Modern Scout knife - Need help

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Jurphaas
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Postby Jurphaas » Thu May 20, 2004 1:21 am

Dear Sal - to my opinion Spyderco already offers a very good Scouts knife. With some small alterations to the blades these could easily become 'excellent' Scout knives. Look at your C19 Pro-Grip or look at your C45 Rescue 79mm on orange. Both knives belong to the 'smaller' Spydies and both are equipped with a very stron lock and both feature a lanyardhole. Now, add a factory made lanyard with a carabinerclip of an secure alternative way of carry. In addition I still think very highly of 440C. It is strong and tough, it keeps a good edge and it is extremely corrotion resistance. Could these fit into the "BYRD" filosophy???

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Postby Sword and Shield » Thu May 20, 2004 11:57 am

Erm, Boxer? Whaddaya mean the SAK is the only available Scout knife? Check Camillus' website, they've had the contract since '46 and aren't quitting anytime soon. <img src="smile.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>

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Postby boxer93 » Thu May 20, 2004 12:27 pm

S and S,
I was trying to state that the official one evokes a certain style. I know that they have many variations from cub to eagle, anniversary and even some lock blades. It's just what that parent had and what he was going to buy for his son. One reason I did the engraved Native III for eagle scouts is the official eagle SAK was dissapointing to me. Seemed smaller than the others and the red, white and blue side just didn't look right to me.
I agree that the existing 'contract' probably isn't going anywhere, it would be nice to see a higher quality cutter in the inner circle though.
One other thought I had too was that sal had asked about the knife. Something that I think would also benefit scouts (with any knife) would be a portable efficent sharpening system. IIRC there was a 'duck foot' design on the Story of sharp. Something on this idea that would fit on the lanyard would be nice, instead of the scout carrying around a flat stone.
Chris

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dialex
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Postby dialex » Sun May 23, 2004 3:04 pm

Thank you for the topic. At last, something to chew at. However (despite my attempt to conceive a modified Native for the Eagle Scouts), I'm not very familiar with this organization. And why do they need specialized knives in the first place?
Sorry for being a moron with all those (pretty off topic) questions... <img src="sad.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>

Edited by - dialex on 5/24/2004 12:33:24 AM

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Postby Sword and Shield » Mon May 24, 2004 3:48 pm

OK, the Scouts. It's a multipurpose organization- physical fitness, mental toughness, courtesy, self-reliance. We are the largest service organization in the US, and second in the world.

Why a specialized knife? They really don't require one. However, it's a guaranteed market, and Scout knives are widely collected. BIG profits.

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Postby charlie » Mon May 24, 2004 4:39 pm

Hi Sal;
For years I have been giving a knife to Scouts who have earned the rank of Eagle.
I have been giving Victorinox "Huntsman" with the BSA logo on the handle. This model contains many functions and is a handy tool box.
Camillus also has some BSA versions. So did Buck years ago.
However, if Spyderco made a Native with the BSA logo and Eagle (refer to previous posted picture)it would be a treasured knife for the older experienced scout.
I have been a part of the BSA program for over 50+ years and believe every boy should own a knife and learn how to use it properly.
I would start giving C41's (Eagle model) if they are available some day.
{} Collector #047, Advancement Comm. Troop 86,Santa Maria CA

Edited by - Charlie on 5/24/2004 7:30:48 PM

Edited by - charlie on 5/24/2004 7:31:45 PM

Edited by - charlie on 5/24/2004 7:33:49 PM

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boxer93
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Postby boxer93 » Tue May 25, 2004 11:16 am

Charlie,
Nice gesture. That's why I had the C78PBL engraved to give to eagle scouts. Maybe someday I'll actually give one to my son. He'll be presented his life patch at our Court of Honor in June. I found the native to be a good size for their hands. And <img src="spyder.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>co quality <img src="smile.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0> I hope you have another 50+ yrs in scouting.
Chris

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Postby Casiopeia » Tue May 25, 2004 12:13 pm

Hi Sal,

I asked my son what he thought as he has become a fan of spyderco knives since I got engaged to Mancer and he is a boy scout He said the following:

The knife needs to be able to do wood carving, cut rope, be able to use it for preparing food and preparing kindling for a fire.

