What age did you/your kids get a penknife?

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  • What age did you/your kids get a penknife?
  • rogg
    Member

    Informed the future-mrs-rogg I am buying a Swiss army knife for my son’s 10th birthday, and apparently it is the height (or depth) of bad parenting, guaranteed to end in tears, hospital and/or borstal.
    I think my son is responsible and mature enough to have one, and will be told that if he uses it on any living thing (or on the furniture) it will be taken away. He’ll probably cut his fingers a couple of times (I did, when I was his age), but isn’t that part of learning?
    It’s got to depend on the individual child to some extent, but roughly what age is right?

    Premier Icon JAG
    Subscriber

    OK – this is a very difficult decision and depends upon the individual child.

    For the record I was 14 when I got a knife but it was a fixed blade sheath knife.

    I was very responsible and I loved having it. I still have it and it brings back lot’s of good memories.

    joshvegas
    Member

    Calling all hand wringers, hand wringers to the thread please.

    i had one by nine,

    a two bladed job, very thin.

    Edit: on reflection i think I had one but it was controlled, ie in the company of dad or mum it was given to me. its not just your kid remember has he not got any wee headcase friends?

    AlasdairMc
    Member

    I think I was 11 when I got mine as I was in the Scouts. I then progressed to lock knives when I realised the Swiss Army style was rubbish for whittling wood and general shenanigans.

    5thElefant
    Member

    Can’t remember but about 10 I guess. I had one from about 5 (at the oldest). We all did as kids and I can’t remember anyone doing anything more than inflicting a minor nick on themselves. No stabbings or borstal.

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    5 and 8 for my girls to whittle sticks when camping. My eldest prefers a Stanley knife, but I still don’t feel at ease with my wife’s decision on that one.

    Very good whittlers they are too and so far, touch wood, they’ve been very careful and not had an accident.

    marcus7
    Member

    It is an absolute right of passage to own a brand new quality penknife and then to promptly cut yourself whilst testing its sharpness, due to the quality of blade it should not be that painful and in fact ideally you dont immediatly notice until THE RIVER OF BLOOD that follows and that you vainly try to mop up in an attempt to hide the fact that you cut yourself within 30 second of being alone with it…. not that i know anyone who has done this.. 🙂 . At ten id be happy for my kids to own one but it has to be a judgement call on who it is you are giving it to and why I suppose.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    Calling all hand wringers, hand wringers to the thread please.

    Never had one, never needed one. Other than the once when backpacking in northern Spain when I discovered something sharper than spork would have been handy for chopping bits off some chorizo I had bought at the last town.

    I can see the point in say, having one in a fishing tackle box, if he’s into fishing. But just having one for no particular reason other than some imaginary survival skills is completely pointless.

    fisha
    Member

    I had a very small pocket knife bought for me when I was late primary school IIRC. It was blunt/not very sharp from the outset and my dad wouldn’t sharpen it for me. Used to take it out and about when playing the woods next to the house and building dens n such like.

    fasthaggis
    Member

    7 or 8
    Small Swiss army ones .

    They both used knives in the kitchen from an even earlier age ( with supervision obviously 😉 )

    the teaboy
    Member

    I think I was about 10. I still have it. I got the odd nick here and there but didn’t do myself serious damage.

    Unlike when chopping wood for the fire with a massive old saw. Nearly lost a finger on that one, just before school exams. Still remember the red streaks across my test paper.

    brakes
    Member

    I was 12, but the world was a much better place in the 80s wasn’t it?
    I remember cutting my fingers on it, mainly when it snapped shut on my finger. I remember cutting up bits of paper and rubbers in my bedroom – nothing living.

    rogg
    Member

    its not just your kid remember has he not got any wee headcase friends?

