All About Pocket Knives
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:56 pm 
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Hi all. I've always had a passion for knives, ever since my parents wouldn't let me have a Cub Scout knife. I finally bought one at age 60! I have some tactical knives, folders and some hunting knives, but I don't think they will do the trick for whittling, a hobby I'd like to get into without breaking the bank. My goal is to get started and try making some simple chains and balls in cages.

Anyway, back to the knife. I've explored Opinels, real wood carving knives (one short blade and a large handle) and a few folding knives. I have stones and strops and shave with a straight razor, so keeping a knife sharp is not a problem, and I'm kinda drawn to folding, pocket knives with maybe two or three blades.

What should I be looking for in a pocket knife to do some whittling? Any specific models recommended?

Thanks a lot.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:03 pm 
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Have you read through everything in this forum? viewforum.php?f=52

I think there are a couple conversations that should help you.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:41 pm 
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I like the Boker 280 pattern ::tu::
The 3 1/2" length, the serpentine shape, and the blade options are right for me.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:48 pm 
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I've never done any carving, but this Camillus 72 might not be a bad choice.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:20 am 
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Howdy and welcome, ziggy ... In regards to a folder for whittlin' with, that is a tough call...there are MANY out there to choose from. If possible, I'd recommend handling the knife before you buy it. Since you will be whittlin' for an extended period of time with the knife, you may want to consider one that is big enough to fit comfortably in your hand. It's mighty hard on the hand when you contort your fingers to hold a small knife for a long length of time. Really fatigues the hand.

I'd suggest at LEAST 3 1/2" closed, but I prefer 3 3/4" to 4 1/4" .

The Boker and Camillus that rangerblue and FRJ posted are both very FINE knives...I have a couple of those myself. I am partial to the "congress" pattern for whittlin' with and carry one with me every day, either a CASE (with Chrome Vanadium blades), GEC or BOKER. (I'd choose one with Carbon Steel blades)

I think you covered the most important part of a good whittlin' knife...keep it SHARP. Whatever knife you choose, keep a keen edge on her and you will enjoy the hobby.

Let us know what you choose and Happy Whittlin' ::tu::

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:32 am 
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Well, I'm starting to glaze over looking at all the posts and different knives on the Net. I like the Boker and the Camilus posted here, and I'm also considering a Rough Rider, as the blades look just right and the price is right. Barlows also look good. The combination of having at least one small blade and a larger handle seem like a good idea, more like a real carving knife and probably more comfortable than a small pocket knife.

So far the knives I've been looking at are pretty inexpensive, and I can always order one or more and just add them to my collection. I should probably go into a large store like Cabelas and actually hold them in my hand to see what "fits." Kinda like buying a gun. :-)

Thanks, and open to any and all suggestions.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:42 am 
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ziggy925 wrote:
I should probably go into a large store like Cabelas and actually hold them in my hand to see what "fits." Kinda like buying a gun. :-)

That's a good plan, zig.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:46 pm 
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Flexcut makes a couple of folding carving jacks; one with four and one with six blades. They include very useful carving blades like a large and small carving blade, chisel, scorp, and gouge. They also make some very good carving tools at a reasonable price. The six blade carver is probably the best choice for one do-it-all tool.

Great Eastern Cutlery has recently come out with a 3 1/2 inch Whittler pattern that would be pretty good, although may be a little small for extended work. It features a large wharncliffe blade and two small blades, a clip and a cope. Mine came extremely sharp right out of the box.

Probably the most useful blade shapes would be the small bladed knives and gouges, with scorp and veiner blades secondary. But you can never have too many blade shapes for various cuts in wood grain.

Personally, I prefer the single use tools. You can find some great deals on ebay, but choose carefully. Flexcut tools run about $12-$20 a copy new, but they are very comfortable and come razor sharp.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:16 pm 
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I'm not a whittler but I recently (Tues) handled the Cannitler by Canal Street Cutlery. I thought it was pretty knifty!

Log on to www.droppointhunter.com and searh for Cannitler.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:42 am 
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Location: Columbus OH
For the function of 'whittlin' I would agree with Gunstock about the Flex Cut line of Carving Jack's. Although, I would lean towards the four function version rather than the 6 function simply do to cost & the 4 function Jack can perform just about any task. Flex Cut also recently came out with a two blade 'Whittlin Jack' where they basically copied there ergo-handle. I have one of those & like it alot with two exceptions. 1 - if you don't have finger nails, you're going to have problems opening the blades. the detent around the nail nick is VERY SMALL. And 2 - the so-called detail blade really isn't a 'detail blade' - it is too big. You can find this one for around $50 with shipping. Feel free to google 'Carving Jack' and/or 'Whittlin Jack'


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:40 am 
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Thanks for all the suggestions. As I said, I have some bass wood on the way and a beginner book but no knife so far. I have taken everything said and shown here into account, and I have a much better idea of what a whittling knife not only looks like but why it has the blades it does. There are a lot of three/four blade knives on the net, but I think I need to hold it in my hand. I really like that un-X-ld in the photo. Sweet.

I'll let you know what I wind up with and keep you posted on any projects. I saw a video of a guy with a really long chain he made from a 2x4. It would be kinda cool to have one lying around and have friends say, "You made that?"

It would be even cooler to give friends hand-made ornaments this Christmas.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:29 am 
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Location: Columbus OH
ziggy925 wrote:
Thanks for all the suggestions. As I said, I have some bass wood on the way and a beginner book but no knife so far. I have taken everything said and shown here into account, and I have a much better idea of what a whittling knife not only looks like but why it has the blades it does. There are a lot of three/four blade knives on the net, but I think I need to hold it in my hand. I really like that un-X-ld in the photo. Sweet.

I'll let you know what I wind up with and keep you posted on any projects. I saw a video of a guy with a really long chain he made from a 2x4. It would be kinda cool to have one lying around and have friends say, "You made that?"

It would be even cooler to give friends hand-made ornaments this Christmas.


Something like this?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:32 am 
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Very cool chain. What did you start with and how long did it take? As long as we're at it, what kind of knife did you use?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:33 am 
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I finally made it to the Big City today (45 miles away) and one of my favorite stores had all their knives on sale so I went for it. I picked up a Schrade Uncle Henry that looked like it had a good assortment of 3 blades. The main 2.5" blade is what looks like a very narrow Texas Tickler. The other two blades are a 1.75" Sheep Foot and a 1.5" Pen Blade. The the overall length closed is 3.5". I could keep looking and looking, but for the money it looked like a good versatile whittler. Some of the other stores had nice knives but they were all sealed in plastic so there was no way to hold the knife in my hand before buying it. And have you noticed that most places only carry "tactical" folders these days?

I also got a Swiss Army Tinker, a knife that was recommended in a book I've got. Interestingly, when you open the small blade, a 1.5" Pen Blade, the knife resembles a "real" carving knife with a small blade and large handle. Being a Swiss Army it also has a bottle opener which should come in handy. :D

So, I think I'm off to a good start, and over time I may just love these two or move on to other knives. I may want to move on to carbon steel blades but regardless you can't have too many knives. Right? And whittle or not, both are nice pocket knives.

I'll keep you posted and thanks again for the help.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:56 am 
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the chain is about 4 ft long. Each link is about 1" - 1 1/2" long. It was made from a split pine 2x4 (wood I DON'T recommend). About 45 mins for each link. The ball in a cage, the elephant & the dual knight pieces took a bit longer. Probably in all about 32hrs. I used a Flex Cut rough-out knife. But those are made for whittling.


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