Pocket Knife SafetyPocketknife safety

(Discover Health and Fitness or
Discover the Outdoors)
By Kerry Cordy

This badge must be earned
before a pocket knife can be brought to campouts or other group activities where

knives might be appropriate.  This badge must also be earned before the
Pocket Knife Badge can be earned.

This badge must be completed under the
supervision of a qualified adult.

All levels must complete ALL listed

_____ 1.*  Learn and be able to
demonstrate the proper way to open and close a pocket knife.

To open a
pocketknife, hold in left hand, put right thumbnail into nail slot. Pull blade
out while pushing
against hinge with little finger of left hand. Continue to
hold on to handle and blade until blade snaps into
position. To
close pocketknife, hold handle with left hand with fingers safely on the sides.
Push against back
blade with fingers of right hand, swinging
handle up to meet blade. Let knife snap shut; "kick" at base of blade
edge from touching inside of handle.

_____ 2.*  Learn, demonstrate, and
explain the reasons for a pocket knife safety circle

To establish a
safety circle, grasp a closed pocketknife in your hand, extend your arm and with
the closed
straight in front of you, rotate body to either
side while continuing to extend the closed knife-arm. No one or
should be in the imaginary circle you have created. Also check
your overhead clearance as this is part of

_____ 3.*  Learn the following safety rules for
handling a pocket knife.

Cut away from your body - not toward it.
you drop your knife, let it fall - Do NOT attempt to catch it.
Do not run
with a knife.
Do not throw a knife to anyone - hand it to them in an
appropriate manner (handle first)
Don’t point a knife at anyone
If the
blade doesn’t lock open, watch for collapsing
Keep your knife folded/sheathed
when carrying or not using
Do not sharpen on a power grinder - use a
sharpening stone
Use the right tool for the job.  Don’t use knives as
screwdrivers, pry-bars, chisels, or punches.
Always use a knife in a well lit
area so that you can see what you are doing.
Do not use a knife on “live”
electrical items like appliances.
Keep your knife clean, lubed, and
If you get cut, seek first aid immediately.

_____4.*  Learn
and demonstrate the proper way to pass an open knife from one person to

The person handing should hold knife by the blade, passing the
handle to the other person. In this way the
handler has control of the edge
of the knife.

_____ 5.*  Learn and demonstrate the proper way to care for
your knife including:

• Knives should be kept clean, dry and sharp at all
• Never use it on things that will dull or break it.
• Keep it off
the ground. Moisture and dirt will ruin it.
• Keep it out of fire. The heat
draws the temper of the steel. The edge of the blade becomes soft and
• Wipe the blade clean after using it. Then close it

_____ 6.*  A dull knife will not work properly and is actually
dangerous to use.  A sharp knife bites into what it
is cutting, while a
dull knife can slip off easily, resulting in cut fingers.  Keep a sharpening
stone with your
knife and demonstrate its proper use.  A sharpening
stone can also be called whetstones or carborundum
stones. One
measuring 3/4 of an inch by 3 inches is large enough and is a handy size to
carry.  Understand
the difference between the coarseness of the
different sharpening stones available (finer is better for small
knives) and whether your stone requires water or oil.

Rules for
sharpening a knife
1. Place the stones on a level surface.
2. Wet the
stone with a little water or oil.
3. Place the blade of the knife flat on the
stone, then raise
the back edge about the width of the blade itself,
the cutting edge on the stone.
4. Draw the knife straight back
toward you, or move it
straight back and forth putting pressure on it only
you pull it toward you. This is always better than moving it
in a
circular fashion.
5. Turn the blade over and repeat on the other side an
number of times.
6. Wipe clean.
It will take half an hour to
sharpen a dull knife, but once
sharp, a minute a day will keep it in perfect