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First Knife for my 8 yr. old son?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by BaltoTriumph, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. BaltoTriumph


    Mar 10, 2014
    Thank you everyone for your replies. I have fond memories of my first knife (SAK) but my initial fears about it closing on little fingers have been reinforced by some of the posts here. I have a lot of good suggestions for lockbacks here, so I think I will select one of those.

    Again, thanks so much.
  2. DocT


    Mar 25, 2012
    You could get him a Byrd knife by Spyderco and then when he is older you could move him up to regular Spyderco knives. These are well made, but made in China by Spyderco and are not costly. They have good locks, if you get a locking knife.
  3. c219460


    Jul 1, 2013
    A little late to the party, but I'd recommend a SAK because it's classic and not frightening to sheeple. 8-year-olds don't always have the best judgement about when to show or use their knife, the last thing you want to see is a "Father gives son, age 8, vicious tactical blade" headline in the news.

    This might sound morbid or callous, but I actually think it's better to start a kid out with a non-locking blade. You WILL get cut, but that will happen anyway and importantly you learn how to use a knife as a knife. Locking blades can and do fail, but if one fails it's less likely to harm you if you were raised on slippies first.
  4. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    I got my first knife when I was 8. It was an Ulster BSA knife.

    I'm horrified to read posts here by adults who are afraid of slip joints closing on their adult fingers. The way I was taught, that only happens from poor use. I always treat any folder like a slip joint, even my Buck 110.

    My son's first knife was an Opinel. The main reason was the lack of a back spring so it can't snap shut during opening and closing. It's the safest in this regard and a good match for weak 8 year old hands.

    The Opinel will also teach safe knife handling skills. The lock offers about the same resistance to closing as a stiff slip joint. Stabbing or prying need to be strictly forbidden. I demonstrated this to my son many times with gloves on and the lock off for demonstration purposes.

    My son is now 13 and I mostly trust him with the Opinel. Kids these days don't have the ability to just carry a knife like we did growing up.

    My pick is the Opinel #6 in Inox stainless.
  5. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Some of the SAKs have liner locks. FYI. Not a big fan of liner locks even on my ZT 0770CF, but it is a lock.

    Another possibility is to find him a small Schrade USA lock back (like Spydies) like the 30T or one slightly larger (50T). There are lots of them available in the secondary market and they are not expensive.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
  6. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    Swiss Army classic. If it closes, it won't do real bad damage. You can train an 8yo to use a small slipjoint properly. The SAK classic has scissors which are fun and a screwdriver. He can put it on a lanyard and carry it around his neck so it won't be lost. If he does lose it, it's not expensive.

    You don't want to give him anything that can be misconstrued as a weapon or used in play as a weapon, that rules out most every locking knife. Lockbacks may be hard for an 8yo to close, even some liner locks.

    Don't baby your kids, let them make mistakes, the human body was made to heal.
  7. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Get a youngster's Swiss Army knife. Cheap and great.
    Do NOT NOT NOT get a lockback. I got one for my grandkid and the lock was much too stiff for him to open. His dad is 6'2" and could barely depress the backlock. Yeah, it was a Cold Steel, and I read later that this is not unusual. My son said "he'll grow into it." He's right, by the time the kid is 25...


    Feb 2, 2014
    My first opinel, or my first victorinox which has a rounded tip. Or if you was a cheaper locking blade you can get a gerber LST.
  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    This is an excellent point. I had mentioned the Cold Steel Tuff Lite earlier. I know that an 8 year old could not open that knife easily.

    I would find a SAK with a liner lock or side lock.
  10. BenchCo Spydermade

    BenchCo Spydermade

    Feb 10, 2014
    Sak seems like the perfect knife for an 8 year old
  11. DeadFall27

    DeadFall27 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2011
    +100 :thumbup:
  12. JeremiahWeaver09


    Nov 13, 2009
    emerson micro commander
  13. Colinz


    Feb 16, 2001
    My daughter is 10 and will be getting a Spyderco Delica soon. I just want to make sure she is proficient using the lock.

    I bought a Delica trainer so she could train to open and close it without cutting herself.

    We will see how it works out.
  14. kniggt

    kniggt Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 21, 2014
    My boys and I watch alot of knife videos, and they are super excited for Christmas this year because i told them they could both get a spyderco. The 8 year old wants a Delica and the 11 year old wants a tenacious. I've taught them alot about knife safety and how not to use a knife, even taught them how to sharpen on a wetstone and sharpmaker as well. They are ready for a nice high quality knife!
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Like many things today, they are trying to take the boy out of the knife these days. Americana..... I feel that you need to allow kids to make their own mistakes. Few are fatal. SAKs all the way.... I thought SAKs and similar knives were gimicky when I was 8-10 years old. That's why I carried a Case Barlow by age 10. No lock of course. Now I carry a SAK and the barlows stay in my cache. Amazing how things come around.

    Nothing wrong with the Delica or Tenacious. I like them too.
  16. mwhich50

    mwhich50 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    My Victorinox are way too snappy and difficult to open (safely) for an 8 year old. My Wenger's springs are much more "mushy" and safer in my opinion. I think I would give an 8 year old an Opinel that was large enough to have the locking mechanism. The No.8 garden type is a little big, but has a contoured handle for better grip.
    IMO 8 is a little young, but do what you got to do. Little finger tendons are a bi_ch to surgically reattach.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Get one with the one hand opening feature. SAKs are generally not hard to open and usually can be pinch opened without the need for the hole feature. I was opening slip joints by the time I was in the first grade. If it is "hard" you try harder.
  18. snooka


    Jun 1, 2013
    My daughter has a Victorinox classic SD, gave it to her when she was 8.
    The scissors get the most use ;)

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