<< Back to Shop Learn Knives

The Right Age For A Knife.


*Photo Credit Darci Larsen

Growing up in the knife world, knives have always been a part of my life.  I still remember the first knife I ever received.  It was an old pocket flipper, passed from my grandpa to my father, then from my father to me.  I have always planned on giving this knife to my child, and hopefully instilling the love of knives that has become a family tradition.  But the question I have come to ask myself is “When”?  What is the right age to begin trusting your child with his or her own knife?  When do you know they are responsible enough for their own EDC?
I received my first knife at the age of 8.  At the time I was so honored to receive something of such importance to my family.  My grandfather passed away in his 40’s, leaving behind a few treasured objects for each of his children.  This knife was one of those things.  My father cherished this knife, so for him to give it to me meant something huge.  I took it as an immense responsibility.  As an 8-year-old, I knew my knife was more of a tool, and definitely not a toy.  It was something I could show my friends, but not something we would play with.
Looking back now, I don’t know that I would trust an 8-year-old with a knife.  How did my father know?  Was there something he saw that I did not?  And what about those who receive a knife with no emotional attachment.  I respected my knife because I knew how much it meant to my family.   Would I have respected any other knife as much?  Would I have cared for, and protected any other knife the same way?  Honestly, I don’t think I would have.   I was only 8 years old.  I was still playing with action figures and trading cards.
After much contemplation I think I have come to realize that there is no specific age.  Each knife lover is different and unique in their own way.  But the most important quality is to teach them that each and every knife is to be respected and cared for.  A knife is not a toy or a plaything.  A knife is a responsibility.
So I guess the question I am posing is, how do you know when to pass on your love of knives?  Do you wait for your child to ask?  Or do you present it to them?    When did you receive your first knife?  Do you plan on passing along your love of knives to your children?  And if so, when?  Please, let us know in the comments below.

6 thoughts on “The Right Age For A Knife.

  1. In my family it has been the age of 12, my grandfather got his then, my dad, myself, my brothers and recently my oldest child (a daughter) all received theirs at 12. Now before that we all had training on using a knife and close supervision on projects.
    But at age twelve you know right from wrong and have the muscle control to avoid slitting yourself and others.

  2. I offered my daughter her first opinel when she was 3, but I made it as dull as I could before. She’s now 5 and cooking with us, so I sharpened it again. She sees so many knives home from Perceval 9.47 to Darrel Ralph madd maxx that I get the feeling she got the point those were not toys. And of course she’s only allowed to use her pink opinel home when we are here, but that’s HER knife.

  3. It is sad to say I would not give an eight year old a knife to keep. The sole reason? “Zero Tolerance” lunacy. Eight year olds are human and forget things in their pocket. I would not want to saddle an eight year old with an arrest and school expulsion for something I routinely did when I was eight years old. From about the second grade all the way through high school, I always had a pocket knife in my pocket.
    I would teach an eight year old how to use and respect a knife. I would designate a knife as his/hers to be possessed at the appropriate time.

  4. I received my first knife from my great grandfather. It was Thanksgiving of ’77 and I was unsupervised in the garage. I had picked up an old Imperial peanut and was carving my name in his workbench when I caught a smack to the back of my head. Instead of busting my ass, he set down and taught me about knives. Been collecting since. Fast forward 30 years as I presented to my daughter her first Authentic katana for her sweet 16. Showed her how to handle, and care for her new functional piece of art. Thanks for listening.

  5. I’ve carried a blade of some type since I was 8 although my father was totally against the idea. I think he gave up on trying to stop me when his sock drawer was overflowing with various pocket knives and fixed blades. I’m 40 now and have a grandson of my own he knows Papa always has no less than 2 on him at any given time, he has used my Swiss army knife under my supervision and shows great respect to what it is ( tool not toy ) you have to teach this to your loved ones.

  6. I do not remember when I received my first knife it’s been so long ago. But I do know my Dad taught me young about knives and guns too. As far as what age is the right age to pass on the love of knives or knife collecting is dependant upon the child, some mature at a younger age and will respect the knife and know when it is appropriate to handle it or carry it. Kids now can’t have an EDC at school like I had so they would have to know not to carry it and why. But you can still pass on your love of knives and not yet give them a knife of their own. I am putting together a collection for my Grandson he is 6 and knows about it but I keep it at my home for now because he is still to young.

Comments are closed.