    Hmmm, good point. Might have to set some ground rules when certain friends visit.
    I’ve just had a nasty thought that I might have been 11 when I got mine. I can distinctly remember being sold a good sized lock-knife when I was 12. Presumably the shop keeper was impressed by my Scout scarf.

    ianv
    Member

    I let my son buy one of these with money from his 7th birthday. 3 yrs later; no one has been stabbed, no limbs have been lost, no pensioners have been mugged and I am fairly relaxed with him doing stuff with bigger knives. 10 is fine for a sensible kid.

    BFITH
    Member

    My boy got a mini Swiss army knife at 10… We told him the rules and he knows not to take it anywhere inappropriate….(mainly used on camping trips)
    TBH he hardly even uses it….
    I grew up in the 70s/80s… as said before it was a rite of passage to own a pen knife…

    Keva
    Member

    me and my brother had various pen-knives from age around 8 if I remember. We also had sheath knives and my brother had a rather nice jack-knife. we used to go to our den in the woods and make bows and arrows! 🙂 The biggest problem back in the day was kids trying to bring flick-knives back through customs from France

    5thElefant
    Member

    The biggest problem back in the day was kids trying to bring flick-knives back through customs from France

    Problem? Everybody has a flick knife after a french trip.

    Again, nobody stabbed anyone and they soon realised they were useless for anything (other than stabbing people) and lay forgotten in drawers.

    My mate’s mother found his a couple of months ago and asked if he wanted it. He told her to bin it. He’s 45…

    johndoh
    Member

    I had a sheath knife from about 8 or 10 I believe, pen knives earlier than that.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    My first was when I started to go fishing without an adult. Probably about 9. Didn’t get a Swiss army one bought though, took an old bone handled one from a drawer at home and asked if it was OK? I got the reply, not unless you sharpen it, so I had to learn that too.

    I think I was a bought an Opinel in france somewhere in the 11-12 region and got a Swiss army knife a few years later and subsequently a larger one a decade or so ago. Swiss army knife lives within easy reach of me and gets almost daily use. I can remember the last time I opened a tin can with a mechanical opener, and Im pretty sure I’d be faster with a swiss army knife still.

    I guess it depends on the maturity of the child and how responsible and sensible they are. I think I was a pretty grown up at that age. Which is ironic considering how immature I am a lot of the time now 😛

    eskay
    Member

    My eldest had a swiss army for his 11th birthday and of course my 9 year old then wanted one, so I gave him an old blunt bone handled one that I had in the garage. He is getting his swiss army this year.

    Never had any mishaps with either of them. They quite often whittle away at sticks in the garden and they always take them camping.

    andrewh
    Member

    Swiss army knife at about 10 or 11. Still have it.
    It has never killed anything

    Had Swiss army knife, probably about 8 or 9. Used it for fishing.
    Remember all the kids having Rambo knifes around the age of 10-11, had the top which unscrewed with matches fishing kit etc in it. Remember getting in trouble for lighting a fire with the matches.

    Depends on the kid, I let my son use a tenon saw under supervision from about the age of 3, I’d rather teach them to use these things at an early age so that they are used responsibly. Age 5 he now knows how to use it and keep his hands out of the way!

    What about a Leatherman?

    BlindMelon
    Member

    6, my Granny gave me my Granda’s knife when he died. I’m still here!

    towzer
    Member

    from about 5/6 I had a small knife (blade, saw) (went sea fishing with dad and river fishing with mum so it did get used), I also had a breadknife – laugh you may but it was a truly wonderous piece of Sheffield that I used to build treehouses, damns etyc etc with because it could turn a 4ish” diameter tree into a log pretty quickly, at that stage I was using the hand axe but only to do kindling under parental supervision with a dirty great leather ex MOD motorbike gauntlet on the non axe hand.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Prolly about 10-11. Whenever I was in Scouts.

    HMP Borstal is now called HMP Rochester, so prolly trying to shake off that Borstal image. Be alreet. Myra Hindley used to be next door.

    anonymouse
    Member

    I was about 10 and wanted to get my son one at the same age, but was poo-pooed by the wife. She suggested, I think fairly, that as he would only need it for cub-type trips it should be run past the cub leaders.

