Thank you very much for all the input and advice and what a great story!! I love how much that tool meant to you (we’re the same age and I got one of those too, but mine didn’t have the cool engraving) and how much your daughter loves hers. I think it’s awesome that she wants to have it with her in her purse at all times. This is the exact impact I hope whatever knife I choose has on him!Lots of great ideas in this thread. My biased opinion: A good 3-4 layer Swiss Army Knife is a great first knife for a kiddo his age. My daughter turned 10 in July, and had recently found an interest in my multi-tools. I bought her a cheap little souvenir knock off with wooden scales with her name engraved on it from a gift shop over our Fall Break trip, and she loved it despite the scissors not working and had knife edge literally duller than a butter knife. I had DLT Trading engrave her a Victorinox Climber Model (Blue, of course, her favorite color), and that was my direct gift to her this past Christmas. She is NOT a tomboy. Not a girly girl either, but we aren't a hunting/fishing family. We do enjoy lots of outdoor hikes and I am a contractor by trade and general handy many, hence my MT obsession I was also 6 years old when my dad gave me my first Christmas gift directly from him. It was one of those garbage adjustable wrench tools with black plastic scales and about half a dozen little tools that folded out from the handle. However, engraved in gold paint: "Jacob". Man, I dunno if I have ever gotten a gift that has topped that one in terms of sheer impact. MY own tool, with MY name on it...in GOLD. Lost that tool in the woods of Southern Indiana by late spring. Kids do that. It's part of the process, and we can't be too hard on them for it. Respon
IMHO, a Swiss Army Knife or Multitool is a great teaching tool for a youngster. They don't have to cost a great deal of money, they are generally very forgiving of abuse, they are not overly dangerous when handled with even the most modest of care, and I think they augment the imagination. With a pocket full of rudimentary tools, one can think their way out of all sorts of situations. Maybe it was the fact that I was a kid in the 1980s and grew up watching MacGyver tinker his way out of everything from bombs to being buried alive. Even today at 40 years of age, I feel a near panic attack if I don't have a tool on me of some variety.
You could get a really nice SAK with his name engraved on it for around $40 or less. Regardless, he is going to love whatever you get him. My daughter carries a purse when we go out or on trips. She as no need for it, really. However, she always keeps her phone (for emergencies), her reading tablet (because the girl can't go an hour without sticking her nose in a book ), and her pocket knife. She always, always, always keeps that at hand. I think of all the expensive crap she got at Christmas, she probably likes her Climber the most.
I’ve never heard of Grohmann before, but I really like that one! Now I want it for me, haha!If he is into hunting a Victorinox Hunter or Hunter XT Grip would be great. You can put it in you pocket or get a belt sheath. It has a gutting blade and saw that really works. Many an old timer still carry the one they had in their youth.
Also hard to argue with the quintessential 1st knife for most young men of last few generations, the Buck 110/112. For a fixed blade I prefer the 105 to the 102 but certainly either will work. (An interesting alternative, one I would love to have myself, the Grohmann #300S D.H. Russell Lockback, but no doubt a pricey alternative.)