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Great 1st Knife for Son?

Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
182
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 her...so 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!

TripleB67
 

hhmoore

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
8,635
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)
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
412
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.

But...

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.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
412
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)
He said his son bites his nails so a slip joint would be a no go.....
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
194
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.
 

lieferung

Basic Member
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May 24, 2016
Messages
2,592
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.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
182
Everything you mentioned is a Spyderco - should we assume you want to stick with that brand?

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.

I'm conflicted by the post.

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.

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.

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!

TripleB67
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
715
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:

Wild Willie

Gold Member
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Mar 19, 2018
Messages
1,237
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.

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.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
12
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.
 
Joined
May 21, 2020
Messages
60
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!
 

Bastler

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
674
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 her...so 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.

Seriously...
RgH5GFa.jpg
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
1,939
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 her...so 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!

TripleB67
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.
 

Steely_Gunz

Got the Khukuri fevah
Moderator
Joined
May 9, 2002
Messages
10,480
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.
 

Lesknife

Platinum Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
1,339
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.
 
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