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Off-Topic First knife

Discussion in 'JK Handmade Knives' started by YoungCurmudgeon, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. YoungCurmudgeon


    Oct 15, 2014
    My son has been hinting (more like strongly suggesting) that he "needs" a knife. While he won't get one for Christmas, I have come around to the idea that I'll give him one for his 7th birthday in the spring. (He won't have access to it with my direct supervision).

    My first knife was an Old Timer Sharpfinger (still have it) and a variety of small slip joints. I cut myself with all of them, mostly by doing things that shouldn't be done and/or closing the blades on my fingers.

    This leads me to my questions:
    1) what was your first knife?
    2) I think his first knife should be a fixed blade with a guard (to make it a little harder for him to get his hand up on the blade). What are your thoughts on this?
    3) Are there any other features/considerations I should think about?
  2. Wurrwulf

    Wurrwulf Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 3, 2015
    My first knife was a Buck MiniBuck with the plastic handle. It's a lockback with a 1 7/8" blade. I still have it, actually, with its broken tip. I definitely benefited from it being a lockback, as I still have a scar on the back of my middle finger from a Leatherman closing on my hand when I was young. I think a guard and a chunky handle would help preventing accidently sliding into the blade.

    I recently saw that Opinel makes a rather neat kids knife called Le Petit Chef which has a blunted tip and a full, wrap-around finger guard. It's a 4" blade, though, so I don't know if you think that would be too big.


    ETA: With slipjoints, it might be tough for small/weak/less dexterous hands to handle narrow blades, half stops, or hard pulls. I know as a grown man I've cut myself from knives with hard pulls snapping at the half stop. Something like a Sodbuster Jr might be a consideration.
  3. jbarsquat

    jbarsquat Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 22, 2017
    My first knife might have been a buck 110 or a Sak classic. I had them both for as long as I can remember. What is this knife going to be used for?
  4. YoungCurmudgeon


    Oct 15, 2014
    The knife will be used to teach "proper" knife handling, i.e. Always cut away from yourself, don't force cuts, don't stick it into yourself, etc.
    From his perspective I think he looks at it as a "right of passage" and he'll Use it to cut fishing line, sharpen sticks to roast mashmellows, and general knife stuff. But mostly he just wants to make little sticks out of big sticks
  5. greentrout

    greentrout Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 20, 2016
    Opinel also make a "first knife" as well.

    My first knife I remember was a Kamp King scout knife. I wish I knew where it was today.
  6. outdoorsfan


    Sep 30, 2009
    My first knife was also a Kamp King. I don't have the actual knife but have a replacement of the same vintage a found years back at a flea market. I do also still have a scar on my calf where I cut myself with the Kamp King.

    I've given my son and several nephews their first knives, all were fixed blades. My son's was a blade that I made the scales for. I think the fixed blade is a good first knife and easy to find with a guard if you prefer.

    Mora has several options for fixed blades with guards that are very reasonably priced. Also, should he loose it or damage it there's nothing to cry over.
  7. JK Knives

    JK Knives Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 6, 2001
    My first knife was an Imperial fish knife off on of those cardboard displays at the drugstore. 56 years later and I still have it.
    As for a first knife I would go for one of the plastic handle lockback models from Buck. I think the Protege has kind of a guard on it.
    glennbad likes this.
  8. rdrogers

    rdrogers Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 19, 2010
    My First Victorinox seems like a good one.
    fishiker and Lapedog like this.
  9. NJBillK

    NJBillK Custom Leather and Fixed Blade modifications. Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 27, 2014
    Morakniv Rookie.
  10. NJBillK

    NJBillK Custom Leather and Fixed Blade modifications. Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 27, 2014
    I am sure John could come up with something.
    Maybe his 440C to keep it thin and light?

    Maybe a Custom Mini B&T or Mini Worker in 440C?
  11. grunt soldier

    grunt soldier

    Dec 4, 2009
    I had a ton of knives as a kid. I always had to immediatel go out to the concrete and dull the edge and usually find a crack to break the tip off.

    I do rememer the first one I didn't have to give that treatment to. A blackjack lock back. I believe it was the mamba but not positive. I still have it in the safe. I got it for Christmas and immediately attempted to open a present with it and cut my finger to the BONE lol. Didn' say a word to anyone, got up went to the bathroom washed it off wrapped it up lol.

    Pops immediately new what happened and called me out as I was walking out of the bathroom. We never told my mom lol. He also didn't make me dull it as he decided that all my experience with dull knives may have caused me to cut myself with the sharp one lol!!

    I was 11 or 12. Still have the scar on my finger and dad still tells this story any chance he gets
    cbach8tw, Lapedog and Wurrwulf like this.
  12. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Most people who play with knives have recieved atleast one deep cut and many shallow small cuts.

    Great story though!
  13. YoungCurmudgeon


    Oct 15, 2014
    The blunted or rounded tip is something that I hadn't thought of; make it less stabby. :):thumbsup:
    I think a lock-back will be the way to go for his 1st pocket knife (I like the small Bucks for that; good knife and won't break the bank when he inevitably loses it). But for the very first knife a fixed blade is looking like the winner.

    Fortunately, I've got several months to make the choice.
  14. YoungCurmudgeon


    Oct 15, 2014
    Giving my son his 1st knife tomorrow for his birthday. It's not pretty, but John did the heat-treat so I know the steel is good.
    The walnut came from a piece of firewood cut from a tree that fell on my dad's farm. Micarta "bolster" and pins in the front and blue/white G10 liners.
    The sheath is also my first attempt at leather work



    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  15. JK Knives

    JK Knives Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 6, 2001
    That came out nice, looks like you paid attention in class!
  16. YoungCurmudgeon


    Oct 15, 2014
    Thank you. I really enjoyed making it and I've already got ideas for what's next.
  17. mykel m

    mykel m Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2009
    Very nice!
    He is going to cherish that one for the rest of his life no doubt.
    Good job Pops.:thumbsup::)
  18. protourist

    protourist Laissez les bons temps rouler! Platinum Member

    Aug 19, 2007
    My dad used to bring home all sorts of tiny knives that felt salesmen handed out at the paper mill. I had a ton of them but my first real knife was an Old Timer 125ot that I found on the way home from school one day. I carried that thing in my pocket all through school. I think it's probably still in my closet at my folks house but I haven't seen it in years. I still love them and have one or two around here someplace.
  19. glennbad

    glennbad Knife Moddin' Fool Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 13, 2003
    I must have missed this thread the first time around. This is the first knife I remember owning. Maybe I was around 10 at the time. I think I traded some kid for it. I obviously did not have an appreciation for the care of and proper use of cutlery back then, LOL.

    my first knife resize.jpg

    As to the question, which may have been already answered, many cub scouts started out with a "scout" pocket knife. That is the knife they learn to whittle with and the proper use of. I think something like that, or something like the SAK shown previously would be a good choice. It doesn't have to be a fixed blade to be safe, as long as kids are shown how to use them properly. However, regardless of what kids are taught, sometimes they have to learn lessons the hard way. I should know, i have the scars to prove it.
  20. YoungCurmudgeon


    Oct 15, 2014
    Happy birthday to my little man.

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