Classic Folding Knives

Classic Folding Knives

Prior to the popularization of Lock Blade Knives, folding slipjoint knives with one or more blades were a favorite classis outdoorsman's tool.

There are several different setups listed on this page to give scouts and parents an idea of the different options available out there. Each is set up for a specific use, but honestly, any would be an acceptable option for a scout knife.

If you are looking for a recommendation, a Swiss Army Knifes such as the Spartan will fit the needs of most Scouts.

Scout Knives

Scout Knives, also known as Camper Knifes, were the classic wilderness multitool of it's time. This design was used by US and European Military units as well as Boy Scouts and outdoorsman like.

We discuss these in greater detail in our Scout Folding Knives Page.

The classic configuration comes with:

  • Spear Blade

  • Can Opener

  • Punch/Owl

  • Cap lifter/Screwdriver

  • Shackle for Belt

4-blade Camp Knife ( #BSAOO8)

Image: camillusknives.com

Single Blade Knife

Tradition single Blade Knife with Clip Point Blade.

Blade:

  • Clip Blade

    • Detail work

    • Piercing

    • Cutting in tight places

    • Good control of cutting edge

Buck 379 Solo Knife

Image: buckknives.com

Toothpick Knife

Tradition single Blade Knife with slender Clip Blade. aka "Switch" or "Tickler."

Blade:

  • Narrow Clip Blade

    • Detailed cutting

Buck 385 Toothpick Knife

Image: buckknives.com

Trapper Knife aka Jack Knife

Traditional knife with 2 blades on one end, generally a clip point and a spey blade. Longer blades were preferred by trappers for skinning game.

Blades:

  • Clip Blade

    • Detail work

    • Piercing

    • Cutting in tight places

    • Good control of cutting edge

  • Spey Blade

    • Used to castrate livestock

    • Allows you to cut animal without puncturing it

    • Great for skinning game

    • All purpose knife for tight spaces

Buck 382 Trapper Knife

Image: buckknives.com

2-Blade Double-Ended Knife

This double-blade setup was a common design. Depending on intended use and manufacture, these can be found with different blade combinations.

Setups included:

  • Half Whittler (Clip and Pen Blades)

  • Minuteman (Clip and Pen Blades)

  • Lancer (Clip Point and Coping Blades)

  • Deuce (Clip Point and Coping Blades)

  • Muskrat (2 Clip-point Blades- designed for trapping)

  • Canoe (Spear and Pen Blades)

Blades:

  • Modified Clip Blade

    • Detail work

    • Piercing

    • Cutting in tight places

    • Good control of cutting edge

  • Coping Blade (or Pen Blade)

    • used in tight spots or curved patterns

Buck 375 Deuce Knife

Image: buckknives.com

Canoe Knife

One blade on each side, with body resembling a canoe. Popular with fisherman.

Blades:

  • Spear Point Blade

    • Strong tip for piercing

    • Heavy duty blade

    • Favorite for making tough cuts

  • Pen Blade

    • All purpose blade for light duty work

    • Originally used to sharpen quill pens

Buck 389 Canoe Knife

Image: buckknives.com

Stockman Knife

Triple Blade Knives were popular allowing for multiple specialized blades. Depending on the manufacturer and intended use, blade setup varies.

These were ideal for cutting up meat.

Blades Shown:

  • Modified Clip Blade

    • Detail work

    • Piercing

    • Cutting in tight places

    • Good control of cutting edge

  • Sheepsfoot Blade

    • Great tip strength

    • Good control of cutting edge

    • Originally designed for trimming sheep's hooves

    • Great for carving

  • Spey Blade (or Pen Blade)

    • Used to castrate livestock

    • Allows you to cut animal without puncturing it

    • Great for skinning game

    • All purpose knife for tight spaces

Buck 373 Trio Knife

Image: buckknives.com

Whittler Knife

A Whittler has one long blade on one end and two smaller blades on the other. They also have 2 and 4-blade versions of the Whittler Knife. Ideal for carving.

  • Longer blade on one end (Spear, Clip or Wharncliffe Blade)

  • 2 shorter blades on other end (Coping and Pen Blade)

Blades Shown:

  • Clip Blade

    • Detail work

    • Piercing

    • Cutting in tight places

    • Good control of cutting edge

  • Coping Blade

    • Similar to a Sheepsfoot

    • Used for making cuts in tight areas or curved cut

  • Pen Blade

    • All purpose blade for light duty work

    • Originally used to sharpen quill pens

Böker Whittler

Image: bokerusa.com

Swiss Army Knife

Victorinox and Wenger have long made excellent pocket knives with multiple tools. These are excellent, quality tools that can still be easily found.

History

  • Wenger was founded during 1893 and produced the "Genuine Swiss Army Knife "

  • Victorinox was founded during 1897 and produced the "Original Swiss Army Knife"

  • Both made similar knives for the world market and Swiss Government contracts

  • In 2005, Victorinox acquired Wegner

Swiss Army Knives come with many different combination of tools.

We list several setups our Scout Folding Knives Page.

Wenger 16520

Image: amazon.com

Reputable Knife Brands

The US once had several major knife manufactures that pumped out thousands of quality knives. The market for classic folding knives has shrunk as Lock Blades and "Tactical Knives" have taken over the knife market and likely due to global competition.

Reputable Folding Knife Manufacturers

Case Trapper

Image: caseknives.com

You can find a nice quality knife for less than $30.

Some higher quality knives are very expensive. If you look carefully, you may note and appreciate the fine level of detail and quality of these knives. Regardless, we don't recommend purchasing expensive knives for Scouts as these knives have a tendency of taking a lot of abuse and will likely get lost at some point during scouting.

On the other end of the spectrum, many knives, including those sold in the Scout Shop or Trading Post, are Chinese copies. These are generally poor in quality and not recommended. It may seem like a great deal, but a non-functioning knife on an outing can be very disheartening and potentially dangerous.