Great 1st Knife for Son?

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

  1. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    Buy him what you carry.
    TripleB67 likes this.
  2. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    I've bought my boys a whole bunch of knives over the years.

    I involve them in the selection process every time.

    Guarantees that they'll get something they like and will use.
    studio likes this.
  3. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 29, 2019
    A lot to cover here:

    - Agreed that folding knives are not good defensive tools. Is it worth getting into more detail on that?

    - My first knife was an early model Spartan. There is a lot to like about a SAK but ultimately, it matters which tools would actually get used. Nail-opening could be an issue. Also, I prefer a dedicated pocket knife for a lot of cutting chores.

    - The last Opinel I bought was disappointing. It had been over a decade since I had one and I might have romanticized the memory. The edge on this one was already rolled when I opened it. I had forgotten how soft their steel is (modified 12C27 with less carbon). Fit and finish was pretty terrible. I ended up returning it.

    - Something from Spyderco could be an awesome first knife. My only concern is that I like the idea of budget knives for first knives. Spyderco's low end (including Byrd) feels pretty overpriced for what it is. For more budget-minded stuff, Civivi makes excellent products for the money and offers a variety of styles.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
    TripleB67 likes this.
  4. steelhead seeker

    steelhead seeker

    Aug 1, 2014
    Ok so I saw the 503 photo and assumed it was a slip joint just at a glance. But it does have the little nail nick thing on the blade to open meaning a finger nail would be needed to open it...
  5. flbandit


    Feb 28, 2015
    My first knives were Boy Scout knives. Well, not counting the bait knife in my tackle box! I had a small folder and a 4" (I think) fixed blade. For your Son I lean toward a Case Trapper or SAK. Maybe after a bit add a fixed blade.
  6. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Yes, and no.
    Yes, it has a nail nick; no, a finger nail is not needed to open it (I referenced that in the post you quoted). There's plenty of blade exposed to simply pinch and pull. I did it as a kid, and I've seen younger children than the OP's 13 year old open them with ease.
  7. James 99

    James 99

    Oct 21, 2020
    Swiss Army knife multi tool knife are best for teen, it will be resourceful one way or other. Nail nick on knife will make him give up nail biting if he has to use them.;)
    TripleB67 and jbmonkey like this.
  8. GIRLYmann


    Nov 7, 2005
    rather than some ordinary folder,
    consider the ag russell sea skorpion
    which has a neat marlin spike for
    task more than just splicing rope
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  9. TripleB67


    Jan 28, 2016
    I appreciate everyone's input and honest advice...a tremendous amount of great information that's been of fantastic use so far.

    This morning I took out my Kershaw, a couple of my SAK, my RAT II, and my Dragonfly 2. After showing him how each of them opened, closed, and all the features, he said that he really liked the RAT II the best (although he said he wished it was a bit smaller) - to be honest I think he just liked how it opened better than an of the others. He couldn't get the SAK knives open very easily and he could get the RAT open easier than the others. I'm not sure if they make the RAT II, or anything very similar to it, in a smaller version or not...but he likes what he likes :)

    As far as him being responsible and intelligent enough to carry the knife properly...he is very much so! He's been called an "old soul" on numerous occasions by teachers and his 2nd grade teacher deemed him smart enough to move him up to 3rd grade in the middle of his second grade year. But yes, I would need to show him how to safely open, close, carry, sharpen, etc. a knife.

    Again, all the input has been fantastic!!!

  10. Lesknife

    Lesknife Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    Yes we were all teenagers but not all of us were stupid. My dad taught me at a very young age probably around 5-6 years old to respect people and the appropriate use of tools. And if we had any disregard or forgot we were reminded with a belt. Discipline helps in proper training for difficult or unwilling youth. With firearms and knives he was even more strict that even toy guns or knives were not to be handled foolishly or in an unsafe manner.
  11. Andrew George

    Andrew George

    Mar 7, 2020
    I’d recommend a Hinderer XM-24 Spanto.

    All jokes aside, I think a Kershaw Leek or Chive would be a great choice. Assisted opening, so it’s extremely easy to open and both are a good size. Leek has better steel, though.
  12. lieferung

    lieferung Basic Member Basic Member

    May 24, 2016
    You should've shown him how to spyder drop the dragonfly :D but he made an excellent choice, I'm a big Spyderco fan but even I love the profile of the RAT II I'll have to get me the D2 version one of these days.
    TripleB67 likes this.
  13. TripleB67


    Jan 28, 2016 you know if there are any thumb stud opening knives similar to the RAT II but smaller?

    I appreciate the input!

  14. austinguy23


    Nov 29, 2009
    Griptilian would be good - relatively inexpensive yet high quality. As with any Benchmade, it’s fun to flick. Let’s face it, he’ll spend most of his time flicking rather than using :)
    TripleB67 and lieferung like this.
  15. austinguy23


    Nov 29, 2009
    Or, get him a balisong trainer. From a fidget perspective, I think he’d love it. Once he gets good, he can move up to a non-trainer.
  16. Biochemdawg

    Biochemdawg Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 11, 2018
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  17. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 29, 2019
    You are welcome. I just got out my Rat II and some other thumb stud knives for comparison. It's similar in size to most of the other knives I might recommend. It could just be me but the Rat II seems to be in the smallest size tier I actually like for EDC. The smallest folder I use with thumb studs is the Kizer Mini Domin but it's only smaller than the Rat II by a tiny fraction. Anything smaller than that starts to feel awkward for me in regular use.

    My usual recommendation for an exceptional budget folder with thumb studs is the Tangram Santa Fe. It's just a hair bigger than the Rat II but still in the same ballpark. It's much more comfortable in my hand and I often choose it over much more expensive knives for EDC.
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  18. lieferung

    lieferung Basic Member Basic Member

    May 24, 2016
    I second the mini grip if size is a major factor - it is just about a quarter of an inch shorter than the RAT II, and for little hands that might make all the difference.
    GIRLYmann likes this.
  19. loon#r

    loon#r Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2008
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  20. Gorky


    Jul 2, 2020
    My son got a spyderco dragonfly in h1 for his 7th Christmas. He still loves it and it will always be a useful blade for him

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