Question Of The Day: What Was Your First Knife?

Image courtesy of David C. Andersen

I’m sure that for many of you, your first knife holds a special place in your heart. Mine certainly does. It was a tool, a teacher, and a treasured friend…

Although I had a couple of knock-off Swiss army knives that I earned selling popcorn as a Boy Scout, the first “real” knife I received when I was young was given to me by my father. It is an official BSA Whittler made in the USA by Camillus. Adorned with faux jigged bone scales, it sports 3 flat ground blades (a large and small clip point, and a small sheepsfoot) made of some variety of carbon steel.

Image courtesy of David C. Andersen

With this knife, I learned how to care for, and respect, a blade. I can remember sitting on our front steps and using the knife to whittle neckerchief slides, using mostly the small blades. The small clip did most of the carving, while the sheepsfoot was used mostly for scoring and notching. Of course, it accompanied me on countless camping trips. It was an object of pride and different from the knives most of my scout mates carried. I still carry it occasionally today, and it always feels special.

Eventually I transitioned to the traditional “Scout” pattern knife, and then on to Swiss Army Knives and Leatherman products, but of all the knives in my collection, this Camillus BSA Whittler is the only one that I will never part with. What about you? Tell us about your first knife.


  1. Jerrick says:

    Small Swiss Army knife my dad gave me in 2nd grade. I thought I was king of the world! I still remember it being kosher to carry it to school.

  2. jwm says:

    I started life on a small farm. Knives, like guns, were just a fact of every day life for us. I don’t even remember my first knife. But until I joined the scouts all my knives had been well worn used examples passed thru older members of the family. Even my grandmothers had folders in their aprons.

    My first new in the box knife was my boy scout knife. I even carried that one in the service.

  3. Terry Kramer says:

    The Classic Boy Scout pocket knife

  4. sagebrushracer says:

    a Victorinox Electrician, had a regular blade, electricians blade and a Philips in the back. Got it at from Radio Shack one Christmas, they don’t make them anymore. Still have it.

  5. It'sAlwaysRainyInPittsburgh says:

    The Wenger equivalent to a Victorinox Tinker. The scissors were awesome, but the main blade never had snap from day one. It did well enough for the lightweight camping we did in girl scouts, but I traded it with my brother for a brown delrin boy scout knife with a bail. I still have that one somewhere. It’s fun to see all the damage I did learning how to sharpen. >^^<

  6. Sam L. says:

    Pretty sure is was an Official Cub Scout Knife. Set aside when I bought my Official Boy Scout Knife (with the belly sharpened off the blade after all these years), which is attached to my BSA uniform pants. Later, my uncle gave me a Henkels 2-blade with fingernail file.

  7. kap says:

    I’m pretty sure my first pocket knife was a Case, yellow handle fisherman’s knife with about a 31/2 ‘ main blade and a combination hook remover and scaler for the other, My mother sold that blade when we moved to Washington State in 1961. the next one was a Navy Issue TL-29 by Camulis, the first one was confiscated my the Mexican Police, {Don’t ask} the last one lasted until my younger son decided too loose it about 1994.

  8. MD says:

    Can’t recall the exact knife, but as a kid I had a number of case style pocket knives, at least one SAK, and eventually graduated to a “Black Cat” lockback.

  9. Miles J says:

    Case Peanut. I got this when I was about 7 or 8 years old.

    This is a good question I’m surprised not more answers though. I didn’t know till I was about 35 what model it was I just remembered Case and found it while looking at a catalog. Now I know it was the one with chrome vanadium blades they had a patina on them but were always sharp. Somewhere in my teens I broke the main clip point blade and the knife went out with the trash. I collected knives then and had plenty to replace it with. But I always remember that one because it was given to me by my Father.

  10. bulbul says:

    This: Back then (1986 or thereabouts), in our parts, every boy had one.

  11. S. Thomas K. says:

    I was given a wood handled kitchen knife, had a 3 1/2″ clip point blade. It was about the size of a typical paring knife, and I`d have to say that`s what it was, except I`ve never seen a paring knife with a clip point. This was when I was either four or five. My Dad gave it to me, and he`d made a belt sheath for it from cardboard ersatz leather, stapled together. The point of the blade itself was rounded/dulled so that it wasn`t possible to stab anything with it. I don`t remember the specific moment when it was given to me, just that I remember having this knife when I was four or five, and that it was my knife. I owned this `til I was about ten, when it went missing/disappeared/got lost/stolen.
    Around the same time as giving me the knife, my Dad manufactured a small hatchet for me, proportionate to a five year old boy`s size; has a small rectangular head with no taper except at the edge, and an eye welded on from pipe slightly squished into an oval shape. That`s still in my Dad`s workshop. Chopped a lot of wood with that.

  12. Brian Rahardi says:

    My first knife actually a knock-off Christy 1950 model, but I never realy used it as I was too young to understand anything but danger about knife. My real appreciation about knife is after MacGyver TV series and my dad got me a knock-off SAK. I had many child adventure and the knife was always with me. From sharpening pencils to disassembling electronics. It might last for 3/4 years until some of its components disintegrate. SAK type is always my favorite then survival knife and then some balisongs.

  13. Tom says:

    First Knife was a Barlow, still carry one 50 years later

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Question Of The Day: What Was Your First Knife?

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