Boy Scouts of America BSA Pocket Knives

William D. Boyce established the Boy Scouts of America, or BSA, in 1910. At the time, the nation's citizens were moving from farm life to city living, and some people became concerned that young men were failing to learn how to be individuals and loyal to the country. The first official BSA knife was introduced in 1911.

A number of knife manufacturers have made BSA knife models. Makers of BSA model knives include Camillus, Case and Bear MGC along with Remington, Schrade and Imperial. Some of the renowned knife companies made BSA editions from their regular knife production line. To distinguish them from their standard editions, the knife makers would add the BSA shield to the handle or etch the logo in the main blade. Other companies designed knife models specifically for the BSA. However, every knife manufacturer that decided to include a BSA model in its lineup used the highest cutting tool standard that they had available. Today, new BSA model knives are made in China.

BSA Knife Manufacturing Companies

The Bear & Son Cutlery Company is a manufacturer of BSA model knives. The company's artisans are skilled and experienced. Bear & Son Cutlery trains its knife crafters to build the cutting tools by hand. Some companies make their knives by putting together knife parts that they buy from a variety of suppliers. Once the item is assembled, they add their name to it. The Bear & Son Cutlery Company is unique because it makes every aspect of its products in-house to make sure that its customers receive quality items. In 2007, the company released a BSA model knife. The edition is a two blade Barlow knife, and Bear manufactured the blades from 440 high carbon stainless steel. It has nickel bolsters and a laminated red and tan handle made from ash wood.

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Camillus is another company that manufactured BSA knife models. The company started making them in 1946. Camillus produced the knives until 2007. At that time, the company went out of business. Camillus also manufactured BSA knives that Imperial and Schrade Walden marketed. From 1946 until 1949, the company produced a camp style BSA pocketknife. The model features two blades on its bail end. One blade is a combination of a flat bade screwdriver and bottle opener while the other blade is an awl. The knife's main blade is on the other end. A two-piece can opener comes with the knife model, and its handle is black. The BSA logo is displayed on the handle.

The W.R. Case and Sons Cutlery Company developed its first BSA model knife in 2005. Case's BSA model options include the CASC4A edition. The manufacturer used a spear blade as the knife model's main cutting edge. Case also added a screwdriver, can opener and awl to the BSA knife. It has brass liner pins, and the handle features the BSA shield.

The Remington Arms Company was started in 1816, and in 1920, the company began developing cutlery. In 1923, Remington launched its first line of BSA knives, which it manufactured in its Bridgeport, Connecticut, plant. The company continued producing the knife line until it sold its cutlery branch to the Pal Blade Company during 1939. However, in 2009, BSA knives with the Remington brand returned to the market. If knife enthusiasts want a classic Remington BSA knife, then they will likely find the company's first model on the market. The vintage knife features a spear, smooth awl, can opener and a thin nail nick along with a short flat blade screwdriver. The knife model's shield is in the BSA acorn design.

The Schrade Cutlery Company began developing knives more than 100 years ago. It also produced a few BSA knives. When Schrade featured the knife models in its catalog, it listed the cutting tools as Boy Scout Knives or just Scout knives. Schrade BSA knives were made from basic camp cutting tool patterns. The company's BSA knives typically come with four blades, brass lining elements and nickel silver material.

The Imperial Knife Associated Company was established in 1947. The company manufactured its first BSA knife in 1949, and it continued producing the model until 1955. Imperial's initial BSA knife comes with four blades including a main cutting edge, flat blade, can opener and awl. The knife model's handle is black, and it has the BSA shield near the end of the main blade. Its closed length measures 3-3/4 inches, and it features an attached shackle on the end opposite from the main cutting edge. Newer Imperial BSA knife models may come with a white pearl handle or a plastic shield to mark the knife.

Final Thoughts

Collectors can acquire a piece of American history when they purchase a BSA model knife. Cutting tools that bear the organization's insignia are quality items. Furthermore, ownership of a classic BSA knife may bring back memories of past scouting adventures.

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