Knife for 8-year old

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by WFR, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. WFR

    WFR Supporter Supporter

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    Seeking advice from the wise members here.
    My son will be 8-years old this weekend and has expressed an interest in knives on multiple occassions.
    Is 8 an appropriate age?
    Fixed or folder?
    Multi-Tool with a small blade?
    Your input is appreciated.
    Thanks!
     
  2. blue333

    blue333 “O’l Slickboots” Supporter

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    One of the Mora’s from the Craftline series may be a good start for a first fixed blade. All of them have a nice large finger guard as well.



    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jonah L. Archer

    Jonah L. Archer ~Roughian #21~ Supporter Bushclass II

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    My daughter got her first knife at 7yo, but she is very responsible and I watch her carefully. She has a SAK and a Mora Scout.
     
  4. ugashooter

    ugashooter Supporter Supporter

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    I’d say folder. SAK would be great choice!
     
  5. blue333

    blue333 “O’l Slickboots” Supporter

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    @ugashooter
    An excellent recommendation!
    My oldest son’s first sharp was a SAK (Camper).
     
  6. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    my 8 yr old has had a SAK for about 2 years
    have rules for when/how to use/handle it, I enforce the rules,
    aside from safety rules, also have rules on storing/handling
    if my son leaves the knife behind while camping, whether its on the floor , table etc, he loses it for the day
    if I find him playing with it on tasks that's not knife related he loses it for the day
    if its not being used, it goes in the sheath,
     
  7. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    A SAK is the perfect first time knife, gave my son his first knife ( SAK Fieldmaster) at seven. Be careful he has close to 15 knives at this point and his interest is still growing! As with any 16 yr old boy he now leans towards big knives, will be a few years before he comes back to his senses in knife styles.
     
  8. highlander

    highlander Veni Vidi comedit lardum Supporter

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  9. Jerry Allen

    Jerry Allen Tracker

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    Esee candiru is my 8 year olds fav, and of course a SAK
     
  10. Jonah L. Archer

    Jonah L. Archer ~Roughian #21~ Supporter Bushclass II

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  11. c-mac

    c-mac Supporter Supporter

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    I gave my 7 year old daughter my Enzo Necker. She's still a bit to shy to want to use it but she loves holding it.
     
  12. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Where is all the shelf stable bacon??? Supporter

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    My grandkids are 7 and they have had an eldris for a year now.
     
  13. Jetjr

    Jetjr Scout

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    The only downside I see with a folder is that if used improperly it can fold on the user's hand. I would go with something with a locking mechanism or a fixed blade.
     
  14. Wapitilo

    Wapitilo Supporter Supporter

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    Eight seems a little old to me but I'm "THAT GUY" in my family. A folder is probably best just from the aspect of fitting small hands. I started with an Old Timer Stockman way back when. That's usually the style I start my young relatives with. Preferably American made if I can find it. Even better if you can find one with a locking blade. Kershaw used to make a locking two blade knife that I fell in love with. That knife has become a safe queen. Just remember, you set the rules and he abides by them. Keep it in a safe place then let him learn to use it under your supervision.
     
  15. KFF

    KFF Supporter Supporter

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    My six year old got a blue opinel with the round tip.
    That's a inexpensive folder with a locking mechanism.
     
  16. Jetjr

    Jetjr Scout

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    I must be that guy also, my youngest boy is 5 and gets to use a knife supervised of course. He has 3 of his own.
    On a side note an Opinel folder would be a good choice IMHO. Cheap to buy, has a lock, can whittle the handle down some if needed and they make one with a rounded tip.
     
  17. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Midnight Joker #42 Lifetime Supporter

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    Recently bought something like this for my nephew's 7th birthday in July.
     
  18. Pinnah

    Pinnah Scout

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    For folders, I started both of my kids with Opinels. Since they lack a spring of any kind, they are easier for small, weak hands to safely open and close.

    Once they got older and had stronger hands, I moved them to SAKs or Sodbusters so that they could learn about slip joints.

    Only after that did I move them to lock backs.

