As far as price goes, at this age I doubt he is going to be carrying it anywhere. It would be held onto by the parents, come out when teaching skills, and go back to being held by the parents. With that in mind, I see no reason not to spend whatever amount the adult is willing to spend to get the knife that they feel is appropriate and they are comfortable with.

If anything, I'd want a knife that I know is going to be well made, safe, and can grow with their level of skill up until they are old enough to make their own knife purchasing decisions.

I also wouldn't mind spending a bit extra for something made in the good 'ole USA. We've already seen Schrade and Camillus go under, sending a few bucks towards Case, Schatt & Morgan/Queen, ect could help keep some good american knife makers afloat. That's just me showing my biases though. grin