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#154787 - 11/10/08 03:24 PM Recommendations for Boy's First Pocket Knife?
GeoEarthSensei Offline

Registered: 11/25/07
Posts: 20
I am thinking of getting my son his first pocket knife for Christmas.

What do you recommend? Why?


#154793 - 11/10/08 03:33 PM Re: Recommendations for Boy's First Pocket Knife? [Re: GeoEarthSensei]
Kris Offline

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 623
Loc: A Canadian in the UK
SAK alox farmer... Never really was a SAK fan, well when i was kid in scouts I had one but in my 'older' years i went to more of a single blade knife. But this forum got me back to them and the farmer is one of the better SAK's out there IMHO.

The sharpen awl is good for scraping a ferrocerium rod, blade is a bit more sturdy then a regular SAK, saw works pretty well... a very good all around knife for a pocket or even a psk.
"One should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything"
William of Ockham (1285-1349)

#154795 - 11/10/08 03:44 PM Re: Recommendations for Boy's First Pocket Knife? [Re: GeoEarthSensei]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1852
fun question--i would say a Swiss Army Tinker if he's the type who like tools or a good fixed blade Mora with a hand guard if he's the outdoor type.or--just get a smaller Damascus blade and have a father and son winter project making one..sheath also.
opps--edit..i just looked at the question again..pocket knife--SAK in that case

Edited by CANOEDOGS (11/10/08 03:47 PM)

#154797 - 11/10/08 04:00 PM Re: Recommendations for Boy's First Pocket Knife? [Re: CANOEDOGS]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
I recommend against a multi-tool, or a knife with more than one or two blades on it. As a learning event, the kid can best understand and appreciate what you keep simple. A locking blade would be preferable, and something with enough handle for his hand, but not too much so it becomes unwieldy. They don't need a big thick blade, but something slender and with a fairly fine point would help them learn blade control better I think. Case folders are special enough that the kid might have more respect for it than some $10 generic thing, and Case are well enough made that it will take some abuse.

I took great care of the little stockman that Grandad gave me. It was a great choice for me as a first knife. Grandad knew what he was doing.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#154827 - 11/10/08 07:07 PM Re: Recommendations for Boy's First Pocket Knife? [Re: ]
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
The Swiss Army knife idea is a good one. Along those lines I'd say get him a 3 1/4" (84 mm) Alox SAK, then have the back engraved with his name or initials to make it extra special.

For kids I always liked the smaller 3 1/4" size SAK, it's more proportional to their hands and pockets than the full size knives (3 1/2"-91mm). Target has been selling the 84mm Cadet Alox for ~$18.00 (pictured below), which is a good simple sturdy knife. Very similar to the original Soldier model, which is also similar to the old US military Demo knife or the traditional Boy Scout pocket knife. The difference is the smaller size, the pointed nail file instead of the awl (which can do most of what the awl could do, with the added benefit of the nail file) and a key ring, which is good for kids so they can tether it to themselves so they don't loose it.

If you want to go full size (91 mm), the Farmer is one of the best, and being Alox it also has a spot to be engraved. This one is, again, similar to the original Soldier, but with an awesome wood saw and the key ring.

Another knife I like is the Case Orange G10 Jr. Scout. Basic boy scout knife design, but with bright orange G10 handle scales so it's easier to find if dropped/lost. This one is a bit more expensive than the SAKs though, it's also not as easy to replace if lost (they're kind of tough to find).

If you prefer something with a lock (which is always nice to have), a simple small lockback is a good option as well. My father always got knives like these as gifts/promotional items, and he would give them to us. They're simple, durable, and with only one implement to worry about, the blade....they're pretty easy to teach how to use. Plus, once they're a bit older you can buy them a Buck 110. Basically the same knife on a larger scale, and is pretty much known as the classic American pocket knife.

Case makes small stainless lockbacks that are real nice and not too expensive, as does Buck and quite a few other manufacturers.

Otherwise, I would look into other classic style knives in different patterns. Case, Buck, Bear and Sons, Queen, Schatt and Morgan, Hen and Rooster, Boker, Schrade (now defunct), Camillus (now defunct), ect all made/make great knives in classic patterns; like the stockman, barlow, trapper, pen knife, ect. The price on these can be very low (like the Chinese made low-end Buck slip-joints) to very high, allowing you to pick out one you like at the price you like.

