An essential tool for wilderness exploration and everyday tasks, pocket knives have been the companions of countless adventurers for centuries.
Introducing children to the world of pocket knives can instill a sense of self-reliance, responsibility, and respect for tools. But with safety being a prime concern, how do we find the perfect blade for youngsters?
In this article, we’ve curated a list of the best pocket knives for kids, focusing on their safety features, ease of use, and age-appropriate design to empower the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.
At what age is a pocket knife appropriate?
Children between 5-7 years can use knives under supervision. However, after buying the knife, the elders must show how it operates and how to use it properly. It’s strongly advisable to allow the kids to use the knife only when adults are around.
Top 5 Best Pocket Knife for Kids Reviews
It wasn’t easy to select the best pocket knife for kids and we had to test more than 100 pocket knives of various brands.
After rigorous testing that went for as much as months, we have finally narrowed down our list to top Pocket Knife for Kids only.
Hopefully, you will like this list and our efforts on making it, because it wasn’t an easy to task in any sense.
Loma Creek is a subsidiary of Truly Garden, a family-owned business that makes high-quality gardening tools. While Truly Garden focuses primarily on garden equipment, Loma Creek makes folding utility knives and camping headlamps. One of their consumer products is the Loma Creek Kid’s Pocket Knife, which comes with a survival kit.
The Loma Creek Kids’ Pocket Knife is an easy-to-use military-grade compact knife with a safety locking mechanism. It measures six inches when the blade is out, making it perfect for smaller children’s hands than those of a regular adult. The blade is exceptionally sharp, measures only two and a half inches, and has a nail mark for easy pull-out.
Its blade and hilt frame are made of fine stainless steel, and the hilt has a classic rosewood handle attached with brass pins. The hilt comes with user-friendly release and safety lock buttons that keep the blade in place for effortless use by kids and older people. At the bottom of the hilt, you can attach a strap or lanyard onto a slot to ensure you have the knife with you at all times.
The knife comes in a compact traveling case with a fire starter made of flintstone, a stainless steel multi-tool, and an emergency whistle. What’s more, the traveling case has a belt loop so your child can carry everything around their waist. Using the flintstone and the multi-tool, you can let your kids put up a bonfire while you are setting up the family tent.
The included multi-tool is a card-sized stainless steel accessory with a lanyard slot so it won’t ever get lost. It can be used as a can opener, straight-edged blade, flint striker, screwdriver, straight rule, bottle opener, multiple-sized hex wrenches, saw blade, and a wing-nut wrench.
This multi-tool also has a calibrated circular hole, perfect for finding directions on any map. Finally, your kids can use the included loud-output whistle to signal anyone near, especially during emergencies. The whistle has a keychain ring for attachment to any bag and pocket zippers.
While the knife, whistle, and flintstone can be carried in the traveling case, the multi-tool has its own pouch, so your kids can avoid accidents with the sharp and serrated edges. As a bonus, the Loma Creek Kids’ Pocket Knife and Survival Kit comes with a free tin can and first-aid sticker label, so you can help your kids set up their very own first aid kit.
✅ Comprehensive survival kit.
✅ Free first-aid kit container and sticker label.
✅ Comes with a compact carrying pouch.
✅ Includes quick reference guide.
✅ Value for money pocket knife and survival kit.
❌ Very sharp knife blade; requires more supervision for younger kids.
❌ The knife’s blade lacks jimping.
The GOWILL Small Keychain Pocket Knife hails from a small collection of folding knives that are great for hunters, backpackers, gardeners, anglers, or any hobbyist. It is recommended for both men and women, and its small size makes it an excellent first knife for kids.
The GOWILL Small Keychain Pocket Knife has an overall length of 5.4 inches, and its 440-grade stainless steel blade measures 2.4 inches. The blade’s back has a nail mark for easy pull-out and a jimping portion for reducing the risks of sliding while in use. It is lightweight, durable, and has a keychain slot that can double as a strap holder.
This pocket knife is resistant to fading, scratching, and corrosion. Its stainless steel handle has a military green G10 hilt that can fit comfortably in a child’s hand. G10 is a sturdy thermoset plastic laminate built using high-pressures on fiberglass mesh and epoxy resin binders.
The textured surface of the G10 handle features excellent grip, reducing sliding accidents in any application. The GOWILL Small Keychain Pocket Knife secures the blade in place in both open and closed positions with its frame liner locking mechanism.
It weighs only 1.4 ounces, so you or your kid can carry it anywhere inside any pocket.
