Thursday, June 28, 2012

They're Made In China, Now

Just like most everything else is, these days. I refer to Official Cub Scout Knives, and Official Boy Scout Knives. I recently picked up a sample of the Cub Scout Knife off of eBay for $20.


Fit and finish on this Chinese-made knife are excellent. Right out of the box I noticed that the leather punch didn't close properly, and required a little bending to allow it to slip inside properly, but I've seen the same from US-manufactured knives. Blades are all stainless steel rather than carbon steel, saddening to an old-timer like me who grew up with knives that developed a patina with use. Handle scales are dyed bone, and the Cub Scout logo inletted into the scale appears to be brass or bronze. The main blade came with the same sort of utility edge these knives have always been shipped with, even from the US factories; a few strokes on an A. G. Russell crock stick and the blade was hair-popping sharp.

The Chinese seem to have problems getting the bottle openers on these sort of knives correct, mainly getting the catch hook curved and pointed enough to catch on a bottle cap; I have three Chinese-made knives with bottle openers: this one, a Boy Scout pattern made for Kissing Crane, and another Boy Scout pattern made for Rough Rider, and all three have crappy bottle openers. On this Cub Scout knife I used a round diamond hone to re-shape the catch hook to make it easier to open bottles, although I may have taken too much metal off. We'll see.

A well-made knife for one of today's Cub Scouts. If I myself regret that the knives aren't made in the US any more, young scouts of today probably won't even notice, since anything associated with patriotism isn't taught any longer in US public schools (and the boy couldn't carry his knife into school any more without being arrested as a dangerous criminal).

Just...sad, when you think about it. Good knife, though.

1 comment:

KurtP said...

When I was in the Navy, our Seabee uniforms had the brass buckle that made an excellent bottle opener.

But, now that 99.5% of all bottles are twist-off- why worry about a bottle opener?