Is the Cub Scout pocket knife the best choice for my 8 year old son?
My own preference would be for a pocket knife with a single locking blade so it can't close on small hands by accident. The official Cub Scout knife doesn't lock. We are now finishing the last part of the Whittlin' Chip and I'd like to get him a decent knife that's as safe as possible. He is already learning to chisel mortices with me, if that is some indication of his skill.
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I'm not sure if the official Cub Scout knife has changed, but I had one when I was a boy. I think your son would be proud to own the Cub Scout knife regardless of its other practical qualities. Likewise, I've owned several non-locking pocket knives up to the present day. While I regularly carved myself up growing up, I don't think I ever had an incident where it closed on my hand. Your son is almost certain to cut himself as well, so I suggest you buy him a box of bandaids.
Some points against the Cub Scout knife. I was never particularly impressed by the quality of the steel and never quite got it sharp. I remember the bottle opener/screw driver and awl being very difficult to open for my little six year old hands.
Some good points. Its relatively small, so it fits well in small hands and pockets. It has a loop for a safety cord to keep from losing it. It's not too simple and not too complex.
I'm a big fan of Swiss Army Knives. They're high quality and reasonably inexpensive. Bright red is easy to find. Here's what I recommend for a boy's first knife:
The Bantam: http://www.swissknifeshop.com/sh... It's simple and slim, one blade and a screwdriver/bottle opener. The screwdriver comes in handy especially since boys will otherwise tend to use the blade as a screwdriver/prybar.
Keith Perry, Startup finance guy (legal, HR, import export, corp setups...anything that happens in the back room)Startup finance guy (legal, HR, import export, corp setups...anything that happens in the back room)