Lock Blade Knives
A Lock-Blade Knife allows you to lock the blade in the open position. This function allows a folding knife to be temporarily turned into a Fixed-Blade knife. This prevents the blade from folding during use, which is a huge safety feature. Lock-Blade knives also tend to be meatier than traditional folding knives, allowing for rougher use in the outdoors.
Lock-Blade Knifes have been around since the 15th Century and there are many designs. They really became popular in the US when Buck Knives released their Lockback Knife now known as the Model 110 Folding Hunter in 1963. Commonly referred to as "Buck Knives", there are now many different Lock-Blade options available from many different manufactures.
A locking-blade is much safer for whittling and carving wood and therefor preferred for these tasks over a traditional folding knife. There are also MANY quality options to choose from as popularity of locking-blade knives has surpassed other knives.
Do note that these may be considered illegal in some Cities as well as some Countries where it is considered a weapon.
Note: Ones that auto-open should not be brought on scouting events. These are illegal in Washington State.
Safer than non-locking knife for whittling and carving
Thicker and more durable blade than most traditional folders
Easier to find a good quality lock blade than non-locking knife
Relatively Non threatening
May be illegal in some cities and countries
Some adults fear locking blade knives
Serrated vs non-Serrated Blade
Some blades come with a serrated edge.
Serrated will stay sharper for longer
A non-serrated blade is easier to sharpen and is easier to carve with
In scouting, a non-serrated blade is preferred
There are thousands of knife options out there. So how does one go about choosing a knife? Consider:
Brand name matters
US or European Made is generally preferred
Chinese made knives are hit and miss
Some are SO low quality, they are dangerous to use
Avoid unconventional blade shapes
You can find a quality knife for under $25
Expensive knifes will get lost or damaged just as easily as a $20 one
A Scout doesn't need a $100 knife. But since the knife is the more important survival tool in a scouts possession, our scouts deserve a knife that isn't junk.
Reputable Knife Manufactures
Some of these companies source parts and knives from abroad (China), but are know to be generally reliable.
The Gerber Paraframe Knife is an example of a adequate affordable knife
Can be found for under $20
This is a great starter knife for a Scout
If a scout loses this knife, it can be easily replaced
Reasonable quality for a scout
REI sells one with a firerod and sharpener - great value and gift for Scout
The Gerber Zilch is another affordable knife option
Buck has long been known for making durable lock-blade knives. The Bantam series has reasonable knives in different sizes.
283 Nano Bantam - 1 7/8" blade
284 BBW – Bantam Bantam Weight - 2 3/4" blade
285 BLW – Bantam Light Weight - 3 1/8" blade
286 BHW – Bantam Heavy Weight - 3 5/8" blade
The 284 BBW is good for small hands while the 285 BLW is good for regular adult sized hands.
The Nano is meant for a keychain or Cub Scout and the 286 BHW is for sasquatch hands.
They come in different colors and orange is the easiest one to see when it is left on the ground.
Nylon handle construction isn't as durable as classic Buck Knives like the 110 and 112, but for the price, it's an excellent starter knife.
You can find 284 BBW knives for under $20 when on sale - otherwise they go for around $25.
Buck also makes higher end knives.
A few lock-blades are designed for Bushcrafing. This is in part due to the need for battoning, which isn't good for knives with a hinge. The Finn Wolf is NOT designed for battoning, but the nice Scandinavian style blade is good for carving and other non-impact bushcrafting. Price is very reasonable at around $35
Other Lock-Blades with Scandi grid get pricy
French blade can be sharpened razor sharp (may come dull)
Not as durable as knives with thicker blades, but still a favorite among many
Old school twist lock works well but needs to be shown to scout
Locking ring can be removed to make it legal in the UK
Old school look (function over style)
Excellent knife for a mature scout for under $15
Survival versions come in bright colors with built in whistle and fire starting rod
Most quality multi-tools incorporate a locking blade
They also come with a wide range of other useful tools
Good quality multitools can get very expensive
If you love Swiss Army Knives, they have lock-blade options too