son a pocket knife.

    Can anyone offer guidance on the correct knife to buy for my 9 year old son who has no whittling experience? I'm hoping to find something I can buy from Amazon that he can safely use as a beginner and hopefully continue to use for a few years. I've read references on the internet to certain types of knives not being allowed by the BSA or various packs, but not much info on what *is* allowed.

    My son's den leader has not responded to my question (typical for him), and scouting.org/scoutstuff has no specific guidance that I can find. I would really appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks,

    Georgia Mom

  • #2
    Look for one with a "Cub Scout" logo on it.

    Comment


    • #3
      A pocket knife is far to small to effectively dispatch a bear. You need long blade to get enough penetration, needs to be robust as the bear will not hold still while you try to skewer vital organs. I also like one with a stout lanyard so I don't lose it as easily while fighting the brute.

      Here are a couple of knives I might consider.

      http://www.sogknives.com/catalog/pro...uaXZlcy5odG1s/


      Oh you meant buying one for your bear to use, NOT bear defense.

      how about this one

      http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsar-offic...ket-knife.html


      I have mine from cub scouting, my son has his and said he will keep it to show his son.
      Last edited by Basementdweller; 11-06-2013, 09:55 AM.

      Comment


      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        Nothing?????

        awe come on it was funny

      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        It's just that a sense of humor is so out of character for you. But growth should be encouraged so:

        Lol. Very good.

    • #4
      When we did actual whittling, the boys carved soap with plastic knives. I bought my son a $1 pocket knife from walmart for the part about owning a knife.

      Comment


      • #5
        A lot of people like the Opinel, "my first Opinel" they have some with a rounded tip to reduce the chance for accidents. Personally I think a lock back knife is best because it won't close down on little inexperience fingers. My sons find the scout shop knives difficult to close. The Opinel is About $16 with shipping, scout shop cub knives are about $15-20. I am ordering the Opinel for my bear and suggesting it for the den. It can be engraved also. Might not get it in a week however. http://www.opinel-usa.com/products.a...L#.UnpaKLK9KK0 I also think the boys should have some experience with soap carvings before hitting to wood. Here are some threads where the issues are discussed. http://www.scouter.com/forum/cub-sco...for-cub-scouts Qhttp://www.scouter.com/forum/cub-scouts/389819-whittling-chip-earned-by-wolves-what-do-i-do

        Comment


        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          Looks like amazon has the Opinel on Prime.

          http://www.amazon.com/First-Opinel-J...pinel+my+first

          Just remember the Whittlin chip is optional. My oldest boy did not have good fine motor skills so he was restricted to sharpened Popsicle stick knives and plastic knives carving soap until he was a bit older. My ER deductible was also $500 at that time.

          Only you know if he is ready to use this tool. Stress to him it is a tool and not a toy.

      • #6
        Anything that folds neatly and the handle fits tidily in the boy's hand will do. Going to the sporting goods store (or section) is part of the adventure IMHO. In department stores, it's usually just an isle beyond the toy section. Kinda fun watching a boy change his preferred isle as he grows.

        Comment


        • qwazse
          qwazse commented
          Editing a comment
          One more suggestion: ask a relative or neighbor. Sometimes a hand-me-down adds to the mystique. For the longest time when I was in high school and college, I carried my Grandpa's knife. Really lousy blade, truth be told. But every time I pulled it out, I had fond memories of him whittling his cane and thereby driving Mom nuts!

        • OhioCM
          OhioCM commented
          Editing a comment
          This is true - my father handed down his wood-handled pocket knife with the BSA log on it to me when I was 12, and I handed it on to my son after a good cleanup and sharpening. He doesn't use it as his primary knife when we do whittling or soap carving, but it's his "special occasion" knife.

        • perdidochas
          perdidochas commented
          Editing a comment
          Yep, my parents bring my boys to buy their christmas gifts. It was a pivotal year when my oldest decided to go to Academy and Dick's sporting goods rather than Toys-R-Us.

      • #7
        Thank you for the good answers. I'm ordering the recommended Opinel from Amazon Prime today.

        Comment


        • #8
          I ordered an opinel for my son last year, engraved in response to a thread on this forum
          He's a bear this year, & I bought it early as a sample, considering ordering for all the boys in the den as a gift. (I gotta get on that! thanks for the reminder!!)

          I'm big on made in USA, and not so much a French stuff, but I have to say it's a really good product.
          Customer response was great, asked a few questions and they were fast in reply.
          We haven't used it yet but it's a really nice low budget knife. Best I've seen for a kid I think
          I bought the round tip one. Wanted carbon steel, but the round tip is only available in stainless.
          I actually want one for me, too.

