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What’s a good beginner pocketknife for an 8-year-old?

Q. I want to buy a pocketknife for my 8-year-old nephew. He has just started a pocketknife collection and has about 8 knives. Can you recommend a good knife for a boy that age?
— Aunt Debra, Houston, Texas

A. You must be a cool aunt to be buying your nephew a knife! Will you be my auntie too? OK, seriously, good knives for an 8-year-old? Here are two that I think he’d be sure to dig:

BSA Official Cub Scouts Pocket Knife ($19.99; You just can’t go wrong with the official Cub Scouts pocketknife! It’s got a stainless steel 2¼”-long blade with a flat head screwdriver, cap lifter and punch blade folded inside.

Gerber Mini Paraframe ($16.26; This folding knife has an open stainless steel handle, which makes it both lightweight (just 1.4 ounces) and cool-looking! The 2.22”-long locking blade is high carbon stainless steel with a fine edge and it comes with a handy pocket clip too.

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70 Comments on What’s a good beginner pocketknife for an 8-year-old?

  1. No.1 tip: DONT GET HIM A KNIFE!

  2. I think that you should go with a small single blade knife.I dont know why you would buy a knife before the get a totem ship.but if you do buy one once he is done with it keep it until you see them mature enough to be trusted with a knife.

  3. I recommend it

  4. i reccemend geting a fixed blade colminers survival knifeor a gerber or the old fashionway get him a bsa knife

  5. golden knife // March 8, 2013 at 8:21 pm // Reply

    i got my first knife wen i was 7 it was a razer blade but i am 9 now i have 50 knifevs.i do not recommend it.but i do recommend the rite edge.

    • Hi I am 13 and have about 10 knives and got (or rather found) my first when I was 10. It really depends on how responsible he is with one and what he`ll use it for. I`d reccommend going to ebay and looking at some case knives or multi tools, nothing big like a survival knife. You can also go to Dvor for some great knives.

  6. i am a boy scout and i had a wittling chip for three years in cubs and my best knife was juinor scout by case.

  7. Awesome Spyker // March 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm // Reply

    I think its slly to give a pocketknife to a Kid that Young .

    • Why is it ‘silly’?
      If he’s taught about knife safety ; he learns about responsibiity and tools etc.

    • Karate Kid // March 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm // Reply

      I got my first knife at 7.I’m 14 now and have 3 knifes. (I’m not a collector).

    • Requirement 19 for Bear scouts is all about knife safety and using it. Bear scouts are 8 years old. Please don’t tell me you’re one of those “we gotta change this program” people, Scheesh, you probably did it yourself, I did. You have to let the boys develop.

    • Eagle Scout // March 5, 2013 at 9:17 pm // Reply

      > I think its slly to give a pocketknife to a Kid that Young

      An 8 year old Cub will soon be learning knife safety in his Bear den. 8 is an appropriate age for that skill. He should be learning kitchen skills by 8 years old. He needs to learn to handle all knives safely.

    • Delta Force // May 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm // Reply

      Boys must learn to be responsible with tools and weapons. They will learn and they will grow, there is nothing silly about that.

  8. blaizeonfire // February 26, 2013 at 3:08 pm // Reply

    i got a bear grylls scout drop knife from gerber and it rocks

  9. moraclassicscout // February 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm // Reply

    victorinox are one of the best folding blade designs out there, a locking blade around three inches long is good and safe, try the victorinox sentinel:)

  10. lock blades are awesome if I had one i would go crazy but in scouts I’ve got a whitling chip so i’ll handle one safely and i am 8 and have a dangerouser knife so this one would be better

  11. I have read these comments and agree with those that suggest a lock blade. I also agree that you should buy a quality knife. Safety should be a primary concern when buying any type of tool. Cheap should NOT be a consideration, if the boy loses any tool, especially one this important, perhaps he shouldn’t have one. This doesn’t mean to buy the most expensive top end either. The paraframe is a good starter that can stay in his pocket and remain useful for many years.

  12. i would buy a small lock knife

  13. No matter what knife you choose, please make it a lock blade. Young boys shouldn’t need to worry about “Finger closure,”

  14. swiss army huntsman knife is the BEST!

  15. I think that the Swiss army knives are very safe and functional for a 8 year old kid!!!

    I hope he likes which ever knife he gets.

  16. i think you should get him a BSAsmall lock-back knife

  17. I have a Gerber mini paraframe.IT ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!(I got my first knife at age 10,but if the kid is responsible,age 8 is fine.

  18. Smokie Mountain Knife Works has a huge selection, if your looking for a certain knife you will probably be able to find it there. I recommend locking blade, and American or Swiss made. I don’t recommend China or Pakistan made or frost cutlery. Knives are like anything else, you get what you pay for. And quality goes hand in hand with safety.

  19. My first knife was a swiss army huntsman. I would reccomend it!

  20. since the BSA supply division can’t seem to buy from any number of american made knife companies i wouldn’t recommend any of the chinese scout knives. instead choose “scout like” knives from Bear & Son, Case, or remington

  21. I’ve ordered the official Cub Scout knife for my young Scout (7 years old). Obviously, teaching him safety is paramount. I do think it’s a pity that none of the Scouting knives are made in the USA. I recall there being one special issue not too long ago that was, but it’d be nice if the Scouts made a good line of quality American-made scouting knives.

  22. I think it is very cool that this pocket knife is able to be used by an eight year old

  23. coolman360 // June 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm // Reply

    I have a mini paraframe

  24. Old thread, but for those who are searching for a good knife, I got an Opinel #7 carbon steel knife for about $11 with shipping. The also make a stainless steel version too. Light weight, has a easy to use twist locking mechanism, and really beautiful knife. My 8 y.o. will be getting his shortly.

