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Stosh

Guide To Safe Scouting

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Why does BSA insist on vague language when it deals with important issues?

 

Wiggle room?

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I think the most dangerous knives out there are the non-locking (usually multitool) folders.

 

When last I looked, the most common woods tool accident recorded at BSA camps was "knife closed on finger."

 

 

Sharp vs. dull...  here is where your input to the youth will be very useful.  Stainless steel knives always 
look good but the metal is too soft to hold an edge.  They get dull and dangerous quickly.  Carbon steel knives generally look like crap, but they are the best for holding an edge because of their hardness.  For this reason I carry only older knives that have carbon steel blades.

 

Alas, Stosh, we are showing age.  I too recall when stainless steel knives were soft - or brittle.  For some years, the decent knives with the hardest, most abrasion-resistant edges have been stainless steel.  They are harder even that D2 tool steel, the standard for hard among "carbon steel."  The large chromium carbides are close to diamond hard.

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For this reason I carry a sheath knife, but I also carry a belt axe that is sharpened to a knife blade consistency.  It is way sharper than what is recommended for axe work, but to make tinder shavings it is the best.  Because I have a conceal carry permit, I can wear it under my coat, poncho, whatever, and be okay.

 

In Ohio we have a Conceal Handgun Permit.  A concealed anything else, if deemed to be carried as a weapon, is not covered by a Concealed Handgun Permit (Which does allow carrying a loaded ling gun in a motor vehicle.)

 

 

Les Stroud says, "Nothing is more useful in a survival situation than a good, heavy-duty multi-tool."

 

I am responsible for my own many mistakes, not Stroud's.  The most respected experts on the topic of survival suggest sheath knives.

 

While Stroud is serious about the topic, he is also the guy who has burned himself out of his expedient brush shelter more than once by building an open fire inside the shelter and then, deliberately, going to sleep.

 

 

So sheath knives are not recommended.  Fine, no problem..

 

Especially as they are recommended by BSA, as noted above, and required if we are to meet our obligation to teach their safe use as that obligation is expressly recognized by the G2SS, as also noted above.

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Les Stroud says, "Nothing is more useful in a survival situation than a good, heavy-duty multi-tool." ;)

 

The screw driver, pliers, toothpick, nail file, 2 inch dull saw and sissors are truly indispensible for survival. ;)

 

 

Totally agree, I use the cork screw and bottle opener on my Swiss Army all the time.  In a survival situation, the can opener has got to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

 

I like your idea of a survival situation -- a good bottle of wine, some bottles of beer and a couple of cans of food. Throw in some steaks and I'm there!  :D

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When last I looked, the most common woods tool accident recorded at BSA camps was "knife closed on finger." - TAHAWK

 

Hmmm.  That's interesting.  I have never had that happen, nor heard of anyone having that happen to them in all the years I have been in scouting.  Usually it's some guy whittling and the knife "slips" that causes the most cuts around here.  I wonder if "Knife closed on fingers" was because they were actually trying to close the knife improperly (one-handed, etc.).  This would then apply to lock-blade knives as well.  Either way, it is a positive point to be made for fixed blades. :)

 

Conceal Carry in Wisconsin is any weapon, gun, handgun, baton, nightstick, tazer/stun gun, knife with blade > 1.5" hatchet and/or belt axe, etc.

 

Alas, Stosh, we are showing age.  I too recall when stainless steel knives were soft - or brittle.  For some years, the decent knives with the hardest, most abrasion-resistant edges have been stainless steel.  They are harder even that D2 tool steel, the standard for hard among "carbon steel."  The large chromium carbides are close to diamond hard.

 

Where can I get some more info on that, I may need to adjust my instruction notes when doing Totin' Chit.

 

 

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Do a search on steel for knife blades. There are many sources of the different alloys and there are a few sites that compare the metal properties.

I really like my very old Kbar Stockman. The blade holds a great edge. But so does my newer Gerber. There is still some inferior SS out there but if you're willing to pay for it, there are some amazingly good SS alloys available. You DO have to shop around carefully.

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I remember reading an article years ago on knife steels.... maybe field and stream, or something like that.

I thought I remember the SS blades were generally harder.  I do know that I find it more difficult to put an edge on a SS blade as compared to a carbon steel one....

 

As an engineer that hasn't studied metallurgy in so long that I have forgotten most of it, i do know that there is a lot more to steel selection that just a measure of hardness..... there are other properties that make blades tougher, make them more or less brittle, etc...

 

I did a quick search and found this, which i think is interesting

http://www.knifeworksblog.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-stainless-vs-high-carbon-steel-knife-blades/

 

Regardless, i too prefer carbon steel blades, but they are hard to find in low end & low priced retail knives.

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When last I looked, the most common woods tool accident recorded at BSA camps was "knife closed on finger." - TAHAWK

 

Hmmm.  That's interesting.  I have never had that happen, nor heard of anyone having that happen to them in all the years I have been in scouting.  Usually it's some guy whittling and the knife "slips" that causes the most cuts around here.  I wonder if "Knife closed on fingers" was because they were actually trying to close the knife improperly (one-handed, etc.).  This would then apply to lock-blade knives as well.  Either way, it is a positive point to be made for fixed blades. :)

 

Conceal Carry in Wisconsin is any weapon, gun, handgun, baton, nightstick, tazer/stun gun, knife with blade > 1.5" hatchet and/or belt axe, etc.

