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Scout_Ma'am

Knife type for whittling chip??

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Hi,

 

I'll be working on this with Bears next month, and need to advise parents on what to buy. At the seminar I took through our council, I was told knives in their case should not be longer than the width of the scout's hand. I'm looking for input on what you have used/seen used.

 

Any thoughts on:

 

-a standard Swiss army knife?

-knives from the Scout shop? (I'm going there to look today. I see online they have something called the Cub Scout Pal).

 

Any other useful tidbits are appreciated, too!

 

Many thanks!

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Never heard that one before, but it's been a while since I taught Totin Chit and won't have to deal with Whittling Chip anytime soon. Also every city, county/parish and state has their own laws dealing with knives, so it may be a local thing.

 

When I was CS age, I used the classic CS knife found here It was a hand me down from my brothers, and was very nice. Somewhere in my box I got one for my sons when the time comes. One nice thing is that they do have a locking mechanism.

http://www.scoutstuff.org/BSASupply/ItemDetail.aspx?cat=01RTL&ctgy=PRODUCTS&c2=CAMPING&c3=KNIVES&c4=&lv=3&item=1885

 

The CS Utility knife is almost identical to the knife above, but it is more expensive. I've seen them in use an can also recommend it.It also has a locking mechanism.

http://www.scoutstuff.org/BSASupply/ItemDetail.aspx?cat=01RTL&ctgy=PRODUCTS&c2=CAMPING&c3=KNIVES&c4=&lv=3&item=1883

 

I don't recommend the Swiss Army Knife as it doesn't have a locking mechanism like the two above, and costs as much as the classic. Basically you are paying for the Swiss Army name.

http://www.scoutstuff.org/BSASupply/ItemDetail.aspx?cat=01RTL&ctgy=PRODUCTS&c2=CAMPING&C3=KNIVES&C4=&LV=3&item=1865&prodid=1865^8^01RTL&

 

Don't know much about the CS lockback found below, but I am not a big fan of stainless steel knives as they lose their edge fast, and a sharp knife is actually a safe knife. Also learning how to sharpen knives is not part of Whittling Chip.

http://www.scoutstuff.org/BSASupply/ItemDetail.aspx?cat=01RTL&ctgy=PRODUCTS&c2=CAMPING&c3=KNIVES&c4=&lv=3&item=24076

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Thanks Eagle92.

 

It's an interesting point you bring up about the locking mechanism. Our council seems to go the other way and recommend non-locking knives, saying that if the Scout has to struggle to undo the lock, he may wind up hurting himself.

 

Oh, the choices!

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Sometimes it comes to personal preference. I'ld rather have a CS ask for help closing a knife, than it close on him inadvertently while working.

 

As for my personal knives at the moment, Gerber gator, Leatherman multitool, and my new favorite, a reproduction 1800s skinning knife. It's carbon steel, razor sharp, and the OA ceremony team can use it as an accessory for their regalia.

 

But with the exception of the multitool, wouldn't recommend what I'm using, and the multitool has more than they will need.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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JB,

thanks for the link, VERY HELPFUL!

 

As for my previous comments, hopefully they will not be taken as unscoutlike. That is not their intention. I know that it is rare for a pocket knife to fold onto someone while they are using it, but at the CS age I'ld rather the locking mechanism and that is where the personal preference come in. I can be a helicopter parent at times. :)

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Thanks again, Eagle92, your reply was fine. I appreciate the input. Thanks, too, Joe Bob.

 

I ended up choosing one from the Scout shop for my son, and checking out some other sporting stores that also had good choices so I can give a list of suggestions to my parents.

 

It should make for an exciting few den meetings in the new year ;-)

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To be honest the way whittle chip is taught is terrible.

 

I would never use a steel knife to do it. Just because other do it does not make it right.

 

I used craft sticks to make wooden pocket knives. Very cheap to make. Plus the parents who chose not to buy their son a knife will not miss out. I have yet to have any injury to anyone while teaching in this manner.

 

First the boys learned safe handling with the wooden knife.

 

Second we learned to sharpen the wooden knives on sand paper sharpening stones. Sharpening is the most important skill IMHO.

 

Then we whittled soap yes with the wooden knife.

 

The great thing about doing it this way is the boys learn control letting the knife do the work. Not forcing the knife, the soap will break when using the wooden knife and they start over. The wooden knife also dulls in the soap requiring resharpening while working in the soap. A much safer and controllable teaching/learning experience.

