First hunting knife for a kid...

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Macchina, Aug 15, 2020.

  1. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    I generally recommend fixed blades for hunting simply because of cleanliness purposes but I start on my step dad's buck 110 because that's what he used and we just shared the knife. My first knife that I picked out was a buck 118. If I were to choose again I would probably go with something without the trailing point but I liked the look then, still do, and it still worked out just fine for small game hunting. I think the 192 is one of the better hunting knife designs out there. I didn't wear belts as a kid so the fixed blade really didn't work the best there either as I carried it in a pocket and it fell out of my hunting jacket pockets a lot. The SK blades "frontier" (FFG D2 bladed compadre with burlap micarte) would be kick butt if you felt a high priced option was acceptable.

    I've recommended mostly buck because I think they have a great value in the hunting knife category and I love hollow grinds for that purpose and they do it better than most.

    @Macchina If interested, I probably have something that would suit him in my budget knife GAW if he wouldn't mind used and free. I have folder that should fit the bill well I could send him as the purpose of thread is for some general goodwill and to further our knife hobby with the younger generation. And, in honesty, to get rid of some knives laying around my house. I may have a prototype around that would be even better but I may sell it off at a discount later on.
    AntDog and CVamberbonehead like this.
  2. CVamberbonehead

    CVamberbonehead Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 6, 2017
    How about a Kabar little finn bird and trout knife? Theyre a lot like a Buck 102 (also a great choice). The bird and trout knives are great, classic options.
    Another option would be a trapper pocketknife. A Case mini trapper would be perfect for the job and he could carry it around without any hassle.
    315 likes this.
  3. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Definitely a fixed blade for hunting and a folder for other chores. I liked the 102 and 112 suggestion. Or an Alox SA.
  4. skyhorse

    skyhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    I’d get him a Buck 110 , the folding hunter is a knife he’ll enjoy forever ! Plus its warranty is forever as well.
  5. LostViking

    LostViking Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    The Buck 102 Woodsman was my only knife for many years. We thrived together in the woods with no issues.

    Then, I stumbled into Blade Forums and realized I didn't know, what I didn't know.

    Full Tangs, powdered steels, and micarta, oh my!

    I checked and my little Buck had no desirable traits.

    But it was still a mainstay outdoors and in my kitchen.

    As I continued to learn and explore this brave new world of knives on the interwebs. I learned just how weak my Woodsman
    truly was.

    Why they were so bad folks on U-Tube would declare them useless after only taking them out of the box!
    Those U-Tube guys know their stuff!

    I guess you can make a fire with one if you have to. As long as the blade doesn't fall out of the handle.

    I suppose in a pinch, you could make some curls. Just be careful the edge doesn't chip out.

    The interweb folks sort of agree it works OK on rabbits, deer, beaver, muskrats, foxes, and coyotes,
    But what about Rhinos and Hippopotamuses?

    Fortunately for me, I discovered Blade and the Internet. I'm much smarter now. Not nearly at the level of those U-Tube guys. But I not the ignorant redneck I usedta was.

    No Sir!
    Now I literally have thousands of dollars woth of knives in almost every draw in the house. With additional blades stacked in boxes on shelves in closets, knives stuffed in packs, Skookums, Sargents, Fallknivens, Puukkos, you name it I have it.

    And yet to this very day. I realize I may never graduate to the level of supreme knowledge put forth on the Interwebs.

    Because that lowly little Buck 102 Woodsman remains one of my all time favorite field & camp knives.

    Ma always said, I'd never amount to nuthin'

    I also agree the Grohmann #3 would be a nice option. As would the Lion Steel M4.

    Good Luck,
  6. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    It’s hard to argue with a Buck, but why not just go with a 119. They sell so many they can sell them a lot cheaper than their smaller knives.

