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A pocket knife is a camping tool that most kids look forward to getting with lots of anticipation. They’re useful, fun to use, and most of all a little bit dangerous (because what kid doesn’t want something a bit dangerous).
We started introducing our kids to pocket knives as toddlers, and always take pocket knives for kids along with us on our family camping trips.
When considering a pocket knife for kids, it’s important to think about safety. Children need to learn and understand why it’s so crucial to practice safety measures when using a kids pocket knife, or any kind of knife, for that matter.
To help ensure that you choose the best starter pocket knife for kids, we’ve researched and reviewed the top choices for your consideration. We’ve narrowed down the safest and most kid friendly knife options, so you can trust that you’re investing in a quality knife.
Before we talk about the knives, let’s go over some pocket knife safety for kids. This will give you a good idea of what’s needed to ensure your child stays safe whenever they’re handline a pocket knife.
Pocket Knife Safety for Kids – SASS
According to the American Knife & Tool Institute, there are four main rules (SASS) for knife safety that need to be followed at all times. When your child learns each of these rules and practices them regularly, the possibility of an accident will be far less likely.
Take the time to discuss and show your child the SASS rules, and make sure that they understand each one completely. This will go a long way in preventing injury while ensuring proper knife use.
S – STOP and OBSERVE – Stop What You’re Doing And Observe Before Using A Kids Pocket Knife
When using a pocket knife, one of the first rules is to make sure no one else is in arm’s reach. As such, it’s important for your child to learn and practice the “stop” rule. Before ever opening their knife, they need to stop what they’re doing and observe the area around them. Make sure that they’re focused and have a firm grip on their knife.
If anyone else is nearby, your child will first need to make sure that they allow a distance to use their kids pocket knife. If they are carving or working on a project, this might mean moving to a safe location before proceeding with the use of their knife skills.
A – AWAY – Always Cut Away From You With A Knife
When using their kids pocket knife, it’s important to remember that any cutting action with their knife skills must be done away from their body. So if your child is whittling or carving, all knife use needs to go outward rather than inward.
When this rule is practiced, the risk of accidental cuts is greatly reduced, and it’s one of the best things you can do to encourage knife safety. As such, there needs to be considerable practice with this method to ensure that your child gets to the point where the “away” rule comes second nature.
Once they get to that point, you can entrust them to use their pocket knife in various applications without fear of injury.
S – SHARP – Keep Your Child’s Pocket Knife Sharp
Even the safest knife use can’t prevent every accidental cut. They’re called “accidents” for a reason, after all. However, you and your child can take steps to ensure that even accidental cuts are safe.
While that may sound counterintuitive, knife safety for kids is more than just using safe cutting methods. When your child’s pocket knife is kept clean and sharp, it will be more capable in their hands. And if there is an accidental cut, the risk of infection will be greatly reduced, as well.
Not only that, but your child will be able to perform safer and more effective cuts. A dull blade is more apt to get stuck, possibly causing the blade to close when your child tries to pull back. As such, always take the time to sharpen any kids pocket knife you buy for your child. In doing so, you can look forward to better knife safety.
S – SAFE STORAGE – Store Your Pocket Knife For Kids Closed In A Safe Place.
Any time your child isn’t using their pocket knife, it needs to be either closed, in a knife block, or in a sheath. An open blade is always going to be a safety hazard, no matter how many of the above safety steps are being followed.
Accidents happen, and that’s one of the best things you can ingrain in your child’s memory. In the haste of activity, your child might forget that their knife blade is open, reach for it, and injure themselves. But when they know to close their blade when not in use, this risk can be avoided.
Always Supervise Kids Using A Knife
As a parent or leader, the best thing you can do is be present and watchful over your child as they use their kids pocket knife. Even if your child is well-versed in the SASS rules outlined above, there is always a need to supervise when using knives for kids.
In doing so, you can take appropriate action in case there is an accident. Although the risk of such will indeed by significantly reduced when the right rules are followed, there’s always the potential for injury whenever knives are involved.
Best Pocket Knives for Kids
Now that you know what steps to teach your child to safely and effectively use a pocket knife, let’s explore our top picks for the best pocket knife for kids. As you’ll soon discover, there are some truly excellent kids knives to choose from.
Consider your child’s needs and weigh them against the capabilities of each of the kids knives below. This will help you better determine which kids knife is a good fit for your little one. And if you have a really young child, we’ve even included some safe pocket knives for toddlers so they can learn knife safety from a really young age.
This is the classic Swiss Army Knife, which has been around since the late 1800s. There’s a good chance that you had one as a kid – I did and so did most of my friends. In fact, you may even own it to this day. That’s the quality and craftsmanship of the Swiss Army Knife, and they have a reputation for lasting decades.
