Receiving your first knife can easily be one of the most special memories you have. You always remember your beginner knife. When your dad or grandpa gives you a knife, it symbolizes trust and responsibility. However, it can be difficult to pick the right knife. There are many options and designs that may not be suited for a young user. Could you imagine an 8-year-old with a Microtech? Here are five beginner knives that would be great for your youngster.
The My First Victorinox knife was specially designed for young users. It features a large blade that comes to a blunt rounded tip instead of a point. The second blade is actually a combination tool that includes a bottle opener, can opener, screwdriver, and wire stripper. Like most Victorinox knives, the My First Victorinox comes with a toothpick and tweezers. It’s plenty of function for a young user without many things that can hurt them. The handles are durable composite and display that classic Swiss Army look.
Carrying it is easy with its 3 1/4″ closed length, but it also comes with a key ring for lanyard attachment. This knife is made in Switzerland and is sure to last for generations. In my opinion this is an easy choice for those who like to combine tradition and safety – I know my first knife was a Victorinox.
Red Ryder is a name most of us remember seeing as a kid – if you didn’t shoot your eye out. Now, you can get a Red Ryder Boy’s Knife that’s designed to be your boy’s first knife. It comes with a 16-page Red Ryder Safety Handbook to help the new owner learn proper knife care and use. This is a great visual aid to to add to your lecture of safety and blade care.
The boy’s Knife is a 440A Stainless steel bowie. Its blade is 4 3/8″ in length which is perfect for a beginner fixed blade. It’s big enough to take on most tasks but not unwieldy for a youngster. The handles are made from smooth amber bone which is machined with comfortable finger grooves for additional grip. Since the Boy’s Knife is 8-1/2” in overall length, it comes with a nylon belt sheath for easy carry. The sheath even includes a compass for basic orienteering.
The Buck 112 Ranger is a smaller version of the legendary 110. Having this as a first knife would be like getting the Cadillac of first knives. The blade is durable 420 high carbon stainless steel. It’s handles are an attractive wood grain surrounded by brass bolsters. It’s a lock back which required two hands for operation, a handy feature for a beginner. The 3″ clip point blade isn’t too much and the knife is only 4-1/4″when closed. Buck even includes a black leather belt sheath as an added bonus. The 112 Ranger is made in the U.S.A. and comes with Buck’s Forever Warranty.
This is where the Forever Warranty shines. This protection will cover this knife from any damage for the rest of the owners life. Buck has made it clear that they will stand by their product even under heavy use. The 112 Ranger isn’t as cheap of a knife as the others, so the warranty is a fantastic addition to the deal. Even years later if it gets passed down again, Buck will honor their warranty for generations to come.
Now I do realize that not everyone is into the classics, I respect that. So for those of you who like the contemporary, check out the CRKT Squid. This little knife has an 8Cr13MoV Stainless steel blade, 2Cr13 stainless steel handles, and a linerlock mechanism. The blade opens using ambidextrous thumb studs that are spaced appropriately for small hands. It comes with a pocket clip and lanyard hole so there are a few different ways to carry it. The Squid has a 2-3/8″ Drop point blade and an Overall length of 3-1/2″. It’s small, sleek, modern, and perfect for a beginner knife.
Oh yeah, one of my personal favorites: The Marble’s G.I. Utility Knife. Based off of a WWII original, this knife is a faithful reproduction of the popular utility knife issued to G.I.’s in the European Theater and the Pacific, and later became a favorite among campers, outdoorsmen, and scouting groups. This knife is a classic first knife that is the traditional alternative to a Swiss Army.
The G.I. Utility knife comes with a full 440A Stainless steel construction. It features a 2 5/8″ spear point blade, can opener, flat head screwdriver/bottle opener, leather punch, and lanyard bail. It’s a reasonable 3-5/8″ in length when closed. This is a classic that I think anyone would cherish as their first knife.
It doesn’t really matter which direction you choose to go when buying someone’s first knife. What does matter, is that the youngster is responsible enough for safe use. This is a lifelong hobby that is based on the foundation of safety and responsible ownership. These knives are a solid starting point, but as we all know, one knife is never enough.
We found all of these knives at Smoky Mountain Knife Works (smkw.com). Whenever you’re ready to upgrade to the next step, i suggest checking out their website. They typically have some of the best prices around and their customer service is always great at helping you find your next knife.