 

 

Far as recommending a knife to parents, I would resist the temptation to do it. Just provide the recommendations and then but out.

 

 

 

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The wooden knife is a good suggestion, and one that I learned about in the seminar I took through our council. I'll start the boys with that in the first meeting, then we'll work up.

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Another idea that I've heard of, never seen it though, is using a plastic knife. Again never seen it, but heard about it on here.

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For teaching a high quality serrated plastic knife works quite well because it won't give bad cuts and if the blade slips the user gets feedback from the serrations.

 

As to what knife a Scout should purchase, I too prefer a locking blade. It should be inexpensive enough to be lost without too much grief, since it will most likely be lost, but it should be decent enough quality not to break, to sharpen reasonably well, and to make sure the lock mechanism won't fail.

 

For my own kids I purchased KaBar Dozier folding knives. They are very nice quality, but only cost about $20 plus shipping (purchased via the web). My preference is the Folding Spear.

 

Amazingly my son almost lost his during his first summer camp, but I was there and later saw another Scout with a knife "just like his" and I asked to see it ... it turned out to be his (engraved name on it) and the Scout found it lying on a path. I thanked the Scout for finding it but reminded him that a Scout is trustworthy and helpful so next time he'd to better to turn a found knife into lost & found. That means next time he'll pocket it 'til he leaves camp (sigh).

 

I don't like clip-point blades (they are pointy and that makes the blade tip less strong)... I prefer what are called drop-point blades where the top (the dull side) curves down to meet the sharp blade tip about half-way across the width of the blade.

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Lock blades work the best for folks. Sometimes when whittling the back of the blade hits the wood on the back stroke and may often fold.

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It should be pointed out that there is NO "official" Whittling Chip or Totin' Chip curriculum. Only the safety guidelines on the back of the award pocket card. The teaching of the safe handling and skillful use is totally dependant on the experience of the instructor.

All good ideas mentioned here, and the Cub Pack 178 curriculum is excellent, if a bit wordy and academic. I always try to instill in the Cub a pride of skill. "Showing off" must be discouraged by teaching that it is often a sign of LACK of skill. I was asked to help present the popcorn sales awards and prizes at the Pack I commish. One of the prizes was a pocket knife, presented to a Wolf, who sold a truly respectable amount of Popcorn. When he accepted his prize (handed to his dad), he returned to his table and immediately took it out of it's box (it was his prize, right?), unfolded it and it became an X-wing fighter (zoom!). I interrupted the proceedings, walked over to the table, respectfully asked the Cub to please put the knife on the table, took it up and demonstrated how to fold it safely and handed it to the father. I said "perhaps the Cub should wait until he has earned the Whittling Chip" and the dad nodded with a smile. The Whittling Chip was awarded to some Bears and Webelos at the same meeting.

As to "type of knife", I believe that the Cub should see and learn to safely handle, with adult supervision, any type of knife. I always display a collection of different pocket knives, big, little, fancy and plain. The Cub should be taught that some knives may well be too big for them to handle, and that's okay. The time will come when they will be able to use dad's 12" watermelon cutter, just not now.

 

Teach respect for the blade, pride of skill and good care for the tool.

Watch the smiles...(This message has been edited by SSScout)

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For whittling I prefer a solid sheath knife ranging from a 3" blade to no bigger than4 1/2". I can actually split a 12" round log with just the knife. for kids I wouldn't recommend anything over the 3"model. I know my council says no sheath knives and I can understand not wanting the big 7" combat knives but you can't split wood or kindling with a folding knife it will break. I also recommend full carbon steel blades because you can use the back of the knife to make sparks with a flint or zirconium rods. My preffered types are the Mora knives of Sweden, great knives and they're inexpensive. But as I said what I like and what the BSA likes are two totally different ideas.

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Our pack uses the craft-stick method described by basementdweller, and it seems to work well. At the Bear level, I have worked with Scouts that have had some experience handling knives at home, and some that I don't think have ever cut up the food on their plate at dinner. So, the wooden knives seem to be a safe place to start. For the soap carving, make sure the soap is fresh - it hardens quickly, and then it flakes and is more difficult to work with.

 

I haven't tried it myself, but I wouldn't think that a plastic knife would work well for this because of the serrations.

 

As mentioned by others, make sure that you are following any rules that your meeting place may have about knives on their premises.

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