Arguably, it is one of the best pocket knife for kids in 2023.
✅ Fine, sharp blade edge.
✅ Lightweight; excellent for carrying around.
✅ Keychain slot at the end of the hilt.
✅ The back of the blade has a jimping.
❌ The knife doesn’t have a swedge.
Any list of pocket knives wouldn’t be complete without including the Swiss army knife. Victorinox has been manufacturing multi-use knives since 1884, and their designs have revolutionized pocket knives since World War II.
One of the pocket knives belonging to Victorinox’s extensive collection is the Tinker Multi-Tool Pocket Knife. The Victorinox Tinker is a medium-sized pocket knife with two blades, three screwdrivers, a can opener, a bottle opener, a wire stripper, an awl, a toothpick, a pair of tweezers, and a key ring.
Although it can be useful for outdoor applications, the Victorinox Tinker is an excellent gift for kids who love to fix or craft things. With its 3mm and 6mm flat screwdrivers and included Phillips screwdriver, a young child can explore the vast world of tinkering.
The awl can be used for reaming, punching holes, or sewing. Its two knife blades vary in size, adding more to its wide array of functions.
With all the tools folded into the handle, the Victorinox Tinker measures 3.8 by 0.55 inches. The handle’s scale is made of ABS Cellidor plastics, an organic thermoplastic cellulose ester that contains 45 percent renewable material.
It is arguably one of the best pocket knife for kids of 2022.
✅ Multi-use all-in-one pocket tool.
✅ Built-in Phillips screwdriver.
✅ Excellent for the explorative tinker.
✅ Swiss-made pocket knife.
❌ Blades have no locks, swedges, or jimping.
Spyderco started designing and manufacturing folding knives in 1981. The company is famous for the revolutionary round hole in its blades, which allows one-handed opening of the folding knives. Spyderco calls its folding knives Value Folders, affordable yet with five-star features. One of their Value Folders is the Spyderco Ambitious.
The Spyderco Ambitious has G10 handles, skeletonized full-length internal liners, liner lock, and jimping. Built-in G10 black handles allow secure gripping, and reduces sliding during use. It has a four-way metal pocket clip designed to be set in various carrying and drawing positions, enabling it to be an ambidextrous knife.
Like all Spyderco Valu Folders, the Ambitious has the trademarked round hole on the blade for effortless one-handed opening. This folding knife has an overall length of 5.81 inches, and its blade measures 2.25 inches. Its size makes it a perfect gift for self-sufficient young ones.
✅ Revolutionary round hole on the blade for single-hand opening.
✅ Works excellently for both right or left-handed persons.
✅ Compact and lightweight.
✅ Secure grip.
✅ Metal pocket clip and keyring hole.
❌ The blade’s back has no swedge bevel.
❌ Not so durable.
Benchmade is a USA-based company that started in 1979 with the name Bali-Song. The company initially became famous for manufacturing butterfly or balisong-style knives, but it expanded to various knife types.
Benchmade is also known for its expensive knives, boasting exceptional durability and edge retention compared to other brands. One of their small knives for gifting to kids is the Mini Griptilian Folding Knife.
The Mini Griptilian Folding Knife has a satin-finished blade and a glass-filled blue nylon handle. The blade is corrosion-resistant stainless steel that can retain its edges with little to no maintenance.
All the inner liners and screws are made of the same stainless steel. It has a standard tip-up pocket clip, but any user can choose to add a strap using its lanyard hole.
With jimping, a swedge, primary bevel, and secondary grind, the Mini Griptilian Folding Knife features a complete drop-point blade. The pocket clip is reversible, which means it can be removed and attached on either side of the handle.
For a locking mechanism, the Mini Griptilian also uses an ambidextrous spring-lock, allowing blade opening and locking into place. The Mini Griptilian has an overall length of 6.78 inches, and its blade measures 2.91 inches.
Of all the Benchmade folding knives, the Mini Griptilian is the best choice for kids’ small hands.
✅ Exceptional durability.
✅ Excellent edge retention.
✅ Reversible clip positioning.
✅ Ambidextrous handle.
✅ Spring-lock design.
❌ Very expensive for a first-timer’s knife.
❌ Blade sharpness may require supervision.
The Opinel Outdoor Junior No. 7 is the ideal blade for outdoorsy kids, young campers, and scouts. The blade tip is blunted to make the product safe for children. Additionally, its pea-less safety feature works perfectly well when cold, hot, or wet.
