Great 1st Knife for Son?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by TripleB67, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. TripleB67


    Jan 28, 2016
    I know it's long overdue, but I've never given my 13 year old son a knife. :( He's not really an "outdoorsman", doesn't go anywhere much other than school or stores with me, and never really showed any interest when I use mine.

    That changed a bit last night when he and I met my wife at a local store where a mom of one of my students was attacked in front of her son in an attempted mugging. My son wondered why we were meeting mom at the store and I told him to protect I grabbed my knife (wife doesn't like me to conceal carry my gun, although I've done it in the past without her ever knowing) and we met her at the store.

    I mentioned that I should get him a knife next Christmas (not for protection but just to get used to carrying one)...he got pretty excited and later said you're getting me a knife for my birthday (it's in March) right?

    So all of that info above to ask: what would be a great knife to start him out with?

    Unfortunately he inherited his dad's habit of nail biting so it has to be something easy to open.

    I was thinking possibly a Spyderco Byrd Robin 2 - somewhat light, easy to open, relatively inexpensive, and not quite as sharp as the Dragonfly 2 that I often carry. The Spyderco Ladybug 3 is also similar in price.

    But again, you know a lot more that I do so I'm hoping you can send give me some suggestions!

    Thank you!

    Smiling and DangerZone98 like this.
  2. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Everything you mentioned is a Spyderco - should we assume you want to stick with that brand?
    I'd probably go another route - something like a Buck 503 or 055 (I prefer the 501; but there's nothing wrong with going smaller)
    TheJon and TripleB67 like this.
  3. steelhead seeker

    steelhead seeker

    Aug 1, 2014
    I'm conflicted by the post.
    1. Obviously anyone buying a knife for anyone is awesome. Especially your son. I remember my grandparents (who raised me) buying me my first knife while we shopped in bimart.


    2..I hate anything associated with knives as self defense. And even though you said the knife wouldn't be for self defense you used the example of your sons friends mom getting mugged and you said you grabbed your knife before going out to protect his mom so I can't help but think that'll stick with the kid. Knives are for protection.

    Knives are fantastic tools and I think everyone should carry one but as self defense or protection they arent good. Probably have a better chance of harming yourself in a scuffle with one out then actually defending yourself, especially if you don't have a actual knife combat training...

    All that being said the spyderco/byrd knives would be great. I also have bit my nails since I was old enough to put my fingers in my mouth. Terrible habit but I can say stopping smoking after 15yrs was easier. The rat 2 would also be a good first knife.
  4. Wasatch11253


    Jan 31, 2020
    I bought my son a Swiss Champ when he was 13. Reason being my Dad bought me one when I was that age and I was enamored with all it's functions.
  5. steelhead seeker

    steelhead seeker

    Aug 1, 2014
    He said his son bites his nails so a slip joint would be a no go.....
  6. Onies


    Apr 29, 2006
    Nothing wrong with any Spyderco, at all! A less expensive option would be a Kabar Dozier Folding Hunter, which in my opinion, are probably the best value folder on the market today.
    TripleB67 likes this.
  7. lieferung

    lieferung Basic Member Basic Member

    May 24, 2016
    I agree with steelhead, this post has a weird SD tone to it, but also OP says his main carry is a dragonfly 2...I can't see that defending anyone.

    I will say although the RAT 2 is in fact a great carry, I would start small with the kid especially if he's not outdoorsy. Let him become comfortable with a blade, the dragonfly is an especially useful office type blade I used to carry one myself, and if he ever feels the need to go bigger he can choose to. But I'd also check your local knife laws to make sure he is legally able to carry.
    afishhunter and TripleB67 like this.
  8. TripleB67


    Jan 28, 2016
    No, not at all. It's just the brand I EDC. I've got a Kershaw I love as well (like it just as good as my Spyderco, I just haven't sharpened it recently so it's a bit more dull). I'm open to any brand.

