Social Question

leopardgecko123's avatar

Do you think that a 12 year old very mature girl should have a pocket knife?

Asked by leopardgecko123 (777points) March 7th, 2011

My friend is 12 and she is very very mature and she wants a pocket knife. I think it would be fine but she wants to know what other people would say. She has handled knives many times before and her parents are fine with her handling them on her own. She has even used kitchen knives to carve little spears out of sticks and says she wants a pocket knife for camping, fishing, and just for going outside because she likes to carve stuff out of sticks and likes to experiment with that kind of stuff. The only time she has ever gotten cut by a knife was when a knife fell through a picnic table and the point stuck in her toe but she said it only stung a tiny bit. She is very eye-hand coordinated and skilled with using her hands. She says she wants a swiss army knife.

So, would you say that it would be okay for her to have a swiss army pocket knife?

Thank you

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47 Answers

bolwerk's avatar

It’s never a bad thing to allow a potential victim to be armed. If she’s not mature enough to be armed with a small measure of protection, she’s not mature enough to be out and about by herself.

However, a pocket knife is handy for all sorts of things, from the recreational to the practical. Any kid who enjoys the outdoors should have one.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I was 10 when I found my first Swiss Army Knife I still have it 46 years later! and I never hurt myself or any one else. 12 is a fine age, it’s such a useful thing!

Summum's avatar

I don’t see a thing wrong with her having a knife.

MilkyWay's avatar

Sure,,, I’v always been mature for my age ( according to my mum, who is a reliable source) and I’ve carried a swiss army knife since I was 9….

snowberry's avatar

The only possible down side might be overzealous authorities. But I’d still vote for the pocket knife.

Austinlad's avatar

I see nothing wrong with it, especially given her experience with knives.

Just be sure that if you or anyone else gives her a knife, she should reciprocate with a penny. That’s an old Jewish custom.

john65pennington's avatar

If she is mature for her age, okay. Just make sure she understands that her knife can never be taken to school.

TexasDude's avatar

Get her a Swiss Army Knife.

Every smart kid who loves the outdoors should have one.

Cruiser's avatar

Yes, it wouldn’t hurt though to have an adult teach her basic knife handling basics and how to care for it first. The Cub Scouts has a pretty good program for teaching 8 yr olds how to properly handle and care for pocket knives. Here is a Link to it.

Randy's avatar

My dad gave me my first knife at around 8. 12 is a fine age to have one.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

If she knows how to handle ‘em, fine by me. She can be bothered about it by many an ‘authority’ figure though and if she isn’t white, all the more so.

jerv's avatar

I had knives long before I was 12.

However, I am a little wary of Swiss Army knives due to their non-locking blades. A lesson I learned fairly young as well. Try a Gerber Multi-plier or a good Leatherman; more versatile and locking blades.

Scooby's avatar

I got my first pocket knife for my tenth birthday, it had several stainless steel blades…. Can opener, bottle opener, cork screw etc….. I think I was around twelve or thirteen when I got my very first Swiss army knife…. I also had the British army knife too which I bought myself at about age twelve with birthday money….. I still collect knives to this day, picking them up every time I go on holiday or weekend jaunts…… I’ve quite a collection now :-/
She should have a knife IMO, so long as she only uses it as a tool & not a weapon or for any kind of larking about….

marinelife's avatar

I don’t see a problem with it except for school policy. I imagine that no kind of weapons are allowed on campus. She would need to remember not to bring the knife to school.

How old are you, by the way? The Fluther minimum age is 13.

seazen's avatar


But she must wait another year to fluther.

thecaretaker's avatar

Sure why not, I had knives and a pellet gun at 12, parents said I was to young for a rifle so I made my own out of an iron pipe, some old black powder and rusty bolts, had fun launching bolts at the nieghbors wood shed and then I was caught

Pandora's avatar

Keep in mind that other than school, many museums and government buildings and of course airports won’t allow her to have a knife on her. IDs are soon to be necessary for trains and buses as well so I’m sure it won’t be long before they will banish knives as well.

WasCy's avatar

I think every child should have a pocket knife, and adults should, too.

Legal disclaimers apply. Void where prohibited by law, regulation or custom. Minors should be guided by a parent or guardian. Safety training should be provided by an authority certified by an authorized body. The knife should also be certified by an appropriate safety board and must be designed so that it does not lend itself to weaponization. Carrying of knives is prohibited in certain situations; consult local laws.


YoBob's avatar

Both my kids had their own pocket knives since they were around eight.

Of course, as with any tool they need to be able to demonstrate a functional knowledge of safe and appropriate use before they earn the privilege of using/owning any tool regardless of its form or function.

Of course, the opinions of the good jellies of Fluther are rather irrelevant. The only opinion that really counts is that of her parents.

