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Discussion in 'Knives' started by EmberMike, May 13, 2014.
Buck 285 Bantam
It was said that a SAK would result in the young man cutting himself, but I contend that an 11 yr old will cut himself with whatever he's given.
Also, it is my opinion that a locking knife just means a person has to learn to manipulate the blade and a lock at the same time, whereas a slipjoint will only require manipulating the blade.
Personally, I think a small fixed blade (2" or 3") may be the best for whatever a young scout needs to do, with the least risk of self mutilation.
However, I would still give, and have given, a SAK. Not that it has to be the first knife, or that I wont give another knife at some point. But every Scout needs a SAK, at least.
They will cut themselves with any blade. We all have. Live and learn.
I remember my answer from when I was a kid and anyone was going to get me a knife... ANY knife is a knife that would make me happy. Can't go wrong with any choice you make.
Victorinox Huntsman is a good one! Ask him what knife he wants. He will be using it mostly!
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I just taught the Totin' Chip class to our new Scouts a week ago. The first knife I showed them and strongly recommended was a Swiss Army knife. It is suitable for most tasks that they will be doing, except food prep.
I'd echo the SAK suggestion. It was my first knife to carry as a scout back in the early 80's. Yes, he'll cut himself with a folder. He'll also cut himself with a locking blade or a fixed blade. I'll contend that a SAK is less likely to get into "mischief" than a lockback or a fixed blade. I can tell you from experience - the guys who carried SAKs knew you couldn't throw them for crap. The guys with Shrade or Buck lockbacks or fixed blades would go to town whipping their knife at whatever tree (or dirt!) was nearby.
The SAK isn't just a knife - it's a tool kit. I carried my Tinker for years in high school and college as my only tool. I've fixed cars, sound equipment, door hinges.... Heck, I ran a very small business in my dorm room making "hint boxes" (another story) with a Tinker, a pair of side cutters, and a soldering iron.
And for the benefit of this audience - IMHO a SAK will introduce the boy to the concept of EDC (and the utility therein) more than a fixed blade that he gets to touch once in a great while. Get a SAK and a decent AA powered flashlight and stand back!
I agree all scouts should have a SAK even if they have anther knife. However these days most scout troops don't allow fixed blades. They are viewed as unnecessary. Most of the leaders don't know any better. I once heard a leader say a small Swiss army knife was just as good an option as a fixed blade in a survival situation. They brag that the boy scout knife is the best knife to carry......because what 11 year old doesn't need a bottle and can opener to go along with there folding butter knife. I mean have you seen the things? How about a pair of scissors or screwdriver in them instead? Of all the times I have gone camping and backpacking I cant ever remember a time I used a can opener on a pocket knife. I'm not saying its totally useless but that boy scout knife needs a refresh. anyway back to the point. While most boy scouts probably don't need a fixed blade till they start doing high adventure I would feel a little better handing a kid a locking folder because while he will undoubtedly cut himself no matter what you give him a slice to the finger is WAY WAY WAY better than the knife collapsing on one or more fingers. I understand the concern of having to learn to manipulate a lock and a blade at the same time but its a common feature on knives so they might as well learn. To be honest SAKplumber I agree a fixed blade would probably be the safest option but I don't think it would be a wise idea to send a child on a scout camping trip with one because it may not be so well received depending on the troop.
i'm on of ASM in the troop. it's not that fixed blade is banned. but it's viewed as "risk". the answer given to me when i asked why at one of the training was "if they fall, they might land on the blade and hurt themselves". i don't really agree with that answer, but one can also drawn in a dish full of water...
Yeah, it's a troop by troop thing. When I was a scout, over 20 years ago ugh, my troop wouldn't allow belt carry of fixed blades. Something about a kid attaching his knife in the front and when he fell his leg pushed the handle into his stomach causing internal injuries. Who knows if that ever really happened. Imo even though folding knives can be a little more dangerous they are still good for scouts. Learning how to properly use a slip joint is one of those dangerous things we just need to let our kids learn.
Ontario RAT 2. fast one handed opening, 3 inch blade and AUS 8
Hey, I am in Boy Scouts too and I just usually carry either a Benchmade Mini Griptilian or SOG Tridant ( both combo edge, I cut a lot of cordage ).
I was in the Boy Scouts for nearly a decade, and practically all the knives I have owned were used at some point in time on many of my various scouting outings. While all of them worked just fine, one certain type stood out to me: a Leatherman Multitool. I carried a Blast for well nigh half of my scouting career and it worked marvelously. The blade was always sharp, the scissors came in handy all the time, and the can opener helped immensely. I lost count of how many times it saved out meal (like when my buddy tried to open a can of chicken from the bottom by accident). In the last few years of my scouting career, after discovering what it was like to actually have money, I began to buy tools like the OHT and the ST300 that were a little more sophisticated, and they continued to save my entire troop's bacon time and time again. As time went on, some of the other guys in my troop began to pick up Leatherman's and all of them echoed the same chorus: "I wish I had this years ago!" I eventually was able to convince my Scoutmaster as well.
This is why I believe that the best knife you could get for your nephew is some type of Leaterman. I would suggest that you look into either the Wingman or the Sidekick. I have carried a Wingman for nearly a year now at my work, and it has worked just like a tank. I might suggest the Sidekick over the Wingman, because of its saw, and full fine edge blade. Knowing how much my troop was responsible of local deforestation and the amount of "whittling" we did to pass the time, I imagine that those two tools would get a bit of use. The bonus of the Wingman and Sidekick models is that they have a pocket clip, which would allow him to carry it easily even without wearing a belt. If you are interested in going for a little more substantial of a multitool, pick up the Rebar instead. I have had a lot of experience with its big brother, the ST300, and it is just a tank. However, I would suggest that you stick with the models with pocket clips, for one reason. When I went on backpacking trips, I needed to keep my Leatherman with me all the time, which meant carrying it on my person not in my pack. If I wore my multitool on my belt it would cause severe blisters and bruising and because all I had was belt carried multitools, I found it difficult to securely carry it.
Good luck finding a knife for your nephew! I look forward to finding out what you choose for him. Keep encouraging him to work hard to become an Eagle Scout, and remind him when he becomes one, becoming an Eagle is not a privilege, it is a responsibility to be the best leader he can be in his troop, community and country.
not sure whether you want folders only or if fixed blades crossed your mind too but i've heard good reviews of the gerber BG paracord knife, if you want a folder i'd suggest either the Buck 110 or 55 or even a nice leatherman multitool
Thanks for all of the suggestions, guys. I ended up going with the Buck Spitfire Mini in green (figured that was a good scout color). I think it's a good starter knife. I had him practice with it a little as soon as I gave it to him, seeing how he handled it with basic opening and closing. The lock back gave him a little trouble at first but I like that he pretty much had to use two hands to close it. Lock backs can be one-hand-closed, but I think it's good that he's sticking with a two-handed operation for now. I didn't even get into OHO, but I'm sure he'll figure that out eventually (or someone in the troop will clue him in).
@USMA_Hopeful a leatherman was a thought. But I've found that they can be even more tricky for a novice. And somewhat overwhelming, there's just so much stuff in there. Maybe that will be another birthday gift down the road, but to start out I wanted him to have a simple, basic knife. I've done the Leatherman as an Eagle gift, though.