While it may not be feasible since you want to give it as a Christmas present, it may be a good idea to let him look at or maybe try out different knives and pick out the one he likes (within reason of course). Either that, or start him out using your edc pocket knife, and then get him his own of the same knife once he has shown satisfactory ability/safety. Sometimes allowing them to pick out their own knife or giving them the same knife as daddy/grandpa/uncle/ect makes it more fun and memorable.

#154832 - 11/10/08 08:01 PM Re: Recommendations for Boy's First Pocket Knife? [Re: Paul810]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2122
Loc: NE Wisconsin
My thoughts on knives for Boy Scouts:
-They will get lost
-The knife needs to be low cost
-Scouts will accidentally fold them
-The knife blade needs to lock
-Scouts patrol gear includes can openers
-The knife doesn't need a can opener on their knife
-Scouts don't need a screwdriver while camping
-The knife doesn't need to have a screwdriver
-Scouts use saws to cut branches too large to break by hand
-Small knife-sized saws aren't much value

My advice is for parents to find a very low-cost simple locking blade knife. So far my son has almost lost both his basic knife and his Leatherman. I found them both times.

Since then, all of his knives have paracord lanyards attached. They are looped to a belt loop on one end and fastened to the knife's lanyard hole on the other (the LM's not well suited to the lanyard), and the cord is sized so if it drops it won't hit the ground. He just clips the knife inside his pocket and stuffs the lanyard into the same pocket.

The lanyard also helps prevent "borrowing" which in my view is the largest destroyer of knives out there. Nothing can be trashed as easily as someone else's knife.

My own choice - what I bought for my son & daughter - is the Kabar Dozier Folding Spear for about $20 online. Just about the best knife I've found for the money.

Did I mention that most Scout knives are lost amazingly quickly?

#154839 - 11/10/08 09:56 PM Re: Recommendations for Boy's First Pocket Knife? [Re: ]
SaucyRose Offline

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7
I love my buck knife so much so all my sons got buck knives when they turned 10.

#154845 - 11/10/08 10:52 PM Re: Recommendations for Boy's First Pocket Knife? [Re: GeoEarthSensei]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
How old is he?

I really like SAKs- locking blades are safer for rough work, but I remember I had a hard time with lock backs until I was about 9-10, and liner locks require a bit more finess.

I'd probably lean to the Climber or a similar model. Big blade, little/emergency/back up blade, can opener (not really needed but a good preparedness item), bottle opener (more and more sodas have pop tops), scissors (use mine daily), awl (so he doesn't break the tip off poking stuff) and the corkscrew to hold the glasses screwdriver (if not for his, for someone elses).

Or the Cadet, but I do think scissors are near critical.

In any case, a lanyard with a good clip. Over time add whistle, light, and ferro rod. smile

Ahhh... I saw your other thread. Six... Maybe the MiniChamp? Small hands need small knives, but the layers of this should make it big enough to get a grip on and it has useful tools but also enough gadgetty bits to be cool

Edited by ironraven (11/10/08 10:57 PM)

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#154866 - 11/11/08 02:29 AM Re: Recommendations for Boy's First Pocket Knife? [Re: SaucyRose]
comms Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
Wow. You can not go wrong with any of those choices. The Case is great because its not as ubiquitous as SAK but the loss factor comes into play.

Something must be said however that SAK keeps coming up and my wife has a small one for EDC, I have the Champ in regular rotation in my EDC.

I have given a lot of thought to my son's first knife. I have a ways to go, he's 5. I have narrowed it to a small SAK or an Old Timers knives. The Old Timers, (originals no longer made) are sold at Home Depot so they are easy to replace. The PAL is about $10 and a single blade. Its a nostalgic blade. Story's about its remarkable family past is usually highly exaggerated to create mystic. (wink wink)

Don't just survive. Thrive.

#154868 - 11/11/08 02:54 AM Re: Recommendations for Boy's First Pocket Knife? [Re: comms]
tomfaranda Offline

Registered: 02/14/08
Posts: 301
Loc: Croton on Hudson, NY
An excellent SAK with a locking blade is the Wenger traveller. And it's easy to unlock, has excellent scissors and a nice selection of other tools.

If you just want a knife with a single blade that locks, the kabar dozier knife that KenK mentioned is very, very, good value. Besides a spearpoint it comes in a drop point and a few other variations. Excellent lightweight knife with a lockback mechanism.

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