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Not gun related per se - granddaughter wants a pocket knife

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Pistolpositive, Mar 5, 2020.

  1. Pistolpositive

    Pistolpositive Member

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    I have not raised children. At 30 I married into a family that had a girl in college and a son in high school. I was blessed with a wonderful granddaughter within a year of marriage (talk about quick family). That granddaughter was raised by us all to some degree. She learned to drive and shoot early in her life. Tonka trucks, fishing and tea parties were a part of her youth.
    I have an 11 year old granddaughter via my son. This has been the more traditional grandchild for me - see her a few times a year, send her home. However, I do have a couple of guns set aside for training her and she has done well with them.
    She recently mentioned to her father, my son, that she would like a pocket knife. Now, I can teach a child how to safely handle a firearm. But giving a child a pocket knife has me a little spooked. Admittedly, my father probably gave me my first Case when I was younger than that, but I was raised in rural Texas during a time where a kid on a bicycle with a 22 rifle heading to the river to shoot cans would not have raised alarms.
    This granddaughter is not as mature as my first one at this age. We raised our oldest granddaughter by what I call the old rural code and she has turned out ok. This younger one is a city girl from what is now a split family. Just not sure if I ought to ignore the desire for a pocket knife or get her one and see what happens. I can explain how easy it is to hurt oneself or others with it, just like a gun. But at the end of the day, the gun goes back under my watch.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2020
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  2. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    Start her out like the Boy Scouts do, with a butter knife and a bar of soap. Show her the basics of cutting away from herself, being aware of her surroundings, a sharp knife is safer than a dull one, etc.

    Give her a less-expensive knife to start with. Let her use it for a while, get comfortable with it, decide if she would like more blades, shorter blades, different shape, etc. Also, see if she can keep track of it, not lose it, maintain it, etc.

    After a while of this, take her to a store with a good selection, and let her pick one out for her to treasure forever.

    I just completed this process with my oldest son (11). After almost 2 years of carrying 2 different knives out of my cheap/spare box, we went to the hardware store, where he picked out a $70 Limited Edition Case Trapper XX with stag handles, that he absolutely loves.
     
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  3. URIT

    URIT Member

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    Go for it, Grampa. Buy her a nice Victorinox Swiss Army pocket knife (maybe one with scissors). It is expensive enough to be a treasure and safeguarded but practical too. I'd warn her that school is no place for knives anymore.
     
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  4. Pistolpositive

    Pistolpositive Member

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    i guess I should have indicated my age. I am 60. The bar of soap thing is a great idea. Just kind of hard for me to picture this granddaughter with a pocket knife. My oldest one, yes. This one is more bling and girlish. My older one - she got a Sig p238 Nitro for her birthday last year and a Binelli pump shot gun for Christmas. Guess grandpa's favorite is obvious.
     
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  5. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    I was in a Walmart years ago and saw victorinox SAKs on clearance. I bought several and gave them to my wife, daughter in law, and daughters. They all later said they were amazed how often they used them and appreciated them.
    Kind of forgot about that until this thread.
    Now I’m going to buy 4 more for my teenage granddaughters.
     
  6. shoobe01

    shoobe01 Member

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    Talk about knife use with the family. Kitchen is a good way to start. If they can safely, competently, confidently, open containers, cut vegetables, etc. under supervision, then without, then it's time to start thinking knife.

    You (well, the parents) will never hear the end of it if she brings it to school, even by accident. Right up to 18, I'd treat it practically like a firearm, and keep it at least on a hook where adults can confirm it is every night, maybe even lock it up. Up to how they parent but MAN can it not go to school, no matter how small and innocuous it is.

    I would encourage a locking blade. Especially with youngsters, too much misuse that results in the blade folding on their fingers.

    Have her try out some. Don't get TOO small a knife, that can be hard to use (so dangerous) also.

    Consider a non-stabby knife. Stabbing things is a good way to get in trouble, so see if there's a compact-ish sheepsfoot design like the spyderco rescues.

    Start inexpensive, as it's likely to get lost/broken. But, that's a hard one as cheap knives are easier to break, fold, etc. Fine line to walk.

    Get a sharpener kit as well, make keeping it sharp part of the ownership. Dull knives are dangerous.

    Check local laws. You never know if a locking knife or over a certain length becomes a different class of device. It happens.
     
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  7. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    I gave my daughter a Swiss Army Knife when we went on our first back packing trip together, a smaller one with scissors (very useful, she told me)
    I showed her how to open and close it safely, explained the BSA :"blood circle (she already knew a lot from using knives in the kitchen) and just common sense stuff.
    She was 8 or 9 at the time and hasn't cut herself or anyone else since.
    When she was in college she had a boy friend whose dad was a Deputy, and out of concern Deputy Dad gave her a S&W Border Guard to keep in her car:what:
    Those are the only two knives she has.
     
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  8. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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  9. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    If she's in girl scouts get her a girl scout knife. I still have my boy scout knife 20 years later.
     
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  10. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I like the noting of a Swiss Army knife. I have especially enjoyed giving a couple of Tiffany SAKs to family gals in the past but the aluminum sided ones are damn pretty too and age beautifully.

    Also, look at Buck's offerings with factory engravings or sentiments on them.

    Todd.
     
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  11. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    My 12-year-old daughter carries a Kershaw Scallion. So do I. Very easy to open, and IMO much less likely to slip and cut her when opening than any thumbnail openers. If she can properly use the frame lock/liner lock release to close it, it’s a good choice IMO.
     