    The Mora Scout fixed blades are another really good option.
     
  19. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Supporter

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    I was about four when I got my first traditional nonlocking folder. Used it with my grandfather until he felt I could use it when he wasn't right there with me, which wasn't as long as you might imagine.

    I don't think anyone can say when, you have to judge for yourself. My nine year old neice probably won't be ready for years, while my then seven year old second cousin learned to shoot a handgun and use a knife at seven (shes now twenty).

    Start with the basics of knife safety and make them demonstrate they understand it by reciting it back to you and explaining their understanding. Show them how to safely use a knife, then have them demonstrate it with you there. Maybe only with you there?

    Regardless I'd go ahead and get something that he can call his. His first knife.

    Personally I find the rounded tip knives silly. You still give your eight year old kindergarten scissors? As long as you explain safety, its use, and teach, there's no reason a knife can't have a point, and no reason it has to be locking necessarily.

    Getting cut is inevitable, so don't freak out when it happens. As long as it's not reckless, bandage it or whatever and move on. Good teaching moment because I always learned more from being cut that not being cut.
     
  20. sweet trav

    sweet trav Guide

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    ...the panhandle...and loving it!
    I do not advise getting a folder that doesnt lock...I went with condor kepharts for both my boys...inexpensive and great knives.
     
  21. fx77

    fx77 Scout

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    My first knife was an SAK 1965 , and still use it!
     
  22. Robedsubset

    Robedsubset Scout

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    Buck 55 or 110 locking folder
     
  23. blue333

    blue333 “O’l Slickboots” Supporter

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  24. Lazarusaurus

    Lazarusaurus Idot Supporter

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    My first knife was a Buck 303 cadet when I was around seven. I think an SAK would be a great choice along with plenty of safety education and supervision.
     
  25. Jacob

    Jacob Guide

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    I just went through this process choosing a knife for my daughter. Settled on a mora child’s knife. It has a big finger guard and a small handle. They make a version with a regular pointy tip too. I’d be careful with a folder if your son is the forgetful type. Mine fell out of my pocket in grade school and luckily the teacher was cool and gave it back to me after finding it under my desk. Could get you expelled these days.

    Whatever you get him I’m sure he’ll love it!

    D760600C-D304-4361-95CB-809C9D1F17A1.jpeg

    A1529CC3-1D78-4F47-9341-64CC88133A95.jpeg
     
  26. Howie

    Howie Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    The girls first knife at 5 was a ,T4 tracker. Two were tops and a rat rod.
     
  27. WFR

    WFR Supporter Supporter

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    Good stuff!!
    Thanks!
     
  28. OldFatMan

    OldFatMan Tracker

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    My father gave me my first knife when I was 7.... a standard issue Barlow .....I still have that knife today, and I'm 50.....it is my most prized possession bar none....

    IF you give your son a knife.... ANY knife... and I think you should, make sure it is something that will last till THEY are 50.... and can look back on it with fondness remembering all the good times and seemingly mundane at the time tasks it preformed that will make treasured memories as they age.....

    I'd honestly be looking at something along the lines of a Case, or Schrade, Buck.....something classic, with some legs to it so it will stick around.

    so many of todays knives are rubber, plastic, things that wont age quite as gracefully..... Micarta, Bone, Stag, Derlin.... if its on a 50+ year old knife for sell on Ebay, still in good condition, then its probably going to be ok....

    But don't buy him a knife..... buy him a lifetime of memories, and a keepsake for when your gone.....I still carry the knife my Daddy gave me, every Sunday.... I own 500+ knives... and THAT knife goes with me every week....everything else rotates, but that old Barlow is my Sunday church knife.

    insert long winded speech about teaching him knife safety and how to respect and keep up with his tools here..... may also toss in a few comments about teaching him how to sharpen and care for it......those will all be memories some day as well.....

    but seriously, nothing makes a kid feel like he's graduated a significant step up in life like his first knife, and his first BB gun.....and eventually his first 22lr, his first 12ga, his first deer rifle, and his first car ( truck ) ......these are milestones in the life of your son..... make it count.
     
