First knife for my son

Steely_Gunz

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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.

Good luck :)
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
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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.

Good luck :)
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!
 

Henry Beige

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Over the years, I have given my grandson, now 11, a number of knives, including an SAK Cadet, Opinel 7 and a Maserin Plow. The first, however, was the Marttiini Little Classic, which has stuck as his favorite. His mother endorsed that choice heartily. She had been scoping out a Marttiini boy’s knife, same size as the Little Classis, but with a rounded tip.

My grandson doesn’t hunt, but he can while away an afternoon turning big sticks into little sticks, to which the Scandi-ground Marttiini is ideally suited.
 

afishhunter

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First knife I gave my nephew (with his parents O.K.) when he was 6 was a Opinel Number 7 friction folder.
A couple years later, I gave him a 4 blade scout/camp knife, and a Buck 389 canoe.

He's also gotten a couple stockman, between 9 and 13.

When he graduated High School at the ripe old age of 11, I got him a SK Blades "Lil' Jack" SFO Buck 112 for his graduation present.

I suggest a friction folder or slipjoint for first pocket knife. Teach him how to use it. That way he won't have a "life long" dependency on a blade lock, (which can and do fail) or develope bad habits.

A 2 or 3 layer SAK, is always a good choice. I'm partial to the Recruit (I find the Recruit's punch/awl much more useful than the Cadet's nail file) and Huntsman or Field Master for the saw and large scissors.
A good "large" (3 7/8 inch or larger closed) or sowbelly (3 3/4 inch closed) stockman is also a good choice.

For fixed blade, a Mora.

I don't know if anyone has suggested this yet or not:
Take him to a Sporting Goods store like Dick's, Sportsman's Warehouse, Big 5, Bass Pro, or whatever you have local, and see what he likes.

The multi blade knives are more versatile than a single bladed knife. No one blads profile is idea for every task.

Also, you can peel and gut a food critter with an Opinel, or SAK, Stockman, Moose, Trapper, or other multi blade folding knife that doesn't have a locking blade.
 
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Children nowadays are more into gadgets, my sons are anyways. A SAK with multiple tools would be a good choice for them. Easy to maintain and reasonably priced.
 

Velitrius

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Buck is a solid choice in this venue, and I'm going to say look at the 840 Sprint Select Flipper.

It's got a great utilitarian blade shape, 3 ounces, comes in a few different handle colors so he should find something appealing.

Buck's 420HC is tough, corrosion resistant, easy-peasy-mac-and-cheezy to keep sharp and maintain.

Made in the U.S. of A. by a company that stands behind it 100%, and it'll only run you a $50 bill.
 

shortwinger

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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.)
 

Bigfattyt

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One thing I have found with my boys was that they lacked the thumbnail strength to open slipjoints till they were a bit older.

Opinel were their first knives. No spring, locking, easy to sharpen, and very cost effective.

Next was a 110 and 120 matching Buck combo.

My younger son's most used knife is a Cold Steel Mini Tac that he always grabs ( he is constantly making projects in the garage, cutting cardboard, making costume armor..etc..he is 11).

The nice thing about the 110/112 is that they don't have too stiff of a spring.
 

Dergyll

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Folder: Spyderco Paramillitary 3 Lightweight
When I first started using knives, lockbacks were a little scary I was afraid to cut my fingers. Compression locks dont place your fingers in the cutting path. Para 3 handles are amazing good for small and medium hands, will last.

Fixed blade: benchmade 200 puukko. It's my beater knife and it's so tough and comfortable in hand.

Sorry, if you dont want to spoil your kid:
Folder: elementum, pilar...
Fixed: Mora Robust, eldris, condor terrasaur...

Good luck!
 

barleywino

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Lots of great ideas above...just to throw out one more (a bit more expensive), the Finch 1929
 
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Jsega51

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Swiss army pioneer isn’t too expensive, has easy to sharpen steel that gets super sharp, has a few other tools that always come in handy (I use the punch and screwdriver more than the blade), and it’s damn near maintenance free.

I’ve given them as gifts and they get used and loved.
 
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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.)
I’ve never heard of Grohmann before, but I really like that one! Now I want it for me, haha!
 

barleywino

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That’s a good looking knife!
According to the video review by BigRedEDC, the new versions (with denim micarta or jigged bone) also have a luminescent shield, which your boy might get a kick out of
 
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Sos24

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I think Swiss Army knives make perfect first knives. They are relatively inexpensive, easily pocketed, easily replaced and have many uses beyond just the knife. Depending on model, he could find himself using it daily, but then also have it useful camping too. Swiza, Ruike, Boker TechTools, and Leatherman Free could also fit this category.

If specifically wanting a knife for the hunt, then probably a fixed blade like the Esse Izula. You could even get him one with G10 scales in a color he’d like.
 
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I'll jump on the Swiss Army Knife bandwagon.

Maybe a One-Hand Trekker or a Forester M Grip.
He definitely won't outgrow them.

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