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I was recently asked to recommend a low priced but good quality Scout knife. Well I've purchased just about every scout knife I could find that is currently being produced. Currently the only two I haven't bought are the Kissing Crane Scout knife that used 420 (AUS 6) stainless and goes for $25-30 and the Schrade GI Utility that uses a "400 Series" (Whatever that is) Stanless and goes for $20.
Below are the low priced ($25 and Under) current production 4 blade Scouts that I do own:
I have laid them out best to worst (in my opinion) from left to right. The opinion was based on price, steel, fit and finish, stay and play. All knives are made in China.
From left to right, best to worst
1) The Rough Rider Scout. - nice thick blades. 440 Stainless. Great snap, great fit and finish. Some blade rub but not bad. Brass pins and liners. Nickel silver bolsters. Has an old timey can opener that makes a great box cutter. Long Screwdriver and big plus! Red Jigged or Amber Jigged Bone Cost: $12-15
2) Cattleman's Cutlery Sage Brush Trail Scout - Blades are not as thick as the Rough rider but thicker than others.. 420J2 Stainless, Great snap. Standard tools, nice fit and finish. Well fitting Zebra Wood Scales. Stainless Steel through out. $15-$20. Als comes in black pakkawood.
3) Official Boy Scouts of America Camp Knife (Suspected Taylor Brands) - Blades a little thin. "400 Series Steel" Great snap on the blade. Some blade rub but not bad. Brass pins and liners. Nickel silver bolsters. Has Official Boy Scout Knife Blade etch and Boy Scout Shield. Amber Jigged Bone (3 5/'8 inches) Cost: $25.
3) Black Hills Camp Knife (Frost) - Blades a little thin. 440 Stainless OK snap on the blade. Some blade rub but not bad. Brass pins and liners. Nickel silver bolsters. Fit and finish could be better, Comes in Grey or Blue jigged bone or Orange Delrin. (3 5/'8 inches) Cost: $15.
3) Coleman Cub Knife - Nice thick blade... 420J2 Stainless, Great snap. Standard tools, Blades are tight but they don't open and smoothly as the should. Decent snap Black wood handles with the Coleman Lantern shield. (3 5/'8 inches) $12-15
(The three way tie is based on quality of the build and price. The Official BSA knife has a finish that rivals the Rough rider but it is also cost twise as much as the other two knives it tied with. )
4) Marbles GI Camp Knife - Blades are average thickness. 440 Stainless. the Baldes all have a a small amount of wobble. The knife is also quite a bit thinner than the original Mil-K knives. Long Screwdriver and big plus! Stainless Steel through out. Cost: (3 3/4 inches) $7-$10 Overall Opinion: Okay but for a couple more dollars you get a much better knife.
4) Boker Magnum Classic Steel - Blades are not as thick as the Rough rider but thicker than others.. 440 Stainless, Great snap. All blades have a small amount of wobble. The over all finis of the knife is quite nice. The Black wood handle are nicely pinned. Stainless Steel through out. (3 5/'8 inches) $12-15 Overall Opinion: Okay but there are better knives in the price range.
(the two way tie is based on the price of the Marbles. The Magnum is a better made knife but the marbles is simply cheaper)
I Can't t recommend buying the remaining two knives
5) Sarge Licensed BSA Scout knife - Blades are very thin. .. 440c Stainless, Fit and finish is just so-so significant blade wobble on the can opener and the awl . The awl is too thin for serious work. . Stainless Steel through out. (3 5/'8 inches) $25 Overall opinion: Not worth buying at any price.
6) Frost Double Warrior (Frost) - Blades a little thin. 440 Stainless OK snap on the blade. Bad blade rub . Brass pins and liners. Nickel silver bolsters. When people talk about poor quality Frost knives, this is one of them, Comes in Red or Blue jigged bone or in the Red/blue Smooth as pictured. Mine arrived with a bent awl which I had to bend straight in order to realign the blades and allow the knife ot close. Had I bought this one first, I would not have bought the Black Hills Scout. (3 5/'8 inches) Cost: $15. Overall opinion: Avoid it like a spurned psychopathic former lover.
Hope this helps anyone looking to buy a low priced camp knife.
Cool review Tobias, I found your comments interesting and informative. Thanks
Tobias, a very good comparison on these camp knives. The Rough Rider is a very sturdy and good looking inexpensive knife. You hit the nail right on the head.
I have a few scout knives but of all things, I don't have the Rough Rider! Probably the one I would put on my list. Eventually may go camping with the grandkids and that sure might make a handy knife to have along.
Great review Tobias. Is the Rough Rider the RR533? I have 15 RR's but not that one. I need to get it. But first I want to finish the Once In A Blue Moon and Rifleman series.
Oh, I also want to get the RR electricians knife. My want list is getting too long!
Charles, I got the electricians knife when I was at SMKW, it is a nice knife, you will like it. But be sure to get the Camp knife, it is great also.
Marvelous, Tobias. I appreciate all your reviews, and this one is a great comparison review.
Hi Charles, Currently the Scout is only made in amber Jigged (RR533) and Red Jigged (RR573) It is patterned after a Case 6445 Scout knife that featured the punch style can opener (Case made the knife with both a Punch and a safety can opener) I'm not sure what years featured which can opener. That's a question for the Case experts!
The direct link to the Scout review is at http://blindkat.hegewisch.net/RRR/RR-scouts.html
Great job, Tobias.