It is safe to say that when the old-timers were boys themselves, there was not a lad among them who could not whittle with considerable skill and many a twelve year old boy was an adept at the art. I remember with the keenest pleasure the rings, charms and knick-knacks which I carved with a pocket knife before I had reached the scout age of twelve. Today,however, the boys handle their knives so awkwardly as to make the chills run down the back of an onlooker.
Inorder to properly open a knife, hold it in your left hand, and with the thumbnail of your right hand grasp the blade at the nail notch (Fig. 45) in such a manner that the line of the nail makes a very slight angle; that is, it is as near perpendicular as may be (Fig. 46), otherwise you will bend back your thumbnail until it hurts or breaks. Pull the blade away from your body, at the same time drawing the handle of the knife towards the body (Figs. 47 and 48). Continue this movement until the blade is fully open and points directly from your body (Fig. 49).
Practise this and make it a habit; you will then never be in danger of stabbing yourself during the process of opening your knife—you will open a knife properly and quickly by what is generally termed intuition, but what is really the result of training and habit.