Pocket knife for 8 year old boy

BJE

Joined
Apr 12, 2006
Messages
2,484
I had slip joints as my first knives at a young age and I still have all my fingers. He already has a classic so he is familiar with non locking folders.
I second the recommendation for a nice fixed blade, but it should be left sharp so he learns to respect what a knife can do. A dull knife takes more force to cut with and could end up hurting him much more seriously then a small cut could.

A victorinox tinker, spartan, sportsman, or recruit sounds about right, as does the opinel and a sod buster or buck 55.
 
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
2,723
I would just suggest upgrading him to his 1st lockback, when I was a kid I seem to recall most of my injuries coming from those dern little swiss army knives flipping closed on my fingers! :mad:

The only injuries I ever recieved from my 1st lockback came from playing Mumblety-peg, and I doubt that a kid nowadays would be made aware of its existence, much less play it. Even then, that was just stuck toes, nothing major.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2006
Messages
7,133
How do you feel about Opinels? They make kids knives with rounded tips and they lock.

I would tend to agree, although I would go with a No.6 rather than a blunt end. The Opinel is one of the few knives out there that can be locked closed as well as open.You can teach him how to care for and sharpen his knife too.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2010
Messages
7,432
I´d also go with an Opinel. A folding knife with a lock and pricey. If he looses it - it will won´t be that bad.

As others have already mentioned, slippies (also the SAKs) are nice knives for kids, but the strong backspring might cause some bad damage on the fingers when not paying attention while closing.
 
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
2,723
I´d also go with an Opinel. A folding knife with a lock and not pricey. If he looses it - it will won´t be that bad.

As others have already mentioned, slippies (also the SAKs) are nice knives for kids, but the strong backspring might cause some bad damage on the fingers when not paying attention while closing.

Yup yup, they make an opie with a rounded, blunt edge just for kids :D
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
238
I'd get him something with a strong, easy lock. Maybe a Spyderco Dragonfly or a used axis lock benchmade. When I was 9, my dad gave me my first sak. It was awesome! However, I ended up with a seriously nasty cut when the blade closed on my little finger. I still have the scar. I would also strongly advise against dulling the blade. A dull knife is much more dangerous than a sharp knife IMO. Most of the times I cut myself, especially as a kid, it was because I was putting too much force on the blade. It probably doesn't need to be shaving sharp, but I wouldn't go below push cutting sharp.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2012
Messages
1,223
My thoughts run along the line of safety and good safe practices with a knife. I agree that it should be a small easy to operate and handle. Where my thoughts vary is the actual use of the knife. I would make sure he knew that the knife was his to use, but only when supervised by dad. A great learning experience and fun time for both the boy and the dad. You could go out and do projects or "work" together and use your knives. When the time comes to quit, gather up his knife and put it in a safe place until the next time. I just think an 8 year old is not mature enough to have full access to a pocket knife all the time.

It is great that you want him to have a knife, but he needs to learn all the responsibilities of knife ownership, and needs supervision until he is 10 or 12 years old in my opinion. If something bad happens, it will be too late to reverse, for him, and any others involved including his dad. I have owned and used knives since I was 8 years old, and killed my first deer at age 9. What I didn't have was full unfettered access to the knives or the guns until I was mature enough to prove that I was responsible. About age 14 I believe.
Of course your situation may be different.

Blessings,

Omar
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2007
Messages
2,125
Having received my first knife as a Christmas stocking stuffer from my grandmother at six years old ,might I suggest a larger SAK model a tinker or camper ect. I feel having had my share of cuts and accidents with knives as a boy I think a non-locking knife is the best way to learn what knife safety really means .I don`t mean to offend others by telling you differently than they say but I have never had a locking knife fail and cut me because I always treat a folder as such ,a thing that is sharp and meant to fold . I am always aware of the chance my knife may close without warning and this is because the first 10 knives I had were slip joints .A nice little fixed blade can be good but it will not teach as well as a nice little multi blade slippie. A Leatherman would also teach him about a good tool and how pinch prone things can be.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Messages
186
My kids got fixed blades for their first knives. I wanted them to learn edge and point safety, and once that was handled we moved on to worrying about blades that fold. Becker BK-13 Remoras were what they got, and I am very satisfied with how the whole thing went. They used and use the hell out of them.

That's good advice... and also a good excuse to go pick up a fixed blade for my son :)

Also, one thing that a fixed blade is good for is making kindling for a fire. Now I know someone is going to say that an axe is better and more efficient (and all of that is true), but in terms of safety, I think batoning wood with a knife can be quite a bit safer than using an axe. I showed my son how to baton wood last summer, and he loved it. If I would have let him, he would have kept going for hours.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
5,329
I was about the same age when I cut myself with my first knife too, a SAK. Got my middle finger caught lengthwise as the blade closed, and still makes me cringe to this day because I pulled my finger away in a panic and resulted in an even deeper cut.