LuckyGuy's avatar

(Said in the heaviest Real McCoy voice I can muster.)— Ptew… A knife ? You worryin’ about a toothpick? Dagnabbit! Back in my day kids got a .22 for their 12th birthday. The Marlin Golden 39A, it were… Yessir,... used ‘em to shoot rats at the dump.

Sure a knife is fine. Leatherman is better if it’s not too big. Don’t take it to school!

majorrich's avatar

So long as she knows how to use a knife safely, Any child can and should be trusted to have such a tool on hand. Not a day passes when I don’t use mine. (Nail file, scissors, opening packages, sharpening pencils etc) It shows you trust the child with a potentially dangerous implement and teaches responsibility. If rules are broken, take it away until she proves the knows how to use it safely again. Just like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

leopardgecko123's avatar

I am 13 in 7th grade. She’s just younger than me by about 7 months or something.

leopardgecko123's avatar

She knows she cannot have a pocket knife at school or use it for a weapon or playing around. She wants it ONLY for camping, fishing, and those outdoor kind of activities

leopardgecko123's avatar

@seazen yeah, that’s why she asked me to ask this on my account

babybadger's avatar

Just be careful in school – students at my highschool get in a LOT of trouble if they’re caught with a knife. Other than that, I don’t see an issue.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I have students younger than that who have their own knives. If she’s responsible enough not to be stupid with it, she should definitely have it. In fact, anyone who isn’t stupid should probably have a pocket knife. Seriously, my Swiss Army Knife is one of the most useful things I carry with me every day.

And remind her to keep it sharp and clean. Those are two things that are essential to proper safe use of blades (and which I admit to being less than perfect myself).

WestRiverrat's avatar

I got my first pocket knife before I went to kindergarten. My family camped, hunted and fished. It was easier to give me my own knife than for my dad to always loan me his when it came time to clean fish, birds or make shavings to start the fire.

cak's avatar

My son is 7 and has his first Swiss Army Knife. Due to his age, we have him put it in a drawer, in the kitchen, when he’s not anticipating using the knife. For instance, there is no reason for him to have it with him in his room. It’s also to insure that he doesn’t get carried away and take it to school.

I think that every smart person should have one of those, they are handy little things! As long as they are responsible.

Seek's avatar

I haven’t gone a day without a pocket knife since the age of ten. It’s an essential tool for survival, IMO, and that’s aside from the “protection” aspect (though, that is nice, too.)

I wouldn’t waste my time and money on a Swiss Army knife, though. The steel is weak and they bend and break way too easily.

I like a 3” half-serrated blade, personally.

12Oaks's avatar

See no problem with that. My 5 year old has her own gun—not to carry around, of course. Not yet, anyway.

Plucky's avatar

Yes, it seems fine. But, just to be safe, you should check your local bylaws/laws on them first.

I had my first pocket knife when I was 8 ..I never had any accidents with it. I’ve upgraded to a Leatherman in my adult years and I love it :)

BLITsZ's avatar

its very indignant

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr A Swiss Army knife is good for what it is. Obviously you won’t be cutting down a tree with it. But I have to say, the scissor attachment is the thing I use the most. That and the tweezers.

Otherwise, I also tend to carry a Mora Clipper. Is the serrated blade you use folding? I can’t stand serration on knives. For my uses, it just gets caught on stuff.

BarnacleBill's avatar

You can hardly do any harm with a Swiss Army knife, although you can’t travel with them or take them to school. Airport security confiscates them, and you can get suspended from school for carrying on. A really nice Case pocket knife is a nice thing to have, and useful. If she likes to carve things, that might be a better choice, as it’s easier to hold. A Leatherman is really useful for camping. I must have at least 6 of them, and use them all the time. Each one is a little different.

Seek's avatar


Yes, I have several half-serrated folding knives. I use them for everything from a screwdriver to a nail trimmer. It’s good for paring down a candle that’s melting weirdly, or for sharpening a pencil, or scraping a hair out of a painting I’m working on… You know, all those life-saving applications. ^_^

perspicacious's avatar

What for? No.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@BLITsZ How is owning a knife indignant?

@perspicacious The details of the message say clearly what the knife is for. Did you bother to read the question?

WestRiverrat's avatar

Advise her to get a knife that locks the blade when it is open. So she won’t accidentally cut herself when it closes on her unexpectedly.

downtide's avatar

I think she should be allowed to have one but I don’t think it’s appropriate to carry it to school.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
mattbrowne's avatar

A pepper spray would be better.

TexasDude's avatar

@mattbrowne, you’re right, but this girl isn’t looking for a self defense weapon, she’s looking for a day-to-day tool.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I tried whittling with pepper spray once. Didn’t work.

TexasDude's avatar

I lol’d heartily.

jbsofine's avatar

pedo bear says leave her alone :(

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