10 year old interested in knives

Is this behavior, putting knives under the pillow, common in boys?

  • Common

    Votes: 47 81.0%
  • Not common

    Votes: 11 19.0%

  • Total voters
Jan 12, 2021
I used to do that, wouldn't say it's common. Hell stop in his own time, as I did. No harm in it.
Jan 12, 2021
Get him something strong he can chop with, if you'd like to keep your kitchen knives in one piece, that is.
Sep 24, 2002
Given the type of knife he's hiding under his pillow, I'd definitely ask him about why he's got it there. It's one thing to keep a prized possession close, but taking a knife out of the kitchen to keep under his pillow makes me think he's scared of something. Ten years old is a little old to randomly become afraid of the dark, but a scary story or movie could trigger it. You definitely want to know whether he's scared of someone hurting him, which would be a significant red flag. Also, gently him that an unsheathed knife under his pillow is not safe, and work with him to find another arrangement that will keep him safe.

The more I think about it, the more this^ is what would concern me.

Taking and hiding a knife sounds normal to me, but keeping it under ones pillow sounds like a response to fear. There are plenty of places a boy could hide a knife, but under ones pillow sounds like someone wanting it close by for protection when they sleep.

Of course I don't know your son, or anything about your family/homelife/etc, and I'm no child psychologist, but I wouldn't brush it off as "normal". Maybe it's not fear at all, and nothing more than fascination, and that's just where the knife happened to be when it was found. But if it were my child I'd want to know why he took the knife, and perhaps more importantly, why was he keeping it under his pillow.

I wouldn't make a huge deal out of it, I wouldn't take him to a shrink, but I would sit him down and discuss it with him.


Platinum Member
Jun 9, 2011
is it there while he sleeping or just there as in hidden, during the day time when he's at school?


Gold Member
Platinum Member
Mar 26, 2018
When I was 11 or 12 I saw a movie where the main character cut the pages of a book so that he could hide things in it. I thought this was awesome and wanted to do it too, so I grabbed a steak knife and started sawing. It takes a long time to saw through a couple hundred pages with a dull steak knife so I put it under my mattress so that I could work on it a little bit every night without getting in trouble. My stepmother was insane and constantly tossed all of our rooms on a regular basis (I wonder why I wanted a hiding spot) and found the knife and FREAKED OUT and decided I must be trying to kill her or my sisters. Since my Dad was deployed, he couldn't talk her off the ledge, so she sent me to counseling for three months (who very quickly decided that my stepmother was insane).

Please don't be that person.
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Mar 20, 2021
I suggest getting him a small folding knife or multi-tool, like a Swiss Army knife. If he nicks himself with that it’s no big deal and will teach him to be more careful with knives. You could also give him a book on whittling or something else which lets him see knives as tools and not weapons.


Got the Khukuri fevah
May 9, 2002
I would try talking to him. I dont mean to drill down and freak out why he put a knife under his pillow. That conversation will be a lot easier to slide into once you figure out what about knives he likes specifically.

Once you show an honest interest in his hobby, I'm sure he'll be more open about it. It may simply be that he is really into knives but is getting a vibe that they are bad/forbidden. Of course, I would lay down some rules and explain why having an unsheathed kitchen knife under your pillow is super dangerous. Maybe you'll find out with a little conversation as to why he's doing it. It could be that he simply saw a character in a movie do it, but the only way to know for sure is to talk to him.

I'm all for trying to nurture what a kid is interested in. My daughter is 10. She just got into pocket knives this past year. She has seen me carry one and use one at home and at work (I'm a contractor), so her frame of reference is "tool". I bought her a little garbage souvenir Swiss Army Knife over the fall break. She loved and proved responsible with it. I got her an engraved "real" Swiss Army Knife for Christmas. We just spent fall break in Gatlinburg, so we hit up Smokey Mountain Knife Works. It was one of the highlights of the trip for her. I let her pick out whatever she wanted within a $70 budget. She felt that Leatherman multitool (the kind without pliers) made thr most sense. She wants the tools, but she doesn't wear a belt or have many pants with pockets. The multitool could clip to her waistband.

Little stuff like that has really helped me understand some of the stuff my daughter has been interested in, and I hope it helps her learn a lesson about not only being responsible with a tool that can cause harm but also the value of having a tool on your person that can help you augment your imagination when you find yourself stuck.

Anyway, I apologize for my digression. Long story short, I think a good candid conversation with him will yield more results than asking a bunch of strangers about what is "normal". Best of luck to you.


Basic Member
Aug 29, 2019
When you say he is putting a "kitchen knife" under his pillow, do you mean something relatively dull like a butter knife or something relatively sharp like a chef's knife? A sharp knife needs to have its sharp edge protected from accidental contact. This is why folding knives fold up and non-kitchen fixed blades usually have a sheath. This could be a good teaching moment between you and your son.

Start with knife safety. Get him one of the recommended knives here, such a Swiss Army Knife. Teach him to only open the blade (or other tool) when he is using it, and to fold it back up when not using it. Supervise his use at first. Give him responsibility and chores to do with his new knife. For instance, find excuses for things that "need" or could use being cut, such as making him your dedicated package opener even when said packages have pull tabs. Apply the old "measure twice, cut once" wisdom in always having him think before cutting. An example would include cutting open a box or bag carefully to avoid cutting the contents.

You'll also want to encourage "cutting away", also known as "cut towards your chum, not your thumb". That means that when cutting anything, you don't have a direct path between the cutting edge and your fingers, hand, etc. For instance, is the thing behind the thing you are cutting a finger? There is always a possibility that when the knife gets through the thing you want cut, it could keep cutting. This is a common source of accidents. Avoid it by having him learn to cut away from himself and/or into a cutting board.

