Pocket Knives for Kids

You don't have to be a Boy Scout to know that a small knife can be a handy thing to have around but when to get ( or give) that first knife can be of great debate. In our house somewhere between 7-8 is the right age, but I know 12 year olds who are not ready for the responsibility so you need to let your good parenting sense be your guide.

As for what knife to choose, hands down I like to go with the classic Swiss Army knife. Mind you, just because it's a classic does not mean it has to be dull. Today you can find SAK's in everything from the classic red to a wild cheetah-print so on this one let your fashion sense be your guide. I will note here that many families have great knives that are passed down from father to child but I don't think that this is the right time to give that knife. Remember, this is a first knife experience and you don't want it ruined by a child losing or accidentally damaging great great great grandpa's knife that came with him from the "old country". Better to save that knife for a meaningful life transition like High School graduation.

Pick a knife small enough so it fits in the hand, does not weigh down the pocket but not so small that the blade strength is compromised in use. I like this one, 2 1/4 inches and quite snazzy to look at. Check here for for some other nice examples. I am rather smitten with the floral one and might have to upgrade my own SAK to that one.

Things for children to rember ( and for you to teach):

  • Never use the knife blade for prying things open. This is a great way to snap off the blade and even a better way to get a serious cut.

  • Learn to sharpen the knife. A dull knife is dangerous since you then put to much force into the stroke and lose control in the process.

  • Make sure knife blade is fully locked open before use and close it right after, no exceptions

  • Cut away from the body - ALWAYS

  • No throwing the knife to try to sink it in an object, like a tree or the soil. This will ruin your knife and show that you are not responsible enough to own one yet.

As for a first project I like to start with a firm talking to that establishes our family knife rules and then some front porch whittling. One of the cutest starter projects I have seen to date is here at ReserectionFern

How stinking cute is this??

Now... go give it a try and enjoy some time with your child!


Very Mary said...

Does it please the lady to know that I have a floral box cutter? It's one of my most prized possessions!

Anonymous said...

Love it! And thank you for the info about pocket knives; my son has been talking about getting one.

Jan said...

The X got one for Christmas and I must say I am VERY proud (and surprised!) with his level of maturity with it.