Looking for a knife for my son.

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Crackcase, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Crackcase


    Jul 27, 2013
    Hello everyone! I am trying to find my son a good first knife and I have a few specific requirements. If anyone thinks my ideas on this are misguided I would appreciate your input.
    I did get him a Buck 55 because I think every kid should have a Buck knife. I don't like the hollow grind for beginners though.
    He is 8 years old and we are getting into Cub Scouts and camping and fishing this spring.

    Size: I'd like to keep the knife in the 2-3 inch range with relatively thin stock. I'd also like it to be a bit lower profile(many Spydercos for instance are somewhat tall and could be unwieldy for small hands). It can be taller than the 55 though.

    Steel: I don't need any super steel for this one but I would like it to be something relatively easy to sharpen so he can get some rewarding practice.

    Handle: The more grip the better I suppose

    Lock: This is where I would like some advice. I am thinking lockback on this. If lockback I would like it to be somewhat easy to depress (think Spyderco Native lightweight).

    Grind: This is really the reason I am posting this. I have found countless knives that fit into the above criteria but many of them are hollow ground. I would like to avoid hollow ground knives for now as I think they have a tendency to catch when just learning to shave wood. A flat or saber ground knife is easier for me to teach shaving angles by first having him flat the knife on the material. Hollow ground knives also bind up cutting into things like apples.

    Price: The most I am willing to spend on the knife is 40 bucks. He won't have it on him unless I am with him for now so I am not really concerned about him losing it. However, for a first knife I expect him to tear it up a bit sharpening and learning.

    Thanks so much for your input on this.
  2. EChoil

    EChoil Banned BANNED

    May 22, 2014
    This sounds like a job for a Swiss Army Knife of some variety.
  3. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
  4. LizaMari

    LizaMari Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 16, 2014
    I was thinking Swiss Army knife as well, although my nephew was given a very nice Case folder when he 'graduated' from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.
  5. abbydaddy

    abbydaddy Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 14, 2014
    My advice would also be to go for a SAK. That said, scoutstuff.org has a great little boy scout knife that has a full flat ground blade, can opener, lid opener, and awl that is a classic boys knife. At your sons age I really needed nothing more. My little brother was given my dad's old boy scout knife, and it is a cherished family item (my mom gave me my knives as a boy, and I demanded a big multi-tooled SAK like my dad's). There is something special about a classic old fashioned slipjoint for a young boy, in my opinion.

    When I go a little older, it really meant a lot to me to be able to borrow my dad's Buck 110 for camping. I plan to buy a 110, just so my kids can experience the joy of borrowing dad's 110 for hiking/camping.

    But on a different note, the knives that I enjoyed most at your sons age were actually X-acto knives. One of my thumb-tips is permanently shorter to this day from an X-acto accident while whittling at age 8 or 9 (goddamn did that bleed), but I thought those were just the best for working on wood. I don't think I'm doing a very good job selling the X-acto's for kids, but I really appreciated getting a real wood-working tool for working wood.
  6. Eodjuggernaut


    Oct 14, 2013
    Mora great easy to use and cheap on price. If you want another folder I would look at opinel for all the reasons of the mora. Great performing knives and awesome beginners.
  7. JoepReinen


    May 11, 2011
    My first Victorinox;)
  8. collim1


    Aug 14, 2014
    I went through my entire Boy Scouts career with a Leatherman PST and a Victorinix Tinker.

    I would highly recommend a Victorinox Farmer for a young scout. It should do everything he needs and more.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  9. RX-79G


    Jun 23, 2006
    Locking Opinel (some aren't) or a locking blade Swiss Army knife, like those in the Evolution or Evogrip series, or the larger Trekker type.
  10. Onies


    Apr 29, 2006
    Ontario RAT 2 if you don't mind the liner lock. both my kids have the Kabar Dozier Folding Hunter and love them. One in blaze orange, one in zombie green, they are hollow ground, but do have the lock back.
  11. Chris Larrikin

    Chris Larrikin

    Jul 19, 2012
    My suggestions are a SAK, an Opinel or aSvord Mini Peasant.

    An Opinel 7 or 8 has enough handle to get a really good grip while still not taking up much pocket space. The locking ring is effective but isn't automatically engaged so he will (quickly) learn to pay attention. The non stainless is a breeze to sharpen while the stainless will take just a bit longer and will hold an edge better. Personally I would suggest the non stainless because it will teach him to maintain his things. Regardless of the steel you choose a bit of time spent sharpening will be rewarded with one of the best slicers around for any money. The subtle convex grind of the Opinel just rocks.

    The Svord Mini Peasant is solid, basic and effective. It takes up more space. The non stainless steel Svord uses is quite tough, takes a mean edge and holds it well.
  12. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005
    I agree, a SAK (probably a Tinker or Explorer) with the scout emblem.
    Other options IMHO would be a Marbles Workman. Similar tools,but no emblem.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  13. druid189


    Apr 27, 2008
    this was my first cub/boy scout pocket knife. I still have it...


    Google search the following: Camillus U.S. Military pocket knife

    Here's one for sale [not mine]:

    [Do Not Link to eBay, or nonsupporting sites]

    While there's no lock on the blade, it's a very solid 'snap' into place. It's a very safe knife if used safely.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2015
  14. PiercedBill

    PiercedBill Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 15, 2014
  15. Crackcase


    Jul 27, 2013
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I did look at the Knivesshipfree kids knife. Is the bantam hollow ground like other bucks? I was hoping to avoid that.

    I did get him a sak for a bit later. I also have a mora for him to use. I do want a simple lockback that he can carry around camp. Fixed blades are not permitted for his age around camp with this pack.
  16. ocnLogan


    Jul 31, 2011
    Came here to recommend exactly these knives.

    The svörd peasant mini is cheap, and teaches all the right things. Its non locking, so it teaches propper use of a folder, but does it safely because it will communicate through the extended tang to the user when ita being used incorrectly. Its L6 steel is easy to sharpen, holds a good edge and is non stainless, so he'll have to learn to take care of it. Also, its stupid simple, so its easy to clean, modify, etc. You can tighten the pivot and retention with just a screwdriver, to control how fast it can open up. Oh, and its like $11.

    Most of the same things apply for the opinel, but the opinel has a lock. There is no back spring though, so the blade wont snap closed, and it usually takes two hands to open and close, which means its not likely to bite him opening or closing.

    Anyway, I did some soap carving with my nephews, and gave one of mine my old cub scout knife, and the backspring closing motion kind of made me warry. Next time I'm taking an opinel, or a peasant mini.

    Good luck with whatever you do :).
  17. onojoe


    Aug 4, 2013
    +1 on the Ontario Rat 2
    Full flat grind
    Aus 8 steel... easy to sharpen
    Size and handle are good for smaller hands. The handle is grippy and has a deep finger choil to prevent slippage.
    but... it is a liner lock
  18. okbohn


    May 26, 2006
    It is hollow grind.

    I'm not super fond of a hollow grind, myself, but it is still a great knife for kids. If you decide on one and want to have his name put on it, we would be happy to do that for you. Just shoot me a PT.
  19. levernutt


    Jan 8, 2012
    Are you absolutely tied to the idea of a folder? When I lost my EDC knife, I started carrying an ESEE Candiru. It fits most, if not all, of your other requirements I think and fits nicely in a front pocket. I'd recommend the micarta scales to go with it, though.

  20. SFW


    Aug 15, 2014
    Definitely a SAK or one of the smaller Leathermans like the Juice S2.

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