My son also said that it can't be just a little pocket knife as that won't help. He said he liked the native as it has both the serrated blade and part of it is straight edged. You need them both in his opinion.



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Mancer
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Postby Mancer » Tue May 25, 2004 6:58 pm

I personally hearing what Casiopeia's son Stephen had to say, and myself been in scouts years n years ago would stay clear of the Native, Its a stunning knife, but I would want atleast a 40/60 combo edge, Serrated at the butt end.

I think a Pro Grip style knife would be stunning together with a Native styled handle with that loverly finger choil.

Mabey VG-10 steel?, I would think FRN would be a must, the stuff is darn strong, can be moulded as you please, is light and cuts costs.

I personally dont really think it needs to become a swiss army knife with 24 tools built in, just something that will hold up to the chores scouts preform, and one that will preform in small hands well.

Cheers

MaNcEr

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cdf
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Postby cdf » Sun May 30, 2004 7:42 am

Sad to say it has already been invented by Victorinox . Those designs could be tweaked a bit : Ie better staal , G10 handles etc . They have a good price point even in Canada . Bottom line is that like asprin they work .

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Mancer
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Postby Mancer » Sun May 30, 2004 8:50 am

The one thing I must say is this.
I love victorinox knives, the blade I use for work is a Victorinox Cybertool, it is brilliant!!!
But, for something like scouts with cutting alot of wood, in all honesty the victorinox blades do not handle that abuse like a native would.
Also there are no locking mechanisms like a lockback has, and ofcause the victorinox are small thin blades.
Something like a typical spyderco blade is quite chunky, it is strong and handles alot of cutting pressure put on it very very well.

Im planning to get my future stepson a Pro-Grip for his scouting since the Spyderco Scout knife is only in the planning stages at this point in time.

Cheers

MaNcEr

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Postby Zeppelin » Sun May 30, 2004 10:08 pm

This may sound really weird, but I think it would be a decent camping/outdoors type knife. Start with a handle sort of like a Dodo's, though with a traditional lock back. Put a blade on it sort of like a Spur's or a longer version of a Navigator. Toward the end of that long handle, stick a few gadgets, a small pair of scissors, a can opener, and a couple of screwdrivers or something like that. The no clip idea is okay. Lanyard hole and a pouch type sheath thatt maybe comes with a small sharpening stone and a couple of accessories in it. Just my two cents.

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Postby Little claw » Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:25 pm

I don't really know what scouts use their knives for, but there's no reason to limit thinking to just that.

>>What is important to have in a knife?

A blade and a handle.

I don't see any reason why a single bladed knife isn't an ideal scout knife - it could be marketed as a KISS, no frills, does what it says on the box knife. Something like the Calypso Jr would be perfect in my mind, the handle is comfortable for an adult, but simple and small enough to suit children of varying sizes.

blades - at least one (!) - if more, should have different features and function.
Main blade should be about 2 1/2", the sheepfoot idea is sound, but a point is very useful and the spear point has been seen fit to include on classic scout knives. I would suggest a blade a bit like the pro-grip, or Terzuola C15/C19. Plainedge to learn how to sharpen. a bit of belly, but not so much as to make sharpening difficult. it should incorporate a spyderhole. I like the idea of leaving the back rough for striking a steel - might keep the price down a bit, too.

Second blade (if included), should be short thin and narrow, perhaps 1 1/2" wharncliffe - I would make this a simple blade with a nail nick to open

tools - scissors (probably most used - kids'll probably use these for everything then start using the blade when the scissors won't do), can opener, tweezers - perhaps a Photon attached, like the keychain packages? I also think it would be a good idea to include a simple sharpening stone (or as a package option) or maybe some kind of slide out rod that fits into the knife?

Perhaps some way to personalise the knife - add your name, coloured lanyard beads, etc.

>>What quality level would be optimum?

Tough one. It should do its job better and more comfortably than an SAK.