          Comment


          • #9
            For whittling, one needs a knife with a small handle. He doesn't need a Swiss Army that is big and bulky. I find that even BSA is smart enough to realize this in that they have historically had two knives, the Camp Knife and the Whittler. They are appropriately named. The Whittler does not have the fat blade of the Camp, nor the screwdriver, can opener, bottle opener and awl for leather. Instead the Whittler has 3 blades, one thin, long, one short for fine work and a third small blade with a flat cut. All blades designed for whittling. The newer Whittlers have stainless steel blades which dull quicker than the older carbon steel blades. I have both, and like the older knife because I don't have to 1) sharpen it as often and 2) staying sharp makes it a safer knife. Any carbon steel pocket knife with one long and one short blade should do the trick nicely regardless whether it has a BSA logo or not.

            Stosh

            Comment


            • #10
              That's a great point jblake47, the opinel blades might be a little big for whittlin'

              Comment


              • #11
                I got Opinels for myself and the boys. I have the carbon steel #7 and I love it. Easy to lock, easy to fold, and carbon steel keeps its edge. But Any Opinel will do as they come in a variety of sizes. Just wish we could get the WOSM ones here.

                Comment


              • #12
                Be sure to check with the pack what type of a knife they want your Scout to have. My pack had a hard rule that knives had to be a non-locking pocket knife. I suggest the blade be no longer than the width of your Scouts palm.

                Comment


                • King Ding Dong
                  King Ding Dong commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Nutty, why the non-locking blade rule ? I get it if the scout cannot unlock it, but a locking blade is much safer to actually use.

                • NutyArty
                  NutyArty commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I have no idea, KDD. Every time I challenge the policy. It's the same thing from the commitee, "That's the way we do it in this Pack." I am writing a new camping and outdoor SOP, which will correct that mistake.

                • jblake47
                  jblake47 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Brief comments on locking knives.

                  One side will say the locking knives are safer. I have physical scars on one of my fingers that says the locking mechanism can fail and the damage is not pretty. When unlocking a knife, it requires a secondary step to close, release mechanism while applying pressure to close.

                  On the other side, while using a non-locking knife, you know it can close on your fingers at any time you apply it improperly. Use extra precaution and do not rely on it not closing with lock. Also when closing the knife, it is one process, pressure to close.

                  I have handled knives since I was 8 years old, I'm now 63. Sure I have a number of knife nicks over the years. The vast majority of them have been done by fixed blade knives in the kitchen. Second comes in with non-locking blades, I love to whittle. Only once was I injured by a lock blade knife, and it was the worst, the only time it needed stitches. I was using it while field dressing a deer. Now it's 100% fixed blade, I know it won't close on me no matter what. I have also see boys slip the lock mechanism (and not get hurt, but surprised) when they realized that by pushing down on something while holding the handle also pushes down on the mechanism. Blade gets stuck they pull back, continue the pressure grip on the handle and the blade unlocks.

                  If you simply go by the statistics above, go with the lock blade knife. But today I do not own, nor will I ever buy a lock blade knife again. Just personal experience.

                  Stosh

              • #13
                Stupid policy. On a related issue I found a lot of Bears found the big swiss army knives too hard for them to whittle with. And the knives to be sharp not dull. And lefties have a harder time because the blade position hits the thumb better for righties especially in a thicker knife.

                Comment


                • jblake47
                  jblake47 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  This is why one wants a 2 blade knife. Very narrow handle and makes it easy to use by either hand.

                  Stosh

              • #14
                A cheep one with a locking blade. He will lose it. When my son got his whittling chip I got him a metal knife with the date he earned in on it. I think it cost $20.

                Comment


                • #15
                  Whittlin Chip is definitely a local thing . Note that there is no "requirements", as in "do this, then this and make this", one is expected to teach the safe techniques and skills like an Uncle might to his nephew. There are lots of good curriculum on line, some more "academic" some more "hands on". PM me and I can send you our W/C Curriculum.
                  It is important that boys learn how to use tools safely, not only sharp edges. The confidence one gains in using tools to DO and MAKE spills over into other activities. If I can do THAT, then no reason I can't do THIS. Helping around the yard, helping in the kitchen (RAW ingredients), even holding and handing him the wrench while dad tightens something, all these add up over the boys lifetime.

                  I am always amazed at the lack of dexterity today's young boys exhibit in CSDC. It's as if they never have a chance to pile blocks up and knock them down. And the parents are often so eager to NOT have their boy take ANY risk . We had a Webelos Cub at one of our Camporees (visiting Webelos) want to do the W/C, but was scared to TOUCH a knife. One of our Scouts found a knife shaped stick in the woods and worked with this Cub using this substitute until he was ready to borrow the Scouts pocket knife. Eventually carved a credible auto out of the soap bar we gave him. I kept that knife-stick and point it out when I teach IOLS to nascent SMs. What a good recruiting tool! Big brother teaches young Cub about carving!

                  I hope you have the pleasure of watching and hearing your Scout hand his mother a knife in the kitchen and insist she say "thank you" before relinguishing his hold on it.
                  Last edited by SSScout; 11-07-2013, 09:07 AM.

                  Comment


                  • King Ding Dong
                    King Ding Dong commented
                    Editing a comment
                    PM does not work on this board. Do you have a Dropbox or other cloud service you can post it on ?
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