My daughter's first knife(at what age?)

Feb 5, 1999
I am a knifeaholic, no shame there. I am proud to be listed among my fellow knifenuts. As is usually the case with kids, my daughter takes an interest in my hobbies, more specifically knives.
She is 3 years old and is the pride and joy of all my "collections"

More than once she has asked to "see" or play with daddy's knives. Other than the occasional look, and feel, I keep them out of harm's way.
Now I fully plan on purchasing her a knife and teaching her all about them, when she is a little older.
My question for all the "experts" out there and the fellow parents is: "What do you think would be a good 'first' knife and at what age would you allow your own kids their own blade.
As for the blade, I am thinking along the lines of Case vs SAK.
As for her age, I will probably start her out around 7 or so, depending on how I feel she would handle it.
All comments welcome.

*Norwegian Knife Nut*

"The only limitation is lack of imagination."

About a month or so ago a similar thread was started by one of the resident Austrailians who was looking to buy a knife for his 7 or 8 year old daughter to give to her on her birthday. It was an interesting subject and it had drawn alot of posts. The general concensus gathered was that alot of us started with similar Case ans SAK knives, and had the scars to prove it. Being that this was going to be a first knife, it was suggested that a small fixed blade would be preferable to a folder because a fixed blade would not fold up accidentally. Learning proper knife care was another concern, and it was suggested that going with a knife in carbon steel might help illustrate that fact a little better. I believe that the final choice was a child size Puuko.

As far as age is concerned, you have to be the judge of that. I have known some extremely mature 6 year olds, but some ten year olds that I would not want to have a butter knife. A friend of mine had his daughter shooting an AR 15 at 6, and she was shooting pistols at 7 or so. By the time she becomes 10 or so I am pretty sure that she will be his range partner. She has one gun already and help with the care & maintenance of it.

My final suggestion, if you get her a knife, mke it something that has alot of heirloom potential. Something that she can use for th e rest of her life, and pass it on to the grandkids. For me, this excludes "plastic" knives.


"Will Dremel for Food!!"
"No, it's a Vaquero Grande in my pocket, but I am happy to see you!"
MegaFolderians Unite!!
Dyslexics Untie!

Going with Yekim's general recommendation, the Perkin's Kerver looks to be a perfect choice. I can't remember how old I was when I received my first knife. Probably 8 or 9, it was a cheap, little, single blade, non-locking folder that my Mom picked up at K Mart. I wish I still had it for the sentimental value.

I also have a three year old, son in my case. I haven't decided when he'll get his first knife. It'll probably depend on his maturity level and concensus with my wife.


[This message has been edited by Axel Yup (edited 25 February 1999).]

My daughter started shooting right at age 7 (Oct B-Day) and received her first rifle that Christmas. You should have seen the look on my wife's face... Not exactly a home run...

It was not done frivolously... She first learned the 4 rules of firearms and memorized them. She has also had the pleasure of spending range time in the car for doing the wrong thing at the wrong time... (point the rifle muzzle at daddy's head and say what's this at the end of my rifle... the loud noise heard immediately after that event was NOT a cartridge going off...) She's never done anything like that since.

So, after all this rambling - Is there a "4 rules of Knives?" mantra we can teach our children?

1) No knives at school
2) Don't cut towards your self or towards someone else
3) Don't run with a knife
4) No horse play when the knife is open/drawn from the sheath

Okay I'm stumped... Any others?

[This message has been edited by Patrick Seeber (edited 25 February 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Patrick Seeber (edited 25 February 1999).]
Well, still being young enough to remember the many ways I cut myself with my first few knives I can give you 2 very good tips.

1. Get a knife with a lock.
2. Get a knife that doesn't have a tip.

I would recommend that when you do deside to get her a knife, it might be smart to get something along the lines of a Spyderco Rescue Jr.

When my son was 6 I gave him one of my small buck lockbacks. I dulled the edge with a file till he proved he knew how to handle a knife. I know your all thinking "a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one" but the purpose of that was to see how responsibly he handled it. It wasn't allowed out of the house unless I was there. He learned the cutting basics on modeling clay, and when he was proficient enough,(about 2 months), I sharpened the blade enough to whittle soft wood. He's 17 now, with half a dozen knives of his own, and never an ounce of trouble...

