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Bear Claws Adventure: 3 Types of Pocketknives

Find out about three designs of pocketknives, a requirement for the Bear Cub Scout adventure Bear Claws. You can also download a FREE printable activity!

3 common designs of pocketknives

Owning a pocketknife is almost a rite of passage for many kids and especially so for Cub Scouts. Many of our Scouts can't wait until they're Bears so that they can earn their Whittling Chip which allows them to carry a pocketknife at pack campouts. However, they must have the permission of their parent and den leader as well as proper adult supervision.

Earning the Whittling Chip is part of the Bear Adventure, Bear Claws. Another Bear Claws requirement is to learn about the three common designs of pocketknives.

Bear Adventure:  Bear Claws 1.  Learn about three common designs of pocketknives.

There are three common pocketknife designs:  the pen knife, the jack knife and the multi-purpose knife. So, what's the difference in these three?

pocketknife pen knife

The pen knife has hinges and blades on both ends of the knife. Often, they will have two or three blades at each end. They are also smaller than the other two types.

pocketknife jack knife

The jack knife is only hinged on one end, but it may have more than one blade. Outdoorsmen such as hunters, campers and fishermen tend to like these knifes.

pocketknife multipurpose knife

The multi-purpose knife is popular because there are so many different things they can have on them.  Obviously, they'll have a knife blade, but they can also have a file, scissors, tweezers, can or bottle openers and even a mini-saw blade.

Cub Scout pocket knife designs activity printable

To help the Scouts learn the types, you can use these printables. Print them on card stock, have the Scouts cut them out and use brads to attach the pieces. The boys can write the pocketknife's type on it.

You can always assemble one set of these to use as an example rather than having the boys make them.

I hope this helps you with the Bear Claws Adventure!

Yours in Scouting,

P.S. If you decide that your Scout is ready for their first pocketknife, check out these Swiss Army knives available from REI.

swiss army knife

Whittle While You Work – Everyday Grandparents

Saturday 9th of September 2017

[…] my Internet travels, I came upon a site that had templates for cutting the three different pocket knives out of paper. You use those little […]

Marilyn Wouden

Thursday 3rd of March 2016

I agree thank you for this information and printouts. We had an incident with a knife that wasn't right. I am going to have my boys memorize the Whittling Chip before they get the card. I want my boys to know a knife is not a toy to take lightly.

Catherina Price

Tuesday 29th of September 2015

Sherry, WE would like to share your link on our College of Cub Scouting this is the "Pow Wow" for the Cub Scout Leaders of the GREAT SALT LAKE COUNCIL. Can we link your blog address to our Resource Library? We are having a Class taught on Whittling and Wood Working and Your Info is "Spot on". Thank you for being an amazing Cub Scouter! Thank you, Cathy Price Dean of College of Cub Scouting 2015 "Adventures for Life"


Monday 5th of October 2015

I would love that! Feel free to link away! :) Thanks so much!

ashley l

Monday 25th of May 2015

thank you so much for printouts.


Wednesday 17th of June 2015

You're welcome! Thanks for reading!

Kim Carlson

Wednesday 4th of March 2015

Thanks so much for the great ideas! I love the new feature where I can print just what I need! It saves so much paper. Thanks~


Tuesday 10th of March 2015

So glad it's helpful! Thanks for reading!