When you buy a Swiss Army Knife for your kid, you’re giving your child a knife that is built for longevity and safety. Measuring just 3.5 inches when closed, the Tinker comes equipped with 10 tools to give your little one plenty to work with.
What’s more, a lifetime warranty comes included when you buy a Swiss Army knife, making this one of the best long-term knives for kids. What better way to introduce your child to the world of pocket knives than with this legendary knife!
A mini version of the classic Swiss Army Knife, the My First Victorinox Knife gives your child a compact and reliable knife for all sorts of applications. Armed with 8 tools, your little one will have plenty to keep them busy.
Best of all, the large blade that comes with this knife doesn’t have a point, so it’s a great knife for younger kids. Instead, the tip is rounded to ensure maximum safety. If your child isn’t comfortable with using a pocket knife or is afraid of them, the My First Victorinox Knife serves as an excellent introduction.
What’s more, this is a wonderful entry level knife to teach pocket knife safety for kids. You get the same tried-and-true quality that Victorinox is so well-known for, and it’s the best starter pocket knife for kids thanks to its safe blade and reduced toolset.
Are you worried about giving your child so many tools in one knife? Truthfully, it’s great to start them with just a single blade so they can learn to use that correctly before trying other tools. Then consider Opinel’s My First No. 7. This stainless-steel blade sports a large beechwood handle that’s easy to hold onto. We love that the blade folds whenever it’s not being used, just like a Swiss Army Knife, which also makes for easier and safer storage and transportation (a great knife to follow the SASS principles of knife safety for kids).
Even better, the blade sports a rounded tip, thereby reducing accidental cuts. As our second pick for best starter pocket knife for kids, your little will have an excellent starting point to learn the safety requirements of using a blade.
Note: In terms of safety, we prefer this knife over the Victorinox, but most kids like having the extra tools.
This 4-tool entry is an excellent way to teach pocket knife safety for kids. There aren’t a lot of tools to memorize or learn, making it easier for kids to learn how to use this kids knife. With the Huckleberry First Pocket Knife for kids, you get a large blade, a saw, mini scissors, and pliers. It’s enough tools to make them feel grown up, but also a manageable amount to use properly.
Each tool folds into a wooden handle for easy use. The build quality is sturdy and secure, ensuring safe operation and easy safe storage. If you want a quality kid first pocket knife you can trust, Huckleberry has you covered.
Best Safe Pocket Knife for Kids and Toddlers
If you have a toddler who wants to be just like one of the big kids, there are many safe pocket knives that you can buy to introduce them to pocket knife safety for kids when they’re really young. Most of these safety pocket knives for kids have a blade that doesn’t cut, but are great to help toddlers learn about handling a knife safely.
We bought this knife set for my 2-year-old son years ago, and it’s been one of the most used and best loved adventure toys we’ve ever had. I feel like I can’t say enough great things about this plastic pocket knife for kids!
If you’d feel safer giving your child a kids play pocket knife set rather than a metal one, consider this toy Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. It resembles the classic Swiss Army Knife but with plastic tools instead of stainless steel.
As the best toy pocket knife for kids, this toy Swiss Army Knife features a total of six tools, including a knife, saw, spoon, fork, bottle opener, and magnifying glass. By using this kids toy pocket knife, your kids will be able to safely learn how to hold and use a pocket knife. Just be warned that with the included fork and spoon, your child will want to use it for EVERYTHING. Our little ones always love to eat with it, so make sure to give it a quick wash before and after meals.
The best pocket knife for kids is only as good as the kid using it. When looking for a kids small pocket knife that isn’t going to be a safety hazard, such as one for toddlers, you want to be really cautious about what you hand over to them.
That’s where JJ’s LockBack Wooden Pocket Knife comes into play. As its name suggests, your little one is getting a kids toy pocket knife with a wooden blade. While it is designed just like a traditional kids small pocket knife, everything is made with safety and learning in mind.
This kids toy pocket knife is the perfect entry to doing just that. You can safely teach your little one the ropes without fear of accidental cuts and other injuries. It’s perfectly safe, and yet it shows your child how to properly handle a knife. We recommend this for carving soap, which is a great introduction to whittling, but is much softer and easier to cut.
Note: This wooden pocketknife is recommended by the manufacturer for ages 7 and up, but I have no issues giving it to my preschoolers.
Whether you choose a kids play pocketknife or the real thing, you have plenty of high-quality options to choose from. Learning how to use a knife properly is an important skill and we believe that the earlier kids use to use a knife as a tool, the safer they’ll be around knives for the rest of their lives.