    Mora is a great suggestion, too. The Bahco Mora carpenter’s knife has the same exact profile as the companion, uses thinner steel, stainless, and sells for $8.99. For smaller hands, consider the 510 Allrounder.
    JokersFaceLifter likes this.
  7. JokersFaceLifter


    Jan 6, 2016
    buck's woodsman, pathfinder, and personal have great hunting shape blades, condor may also be a good choice if one wants a more traditional looking knife, there's a Finnish company called Ahti, a third or forth generation puuko knife maker in the Finland that makes exceptional hunting tools, in the traditional methods as well, and reasonably priced in my mind
  8. Macchina


    Apr 7, 2006
    I'm thinking I'm going to go Buck 102 if I buy one due to the almost unanimous votes for that knife. I have one (in 5160) that I love and now that I think of it my older brother got one from my Grandpa when we were young and we used it all through our childhood for squirrels, rabbits, and birds.

    Otherwise, I think I do have a KaBar bird and trout at my cabin in a drawer in case I ever forgot to bring a fixed blade up. I'll make sure it's still there and give him that one! Great suggestion!
    CVamberbonehead likes this.
  9. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Mora 511 or 611 (has a guard) would be my first suggestion. Either carbon steel or stainless steel.
    If you know he won't be stabbing anything, a Mora number 1, or Cold Steel FINN BEAR "Puukko".
    Second choice would be a old style B&T with a guard, like the Buck 102.
    Note that these can all be used on deer and larger, should he ever pursue big game.
    A Schrade Old Timer "Sharp Finger" (either Schrade US or offshore made) is also a solid choice for small to large game.

    For not game, general use around the camp knife (whittling, food, etc.) a Stockman, (2 blade) trapper, canoe, (2 blade) Barlow, or moose pattern, or a venerable 4 blade "Scout"/Camp" knife.
  10. Jody744

    Jody744 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Helle has a fixed blade for youngsters also
  11. NapalmCheese

    NapalmCheese Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Because IMO the 102 is better suited to field dressing fish and game from trout to squirrels to moose, and the handle is more appropriately sized for the young man. Easier to carry too.
  12. SpyderPhreak

    SpyderPhreak Rocketman for hire Platinum Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    I would totally go with a fixed blade if we're talking about a hunting knife, especially if he already has some kind of folder. Start small and lightweight though, skeletonized handles. Swamp Rat Swamp Warden (or Scrap Yard Scrapivore) if you can find one, or an easily-available ESEE Izula otherwise (add micarta scales if you want to dress it up a bit).

    I've done something similar to this for all 3 of my kids (they all got Scrap Yard Scrapivores), and several friend's kids too. Great way to start.

    USMCPOP Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 6, 2016
    I still have my first knife I got circa 1967 - Buck 102.
  14. Asher Sympson

    Asher Sympson

    May 10, 2020
    Buck 102 is perfect. And with the Forever warranty you don't have to worry about breaking it.
  15. Judas530


    Feb 16, 2008
    Just got my son a Mora Companion for deer hunting this year. Not what I originally planned to get but price was right, reviews were great and it should handle anything he throws at it. He was also really impressed with the forced Patina I threw on it, came out nice.
    USMCPOP and JokersFaceLifter like this.
  16. Judas530


    Feb 16, 2008
    Not sure a slip joint is a good idea for a first hunting knife. Fixed blade would be much easier to clean and safer. Save the slip joint for later when he knows how to safely handle a knife, especially when his hands are slick from cleaning game. Plus kids love hanging a knife on their belt.

    Might consider a Cold Steel Mini Pendleton Hunter, a sharpfinger, or one of the many bird and trout knives out there.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2020
    CVamberbonehead likes this.
  17. NapalmCheese

    NapalmCheese Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    The Buck 102 is made in the USA. The Kabar Little Finn is made in Taiwan. The Buck 102 is made with 420 HC with a good provenance for usability (i.e. Buck gets the most out of 420 HC), the Kabar Little Finn is made from 4116.

    I would certainly choose Buck, as I feel Kabar has missed the boat by not producing a USA made 1095 steel Little Finn.

    As for the trapper pattern, I often carry one while hunting and find it does a lovely job.
    CVamberbonehead likes this.
  18. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Way to go.
  19. tueller

    tueller Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 16, 2012
    I would really need more info. Folder or fixed? Budget?

    Izulla II, bk14 (buy or make wooden scales), benchmade hidden canyon

    pakkawood spyderco Delica or endura
    Benchmade crooked river
    Buck 110 slim pro (pocket clip is a must)


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