 

Alas, Stosh, we are showing age.  I too recall when stainless steel knives were soft - or brittle.  For some years, the decent knives with the hardest, most abrasion-resistant edges have been stainless steel.  They are harder even that D2 tool steel, the standard for hard among "carbon steel."  The large chromium carbides are close to diamond hard.

 

Where can I get some more info on that, I may need to adjust my instruction notes when doing Totin' Chit.

 

Again, this is only about one characteristic, edge holding when cutting.  (That pretty much boils down to abrasion-resistance and edge stability.)  No ranking of toughness on page 1.  In the course of the LONG thread, other characteristics do come up.  WARNING:  KNIFE KNUTS ON THE LOOSE.  JARGON IN USE.    

 

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/793481-Ranking-of-Steels-in-Categories-based-on-Edge-Retention-cutting-5-8-quot-rope

 

Stainless steels that hold an edge well and are also relatively tough include Elmax, CPM 35V and CPM 20CV.   VG 10 is less abrasion resistant but notable for easily taking a very fine edge. Used in survival knives abopted by Sweden and the U.S.    All of them hold an edge better than typical carbon steel (1095 being the classic used for over a century).     Big bucks!

 

More economically-priced knives of decent quality are made of stainless steels that hold an edge less well than the expensive ones but better than almost any non-stainless steel.  Examples include 420HC [used by Buck], 440A, and AUS-8.  8Cr13MoV is in that class and is used exclusively in China (like the BSA "Scout" pattern slip-joint knife).

 

440C was once the latest and greatest stainless and is still pretty good, especially in edge holding compared to most carbon steels.  As steel fashion and performance have gone on to greater things, 440C knives are often more economical.  Very stain resistant. Still hard to sharpen compared to typical carbon steel = better edge retention in use.  No free lunch.

 

440J.  The "J" stands for junk.  Almost no abrasion-resistance. Used is very cheap Mall Ninja knives.  Exception: sometimes used as sandwich outer layers in laminated steels with something good in the center layer to hold an edge.

 

Near-stainless steels notable for edge-holding include D2 Tool Steel. 

 

The steel is like flour for a baker - a raw material.  The quality of the finished product of course depends on the skill and integrity of the maker.

 

 

 

There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man's lawful prey.
Edited by TAHAWK

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I remember reading an article years ago on knife steels.... maybe field and stream, or something like that.

I thought I remember the SS blades were generally harder.  I do know that I find it more difficult to put an edge on a SS blade as compared to a carbon steel one....

 

As an engineer that hasn't studied metallurgy in so long that I have forgotten most of it, i do know that there is a lot more to steel selection that just a measure of hardness..... there are other properties that make blades tougher, make them more or less brittle, etc...

 

I did a quick search and found this, which i think is interesting

http://www.knifeworksblog.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-stainless-vs-high-carbon-steel-knife-blades/

 

Regardless, i too prefer carbon steel blades, but they are hard to find in low end & low priced retail knives.

 

I know the Field and Stream article.  Written by someone(s) with modest knowledge of the topic. Not the worst, although fairly obsolete today.

 

The article by Knife Works is the real deal.  And excellent retailer, by the way.

 

There are decent and inexpensive carbon steel slip-joints made in China, but you will not find them in local stores.  They can do fit-and-finish.  The issue is heat treatment, which cannot be seen but only experienced.  Google Rough Rider.   

 

90%+ of all knives are found on the Internet.  There were always junk knives, but as buyers are less knowledgeable the proportion of junk has increased.  (Why are many CHINA knives junk?  We buy them,) 

 

Prices for the same item vary tremendously.  Shop.

 

ePrey is like the wild west.  Stay alert and pack heat (Pay by credit card so you have recourse.) 

 

Shopping value rather than price is a lesson we can pass along that has life-long utility.

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The screw driver, pliers, toothpick, nail file, 2 inch dull saw and sissors are truly indispensible for survival. ;)

 

I think you're confusing multi-tool with Swiss Army knives bought at Walmart. A serious survival multi-tool doesn't have those things. Pliers, yes....and those have helped me a few dozen times. The one we got in the service also had a Paracord cutter. ;) Yes we also had our sheath knife, but that had one main purpose which we don't use in Scouts.

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"Yes we also had our sheath knife, but that had one main purpose which we don't use in Scouts."

 

What, no jar of peanut butter?  :confused: 

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What, no tangled mess with a kid inside under a capsized canoe?

 

What, no mumbly peg?  Oops, scratch that one.

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Moderator Note:

 

Not an issues and politics item.  Moved to General Discussion, Scouting.

 

Yes, I'm back online here.

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I believe sheath knives do have roles to play in Scouting. While I have one sheath knife, it's my "OA Knife" that the ceremomy team uses, I'm looking for a sheath knife that I can use for wilderness survival and other bushcrafts. Debating on getting either a Schrade or a Condor kukri.

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Ironically enough I'm downgrading my Swiss Army knife to the smallest possible knife. I think in my 10 years of Camping I've never had to use a pocket knife for anything beyond opening packages and cutting tape. 

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