Sitka Mountain Gear
1st Hunting Knife Recommendations
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
wv_bowhunter 14-Oct-20
Whocares 14-Oct-20
JohnMC 14-Oct-20
Jack Whitmrie jr 14-Oct-20
PECO 14-Oct-20
Dino 14-Oct-20
Highlife 14-Oct-20
wv_bowhunter 14-Oct-20
Flumer 14-Oct-20
Huntcell 14-Oct-20
PAbowhunter1064 14-Oct-20
LBshooter 14-Oct-20
t-roy 14-Oct-20
bentshaft 14-Oct-20
wv_bowhunter 15-Oct-20
Wild Bill 15-Oct-20
Bou'bound 15-Oct-20
hawkeye in PA 15-Oct-20
rooster 15-Oct-20
Highlife 15-Oct-20
WV Mountaineer 15-Oct-20
Bowbender 15-Oct-20
Wv hillbilly 15-Oct-20
Rocky D 15-Oct-20
cnelk 15-Oct-20
woodguy65 15-Oct-20
CJE 15-Oct-20
Treeline 15-Oct-20
APauls 15-Oct-20
craigmcalvey 15-Oct-20
PECO 15-Oct-20
wv_bowhunter 15-Oct-20
wv_bowhunter 15-Oct-20
M.Pauls 15-Oct-20
Buffalo1 15-Oct-20
greenmountain 15-Oct-20
keepemsharp 15-Oct-20
Supernaut 15-Oct-20
Shuteye 15-Oct-20
Ucsdryder 15-Oct-20
x-man 15-Oct-20
Rickm 15-Oct-20
ohiohunter 15-Oct-20
Korey Wolfe 15-Oct-20
rooster 15-Oct-20
ff 15-Oct-20
drycreek 15-Oct-20
Hancock West 15-Oct-20
BOWNUT 15-Oct-20
Cornpone 15-Oct-20
txhunter58 15-Oct-20
Ucsdryder 15-Oct-20
paul@thefort 18-Oct-20
Jackaroo 18-Oct-20
Adventurewriter 18-Oct-20
wv_bowhunter 18-Oct-20
RJ Hunt 19-Oct-20
RJ Hunt 19-Oct-20
redheadlover 22-Oct-20
stagetek 22-Oct-20
Aspen Ghost 22-Oct-20
From: wv_bowhunter
14-Oct-20
I am looking to buy my 9 year old his first hunting knife as a Christmas gift this year. I am debating back and forth on some different models and having a hard time deciding.

He likes to squirrel hunt and will hopefully get his first deer this season with a gun. Still practicing with his bow and building strength to hopefully be pulling enough weight to bowhunt next season.

Some of my criteria are preferably made in the USA out of a high quality steel and something that is sort of a do all size that could handle anything from cleaning squirrels to field dressing deer. Looking for something high quality that he can hang on to and get many years of service out of if he chooses.

There are a few that catch my eye but a Buck 110, Buck 112 Ranger, and Buck 500 Duke are at the top of my list right now.

What would you recommend?

Thanks!!

From: Whocares
14-Oct-20
Buck 110 folding hunter. Very good knife and traditional. Can get it from Buck engraved with his name and date too. A keepsake and very useful.

From: JohnMC
14-Oct-20
Find a local knife maker to make him one and it will be something hopeful he still has and treasures when your gone.

14-Oct-20
Buck 102 and made in the USA clean field mice to elephants with it.

From: PECO
14-Oct-20
USA made Buck 110 gets my vote.

From: Dino
14-Oct-20
Buck 110 or Buck 112...I am in my 50’s and they are still my favourites! I’ve been to the factory in Idaho and they run a top notch operation with outstanding customer service!

From: Highlife
14-Oct-20
Did my first deer with a 110. Can't go wrong I like the idea of having the blade engraved

From: wv_bowhunter
14-Oct-20
Thanks for the comments so far everyone.

I have been playing around with the custom 110 option on their site. Given my intent for the gift, I like the engraving option too.

Please keep the recommendations and comments going.

From: Flumer
14-Oct-20
Not US made, but a Mora knife is hard to beat. And if he breaks the tip off prying on something cheap to replace.

From: Huntcell
14-Oct-20
what is your go to knife?

get him the same.

14-Oct-20
Buck 110 folder...all he’ll ever need. Plus he’ll have the pride of knowing it was made in the greatest country that ever existed.

14-Oct-20
Gerber Gator fixed blade. Not as prominent anymore but they’re making it in Oregon still.

From: LBshooter
14-Oct-20
Like the buck 112.

From: t-roy
14-Oct-20
Is a sheath knife an option? If so, consider a Buck Pathfinder 105. I bought a Pathfinder in the early 70s with some trapping money, and I still have it.

From: bentshaft
14-Oct-20
A fixed blade may be safer considering a young hunter will be trying to close a folder with possibly cold, wet hands while keeping their fingers out of the way. Of course you'll want a fairly small blade for all around use and a orange handle is less likely to be left behind and easier to find if it is. Just some thoughts.