    I was about 8, saying that I wouldn’t give my 10 year old nephew one. Depends on the child in question.

    iolo
    Member

    My grandad gave me one when I was 4. He taught me to make whistles.
    I showed the knife to my friend who asked how sharp it was.
    I gave it to him. He slashed my finger. I still have the scar to this day.

    OrmanCheep
    Member

    I got a 7″ sheath knife with an antler handle at ten.
    Loved it, and was really sensible with it.

    It must have planted a seed though, because I have just ordered 50 of these for Christmas gifts for clients…
    [/url]
    knife by GreasyChipKarate, on Flickr[/img]

    DanW
    Member

    Seem to be the same as most people here- around 10 when I got a pen knife. No real reason to have one, just enjoyed whittling odd bits of wood around the Cubs/ Scouts time of life.

    It is an absolute right of passage to own a brand new quality penknife and then to promptly cut yourself whilst testing its sharpness, due to the quality of blade it should not be that painful and in fact ideally you dont immediatly notice until THE RIVER OF BLOOD that follows and that you vainly try to mop up in an attempt to hide the fact that you cut yourself within 30 second of being alone with it…. not that i know anyone who has done this..

    This 😀

    hora
    Member

    At 13 I had a Commando survival knife, a Black Widow, throwing stars and a pen knife. I accidently cut myself with the pen-knife of all things sharpening a piece of wood FFS.

    What I will say is he WILL cut himself accidently. Its going to happen, the good thing is as soon as it happens hes respect for said knife(s) will go up massively and it’ll be a ‘cheap’ lesson. I still have a scar on one of my fingers. I was more careful after that.

    Had a sheath knife about age 11, we used to wear them on our belts at school. They were great for playing splits and chicken and throwing at trees.

    No one died, although we all did cut ourselves, didn’t help me learn as I still cut (well more nick) with my razor – ho hum

    teasel
    Member

    …a fixed blade sheath knife.

    I was very responsible and I loved having it. I still have it and it brings back lot’s of good memories.

    Likewise, although I was half your age when it was given to me. I seem to remember running in a field in just outside of Swanage one year and sticking the bloody thing in the back of my leg. I feared the consequences of telling the truth and attempted to cover up what was simply an accident (kids, eh). Weirdly, because we were camping at the time, it wasn’t the knife that was confiscated, oh no – it was a Mister Bump pen top thingamajig. To this day I still think WTF.

    Anyway, although too small for my hands, nowadays it gets used to peel bark from certain logs before taking them inside/splitting etc. Bone-handled, no less.

    freeagent
    Member

    I guess I was about 10 – as knife ownership coincided with going up to Scouts.
    I’m from an era where most of us (inc me) were running around the woods with huge knives in our early teens – usually a ‘survival’ knife, bought from the high street army surplus shop, and tucked down the back of my denim shorts while riding my grafter.

    (I’m 40 now)

    LoCo
    Member

    Got one at 7 years old and promptly cut halfway through my middle finger as it snapped shut on it on the journey home from the knife shop 😆
    Saying that we had a few old swords about the place too 😯

    The biggest problem back in the day was kids trying to bring flick-knives back through customs from France

    Those and bags full of the massive bangers 😉

    Dunno But I was definitely in junior school so under 11. Didn’t have the big survival knife was more your traditional whittling style penknife.

    tinybits
    Member

    I was about 6, my grandfather gave me the first one. It was kept in the knife draw, which had everything from a blunt, rusty bread knife, to a couple of razor sharp Martini hunters and filters. Those buggers were so sharp you could literally shave with them. I was allowed full access to these knives, and that would have been from aged 5 or less, as it was just a drawer in the kitchen table. However, because it was completely normal, I didn’t bother with them at all and adopted a very mature, conscientious approach. I think that’s the key, normalise it and your kids won’t go crazy with it, they’ll just do the sensible thing.
    Actually, when I look back, I had full access to a range of 410 and 12 bore shotguns as well, complete with ammunition (they were in the pantry) and somehow I avoided killing anyone.