    Sorry, I probably didn't explain myself well. I EDC a knife anyway (so he's used to seeing it on my waistband)...I never told him I was going to use it to protect my wife. The reason we were meeting her was to protect her, not the reason I was carrying a knife. Thanks for letting me clarify that.

    I appreciate all the input so far!

  9. Thunderpants


    May 21, 2020
    Maybe the fingernails thing makes it a bad suggestion, but I would nevertheless suggest an Opinel 8 for a kid. Cheap enough that it's not the end of the world if it gets lost, while being a terrific starter knife.
  10. Londinium Armoury

    Londinium Armoury

    Jun 2, 2020
    As far as inexpensive knives go I have a few good ones that I usually recommend to people and have served me well.
    Ontario RAT 1 / RAT 2 in D2 (I don't own the AUS 8 versions but I'm sure they are fine as well)
    The Real Steel E775 Griffin in 14C28N
    Opinel No 8
    Ontario Utilitac
    Spyderco Resiliance (Probably tenacious too but I don't own one myself)
    Cold Steel Finn Wolf (Good cheap scandi folder)
    Spyderco Delica (I have the K390 but the VG10 one is pretty cheap)
    Spyderco UKPK (If you want an easy to open one handed slip joint, mines been great)
    ESEE Zancudo (I personally like it more than the RAT 2, because of the stonewashed blade)
    Tekut Zero (A very fun, light and cheap knife, might need to sharpen it a few times to get to good steel though)

    Most of my favourite knives are in the 150-200 price range so kind of have to leave them out by default, but I enjoy using all the knives I listed, he might not enjoy the opinel much it's pretty boring honestly, but it's a good slicer.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
    TripleB67 likes this.
  11. Wild Willie

    Wild Willie Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2018
    Can't necessarily rule one out though, it's the work of all of 10 minutes with a dowel and some Emery cloth to make an easy-open notch in the wooden handle of an opinel. I might go with a number 6 though, I've found that the 8's are a bit bulky for pocket carry for me.
    RIP Dequincy Jynxie likes this.
  12. stevekolt

    stevekolt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2007
  13. Jaygti


    Oct 26, 2020
    Opinel no8’s seem to be the go to size, but as above I prefer the no6 or no7 to carry about in my pocket.

    the no6 can also come with a walnut handle ,which doesn’t swell as badly when it’s damp.
    Wild Willie likes this.
  14. Thunderpants


    May 21, 2020
    Yes, Opinels are so cheap you may as well go for the top-of-the line variant. Still half the price of the cheapest non-chinese Spyderco!
  15. Bastler

    Bastler Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2020
    DocT, Owen K., Bill1170 and 1 other person like this.
  16. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    The Delica and Endura are excellent “first knives” that he’ll still appreciate many years later if cared for. Still got my VG-10 Endura my Pops got me when I was 14-ish. I’d go with the Endura for the additional cutting edge.
  17. Thunderpants


    May 21, 2020
    Endura! That's a big flippin blade!
    lieferung likes this.
  18. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    My suggestion might be a bit more out of left field. Maybe he would get more use out of a multitool? He'd still have a blade but would also have the tools to augment his imagination.

    The MT set up doesn't require nail nicks to get to the tools, either.
    TripleB67, Jave and oldmanwilly like this.
  19. Lesknife

    Lesknife Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I’m going to repeat the suggestion for the Buck 112 slim select. I got two of my grandsons and my oldest granddaughter a 112 slim select and they love them, easy open and close, easy enough to sharpen and they are very durable, safe and dependable. They all go fishing a lot, do some camping and have acquired the habit of carrying or packing their knives with them. I think it’s a great way for them to learn responsibility for taking care of and maintaining their own tools.
    stevekolt, studio, TheJon and 2 others like this.
  20. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    My first real knife was a SAK victorinox Spartan and I still have it

    for my 10 year old son, I got him a SAK Alox pioneer and he like it a lot
    dirc, Chronovore, studio and 2 others like this.

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