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First knife for 9-year-old girl

Discussion in 'The Cutting Edge' started by Cicero, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Cicero


    Apr 2, 2004
    My oldest daughter is beyond excited over her first "true" backpack with daddy in the "wilds" of Michigan's Manistee forest near Cadillac this coming June. (Just an in-and-out with about 4 miles total and I get to carry everything heavy). She's just hit the age of responsibility where I can trust her full time with her first pocketknife and I want to give it to her when we stop to set up camp for the night. She's also homeschooled, so don't worry about any absurd zero-tolerance issues.

    I was going to go with a basic 4-blade case or swiss army folder similar to the standard boyscout knife but I'm curious whether anyone here has any other good suggestions for a kid's first knife for camping and backpacking?

    Considerations include: folder versus fixed blade/sheath; locking versus spring or friction mechanism; fit for a 9yo hand; and blade geometry.

    I want to avoid any blade geometry that provides incentives for stabbing as opposed to cutting (I am actually considering a fixed sheepsfoot Mora among my options). Some of the long and thin stockman's blades, for instance, seem to demand that a kid use them to cut holes in leather, wood, etc. The knife should be of decent enough quality that it will last as long as she wants it but won't break the bank when she loses it.

    Thanks for any suggestions!
  2. BigJoe13


    Feb 7, 2010
    NE Arizona
    I would lean towards a locking knife of some type. Some of the swiss army knives have a main locking blade and seem to be in the replaceble price range, if lost.

    The swiss army knife with locking blade is also easy for youngsters to manipulate the lock release easily versus, some of the lock backs being too stout to unlock.

    As far as fixed blades I would highly recomend a Mora, or some of the lowere cost Cold Steel knives like the Finn Bear, Finn Wolf, Canadian Belt knife or Roach Belly. The Cold Steel models can be had for about the same price as Moras if you look around.

    Also, you may want to teach her how to sharpen the knife. Moras need a flat stone (or sand paper backed by a board), while pocket "V" sharpeners or stones can be used on the other knives. Do not know what type of sharpeners you prefer, so this was more for general knowledge than telling you how to sharpen.

  3. Cicero


    Apr 2, 2004
    I just looked at the single blade swiss army lockbacks -- the blade geometry is ideal and I get a lot of comfort out of a locking blade. And it still has the kid factor of the "secret" tweezers and toothpick built in which will excite her no end. I'm still looking to see if any of the multi-blade ones will lock but this is really promising. Thanks!

    I hadn't thought about the sharpening -- I have pretty much every system out there, although lately I have been sticking almost exclusively with my lansky system. I wouldn't want to train her on that, though, so it would probably be either a good arkansas stone or a crock stick setup that would keep her hand away from the blade. My carbide v sharpeners are all the small version that would be hard with low hand strength.

    Again, thanks for the suggestions.
  4. trickyvic


    Sep 1, 2006
    Sacramento, CA
    I would with a Victorinox; Regular Trekker or One-handed Trekker both have locking blades. For a non-locking blade I like the Hiker model.
  5. Derylak

    Derylak Novice

    Dec 23, 2008
    NC Triad area
    Victorinox used to make a multi-function folder with a locking main blade- it had a gray switch on one of the handle scales that released the blade. I don't recall if the lock engaged automatically upon the blade being fully opened or if it had to be engaged manually.
  6. Cicero


    Apr 2, 2004
    I saw that one -- it used a button lock instead of a liner lock. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell it's been discontinued in favor of the liner lock. Thanks!
  7. H&K 4 LIFE

    H&K 4 LIFE Leonum A Ignis

    Jan 27, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010
  8. w4004p


    Nov 17, 2002
    i prefer fixed blades for kids, less to fiddle with. kind of like giving a woman a revolver, ya know. my son (8) has his choice between a Buck 109 and a Browning drop point. both have small handles, perfect for a kid.
  9. Cicero


    Apr 2, 2004
    Ok, I made my choice. When in doubt, and it's cheap, buy both.

    She's going to get a fixed blade mora with guards (#511 off the Mora website and the Ragweed Forge website) AND a basic four blade swiss army knife. Unfortunately the locking blade knives are really big for her kid sized pockets so I'll be getting one of the 91mm standard size models.

    I'm rationalizing this as the Mora is for camping and outdoors stuff, the swiss army knife is for home.

    Thanks for all the advice!!!
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  10. Cicero


    Apr 2, 2004
    I really like the Buck 109. I may have to reconsider on the Mora.
  11. The mora is going to be way easier when you are trying to teach her how to sharpen.
  12. Cicero


    Apr 2, 2004
    Awesome, pink, and $57 :crying:

    I'll buy my daughter an amazing knife -- maybe an al mar or something like that -- when I can trust her not to lose it. I'm pretty much figuring that the Mora is going to generate massive tearage when it goes since it's getting engraved with her monogram on the makers mark side and "Love, Daddy" and the date of her first real backpack on the other.

    Fortunately, the miracle of modern production technology and the amazing inexpensiveness of the mora means that, like the episode with "Sushi the Goldfish", the tears will turn to joy when the (duplicate) knife is "found". Always plan ahead. :whistling:

    OTOH, Mrs. C was eyeing my Knifenator ( the other day and drooling until she realized just how huge it is. So instead she is demanding that I supply her with another, higher quality knife. I really, really like the pink spyderco so that's going to have to go on the list.

    Ok, and I have to admit that I was kidding about the goldfish. We don't even do the santa myth and the goldfish going belly up was a teaching moment.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  13. w4004p


    Nov 17, 2002
    my bad, dude. it's NOT a Buck 109. i just went and looked at it and it's a Buck 102. if you haven't seen it yet, check it out. it's a really good kid's knife. i got this one when i was 8 and now my 8 yr old is toting it. well... he will be when i finish his sheath. it comes with a pretty decent sheath, but he's more into Kydex (hmmmm wonder where he got that LOL)

    he bought a kydex sheath, off of me, for his balisong (yea, he's got a balisong too). he paid $00.25 for it. he gets one heck of a discount :cool:
  14. Cicero


    Apr 2, 2004
    That's ok, I looked back at the difference between the two and saw that I and been looking at a 108 the first time. Still really nice knives.
  15. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

    Jun 14, 2005
    Marble 4 blade congress. High quality import, very like granpa's old skool pocketknife, approximately 25$. Sharp out of the box, and easy to resharpen. They reallly don't suck. Check ebay.

    A small Opinel is another option, will sharpen to a razors edge, 20$ or less.

    A small custom fixed blade can be bought from David Farmer, for 50$ and up, and I've bought 3, one at a time. Good Value!

    One of my daughters carries a lightweight Buck, and the other a titanium handled CRKT. I carry a lightweight CRKT, and recommend the Byrd 'Wings', 2 Blade, FRN handle, 25ish, as a last ditch utility knife.. very good value. It would work for a first knife.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010


    Jun 28, 2002
    Tacoma, Washington

    Definitely stay Victorinox if going the SAK route. Great quality.
  17. smoke


    Jan 11, 2000
    My 7 yo saw a Kershaw Rainbow Chive in one of my catalogs and fell in love with it. Since it was a little expensive, I managed to find an imported copy on the cheap and decided to get that. I figured it was OK to learn the fundamentals with. She loves it. It kinda matches her Pink Cricket .22LR.