When I picture wolverine in my mind I can't help but think of him with claws out. It is his single most identifiable trait. He has healing powers and strong olfactory senses but the claws are what truly set him apart from other characters (in his first appearance these other powers weren't mentioned from what I understand.) Is he the first character to only (or mainly) have claws as his main trait or power?
Wolverine was not the first, but is certainly the most popular and memorable comic character to have claws as the main trait. He made his first full appearance in The Incredible Hulk #181, in 1974.
The first comic character to have long claws was a villain by the name of The Claw. From the entry:
Named the Claw because of his deformed hands, not to mention the fangs he got from his mother’s side....
He debuted in Silver Streaks Comics #1, in 1939, 35 years before Wolverine graced the page of a comic book. The Claw met his death in Daredevil Comics #31, in 1945.