  29. Jonah L. Archer

    Jonah L. Archer ~Roughian #21~ Supporter Bushclass II

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    Thank you!
     
  30. Unistat76

    Unistat76 Nerd Supporter Bushclass I

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    My 7 & 9 y.o.s have a Mora Companion and a SAK One-Handed Trekker, each.

    The SAK were German Army surplus. I ground out the German Eagle and engraved a stylized first initial.
    20190526_182739_HDR.jpg 20170713_211525.jpg
     
  31. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    I was 4 when my dad gave me a small Camillus folder. I had it until I lost it, in their house, about 5 years ago (I'm 55 now. yeah, it hurts.)

    Two schools of thought on fixed/folder, opposite sides of the 'close blade on fingers/stab himself' coin. I'd personally go with folder because that's what i had. Lock blade is another option.

    i have never had a multi tool with as good a blade as on a dedicated knife. might be just me, but i've had leathermen/mans and gerbers... don't carry either now.

    I'd go with a small SAK, like the Tinker. I gave my two daughters the SAK Classic when they turned 12, as neither was interested in using a knife for whittling. But I also had a full toolbox and they knew what to use for what (and put it back clean), so there's something.
     
  32. A17

    A17 Tracker

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    I got a Cabelas multi-tool at the age of 6 or so but was told if I cut myself, it'd vanish till I was 8, which seems like a sound piece of advice but, a SAK seems like a sound choice to me as I have never cut myself with one, which is an impressive feat as I have cut myself several times on just about everything that is capable of injuring people and some stuff that isn't. I don't know how, but no matter how hard I try, I get injured pretty often. So if a SAK hasn't cut me yet, it should be pretty safe for a kid.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  33. Walking Crow

    Walking Crow Supporter Supporter

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    I will start by saying the "what is the right age?" question is not a question of age at all but one of physical coordination and sufficient maturity to follow directions and abide by rules. Some are ready at 5; some are not ready at 30...Know your child/student. The second factor is your own ability to effectively work with your child. Sometimes you are not the best one to do the teaching. Know your relationship with your child. Do they accept your coaching and instruction or challenge it? How well do they focus and remember what you've said?

    As for what knife is best, I can only comment based on what I've experienced over 30 some years as a Scout leader, a couple of summers working at a youth-based primitive skills camp and, most recently, about 10 years working with home school groups, K-12.

    The Scouts worked mostly with folding knives (BSA national does NOT prohibit fixed blades, by the way- Cub Scouts are the exception), and most of the cuts came from improper closing of the blades with the non-locking blade folding when trying to use the blade as a drill. By requiring fixed blade knives at we did at the primitive skills camp and as we do at the home school Outdoor Education classes, we do not have to spend time going over the rules for opening and closing knives on top of all the rules for safe use. And we by default, we eliminate all injuries that might occur from improper opening and closing blades. With younger children - and the particular knife - opening and closing can also be a problem of inadequate strength.) We do need to teach proper hand placement on the sheath, if they are using a knife that is not attached to their belt.

    In the OE program, we have a supply of the old style Mora 511 blades. The current version has essentially the same blade but the handle is slightly larger in girth, perhaps a bit too large for younger/smaller hands. These do have sharp points (and sharp blades), but the points have not been a problem. Have there been some cuts? A few...very few. True, we only work with them a few days each semester but we always go over the rules first, before they ever touch the knives. (Many of the students have their own Moras and we make it clear that our expectation is that they always work with a responsible adult (reminding them that not all adults are responsible) until such time that their parents determine they are ready to work independently.

    There will always be a few cuts. I tell the kids up front that if they cut themselves, the second question I will ask is, "What rule did you break?" And, that is exactly what I do..not in an accusing or demeaning way...just matter of factly. (BTW, the first question is, "Where is YOUR first aid kit?" It's something they are supposed to have with them at all times.)

    Another excellent way to instill good knife skill is in the kitchen slicing vegetables. Celery and cucumbers are good starters. Carrots can be a bit of a challenge. Don't handicap them with a dull knife! And, whether wood or vegetables, don't let them work when they are tired. It is very difficult for a child (and many adults) to safely work with a cutting tool when they are tired and unfocused.