My best guess is that you need to be hitting a price point where you can compete with SAK (at a higher price but with better features), perhaps basic leatherman. A lot of parents have enough trouble paying for clothes, school trips and other essentials to invest in a decent knife. Especially when there is more than one child. OTOH, maybe these aren't the people you'll be aiming at?

For the steel, ease of sharpening is paramount - kids need to be able to see results in order to learn the process. corrosion resistance would be a plus (although people have got by well enough with carbon steels in the past). so somethiing Like GIN-1 or AUS6.

FRN for handle material - durable, grippy, comfy. Colours could be offered: green for scouts, blue for guides or whatever it is

wire clip and lanyard hole

The bug is cute and cool and unique, and should be a prominent feature

>>What is the ideal size for the smaller hands?

I don't know, need to look at the target age range, but I would guess that a smaller knife would be useful to all ages than a larger one.

>>Do we want more than one size?

This is possibly one solution - would you have to lower the price to take into account the fact that a parent will now have to buy two knives over the years?

>>What re the safety issues and how do we deal with them?

Cuts. Why do they happen?

-cleaning
-sharpening
-cutting body parts in the way of proper cut
-hand sliding onto blade
-accidental closing
-accidental opening
-unpredictable/uncontrollable opening/closing
-carelessness
-horseplay
-throwing

most of these are people hazards - a result of incorrect behaviour. the only ones directly affected by the design of the knife are:
-accidental opening - shouldn't be an issue on a spyderco
-unpredictable opening/closing - spring too strong, lock difficult to disengage or ergos placing hand in path of blade
-accidental closing - the obvious solution would be a lock, but kids are ingenious when it comes to breaking stuff, and I think that a first knife should not rely on a lock for proper use. YMMV. But, again, classic scout knives over the years have done well without. a serviceable choil might be good, for safety. It also helps from a legal standpoint.

Its not like you're dropping these off to the kids and saying 'go play'. Anyone intorducing knives to kids in an organsied setting needs to include some form of education.

I would include a booklet and/or laminated tip sheets on:

-how to open/close the knife safely
-how to clean/sharpen it safely
-how to use it safely
-ideas for the different ways in which it can be used

Tutorials on how to use each tool would be good as well.

Kids are very web literate these days, so this booklet should include a link to an educational webpage with this info in more detail, and short feature articles on subjects such as projects/jobs with your knife, the sharpmaker, how your knife is made and why it is special, knife history, how to choose future knives, with links to other designs.

All the details of the features of this knife should be included - why the hole is there and how it can be used, why the spine is rough, why it has a clip/lanyard hole, why it does/doesn't have a lock, why the materials were chosen, etc The better a kid undertsands his/her tool, the greater value and respect they will give it. I would see this as good future marketing for Spyderco, differentiating the features for a fresh market and establishing brand loyalty early - it is also good publicity for the knife industry as a whole.

The booklet and website are there to answer the age-old question... "why do you need a knife?"

I realise that the langauge barrier might be a problem for international sales, but I think it offers good value to users as they will get more from it.

Consultation with scout groups should help narrow down the specifics and some kind of official approval/adoption would be great.

I guess I'm looking at this as a kind of solution sale. Non knife people buying these might not know what to look for or why to spend $10 extra, but knowing that your kid will be able to learn how to use a knife safely is worth an extra $10, isn't it?

I think its important that the packaging makes this whole concept clear, you're not just buying a knife, you're buying a set of solutions to the tasks that you may face. And it is a solution that will last a lifetime. I think it should be aimed at adults, too. After all, who do you ask about knives if you're not a knife person?

>>What materials would be ideal?

as above.

>>Do we need different features for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts?

I don't see why. It should be a simple effective tool. Perhaps the educationol side could be tailored, with different use ideas for boys and girls.

>>What price point will work best?

I don't know, but kids are expensive as it is. If you go mass market, you'll have to aim low, not much more than a smallish SAK, if you go higher there needs to be extra value. If thinking of non knife parents. Maybe a premium/value pack, with tip cards, pouch, stone and photon, and a standard pack, with just the tip cards.

