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Knife for my son

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by JDieseljoe69, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. JDieseljoe69

    JDieseljoe69 Lover of Tequila Handled Busse's!! Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 16, 2010
    My son is in Cub Scout's as a Bear this year and they are doing their whittling badges, so naturally I am looking to get him a nice knife he can carry(when not at school!!), that is not hard to pull(he is only 8).
    Any suggestions for a knife for him would be greatly appreciated!!
  2. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    I think the Opinel #6 is the perfect knife for a young kid. It's a friction folder and not a spring based slip joint. This means that there is no spring trying to move the blade when opening and closing. It comes with a lock ring, so it can be locked open. Opinels are also very inexpensive, so if lost, easily replaced without breaking the bank. They're a little on the crude side out of the box. Many people sand down the inner surface of the pivot area (fold sandpaper over a spackling spatula) to get them to open easier.

    I started my kid with an Opinel and would do the same again. Took him several years to have the hand strength to open and close slip joints safely.
  3. Saymon


    Jun 18, 2012
    Congratulations for idea friend! I recommend a simple blade victorinox SAK whith security lock, that is robust and secure. Good for scout's.
  4. Humppa

    Humppa Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    My first thought, too. An Opinel is great for a first name. No tension on a spring, because there is none. And - it has a locking ring, so the knife will not close while in hand. For sure, you can costumize it a little for your little son.


    Sep 13, 2012
    I got my son one of these SAK Boy Scout knives when he got his "whittling chip". This model fit his hands pretty well, has a pen blade for carving and doesn't have the scissors ( I'm pretty certain the little springy deal would not have lasted long).

    (Non member vendor link removed)
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2012
  6. JDieseljoe69

    JDieseljoe69 Lover of Tequila Handled Busse's!! Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 16, 2010
    Thanks for the idea's, I never thought of the Opinel, but that might be perfect. I did think of the SAK's but some tend to be tough to open.
  7. Humppa

    Humppa Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    SAKs are great knives - however, but I don´t know if it´s a good choice for a little boy. The springs might be a little too tough for an 8-year-old.
  8. sunnyd


    Jul 17, 2004
    I couldn't agree MORE!. The Vic Sak w/Lock is a perfect first pocket knife for a young man learning to whittle!

    Have lots of fun and the best of luck with your son no matter what knife you decide on!
  9. dmattaponi


    Sep 1, 2012
    Check out the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Boy Scout models. Perfect knife for a Scout, and they come with the Boy Scout logo on the scales. Very affordable, and great quality. Amazon lists a bunch.
  10. JDieseljoe69

    JDieseljoe69 Lover of Tequila Handled Busse's!! Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 16, 2010
    Thanks guys for the suggestion's, there was a few that I did not think of.
  11. wouldestous


    Jul 8, 2012
    i read or saw somewhere that opinel makes a 'junior' model without the very sharp point on the blade which may be good for a kid. though i dont whittle so am unsure if a rounded tip would confound whittling.
  12. zippofan


    Nov 12, 2011
    I gave my guys SAK's when they earned their Whittlin' Chip. Of course my older son lost his, not in the woods but in the disaster area that is his bedroom :D
    We'll probably find it next fall when he's getting ready for college. I told him he better not lose his Eagle engraved Buck 500!

    I mentioned this somewhere else, but Opinel is an official knife of the World Scouting Organization, along with Wenger. I really wish the BSA would jump on this as they make great all around knives, for Cubs all the way up through Eagle. IOpinels are a heck of a lot better than most of the cheap knives the BSA sells as 'official'.

    There are official BSA SAK's, we need Opinels too!
  13. thatotherguy


    Oct 9, 2011
    I dunno, depends on the boy. By 8 I was able to operate fairly stiff barlows. (with the occasional mishap and trouble, of course) That said, I have a few friends who couldn't do that now.
    I'd get him two knives- an Opinel 6 and either an old Camillus scout or a Vic, possibly a Rough Rider. When he shows that he is responsible with the 6, can take care of it (get him carbon) and won't lose it, have him practice opening his springed knife with a taped up blade so he can't cut himself. When he masters all of the blades on the springed knife and has shown he's responsible, give him the springed knife. It will mean a ton to him, since he had to work for it AND his Dad gave it to him.
  14. knifephan


    Mar 4, 2009
    My first knife in cub scouts was a Vik, at the time I thought it was the best thing in the world. After I got my card in scouts I was allowed to carry it anywhere other than school. A bit later I got my first Spyderco and the rest is history. I would actually think one of the medium sizes Spydercos would be a decent first knife, but for scouts all the other things a Vik can provide are really handy. Think saw, can opener, awl, and various sized blades for his whittling. I don't know that Vik made a lock blade model when I was his age, but having a lock is really nice. You could also think about some model of multi tool, again more use for camping than just a blade.
  15. fatcorgi


    Nov 12, 2011
    I agree with the SAK option that others have mentioned. Allow me to bore you with further details of the pros and cons of vic vs wenger, comparing standard 3 or 4 layer models (not the more complicated larger ones with every possible tool)

    Wenger advantages (for your boy): a smaller frame (84mm vs 91mm); security locking large blade with lighter pull than the vic models; ergonomic grips on some models. A caplifter and screwdriver that locks automatically when in use.

    on the other hand vic knives typically have both a large spear and pen blade (whereas Wenger typically has only one blade and a nail file), a better awl with a sharpened edge, so it can do more than just stab, in my view a superior can opener that also works as a screw driver.

    they tie on scissors - Wenger has self-sharpening with the extra strength of a spring integral to the backspring, but they are serrated and I prefer the smooth edge of the vics, these work for years without sharpening it seems.

    both companies offer bsa themed scales.
  16. weinerd


    Feb 12, 2011
    My only advice is if you get him any sort of slipjoint to make sure all fingers are out of the way when closing it. I once saw a kid close a SAK holding it in his right hand with his thumb over the end of the blade slot and it clean forktongued the tip of his thumb.
  17. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    This is exactly why I (and several others) are suggesting a friction folder like the Opinel for a youngster.

    My kid just didn't have the hand strength or coordination to control any spring loaded blade at that age.
  18. Armedtetrapod


    Sep 14, 2011
    There was a buck trapper at lowes I got for my little brother, not too hard for him to open, it has perfect spring tension, and it came sharp.
  19. JDieseljoe69

    JDieseljoe69 Lover of Tequila Handled Busse's!! Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 16, 2010

    That is a great point about the closing of a slip joint.
    I really like the Opinel knife, that might be a good place to start him.
    Once again I appreciate all the suggestions!!
  20. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2004

    I totally agree with an Opinel as a first knife. Notonly is it a bit safer with no springs snapping the bade shut, but you can make a father and son project out of modding it, and working on it like sanding and varnishing the outside, while greasing the inside pivot with Vasoline to water proof the pivot area. This will teach the young man maintenance on his knife, and to take care of it. This may carry over to other areas.

    He could do a heck of a lot worse than a number 6 or 7 Opinel.


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