From: wv_bowhunter
15-Oct-20
All great thoughts and again, I really appreciate the feedback.

My first knife, which I still have but do not use, was a Schrade Old Timer Guthook Skinner. I have switched around through a few different knives over the last several years and seem to have settled on a knock off 110 made by Rough Rider.

The fixed blade for ease of use vs opening a folder as well as being easier to clean is something I have thought a lot about too. I’ll check out the fixed blade recommendations you’ve made when I get time today.

Thanks everyone!

From: Wild Bill
15-Oct-20
Buck 110 slim pro. A bulky knife will be a hinderance. I think it also comes slim in the 112 style also.

My current EDC is a Buck 110 slim, but I'm a little disappointed in it's edge forming abilities. I'm not ready to buy the pro, because I have so many Gerber 3.0 in my safe.

From: Bou'bound
15-Oct-20
Havalon titan

15-Oct-20
Buck 102 fixed blade is what I bought my son and grandsons when they started, fits small hands real well.

From: rooster
15-Oct-20
I have a oft spot for the Old Timer Sharp Finger sheath knife. They are very affordable and can be had with a blaze orange handle, which may be useful if dropped.

From: Highlife
15-Oct-20
Rooster that's what I have in my pack. Love that knife and I have quite a collection to choosefrom :)

15-Oct-20
I’d buy him a quality pocket knife. I have a buck 110 and they are cool knives. But, way bigger then practical for deer or squirrel cleaning.

From: Bowbender
15-Oct-20
Look up RJ Hunt. He makes some really sweet knives. If custom isn't an option, Buck 110.

15-Oct-20
I’ll second bowbender. He’s made a few for me and you won’t find better quality or craftsmanship. Well worth the price for something your son will have and think of you when using the rest of his life.

From: Rocky D
15-Oct-20
The SOG Twitch II is a great little knife. Personally, I am not a Buck fan.

From: cnelk
15-Oct-20

cnelk's Link
Cutco Knives - made in USA - guaranteed forever - stays sharp. I’d suggest the orange handle style. See link

Not a Buck knife fan. Their steel isn’t what other high quality knives use.

Plus, with a folding knife you have to be sure the locking mechanism stay clear of debris or it will fold over on you fingers. Ask me how I know. Not something for a beginner to use.

From: woodguy65
15-Oct-20

woodguy65's embedded Photo
woodguy65's embedded Photo
Case M3 Finn, it’s a small fixed blade perfect for tiny hands and wont look like a sword on his belt.

From: CJE
15-Oct-20

CJE's embedded Photo
CJE's embedded Photo
I put this one together recently for a friend's sons birthday gift. Knives for kids are fun just because you know it is something they will truly cherish and its something they will make lasting memories with.

From: Treeline
15-Oct-20
That Cutco with a drop point and an orange handle looks like a great choice.

From: APauls
15-Oct-20
Love the Buck 102 Woodsman.

From: craigmcalvey
15-Oct-20
110 folder. I love the personalized knife idea but knowing my 14 year old I’d personally wait till he’s older and more responsible before going that route.

Craig

From: PECO
15-Oct-20
For small game, a Case Trapper pocket knife is a sweet knife.

From: wv_bowhunter
15-Oct-20
Great looking knife CJE!

Given my intent for the gift, I do like the idea of a fixed blade much better for a few reasons after giving it some thought, thanks to your recommendations.

Ease of use vs opening and closing a folder along with the safety factor of it getting clogged and closing on your hand during use as cnelk described. They are also easier to clean and can be belt worn or put inside a pack.

I liked that CutCo guthook with the orange blade but it appears to be out of stock until next year per their site.

The buck 102 Woodsman or the Buck Zipper look like good options. Like someone else mentioned we could always add a good pocket knife for the squirrels.

Appreciate the feedback!

From: wv_bowhunter
15-Oct-20
Previous post should have referenced the CutCo gut hook with the orange handle, not blade obviously.

From: M.Pauls
15-Oct-20
100% I’d go with a Buck 102 Woodsman. Such a perfect small fixed blade knife. And would be great for a youngsters hands all the way to a grown adult. To make it special, get the wooden handled version

From: Buffalo1
15-Oct-20
Case Sodbuster and a scabbard.

15-Oct-20
I have a Buck 118. It was a high school graduation gift. It has been on my belt since 1972. I keep the edge up and it is sharper than new. No matter what you get a kid for a knife you should spend the time to sharpen it together. He will have pride in a knife that he cares for.

From: keepemsharp
15-Oct-20
Shrade sharp finger.

From: Supernaut
15-Oct-20
Hard to beat a Buck or a Case like the one in woodguy65's pic. I got my son a couple Bucks already and a Case like the one pictured and hope they will serve him well and be items he hangs onto and makes a lot of memories with. Good luck in whatever you decide!

From: Shuteye
15-Oct-20
I have used Buck knives for many years with no complaints.

