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First pocket knife for 12 year old?

Discussion in 'Knives' started by North86, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. North86

    North86 Loaded Pockets

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    My daughter wants a pocket knife for Christmas.

    I want to get her a decent knife, but nothing tacticool. Something classic. We have some swiss army knives around, but I don't think that's what she wants. I don't want to get something too sharp, but I would like something decent quality. Must be a folder.

    I was thinking an Opinel would be a good.

    Any recommendations? Budget is around $30-$40 on the high end.

    TIA
     
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  2. iangineer

    iangineer Loaded Pockets

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    What about a sodbuster from Case or Great Eastern Cutlery (Bull Nose)? Or is that too simple? Not sure what the prices are like on those either.
     
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  3. jdcovington1122

    jdcovington1122 Loaded Pockets

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    Spyderco squeak with pink frn handle
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Hangman
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    Hangman Loaded Pockets

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    Welcome to the forum. This question comes up every once in a while and tends to become a hot debate. First there is the locking vs. non locking question (which one is safer) Then comes the "appropriate" knife for the youngster. I wouldn't let sharpness come into the decision process because a dull blade is more likely to cause harm than a sharp one. Not knowing your daughter also makes a suggestion tougher. What does she want to do with it? How will she carry it? My first suggestion would have been a Victorinox Classic, that's what I started both of my children off with and my daughter, also 12, loves hers because of the scissors.
     
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  5. gibbsrule9
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    gibbsrule9 Memoria in Aeterna

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    Don't give up on SAKs. There are lots of scale designs to choose from. You could also have the blade engraved.
     
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  6. North86

    North86 Loaded Pockets

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    She likes to whittle and carve sticks when we hike. She likes the idea of having one handy, seeing how often I use mine. She would use it when we go fishing.

    Nothing wrong with Swiss Army Knives, but I think she wants something a little less "girl scout" if that makes sense.

    Definitely want a locking blade too.

    Pink is a no go. LOL

    The sod buster looks interesting. Simple, classic, and they come in yellow... Hmmm...

    Thanks all for your suggestions, please keep them coming.
     
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  7. Hangman
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    Hangman Loaded Pockets

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    Given what you describe, I would suggest a Buck 112, or if you want even smaller maybe a Buck 55.
     
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  8. Buckeye Jake

    Buckeye Jake Loaded Pockets

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    Case peanut , get it in CV
    Jake
     
  9. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Delica or a Mini Griptilian
     
  10. J_C
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    J_C Loaded Pockets

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    Buck:
    Vantage Small - 0340BKS
    Spitfire or Mini Spitfire
    55
    112
    500

    Kershaw:
    Scallion
    Leek
    Skyline

    I am assuming you don't want a typical slipjoint knife such as the various Swiss Army knives, though a Pioneer or Cadet make great knives and their Alox handles make them look less girl-scouty. They come in silver, black, and other colors.

    Case makes some great "classic" traditional US-made knives but may not be appealing to a younger person who wants to be all modern. Their Mini Copperlock does have a locking blade. You are already considering the Case Sod Buster Jr, which is a great knife but is definitely a non-locking slipjoint.

    Now when you say you don't want a sharp knife - uh, what? You mean you don't want it to have a point on the end, or you want the cutting edge of the blade to be dull? You do realize that quality knives are intended to be sharp, right? And that you can certainly dull any knife you want just by trying to saw a brick in two.

    There is a "My First Opinel" which has a rounded end and looks like a butter knife, but the edge can certainly be made very sharp (or kept dull, your choice).

    Buck also has some fine traditional slip-joint folding knives in their US-made 30x series - the 301 and 303 are 3-blade stockman patterns (I have one of each), with a single-blade 302 and the two blade Lancer and Companion for smaller pen-style knives. Great steel for a good price, if that style is appealing.
     
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  11. neutrontech
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    neutrontech Loaded Pockets

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    Great answers in this thread so I don't know how much my response will help. I came here with this same question a couple years ago.

    First off think carefully about the locking blade debate. One of my kids cut himself when a non locking blade closed on him. Even so, I ended up getting all 3 vic classics anyways. For my youngest, 6 at the time, the classic was fine. However I quickly realized they were inadequate for the other two, ages 8 and 9.

    We tend to do a lot of outdoor activities, and aside from a Leatherman, my other 2 use my knives when going out. They carry locking folders but use fixed blades for outdoor craft/bushcraft. I have yet to make a final decision on which knives to get them. Thinking along the lines of a Scallion or Ambitious.

    I'll also second recommendation about blade sharpness. The blade that closed on my son probably wouldn't have if the blade had been sharper. Dull knives cause you to use more force, which results in more serous injuries if an accident occurs. Blade sharpening is now constant lesson. In fact I just went over my Lansky with them tonight.