Also, yes. This is within the realm of normal for boys. It can be part of a larger growing trend in which your son learns to be handy, helpful, and responsible. I recommend doing your best to foster that trend into adulthood.


Gold Member
Jun 29, 1999
The love of knives is common, as is the fascination with knives. If that is the issue, then it’s a discussion on knife safety followed by buying him his first cool knife. But, it could be a response to fear. Perhaps, as the budding man-of-the-house, he wants to be able to protect you; or, he or his friends may be getting bullied in school.


Black Oak Bladeworks

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Jun 5, 2019
Hi Victoria, Welcome! I would say yes, its pretty common.

When it comes to storage, half the fun of a collection is to look at it. I used my dresser growing up and usually stored most of them there. You know your son the best, but if he is responsible enough I would recommend letting him keep his knives inside of his room rather than somewhere else. (or working towards that goal) If you don't feel he is responsible enough, my recommendation would be give him clear guidelines of what he needs to do to attain those privileges and use the process to teach him personal responsibility.

Just my 2 cents.:) Good Luck! If there is anything else we can do please let us know!


Basic Member
May 24, 2016
If he has knife safety training I don't necessarily think it's bad to let him use a real knife, but I think you should let him know that it's disrespectful to take something when you tell him not to, especially something as potentially dangerous as a knife. Perhaps some dedicated knife use time at home would help.
Nov 7, 2005

...I find kitchen knives under his pillow. He's learned knife safety (boy scouts) but seems to have a hard time resisting the urge to bring them in his room...Many men tell me this is normal....

it is common practice for girls
to cuddle up soundly into bed
with stuffed toys or dolls.
some grown ups still do :)
and by that measure,
your son found it comforting
to have found something of a pacifier
in the form of knives. unconventional?yeah!
rest assured that some grown men
do the same; just try talking them out of it :)
yes, it may be strange to a whole lotta folks,
but its a reality that you must now face
and accept. as a guardian or parent,
it is only right to see
that it does not get out of hand
in regards to your concerns of this practice..
you can support his facination (as many have suggested),
by replacing that kitchen knife
with something a little more safer
(like a sheath or pocket knife)
it would present less of an exposed llve edge danger to everyone
(!especially so for anyone who sleep walks!)
perhaps being a trained boyscout may have had something to do with his conditioning.
thus i urge you to support him during this period of formative years for many kids have
ended up with drugs because they largely lack parental support and care
and more importantly do not have a close relatiionship of unspoken understanding.
a strong parental bond can resolve issues.
one must be able to see and read the signs when it come to your own childrren its playing for keeps.
it would be a sad day to loose this trust.
so it would be a positive sign for him
if you play "tooth fairy" and slip in a more functional and character building gift
(like a swiss or plier tool, along with a guide book or two) under the pillows right before bed time.
once his heart is soften, he should be all ears!
retone your concerns to him and firmly suggest that with these gifts, he now no longer requires to place dangerous objects under his head.
restore some authority by requesting that
he needs your permission before removing
your kitchen cutlery for any use.
and that it would greatly help
with the sound sleep.department for you
that all kitchen knives
stays firmly in the kitchen...
its anybody's guees
how much longer he would continue
falling asleep with countless dreams of knives
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Basic Member
Aug 18, 2019
I would say normal... Hiding things, weapons, booze... I buried treasure at that age.

I prescribe some kitchen cooking with knives. I would get him his own 4-6" knife to keep in the drawer in the kitchen. Give him one to keep in a place with a purpose. Makes it like boy scouts and makes a knife a tool. Maybe a fishing trip couple of weeks latter, with some catch and release. Need to get the man stuff and chest pumping. Kids want to do what they hear other kids are doing, you put him in boy scouts so camping/fishing/hunting may be the desired activities.

My nieces always asking me to take them fishing and to help cook. I have a nice fancy knife in the kitchen that is as sharp as a butter knife for them. And some nice filed down hooks for the lake.


Gold Member
Sep 3, 2008
I voted not common to hide kitchen knives under a pillow. It is common for boys to be interested in knives at that age tho. I never hid stuff under my pillow.

IF you decide to buy him a knife, I would suggest an inexpensive multi-tool as a gift. He might enjoy and learn to appreciate the various tools and they almost always have a locking blade on them. At his age, I would highly suggest a blade that locks so he doesn't run the chance of a blade closing on his fingers.


Gold Member
May 28, 2012
My suggestion for a 10 year old knife lover would be to get /her/him a small keychain swiss army knife. It is not expensive and has a bunch of tools that he can work with. I have one on my keychain and often find it very handy when my edc knife isn't in my pocket. Just be sure he is very careful with large knives, kitchen knives, etc. He can easily hurt himself or someone else.

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Oct 8, 2013
These are all good suggestions here.I would ask him if there was any fears he may have that he hasn't disclosed to you.I like the idea of the Swiss Army knife with the rounded point but you'll have to show him how to close it so he doesn't snap it on his fingers.I also liked the idea of a multi-tool with all the tools to fidget with.I hope this works out for you.


Gold Member
Jan 9, 1999
As a father of 3 grown children, I would have to say it is extremely risky behavior. You should address it pronto imho. I mean at worse he could cut himself in his sleep any number of ways. It imho also exhibits a type of fear of something maybe? Just sayin.


Gold Member
Jun 26, 2015
That’s great he’s interested, but keeping them under his pillow is dangerous.

Ground rules need to be set, then enforced.

You know your child better than anyone, so how you decide to go about this is up to you.

As far as normal, yeah, these kinds of things are common with kids. I wouldn’t get too alarmed, but would certainly guide him into learning how to use and store them safely.
I'd say this is the best advice. Safety is #1.
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