How old was your daughter when she received her first knife and which knife was it?


There is a link to my original thread <a href="">here</a>. I still have not been able to make a final decision on what knife to buy my daughter. One suggesion I would make is to ask the "client" as you may find the answer surprising. As YeK mentioned I had originally thought of a child's puukko but thought she might find a Wenger SAK with a locking blade and scissors more useful for the sort of things she might do with her knife. I showed my girl all the knives I had considered for her and she seems to prefer a Schrade Old Timer "Bearhead". It is 3" closed and has a drop point blade so its not too "pointy".

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank James Mattis and "Bagheera" for all the help they have given me with what has turned out to be a far more difficult exercise than choosing a knife for myself.

Take care,

"Learning is not compulsory.....neither is survival."

[This message has been edited by Clay Kesting (edited 26 February 1999).]
My son is three- he has a Fisher Price toy knife- it has a fold out blade, saw blade, and compass. There is a little clip to let him hang it from a belt loop. He loves it! Also, last summer I found him a bubble blowing tool, folds up just like a SAK. Also a favorite.

He sees me handling knives, so he thinks they are cool. But get him a real one? no way. I guarantee he would cut himself, or someone or something in 10 minutes. And than most likely lose the knife besides. I think it's enough just to keep him interested in them.

Now, maybe in about 4 years....



I just got my 4 year old nephew a wood handled Victorinox Spartan for his birthday. Of course, his parents will hold onto it until they deem him ready for it.

Think one of the lock-bladed Wengers would be a good choice for a young'un.

Probably more important than teh knife is the instruction of proper care, use, and safety.


Clay Fleischer

"10,000 Lemmings Can't Be Wrong!"
I like the idea about the toy knife and the bubble toy. I think I'll be making a trip to the toy store here shortly.
My wife hates it when I give her these toys, but then she lived a very sheltered life and never handled a gun until basic training. She is also afraid of knives for the most part, yet she still owns a mini AFCK. I am still trying my damndest to indoctrinate her.
As for the type, I am leaning more and more toward a fixed blade. I tend to agree with Yekim and others in that a fixed blade would be safer. That's not to say I won't get her a folder eventually. I plan to pass along the love for and the joy of knives. Including of course sage instruction in care and proper maintenance.

All in due time!

*Norwegian Knife Nut*

"The only limitation is lack of imagination."


My three year old son has a Fisher-Price multi-tool. It doesn't have a compass but it does have a plain blade, saw, screwdriver, magnifying glass, ruler, wrench, and pocket clip. Is your son's toy knife different from this?


here is posted a shot of the above mentioned toy knife- along with his second favorite toy- his binoculars.

(how the hell do I put a jpg into this posting?)

Axel- sounds different than yours- Ben and I may have to do a little shopping!




Yeah, that knife is different. I haven't seen that one at the toy store. My wife just bought my son the same binoculars last week.

Dan, I'm going to try to make the picture appear here. If it works, you can hit "View" on your toolbar, then choose "source" and window will show you the source code so you can do it yourself. Here goes nothing:

I gave(sold for a penny) my son his first knife (victorinox Tinker) for Xmas when he was eight. I also gave him a very serious lecture on the responsibilities of safe knife handling. Among the things I told him was the instruction to NEVER threaten anyone with a knife, under pain of immediate confiscation.
He actually had the knife for about ten minutes before he started brandishing it at his Grandmother. Bang. The knife went back in my pocket. I was then deluged with constant pleas to return the knife and thousands of promises that he would not do it again. I waited about two months and showed him the knife, asked him if he was willing to try again and did he think he could be trusted again? "Yes" and "Please" followed and he's not had any problems with it since.

Of Course he's gonna cut himself. I did! Still do every once in a while. (never serious enough to warrant a bandaid)
I think it's Walt Welch who's signature line says "Good judgement comes with experiance, experiance comes from Bad Judgement." There's something to that.

I cut it, and I cut it, and it's STILL too short!