A fixed blade would be a great idea.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
137
My niece is about that age, I got her a spyderco dragonfly for her first knife. I was always told a dull knife is the most dangerous so I don't think I would dull it if I were you.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2012
Messages
237
Id stay away from spring assist and get him a knife that has an easy to sharpen blade shape/steel so when he is older he can return the edge if you decide to dull it. I really like the victorinox cadet and comes in some sweet colors.
 
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
2,723
It is great that you want him to have a knife, but he needs to learn all the responsibilities of knife ownership, and needs supervision until he is 10 or 12 years old in my opinion.
Omar
Looking at the engraving, I didn't receive my 1st lockback until I was 12.. And 1st "big boy" pellet rifle at 10 (step up from the Red Rider) but between the ages of 12 and 14 I was given my own responsibility with everything hunting and outdoors related :D including running around the woods with a WW2 era Navy Kabar and a Rambo "survival knife", pellet pistols, unsupervised pellet hunting, skinning, and the privilege to carry my own .22 or .410shotgun while on hunting trips and handle the .30-06 instead of having the rifles handed to me by my Grandfather when he spotted a suitable target, like it was when I was 12. So those two years came with a lot of responsibility..

Just some guidelines from how things went in my own life and I still have 4 limbs, 2 eyes, 10 fingers and 10 toes. So it worked out fine.

Having received my first knife as a Christmas stocking stuffer from my grandmother at six years old ,might I suggest a larger SAK model a tinker or camper ect. I feel having had my share of cuts and accidents with knives as a boy I think a non-locking knife is the best way to learn what knife safety really means .I don`t mean to offend others by telling you differently than they say but I have never had a locking knife fail and cut me because I always treat a folder as such ,a thing that is sharp and meant to fold . I am always aware of the chance my knife may close without warning and this is because the first 10 knives I had were slip joints .A nice little fixed blade can be good but it will not teach as well as a nice little multi blade slippie. A Leatherman would also teach him about a good tool and how pinch prone things can be.

Learn through pain.. I was gonna say something like that earlier but I didn't want to offend either. Those slipjoints closing on my fingers time after time was the only thing that taught me how to properly use them. BUT as young boy, I doubt he'd stop using the 2 he already has; probably carry all 3 around with him. Uprade him ;)
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
185
He's got plenty of time for all the gee whiz bang knives that are out there as he gets older. I agree will a slippy and being taught the right way to use one. A stockman or a trapper that is quality (I didn't say expensive) will likely be with him a long time. Now where the heck did all my knives I had as a kid go.:)
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2013
Messages
94
I had a decent collection by that age, but all were crap in quality. I do remember pinching my fingers in folders. I also remember everyone having a really el cheapo cub scout knife.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
130
id say go with a victorinox cadet or soldier I can say growing up I was always given some sort of Swiss army knife and loved them all and I have never had a problem with one closing on my fingers and its all because of my grandfather and father teaching me the proper way to use a knife and understand its capabilities and as far as dulling a knife goes that could go either way what I can say is my mother tried doing that for me once or twice but it just taught me how to sharpen a knife... plus they aren't a whole lot of money so if he looses it or breaks it it wont really matter
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
61
I was 9 when I traded for my first pocket knife (I think it was an Imperial) but that was "back when" (end of the 1950s). I lived on a farm and knives were a practical part of life. I'd agree that safety is the first concern and that he should know how to handle the blade safely. Then look at what he'll be using it for. Is it a "whittler",will he be cutting fishing line, etc. A dull knife can slip and if he's actually using it it could conceivably be more dangerous. I'd say fixed or folder look at function and then at the boy himself and go from there. There are some nice safe knives out there. If you go locking consider if he can close it without problem.

I've carried a knife since I traded for that first one so good luck. A first pocket knife can be a great experience.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
277
Look at the Condor mini-bushlore, or the full size bushlore. I bought the mini for one of my son's birthdays last year. He loves it.
I bring this one up because it is inexpensive. It's a fixed blade. You mentioned that your son already has folders. Shake it up with a fixed.
John
 

dkb45

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Messages
4,434
Obviously your child needs a Cold Steel XL Espada. Bigger is better!

Okay now onto a real response. You could look at a few things. Opinel makes a lot of great options in terms of safety and usability (and they are almost free cheap). The Spyderco UKPK or Squeak offer great usability, non-threatening shapes, and ease of opening (and by extension safety, no snapping shut). The Buck Bantam is dirt cheap, performs well, and has a simple lock.

I would suggest shying away from tactical designs and flippers. Those are a really bad stepping stone into knives.
 
Top