Pocket Knife Safety Badge

(Discover the Outdoors or Health & Fitness)

By Kerry Cordy

This badge should 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 requirements

_____ 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 open position.

To close pocketknife, hold handle with left hand with fingers safely on the sides. Push against back of blade with fingers of right hand, swinging handle up to meet blade. Let knife snap shut; "kick" at base of blade keeps 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
knife straight in front of you, rotate body to either side while continuing to extend the closed knife-arm. No one or
thing should be in the imaginary circle you have created. Also check your overhead clearance as this is part of
your safety circle.

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

Cut away from your body - not toward it.

If 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 sharp If you get cut, seek first aid immediately.

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

• 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 useless.

• Wipe the blade clean after using it. Then close it carefully.

_____ 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 carborundumstones. 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, keeping 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 when 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 equal 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 shape.


Resources:  These websites are not associated with Frontier Girls and we cannot guarantee their content.  Visit at your own risk. - Cub Scout Knife Safety and Whittling Chip Course