Knifes, Saws, and Axes

In Scouting, if you aren't carrying a knife on an outdoor activity, you are doing something wrong. It is not only one of the 10 essentials, but a knife is necessary for tasks anywhere from cooking, first aid, to starting a fire.

Things you need to think about when purchasing / carrying a knife:

  • Is it in accordance with Troop 25's regulations?
  • Where are you going and is it allowed there?
  • Is it in accordance to the State of Oregon's laws?
  • What are you using it for?

Troop 25's rules for knifes (see Troop manual):

  1. It can be a folding knife or a fixed blade know, but cannot exceed 4-1/2 inches in length.
  2. All knives shall be in good repair, with no broken handles or blades.
  3. All knife handles need to be conducive to a sturdy, firm, and controlled grip.
  4. No springs or other mechanisms for opening a knife. The only way a knife can open is by the users hand.
  5. Fixed blade knives shall have a half tang or more and within a study, well fitting sheath when not in use.
  6. No daggers, butterfly knives, throwing knives, switch blades, etc. Use common sense.

Remember - A knife is a tool and not a toy. As soon as it becomes a weapon, something that is used as toy, or when it becomes dangerous, policy is that it can not longer be used. This is the reason BSA requires every user of a knife, axe or saw to undergo the Toten Chip training (Boy Scouts) or Whittle Chit (Cub Scouts) training prior to carrying or using.

Totin' Chip - Boy Scout training card for use of axes, knives and saws.



Whittling Chip - Cub Scout training for use of a pocket knife. Cub Scouts aren't allowed to use axes and saws... only Scouts after the Totin' Chip is earned.

Oregon State Law.

Oregon law does not restrict the ownership of any type of knife for those who have not been convicted of a felony. As a matter of , in 1984 in State v. Delgado, the Supreme Court of Oregon found that former Oregon statute § 166.510(1) was unconstitutional because it prohibited the mere possession and mere carrying of a weapon. The Court believed that restricting the possession and open carrying of weapons for non-felons was a violation of a person’s right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.

166.240 Carrying a Concealed Weapon says "(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, any person who carries concealed upon the person any knife having a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force, any dirk, dagger, ice pick, slungshot, metal knuckles, or any similar instrument by the use of which injury could be inflicted upon the person or property of any other person, commits a Class B misdemeanor. "

Restrictions to Carry:

  • It is illegal to conceal carry a dirk, dagger, or any stabbing knife
  • It is illegal to conceal carry a Balisong, or butterfly knife
  • It is illegal to conceal carry a gravity knife
  • It is illegal to conceal carry any knife with a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force (swinging the knife around)
  • It is legal to conceal carry a pocketknife
  • It is legal to open carry any type of knife

Oregon may be one of the most lenient states when it comes to owning knives. Unless you have been convicted of a felony, you can own any knife you choose in Oregon. Those who have been convicted of a felony, may not own a knife with a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force.

It is illegal in Oregon to conceal carry, on your person, a dirk, dagger, or stabbing knife, a butterfly knife, gravity knife, or any knife with a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force.

Oregon State Law.

Oregon law does not restrict the ownership of any type of knife for those who have not been convicted of a felony. As a matter of fact, in 1984 in State v. Delgado, the Supreme Court of Oregon found that former Oregon statute § 166.510(1) was unconstitutional because it prohibited the mere possession and mere carrying of a weapon. The Court believed that restricting the possession and open carrying of weapons for non-felons was a violation of a person’s right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.

166.240 Carrying a Concealed Weapon says "(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, any person who carries concealed upon the person any knife having a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force, any dirk, dagger, ice pick, slungshot, metal knuckles, or any similar instrument by the use of which injury could be inflicted upon the person or property of any other person, commits a Class B misdemeanor. "

Restrictions to Carry:

  • It is illegal to conceal carry a dirk, dagger, or any stabbing knife
  • It is illegal to conceal carry a Balisong, or butterfly knife
  • It is illegal to conceal carry a gravity knife
  • It is illegal to conceal carry any knife with a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force (swinging the knife around)
  • It is legal to conceal carry a pocketknife
  • It is legal to open carry any type of knife

Oregon may be one of the most lenient states when it comes to owning knives. Unless you have been convicted of a felony, you can own any knife you choose in Oregon. Those who have been convicted of a felony, may not own a knife with a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force.

It is illegal in Oregon to conceal carry, on your person, a dirk, dagger, or stabbing knife, a butterfly knife, gravity knife, or any knife with a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force.

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Some knives illegal to carry in Oregon

Where are you going? Having a knife not always necessary or even permitted so plan ahead. Based on where you are going will determine whether having a knife is even permitted. For example, if you are going to a court house, jail, or any other public building, it is not permitted by law to have any kind of knife in your possession. If you are flying on a plane, either don't bring it or check it in your luggage. Is the program for the weekly Troop meeting require you to bring it that night?

What are you doing with it? Let's clear up a misconception.... a scout can use a machete but the question is why would you. It is not permitted by Troop policy because of that reason - there is no need in Oregon. Unless you are going to the Florida Everglades, there is probably no need for any Troop to need one. There are different type of knives too. Which type is best for the situation?

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Drop Point - The top of the blade drops down toward the tip, which minimizes accidental puncturing when skinning. The drop point blade is strong and very versatile. The general work knife.

Tanto - Strong for heavy duty use. Holds up to piercing, scraping, and prying.

Modified Tanto - Same a the tanto blade but the angled point is modified between the front edge and the bottom edge.

Skinner - Best for skinning game. Tip is narrow while the wide curved belly gives a skinning sweep that aids in getting through thick layers.

Pen - Smaller version of the "spear point" blade. Usually on pocket knives as an all-purpose blade.

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Coping - Narrow black with a sharp, angular point designed to cut in tight spots or curved patters (similar to a coping saw without teeth)

Clip - Good for doing intentional puncture work (making new holes) and working in tight places. Tip is a thinner, sharper point, making it not a strong as the thicker drop points and skinners.

Caping - Scalpel-like shape with a mild drop point and a nearly spear tip . Used for delicate removal of hides and small game. Usually slim and very line duty, not indented to carry as a single duty knife.

Serrations - Great cutting power, especially useful when cutting line and/or cables. Not good for whittling and harder to sharpen.

Gut Hook - Field dressing game