    Premier Icon CheesybeanZ
    Subscriber

    Around 6-7 (1960s) I was given my first one , I could only have it when I went fishing with my grandad . I had about a dozen by the age of 10 .

    Early sheath knife (cubs, scoutes) with nice leather lace to tie around you legs. Bought what I thought was a flick knife in Ambleside at about age 11 and so disappointed to see that it was only a lock knife!!!

    Funny to think that you could walk around with your big chopper out and openly tied to your leg in those days!!!!

    neninja
    Member

    I think I was around 10 when I got a 7 inch sheath knife whilst on holiday in France – my Dad got one too and my younger brother got a 4 inch one.

    I already had a pen knife then but can’t remember what age I was when I got it. Got a proper Swiss army knife aged about 12 which I still use now. I don’t recall ever hurting myself with any of them.

    TuckerUK
    Member

    It is an absolute right of passage to own a brand new quality penknife and then to promptly cut yourself whilst testing its sharpness, due to the quality of blade it should not be that painful and in fact ideally you dont immediatly notice until THE RIVER OF BLOOD that follows and that you vainly try to mop up in an attempt to hide the fact that you cut yourself within 30 second of being alone with it…. not that i know anyone who has done this

    One of my sons stuck a scalpel (used for Airfix kit modeling) in his hand at a young age. Thought he’d better keep quiet and go to the bathroom to stem the bleeding. It’s only when I went fo a pee some time later and saw the blood everywhere that I knew something was wrong!

    I have a step-neice you managed to stab herself in the leg whilst whittling.

    Our youngest got this when he was 11.

    11 for me, and I still have 2 scars I gave myself with it.

    Gave my eldest a Swiss Army knife when he was 11

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    My three all have their ‘own’ Mora fieldcraft knifes. They had them at 6 or so. They are not yet allowed to use them freely – they come out on trips and when they will be useful, and used under supervision.
    The eldest at 12 has used it once away from adult supervision.
    They are great with them, and only once have we had an issue (eldest was walking along carving a stick and refused to stop / dropped back from us on the walk out of sight to do so). I would also always go for a fixed blade for safety.
    We have three rules:
    1. If you are not using it, it is in its sheath. (and this means even for 5 seconds, it goes away).
    2. Always cut away from yourself and your fingers.
    3. Cut onto another bit of wood.

    Loch Voil canoe pootle by matt_outandabout, on Flickr
    .
    If you lived in many Scandinavan countries, knives are on the curriculum at school, from about the age of 6. They learn to carve potatoes and carrots, progress to sticks and on from there. They also have the lowest knife crime incidence in the world I believe – knives are seen as tools.
    .
    Our youngest two go to a Scottsh state school where they do Forest School each week, and school train them to use potato peelers and knifes, as well as lighting fire and building shelters. There are a lot more schools up here (and growing) that are out weekly/daily and are into outdoor learning.
    .
    I don’t think the best safety lies with the avoidance of risk and danger, but in learning how to deal with it for yourself.
    Tom Price (1966)

    bencooper
    Member

    About 7 I think, with increasing levels of sharpness as I got older – I still have the Russian Army knife I was presented with at age 10, in the Siberian woods by some drunk Russians. That’s pretty big and sharp!

    I’ve also still got the scar on my thumb from when I found my father’s extremely sharp oboe-reed-making knives when I was about 6. Almost cut the end of my thumb off.

    It’s a right of passage thing – and a good learning experience too. When I shut a Swiss Army knife on my finger, all the way to the bone, I learned to be more careful around knives – a useful life lesson. I was about 8, and I remember bleeding all over my best friend’s kitchen floor and his cat happily lapping up the blood then looking to me for more 😉

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