>>What will Work best for the young person being exposed to the Scouting experience?

simple
easy to use
easy to maintain
useful
makes them feel self reliant and responsible


Edited by - Little claw on 6/2/2004 12:49:22 PM

delicrazy
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Postby delicrazy » Fri Jun 04, 2004 9:32 pm

i was a scout from around 11 to 13 or early 14, when i quit, after ataining the rank of first class. The scouting program may be bigger than ever, but the boyscouts aren't the same. My troop was full of lazy obese kids whos parents dumped them off to get them out of the house. My scoutmaster knew next to nothing of survival, and teneded to pack the back of his truck with anything he or his kid could need, including an air matress.

This meant that i was ususally the one to do the work, along with one other scout (at least in my patrol, there were a few other good scouts in the troop) but our patrols fended for themselves. some of the tools i would have loved on one knife were


a one hand opening blade, doesnt have to lock, but I needed to get to it quickly.

a big hunk of steel to serve as a screwdriver/pryer. i broke a lot of knife tips because i needed to pry things, i would want a big sturdy prier with a lock.

a phillips screwdriver, my packframe came loose occasionally

a large handle. different sized knives should be considered, because i know that a little 2 inch knife wouldnt have helped me much. i do have big hands for a 15 year old (left pinky on capslock key, with both hands stretched, thumbs tuching, tht other pinky rests on the 5 key) but i still would want a nice beefy handle, to use as a hammer and such. that would be a great scouting knife

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sal
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Postby sal » Wed Jun 09, 2004 9:22 am

Thanx much for all of the input. We'll digest this for a while and see if a possible model can develop.

sal

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Postby jaids » Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:53 pm

sal,

While I hate to post again after you think that you read all ideas, I did not see a sugestion for a flint rod, that could be stored in the handle just be hind the locking lever or on the back of a removable clip perhaps. I know that such a quick method of fire-starting would be very desierable in a knife. that said I would like a to see a lockback with a clip, removable flint rod, whistle, compass, and combo edge blade. with the above features it becomes more of a "lost in the woods" knife as it is very common of scouting troops to have basic tool set with them. I'm not really sure about steel but i have had good luck with 440c in the past. Blade length of about 3 1/2 inches with ridges like the jester has near the tip. These would be ideal for striking on the flint rod. price it below $50 if possible and I think that you will have a winner.

Jaids

edited for grammar

more accidents a caused by dull blades than sharp ones.

Edited by - jaids on 6/16/2004 2:56:11 PM

Edited by - jaids on 6/16/2004 3:29:40 PM

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sal
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Postby sal » Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:09 pm

Hi Jaids, no closing date. All suggestions are valuable and welcome.

sal

jaids
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Postby jaids » Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:36 pm

maybe something like this, but with a FRN handle

More accidents a caused by dull blades than sharp ones.

sharp
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Postby sharp » Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:56 pm

a compass and a emergency whistle, and a fire steel would make me a happy scout! one big blade 50/50 serrated and a small hooked blade plain edge. thats my two cent`s. keep it sharp.

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HoB
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Postby HoB » Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:28 pm

Mmmh, I guess it is a little late to add to this post, but anyway:

I think it is important for the knife to be something a grown-up would use as well. Kids always want to immitate grown-ups. A knife a grown-up wouldn't touch, they wouldn't want to have either.
Having said that:
ATS-55 steel,
Blade shape like the PE Rescue,
lock back (NOT slipjoint),
Glow-in-the-dark scales (and please only one color, which boy would want to be stuck with a knife that even comes in girly colors?) to minimize the chance of loss,
can opener,
Philips and slot screw driver,
awl (don't overload it, because it will become to bulky for kids hands).
Just under 3 in blade length for legal reasons,
Handle full size but with a slim and narrow profile to allow for use by both adult and kids (I mean I was 12 years old and could use the 10in cooks knife of my father without a problem).
Definitely only one size: again, which kid would want to be stuck with the "little version" of a "real knife".
Price point: A little more than a delica

I'm not a scout, but I'd buy it...<img src="smile.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>

Edited by - HoB on 7/7/2004 3:31:00 PM


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