    • Knife Xpert 157 (aka Chad 101) // August 10, 2012 at 6:26 pm // Reply

      That knife is horrible quality. I would take a Gerber, Buck, S.O.G. or CRKT.

      • The opinel N.O.8 knife has a thin blade it not of pour quality it is just less sturdy it is great for less demanding jobs like food prep.

  25. Knife edge // March 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm // Reply

    get him something inexpensive, i didnt stop losing knives until i turned 13 and the only one i have left is a leatherman micra that i cant recommend highly enough. its especially good because it has scissors instead of pliers when you fold it out. it also doesn’t have any unnessecary tools. when are you going to use a flashdrive or bottle opener that you have on your knife anyway.

  26. Knife Xpert 157 (aka Chad 101) // October 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm // Reply

    the BUCK 55 hunter would be a perfect knife for an 8 yer old! it is made in America as well!

    • Agreed! Also, get the ecolite, its lighter so it’ll be easier to carry and it helps the environment (something every scout supports 🙂

  27. Knife Xpert 157 (aka Chad 101) // October 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm // Reply

    I agree with The Gear Guy the Gerber Mini Paraframe is probably one of the best choices.

  28. im ten i have a kershaw scallion and am looking at a h&k automatic

    • Knife Xpert 157 (aka Chad 101) // March 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm // Reply

      If it is an auto it is most likely illegal to carry unless your a Police Officer. Assisted blades are legal in all states. I recamend one that is made by Kershaw and has their patented SpeedSafe. Such as the Leek or the Funxion EMT. (please not there is a differance between assisted and auto knives)

  29. KnifeFanatic // July 16, 2011 at 4:10 am // Reply

    Also the Buck Vantage Series also has a Buck Vantage Small Series and they have miniaturized versions of many of their models.

  30. I think 8 is a perfect age for a kid to own a knife. Maybe not a Bowie knife or a Hunting knife but a little Swiss Army knife with all the accessories would be just fine under adult supervision of course. It also depends on the kid

  31. Too bad dad won’t let me have one.

  32. camping rules // May 2, 2011 at 5:57 pm // Reply

    1 really good knife is the gerber paraframe 2 partially has a strong lock and a thick sturd blade

  33. camping rules // May 2, 2011 at 5:56 pm // Reply

    Get the Gerber Paraframe 2 with partially serrated.It is a sturdy knife with a strong lock. althought it is hard 2 find try to get it in non reflectant black/grey

  34. The S.S. SCOUT! // February 26, 2011 at 11:25 am // Reply

    I’m not 8 but i cant find a good one (I do have a swiss army knife but cant find it) and the one i have it multi-tool so its realy bulky please let me know were to get a non-expencive but good knife. (I have my widdlers chip lol)

    • Chicagobull23 // May 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm // Reply

      Just go to a sports authority or dicks sporting goods and go to the shotgun and knife section and there is a great buck knife multitool and switch for an inexpensive

  35. Old Boyscout // January 23, 2011 at 8:55 pm // Reply

    I recommend anything with a small blade (easier to carry), easy to open (softer spring, if you’re getting a folding knife), and a high carbon blade (easier to sharpen). I grew up with an old Ka-bar sheath knife with a four inch blade. I did everything with this knife, including skinning game and working leather. I carried it on my saddle, used it in the Boy Scouts, and carried it with me many times in the military. I still have it and it’s still as sharp as a razor.

  36. coolscout307 // January 11, 2011 at 6:56 am // Reply

    i have a whitetail cutlery hand made knife its pretty nice but not like the mini paraframe

  37. I recommend getting both a multi-tool(Swiss Army) and a one-handed lock-blade. I usually carry both of mine to campouts.

  38. what about an aegis?

  39. good ones at R.E.I.

  40. Nice thought, but I think an 8 year-old is too young for knives. However, if you insist, get him one of those super – tiny colored pocket – knives they sell at Wal-Mart that couldn’t damage a glass ball.

    • Actually according to the Guide to Safe Scouting, a knife is appropriate for Wolves and above, ages 7+, and is a requirement for Bears, age 8. I remember working on the requirements as a Bear back in the day.

    • webelosleader // April 1, 2011 at 8:53 am // Reply

      to Campking-8 year olds are Bears in Cub Scouts which is when they receive training for their Whittlin’ Chip. They absolutely are not too young to learn to use a knife safely!

  41. get him a lock blade. if you want him to remember it and stuff by one at a trading post around 10-30 dollars. you could also engrave it with your name or his.

  42. Academy Sports, WalMart and Target sell a knife that any Cub would think was very cool. It has a spoon, knife, fork and can opener. I beleive that it is a Coleman. It is not very expensive either. Have someone that knows what they’re doing put a good edge on the blade as well.

  43. camleback222 // December 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm // Reply

    usally if they are cubscouts they cannot use a knife
    but if they aren`t a cub scout it is even worse to get them a kinfe
    if u want a good knife try target or wal mart the aren`t the best knifes but the are in price range

  44. get a lock blade, they don’t shut on fingers


  46. i like the victorinox tinker its $20 at wal mart it is a great knife

  47. I found a knife set made by Gerber for my grandson, the set was two different sizes. My grandson is 8 and a cubscout, so next year he will be ready for his whittlin chit.

  48. I Love Camping Hammocks // December 8, 2010 at 3:08 pm // Reply

    awsome link i love lockblades

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