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Age for a pocket knife?

Posted by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 9:16 PM
  • 25 Replies

Our rule is our kids can buy what they like with their money, but they have to run it buy us first and we can veto things that we don't find appropriate. My five year old son asked us tonight if he could buy a small knife. I know my son and know that he would never harm an animal or person with a knife, he simply wouldn't, he knows how to safely use a knife and has used one before and he would always be supervised while using it. He has a swiss army knife, which he is very responsible with, but the blade is too small to really do much with it.

He explained that he would like it to use for fishing (to cut lines), for whittling things out of wood, for camping, and when he helps on the farm. We live in a small upstate NY town and we help on a lot of our neighbors farms, the kids all come and he likes to come ride the horses and help with the work. We use knives for things like cutting twine for hay and marking areas. He said that he does the same jobs that the other kids do, so he should be allowed the same things to do them, and he does have a point there. My older kids are my siblings whom I'm the guardian of, by the time that I became their guardian they were all well old enough to have knives, so I haven't ever had to think about it before. We decided that we most likely will be giving him an old hunting knife of my husbands, so he can save his money, but I was just curious on what you guys think is the appropriate age. 


This is basically what the knife looks like:


by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 9:16 PM
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Replies (1-10):
TheMrs407
by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 9:21 PM
Does he have the fine motor skills to safely do these things? To me, that would be the bigger question. From my experience most five year olds do not have the fine motor skills to whittle, but they probably acquire them by seven or eight. I think a few more years would allow him to gain these skills and develop the muscles in his hands.

Also,if I were to give him a knife I would give him a new one. Old dull knives are often the cause of accidents, even with adults.

Kinder. teacher
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unspecified42
by Platinum Member on Feb. 10, 2013 at 9:28 PM

My son was 6, I think, and never cut himself or had a problem with it. 5 would be kind of pushing it for me, I think. 

LucyHarper
by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 12:29 AM

He has very good fine motor skills and can handle a knife pretty well. The knife is old, but it isn't dull, its been sharpened. 

Quoting TheMrs407:

Does he have the fine motor skills to safely do these things? To me, that would be the bigger question. From my experience most five year olds do not have the fine motor skills to whittle, but they probably acquire them by seven or eight. I think a few more years would allow him to gain these skills and develop the muscles in his hands.

Also,if I were to give him a knife I would give him a new one. Old dull knives are often the cause of accidents, even with adults.

Kinder. teacher



Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Feb. 11, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Ds 9 just got his first one after completing a safety course last year. 5 is a little too young.
LiDoMama
by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 12:32 AM
8-10, but it really depends on the child.
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LucyHarper
by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 10:29 AM

He's had plenty of safety lessons.

Quoting Anonymous:

Ds 9 just got his first one after completing a safety course last year. 5 is a little too young.



almondpigeon
by Ruby Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 10:30 AM

i think it would depend on the kid.  my oldest had a pocket knife at 5.  my younger son is 4 and there's no way i would even consider getting him a knife anytime soon. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Feb. 11, 2013 at 10:32 AM
I would say 8-10. I don't remember when my brother got his, prob around that age. My ds is 7 tho and he's not ready yet.
bjsgrl
by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 10:33 AM

My son is 9 and just got his for similar reasons as why your son wants his. I guess it depends on your child. I would not have let my son have one at 5. I didnt think he was responsible enough at that time.

Not_A_Native
by Emerald Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 10:33 AM

If he knows how to use it, and can use it safely (and under supervision), I"d let him do it.  And NOT give him an old one - let him spend his money, it will be worth more to him.

I taught all my girl scouts knife safety in the first grade, some of the parents were horrified, but the girls did great.  We never had an incident with them.

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