    Well, @WFR, give your particular situation some thought as to his readiness. I'd say start with a size appropriate Mora - perhaps involving him in the selection process if that is something he can do thoughtfully. BK9s may look cool but are just not going to work with a 7 year old hand.:rolleyes:
     
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  34. A17

    A17 Tracker

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    I forgot to add, don't get them a knife with a REALLY tough spring. It locks the blade really well, but my Schrade 136 has a tendency to suddenly snap closed around the halfway point and has almost taken off parts of dear-to-me appendages that were slightly in the way. Also, as @Walking Crow said, maturity and coordination are important requirements. I've seen mature 5 year olds that could be using a knife, and immature 30-something year old people with man buns (Bleagh! It makes me sick to even think about them) that I wouldn't trust with a toothpick.
     
  35. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    My son is 8 and got his first knife about a month ago. He had to earn his whittling chip to carry it at scouts and our local camp rule is no fixed blades. He got an SAK Alox Pioneer that I purchased from @08H3.
     
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  36. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Bushmaster

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    There is no age when a child is ready. My youngest son who just turned 7 got his first knife last Christmas. He's been far more responsible than his older brother who is nearly 10 and has already lost his first knife by not following the rules.

    You need to pick what you feel is an appropriate first knife. I think day to day a folder makes sense, and that's what I carry. I opted for a Victorinox Walker for each of my sons. Its affordable, a folder, and a slipjoint. I explained very thoroughly that if they were missused that it would result in serious injury. This makes them think twice about treating them like toys. Its unfortunate about my oldest son losing his but again that is why I went with something cheap.
     
  37. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Appalachian Arthfael LB-42 Supporter

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    All 3 of mine started with Mora children's knives after having toy SAKs for a year each. The toys were used like trainers, which worked well. Folders can be frustrating for younger kids, especially if the springs are a little stout. My older two both got SAKs at 7, my 5 year old is still using a Mora.

    The rules are taken seriously, and I taught them different cuts that they need to learn. We practiced on dollar store soap before moving to wood to figure out technique a little. It worked very well. My older two have both helped skin deer and other animals and I trust them to carry their knives on hikes. They still have to ask to use them and are heavily supervised though.
     
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  38. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    I cut myself really bad with my brand new Campking knife when I was 8 yrs old. It folded shut on my finger. OWWWWWW!!! I still have the scar. No disabling injuring, but that spooked the hell out of me. I'm really scared of non-locking folding knives even now. I remember playing something somebody called mumbly peg with our pocket knives when I was about that age. Throw your knife and stick it in the dirt. The other guy has to reach his foot out there and touch your knife with his foot, then he could stick his knife out even farther, and if you couldn't reach it, you lost your knife. If you did reach his knife you threw again farther away, and he had to reach it, etc. So, at least for me, knife ownership at that age was a school of hard knocks, valuable lessons, and a lot of fun. But we had no adult supervision. Just worried Moms doctoring us up.
     
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  39. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Supporter Supporter

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  40. Wesridge

    Wesridge Supporter Supporter

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    I bought my 8 year old a opinel no. 7 it has been a good match. With the locking collar and the price I don't know if it can be outdone. Go ahead and by 2 you will want you own.
     
  41. Jetjr

    Jetjr Scout

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    Don't freak out and don't tell mom.
     
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  42. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Way to go Jon, good job. Congrats to the Young Roughian!

    ———

    Much good advice. So many variables.

    BE SURE you and your son recognize that fact that their will be cuts. Make sure he is ready to deal with immediate care of those too. I have a scar behind the fingernail on my right index finger where a folder closed over it. I was probably 10. The finger tip was numb for a long time. MANY cuts over the years, still get them. They are a fact of life, IMO.

    You guys have fun and enjoy. I do like the little Opies and their locking feature. SAKS are nice.
     
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  43. kamagong

    kamagong Scout

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    It depends...

