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First hunting knife for a kid...

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Macchina, Aug 15, 2020.

  1. Macchina


    Apr 7, 2006
    I have a family friend I've been encouraging to get his hunting license and he just finished hunters safety. He's 12 and I'll be taking him and his Dad small game hunting this Spring.

    He's more mature than half of the people in know in their 30's and his parents allow him to have and carry a cheap folding knife. I'll be asking his Dad before giving him anything.

    What do we think a good first hunting knife will be? I'm thinking a 3"-4" blade, natural handle material, leather sheath.
    CVamberbonehead and oldmanwilly like this.
  2. CHNeal

    CHNeal Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2019
    Buck 102 for a fixed blade or 112 for a folder. Either way the young man will have them for the rest of his life.
    Oh and well done sir.
  3. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    Buck 118 Personal because it’s shorter than the 105 Pathfinder but same great shape.

    The upswept blade is well suited to hunting tasks, and it’s not as stabby as a clip point.
  4. comis

    comis Gold Member Gold Member

    May 17, 2013
    Maybe a Buck 113 or 192? Those are classics.
    Retired UPS Driver and SOLEIL like this.
  5. l1ranger

    l1ranger Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 27, 2017
    buck fixed blade (maybe let him choose one) is a good option and I'm sure many hunters including myself started there.
    i just jumped over on the buck site - I like that 113 ranger skinner
    garciajr and Retired UPS Driver like this.
  6. 315

    315 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2017
    I’ll echo this, but perhaps add a 110 to the list of applicants.
    jacksterp and Retired UPS Driver like this.
  7. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    I don't know what types of game this knife may be used on but I saw you mention small game and that he is a young hunter. I prefer fixed blades for hunting but I have used folders in the past.

    I like a smaller blade especially for small game and at his age a smaller knife may handle better. I would look at Knives of Alaska they have some nice options. I like the Jaeger, Alpha Wolf, or even the Cub Bear great for small to medium game and I use the Cub Bear for a lot of small game as well as caping out deer also. I have used several of the KOA knives and been happy with them. My nephew started with an Esee Izula for smaller game might be another to look at unless you want stainless. And as mentioned already Buck has several options.

    Good to see younger hunters get started and a good knife will add to their excitement to get out there.
    coinbuysell likes this.
  8. BP_

    BP_ Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2015
    For a 12 year old I’d go 102, or if he’s bigger for his age maybe even a 117.

    You can never beat a 110/112 for a folder, whichever size you/he prefers.

    I really like the 117 and the 1/692, but the latter might be a bit big in the handle for a 12 year old. Again, totally depends on his size.
    Lesknife and AntDog like this.
  9. shortwinger

    shortwinger Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    Buck 110/112, or the 102/105. Grohmann #2 or #3. CS Master Hunter.
  10. Ajack60

    Ajack60 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    A Braford Guardian 3 would be my choice for a first hunting knife.
    coinbuysell likes this.
  11. AntDog

    AntDog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    I’ll second this. Either one would be perfect.
    Lee D and Retired UPS Driver like this.
  12. zzyzzogeton


    Feb 17, 2013
    Small fixed blades would be my recommendation. The smaller Bucks are the best first knives available now a days.

    I personnally would have recommended a Western B&T if they were still being made. A model 28, 48A, or 48B of the L/F/H handle type made a great first knife for youngsters from the 1930s through the Coleman and Camillus years.
  13. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Drop Forged Hunter. He'll never break 5mm thick 52100 blade no matter how crazy he might get once he hits puberty...
    DangerZone98 and cbach8tw like this.
  14. cabfrank


    Jun 21, 2010
    The Bucks are good suggestions. The Spyderco Bow River is nice, and a great deal.
    CVamberbonehead likes this.
  15. JokersFaceLifter


    Jan 6, 2016
    ill suggest a Mora, can't beat the price and the partial tang swedish steel takes a lot of use and still delivers, ill suggest a mora companion 15$, otherwise Buck mini 110 will fit the bill
  16. SALTY

    SALTY Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2000
    All good choices mentioned here. While I have a Cold Steel Drop Forged Hunter and it's truly one of my very favorites - it is a bit heavier than what a 12 year old would need for small game hunting and the Buck suggestions are perhaps more suitable. While a 12 year old would adore a 112 and likely have it for life, a fixed blade is just all around better for hunting if for no other reason, easier to keep clean. You may even consider a small gamed sized fixed blade and something like a 110 Lite or a KaBar Dozier for a small, easy to handle and lightweight folder.

    Good on you for helping your friend and his son!
  17. SALTY

    SALTY Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2000
    BTW, The Buck 102 is a dandy sized knife for small and medium game.
    It's also great for a 12 year old and ... the 12 year old in all of us!
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  18. AntDog

    AntDog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    I love mine. I would’ve been over the moon to have one at 12!


    I would’ve also recommended a Schrade Sharpfinger, but the new ones are total junk.
  19. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    I know how serious and mature I was for my age when I was 12-13yo... then at 14 it slowly started to change, and I was batshit crazy at 15-17.
    This is main reason why I mentioned the thickness and steel choice. That knife is built like a tank. And about weight - once his T levels go up during puberty he'll very soon be handling even heawier blades like nothing.
    I also remember 16yo me buying heawiest wood splitting maul because I recently strarted going to gym and I wanted wood splitting to be some kind of training too :D
    I got used to that maul pretty fast BTW :D
  20. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    I would go with a Buck 119 or 110. The kid will grow fast and the 119 or 110 will grow with him.

    000Robert and eveled like this.

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