  12. Thibaut

    Thibaut Member

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    I have a Boker mess kit knife from my Girl Scout days. It wasn't that big a deal for me but I wasn't really into knives. To my mind and experience, knives have always been a guy thing so I find your post interesting and somewhat sweet. I have no advice for you but I did want to wish you all well with the situation.
     
  13. Pistolpositive

    Pistolpositive Member

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    Thanks for the tips. Learned a few ways to make it work. Also reminded me I need to take her to the range while she is in town and shoot her guns. Also want to let her try out my little Charter Arms 22 revolver. First time, I made the mistake of bringing a 6 inch stainless Ruger Single Six 22. Not a good choice. But going to make sure I have a bar of soap if she ends up wanting to sitting around an whittle with me around the camp fire. If she does, will see where it goes.
    Not sure what my dad's mindset or thought process was when he gave me my first knife or gun 50 or so years ago. Wonder if he thought it out much.
     
  14. Paco42

    Paco42 Member

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    OP said that the granddaughter in question mentioned to her father—the OP’s son—that she’d like a pocket knife. This does not place upon OP (grandfather) any responsibility at all regarding making a decision about her possession/use of a knife (of any sort). I understand that OP has concerns, and these seem reasonable. The only bit of advice I’d offer would be that OP share those concerns with the father and then step aside. WADR to OP, it’s up to the parents to decide what is best for their child, not granddad.
     
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  15. Pistolpositive

    Pistolpositive Member

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    Point is made. To further clarify, from what I recall, the granddaughter asked if papa would be getting her a pocket knife. But in any event, no way would I even go down this path unless mom and dad were aware. They were brought into the loop prior to taking her shooting, etc. I think they kind of see these things as a role for the grandfather. Her maternal grandfather is not one for the outdoors any longer and does some shooting, but spends a lot less time with her than I do.
     
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  16. whughett

    whughett Member

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    You mentioned she is 11. One assumes at that age she is using tableware to cut up her own food. Perhaps a steak knife as well as a butter knife. Some one has perhaps already taught her the safe use of sharp instruments.
     
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  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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  18. Paco42

    Paco42 Member

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    [email protected] -- Thank you for taking my comment in the spirit intended. I meant no offense, and it seems none was taken, for which I'm thankful. I felt like I was kinda stating the obvious, but sometimes it's hard to be sure whether stating the obvious is necessary--or not, as in this case, it appears. Best wishes for all--grandfather on down through the family, and granddaughter especially.
     
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  19. whughett

    whughett Member

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    I love my granddaughter, the only girl the wife and I have. Three sons. For a few wonderful years I would text her, range Wednesday interested. More often than not she was. With her fathers approval. Last summer she came out all grins. Dad had bought an AR carbine. That summer her birthday present from GP was 1000 rounds of 5.56 Ammo.
    She’s 17 now, senior, working part time, boy friend off to college next fall. Come summer hoping she still has time for range visits.
     
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  20. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    81TDpMI+KAL._AC_UL320_ML3_.jpg
    A small SAK with a toolset she might actually use.
    micra-red-fanned.png
    Or a keychain Leatherman oriented at the city dweller.

    style-ps-red-fanned.png
    Maybe one without a knife blade?
     

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  21. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama Member

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    No way would I go with a sak, no lock equals bad outcomes especially for kids, even when you teach them well.

    I'd go Buck with something more like the Vantage series or even a bantam. A multitool would be great like a leatherman sidekick. Blade locks to for added safety.
     
  22. Pistolpositive

    Pistolpositive Member

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    I am thinking a single blade, rounded nose and a lock as an appropriate first knife. Will be seeing if she shows interest in knifes over the weekend and next week This weekend she is camping with us, along with her father. Next week she is staying with us and will probably make at least one range visit. When it is all said and done, it may have been a whim and she has since forgotten about knifes.
     
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  23. Paco42

    Paco42 Member

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    I guess I can toss in a couple of comments regarding knives and their utility, etc. I carry a knife (most commonly the Benchmade Mini-Griptilian, which I consider the best affordable single-blade pocket knife) around pretty much wherever I go. (I’m gonna avoid discussion of places that now forbid even pocket knives b/c of “terrorism” or some such.) I also tend to carry a multi-tool in my pack, vehicle, or something else nearby, especially when I’m far from home, and even more so when I’m far from paved roads. I’m a fan of Leatherman products, and own several. The Squirt PS4 is one I recommend to many for a small MT that gets many jobs done. (Knife + pliers + scissors is where I start my looking. Never underestimate the utility of scissors!) But the basic pocket knife, in the Goldilocks range of size, basic all-around blade type, etc., is a very useful thing to have about oneself. As for training and responsibility, I should say that I think anyone capable of appropriately absorbing and incorporating the rules and responsibilities of firearm use is probably ready to learn about knives and other basic tools. And remember—tool use, while we’ve learned it’s not exclusive to H. sapiens, is still what separates us from most of our fellow denizens of the little blue-green ball bobbing through space.
     
  24. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Has she said why she wants a pocket knife? The intended purpose might have a large influence on what you get her, if and when you decide to get her something. There may also be an underlying reason she thinks she needs a knife to protect herself.
     
  25. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Agree, I still bear the scar from sweeping my Case up through a loop of cord... wrong way up.
    The Opinel I linked has a rounded point (shades of the Royal Navy) and a lock, but the lock ring is manual. I use it, but would a kid?
     
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