Opinel uses only Sandvik stainless steel for its anti-corrosive property that requires minimum maintenance.
Opinel Outdoor Junior No. 7 is a smart and simple folding knife comprising five elements – the blade, the wooden handle rivet, the rotating VIROBLOC locking ring, and the fixed ferrule. The blade size is 3.2 inches which open up to 7 inches.
The blade has a carbon content of 0.40%, which provides an excellent cutting edge. To enhance the safety levels, the knife includes a patented VIROBLOC locking mechanism so that kids can keep the knife in their pockets without any worry when not in use.
Designwise, the knife is simple with a sustainable colored wooden handle which makes the knife lightweight.
It’s not advisable to wash the knife in a dishwasher for maintenance. Heat and moisture from the washer will cause the wood to swell, making it hard to open the knife when required. The manufacturer suggests carefully handwashing the knife and leaving it to air dry.
The blade requires minimum upkeep and is highly resistant to rust. You can also polish it with organic oils. The package also includes 4 seasons of 100dB survival whistle and shackle keys to complete the whole kit required for outdoor adventure activities.
Best Pocket Knife for Kids Buying guide
While there are multiple choices in the market, a few essential things must be kept in mind while buying your kid’s pocket knife.
Consider this – can the pocket knife be used in an open area, or do you require a small space to fit it? It’s important to determine where your kid will use it and for what purpose. Based on this information, you can select the appropriate knife size.
It’s important to ensure that the knife you are buying looks good. Otherwise, your kid may not want to use it. Since they will be using the knife throughout their outdoor activities, it’s important to ensure the knife is attractive. It’s also advisable to opt for a knife that allows the scope for customization.
High carbon blades are often preferred and have been used for generations in blade making. While you can opt for these blades, you must consider the activities your kids will be doing. For instance, if they are partaking in water-based activities, such blades are not a good option since they rust easily. It’s important to research the various blade types before purchasing.
Ease of use
This goes without saying that if you want a knife for your kids that is easy to use and set up before purchasing the knife, look for online videos and documentation for manufacturers or users about using the knife. It’s also important to check with first-hand users before you purchase a knife. Ideally, the knife you choose should be usable daily and not make your life harder.
Since your kids will be using the knife outdoors and maybe for the first time, you want to buy something easy to use and not overly complicated. Ideally, it’s advisable to opt for simple knives and sub-standard blades so kids can use them easily without hurting themselves.
My Two Cent On Why Pocket Knife is Important for Kids
Let’s face it, most active kids these days have this almost hardwired, nurtured inquisitive and creative side which requires experiences such as the great outdoors to cure their thirst for validation.
Spending countless hours out in the wild learning how to fend for themselves can offer a sense of ultimate freedom and not to mention, a huge boost of confidence.
Whether they are learning to build a fire, put together a shelter structure or sharpening some arrows, having a decent pocket knife in their inventory can make their job all the more enjoyable.
Each type of pocket knife has it’s stronger and not so strong sides which is of course super important for it’s user. In this case, kids need to choose or have a knife chosen for them that can accommodate for absolute safety, comfort and overall ease of use.
A child who is starting out on their outdoors experience should definitely make sure that understand the dangers behind using a knife that can possibly injure themselves.
It is commonly known that when using a knife, it should always be used in a motion that is directed away from the body at all times possible.
Pocket knives are definitely not toys and should be treated with respect, especially when it comes to kids. They are quite often produced with the idea of being multi-tools and not just a simple blade.
Some of the better quality pocket knives can include a heap of different blades for other purposes. You may also find things like mini-saws, scissors, bottle openers, corkscrews and tweezers, just to round off a few.
Unlike other types of knives, the pocket knife is usually easily opened by using small grooves that are perfect for leveraging with your fingers and/or nails.
They don’t usually lock in place, when they are opened out, they are actually pretty stable due to a handy locking spring. Some other names that the pocket knife goes by are ‘peasant knife’, ‘penny knife’, ‘jackknife’, ‘spring knife’ or ‘farmers knife’.
In selecting the best pocket knife for a child, we must balance the eagerness to equip them for adventure with the imperative of safety.
The knives recommended in our guide are tailored to inspire confidence, foster learning, and ensure a secure introduction to this timeless tool. Remember, the best knife is not just safe and size-appropriate; it’s part of the broader lesson of responsible ownership.
Guided by watchful instruction and the right choice, a child’s first pocket knife can carve out not just wood, but a foundation for a lifetime of responsible outdoor exploration and practical skill-building.