    I hate that answer, but it really does apply on a case-to-case basis. I gave my daughter her first knife at age 5. I kept it though, she didn't receive full possession of it until much later. She's 9 now, and though most people these days would consider that too young, I gotta say that I trust her with a sharp blade more than I do many adults.

    If you do get her a knife, make sure it's something that she'll like, not just you. It's going to be her knife after all. My daughter likes bright and pretty colors, so her gear reflects that.

    [​IMG]
     
  44. Diligence

    Diligence Tracker

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    Mora Junior Carver is a perfect knife. All my kids got them at age 6.....
     
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  45. Coyotesilencer

    Coyotesilencer Scout

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    I gave my son a Swiss Army Junior 9 for his fifth birthday.

    [​IMG]

    It has a locking main blade with a rounded off point. Around $20 shipped and good quality.
    His older sister was more mature and got an Evogrip 18 at seven years old.
     
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  46. WFR

    WFR Supporter Supporter

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    Many, many thanks to all of you for taking the time to share your experiences.
    I have grown to trust and enjoy the advice and brotherhood that is shared on this forum. It truly is a special community.
    My son is a very responsible and good-hearted kid. He helps change the oil and filters in our Tacoma and knows most of the tools in the toolbox.
    He uses my Bahco Laplander and a Silky Pocketboy to cut wood for our solo stoves. He did manage to cut the back of his neck with the Bahco and I'm still scratching my head trying to figure that one out!
    He bought a bow with his own money last year and has exceeded my expectations in that area.
    He has his own daypack, FA kit, compass, whistle, etc. He's into outdoor gear.
    @kamagong your post hit really close to home as I was actually considering a red Eldris. He loves any and all things red.
    I have an older 3-blade knife that my Grandfather gave to my Dad and he mailed it to him last year. I told him when he was 8 we could talk about it.
    Thinking he's going to end up with more than one. I may clean up the older knife and give it to him later but you guys have given me so many other good ideas. I really like the idea of the Opinels and Moras as weel as the SAK's.
    Just found this link: https://morakniv.se/en/knife-knowledge/woodcarving-with-children/?v=7516fd43adaa
    @Walking Crow I really like the idea of cutting up the veggies. He already does this a bit in the kitchen and your experience with carrots was lived out a few weeks ago. We discussed how a thinner blade would be better suited and to use a cutting board.
    @Crusher0032 I never thought of using cheap soap and really like that idea.
    He's mature enough and he's ready. I'll let you know what we end up going with.
    Thanks again for each and every one of you that took the time to respond.
    Jim
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  47. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    Can't remember the ages, but first was a SAK with the rounded peanut butter spreader blade (don't know if I would go that route again?), then was a fixed blade Bruseletto Scout knife ( son is related to the folks in Norway who make them on mothers side) next was either a leatherman squirt (he and his cousin got one in a Christmas Stocking one year) or it was a better SAK passed from my uncle to me to son (Uncle Kenney has passed on) don't remember the order. He has used Mora 120's and 106's as well carving wood. Who knows what will be next???? Most likely something off my shelf or out of my knife box, I got a lot. Kinda of been saving a pristine Buck 119 for him that also came from my uncle. Oh yea and I can't forget grandma gave son a small box of folders my late father in law collected and hardly used over the years. Some pretty nice ones I think. I just haven't gone through them carefully.

    Start 'em young....teach 'em safe use.....teach them how to care for and sharpen.....pass on the tools and skills.....
     
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  48. Jetjr

    Jetjr Scout

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    Heck according to my work we are just barely responsible enough to use a knife and we use them all the time. I'll have to get a pic of the hook knife they wanted us to start using it's a comical affair.
     
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  49. Traditionalist

    Traditionalist Guide

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    My son’s very first knife at age 5 was a Mora with a wooden handle and finger guard. His first folder at 6yrs was an Opinel #6. Both were purchased after great deliberations, and I still think I made the correct choices.
     
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  50. batmanacw

    batmanacw Bushmaster

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    I disagree entirely.

    Teach him to use a slipjoint now and he won't end up with a scar like I did. Teach good skills now.
     
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