    This can be a tough decision because some things seem counterintuitive, and no one wants their little ones to get hurt. For me, I only let them have knives under my hawk like supervision and only when I deem it necessary to carry one. May be a bit overprotective, but I rather them use the proper tool for the job, even though it might be riskier if misused. A super sharp fixed blade for example, is the safest option for my kids based on the intended use. However only under very close supervision.

    As I said, not a lot of additional help. Just some input from another parent when making the same decision.
     
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  12. Moco

    Moco Loaded Pockets

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    Swiss Army is good, douk douks look cool but dont have very much in terms of features maybe TOO simple and kind of old timey. Case Calibur small is also nice and has a lockback design
     
  13. Karmakanic

    Karmakanic Loaded Pockets

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    I didn't need to buy my daughter a 'first knife' she just appropriated one of mine from the kitchen drawer. My best friend bought her a Buck folder for Christmas when she was about fourteen. I bought her a Leatherman Wave when she started university.
     
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  14. GurbZ

    GurbZ Loaded Pockets

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    While not exactly classic or the best quality, this was designed for children, the Boker Magnum Kindermesser.
     
  15. RichinVA

    RichinVA Loaded Pockets

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    Mini-grip, Delica sounds good, or if you want smaller, how about a Dragonfly? Of those 3, the Delica would be hard to beat, at least in my book.


    <<< Even when the world is at peace, a gentleman always keeps a blade at his side.
    -The Strategies of Wu. >>>
    <<< Not all that wander are lost.
    -J.R.R. Tolkien >>>>
     
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  16. Stinger

    Stinger Banned

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    :) I love this knife; and it never ceases to amaze me how often I'll use the tweezers, or toothpick.

    [​IMG]

    It's a Victorinox, 'Sentinel'. This one was picked out for me by Carl Elsener, himself! (True!)

    The design requires a right-handed individual to use his left-hand in order to close the blade. This, of course, makes the Sentinel a much safer folder for a right-handed person to manipulate; (and that is, I suspect, 'Why' Victorinox designs their very sharp folding knives this way.)
     
    Last edited by Stinger, Dec 10, 2014
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  17. TheKojack
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    TheKojack Loaded Pockets

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    I'd suggest a Kershaw Scallion. Relatively inexpensive, great quality, US made, small blade yet large enough to be practical and many color options. Overall a great "starter" knife and/or all around user.
     
  18. sungame

    sungame Loaded Pockets

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    First of all, I agree with all the others here who have pointed out that dull = dangerous. As neutrontech points out, you tend to put more force on a dull blade, and that inevitably leads to less control of the blade. For a child with smaller hands, less knife practice and perhaps worse fine motor skills than a grown up, less control can quickly become no control.

    Yes, your child will probably cut herself on a sharp blade, but she certainly would on a duller one. Also, the injury caused by the duller blade would probably be more serious, because of the force involved.

    Second, I believe in introducing knives to children in order of rising complexity. Start with the simplest possible knife, a fixed blade. When the child masters this, she can move on to a non-locking folder. After showing that she can safely use this, and understands the fact that all folding blades can in fact fold, it may be time for a locking one.

    Given the above, I think a Sodbuster or Bullnose would be just about ideal. A Victorinox Alox Solo would be great, too, if she can live with a SAK.

    The OP mentions an Opinel. If you really want a locking blade, a no. 6 or 7 certainly wouldn't be the worst choice, especially for a girl who is already used to handling knives. However, I don't think Opinels are ideal for children. The blade has no choil or ricasso, and the handle has nothing resembling a finger stop. All this makes it easy to slip up onto the blade and cut yourself if you're not paying close attention to what you're doing.
     
  19. J_C
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    J_C Loaded Pockets

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    12 isn't really a little child any more. Almost a teenager. Brain's intellectual capacity is fully developed, but judgement centers don't mature until later. So they are smart enough to know not to do stupid things, but still do them anyway. :)

    I have a lovely scar which only I notice and only when I go looking for it on the heel of my left hand near the base of my thumb, courtesy of my first Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. It was very sharp, and I was slicing something and it slipped and hit my hand. I learned several things that day (including putting your hand in a bowl full of ice and water when it is bleeding like that) and to be more careful with knives. I had some hobbies back then that involved using knives to carve and shape wood (X-acto knives more so than pocket knives), and I was using the SAK when I probably should have used the X-acto.

    People heal from most injuries, and learn from their mistakes. I guess they hadn't invented the world-proof cocoons for children back then. My parents didn't take the knife away or anything like that. Bowl of ice, then bandages and band-aids, back to normal life. I think I was about 12 or so at the time.
     
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  20. quickster47
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    quickster47 Loaded Pockets

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    Spyderco Ladybug is a classic and a great little knife.

    Carl