Highly recommend the SAK Bantam and Tinker. I like the bantam because its so basic. It has a blade and a screwdriver, bottle/can opener. Kids need screwdrivers because taking things apart is fun. They can also be used for very light prying in a way a blade never should. Very versatile and fits very comfortably in your pocket. Get the Alox version and you can have his initials engraved on it to make it more personal. The Tinker is a slightly souped up version of the Bantam, but still pretty compact. I wouldn't worry about getting too big of a Swiss Army knife though. Kids will carry knives no matter how big, because they're knives. My first one was the huntsman and it was in my pocket constantly. I got it when I was eight or nine.

I also wouldn't worry about a locking blade. While I cut myself constantly with my pocket knife as a kid, I don't think it was ever because of a blade closing prematurely. I was taught over and over that blades can close on your fingers and never had an issue. Cutting yourself with your pocket knife is a right of passage and a learning experience. As long as you're taught safe knife handling, none of them should ever be too serious.

I'll also disagree with the statement, "pocket sized saws are useless". The saw on my huntsman was used for all kinds of things as a kid. I cut through branches over an inch in diameter much safer then using the knife blade. Great for making spears and forts.

Remember to look at this purchase from your kids point of view as much as your own. How much he likes his knife will determine by and large how well he keeps it.

PS Don't forget to get a sharpening stone along with the knife. If its his, it'll make sharpening that much easier.

Edited by AROTC (11/11/08 06:32 AM)
A gentleman should always be able to break his fast in the manner of a gentleman where so ever he may find himself.--Good Omens