From: Ucsdryder
15-Oct-20
Let’s be honest. Put yourself at 9. The chances of the knife getting lost are pretty dang high. I think I lost all of my stuff and most of my dads stuff until I was about 25! A good buck knife is inexpensive and a timeless classic. We all had one growing up!

From: x-man
15-Oct-20

x-man's Link

From: Rickm
15-Oct-20
I would guess that most of us started with a Buck. A 110 or 105 would work. He may move on too a custom or Havalon but I bet he will always have his first hunting knife.

From: ohiohunter
15-Oct-20
The 110 is a classic but its definitely are the larger side especially for a kid skinning squirrels. I would consider something smaller in the buck line like the Buck trapper or cadet, both true pocket knives not belt knives. The 500 series is a very handsome line, teach him young he doesn't need a bowie to gut a deer. My dads trapper has skinned and gutted more critters than I'll ever kill.

From: Korey Wolfe
15-Oct-20
I can't count the knives I have lost or broke over the years...the number has slowed way down in recent years.

From: rooster
15-Oct-20
Highlife, yeah I have a few myself. Heck you can get'em for under $15!

From: ff
15-Oct-20
for those of you who dont know there are leg bones on deer and elk that are perfect for knife handles. clean them, cut the ends off , get the marrow out and let dry, very dry!!! when shaped and sanded and buffed they are beautiful. Made one for myself years ago, it turned out very nice,,, Made one for my grandaughter from leg bone of deer she killed and she was pleased. Family heirloom. Not a working knife because the bone is a little fragile. But if you fill the bone with epoxy it is strong. Soon will post pictures.

From: drycreek
15-Oct-20
I’ll second Troy, the Pathfinder is what I bought my son about 40 or more years ago. He still has it and still loves it. Flumer also recommended a good knife. While not exactly a presentation piece, it’s a really good knife. I usually use mine when skinning and an Outdoor Edge Razor Pro to gut.

From: Hancock West
15-Oct-20
Agree with CNELK - Bought one 20years ago. Great knife! Lifetime warranty & free sharpening or atleast they used too.

From: BOWNUT
15-Oct-20
I like the custom 110 folder. For sheath knife I would look at the Knives Of Alaska and order what you like. Life time guarantee and free sharpening. Get both and he will be set for life.

From: Cornpone
15-Oct-20
Awful lot of suggestions here, but I didn't read them all. First of all, if for deer, you want a knife with a blade long enough to ream them plus have a blade strong enough to split the aitch bone, if desired. I have a Buck 105 and it fits the bill for either. Many don't.

From: txhunter58
15-Oct-20
I like folding, locking knives much better than fixed for hunting. I have a knife very similar to the Buck 110 that I have used on everything from rabbits to elk since I was 18 (am 62 now??).

That said the 110 is maybe a little bit big for him right now. Slightly heavy/ bulky for a youngster

I vote Buck 112 due to slight decrease in size/ weight. But still big enough to do what he needs up to a deer.

From: Ucsdryder
15-Oct-20
Let’s be honest. Put yourself at 9. The chances of the knife getting lost are pretty dang high. I think I lost all of my stuff and most of my dads stuff until I was about 25! A good buck knife is inexpensive and a timeless classic. We all had one growing up!

From: paul@thefort
18-Oct-20

paul@thefort's embedded Photo
paul@thefort's embedded Photo
paul@thefort's embedded Photo
paul@thefort's embedded Photo
paul@thefort's embedded Photo
paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Jeremy, If your son does not have his knife yet, I have this Case two blade he can have. It has been around a long time and I would like to pass it on. Let me know. my best, Paul PS, the only catch is that he has to send me a picture of him skinning his deer with it.

From: Jackaroo
18-Oct-20
I had the same question a few years ago. I’ve learned my son likes the exact opposite of what I like . I love to trout fish and have places where we can catch 10 to 15 lb rainbows . He is not interested he prefers bass and the other warm water species. I’ve learned to take him shopping for his own gifts without Him knowing about it. We just wandered by the knife section of a sporting goods store 6 months before his birthday. We looked at all the knives and he said he was going to save up for a folder with a sheath and a leatherman. I got them for his birthday and he still wears them everyday 10 years later. . If it was up to me I would have given him my buck knife collection but he’s not interested in that kind of knife. I believe a gift should show that you took the time to learn what the person would appreciate. It shows them that you care about them. Rather than getting them something you like. It’s hard to lose though with a 9 year old and a knife.

18-Oct-20
Are you crafty at all??? there are some great knife blanks out there make a handle and sheath together out of a antler you found or have

I would steer clear of havalons type of stuff those knifes are just too scary sharp for a kid with little experience handling a knife...

From: wv_bowhunter
18-Oct-20
Thanks for for everyone’s feedback and comments.

Paul, that is a very generous offer and yet another example of your kindness and generosity. I Just replied to your pm.

Jackaroo, I have sort of been doing the same lately. I went through nearly all of my old knives with both my 9 and 6 year olds recently under the idea of “just looking at them” while gathering up some hunting items. It was interesting to see what which ones he gravitate towards. I’ve also been watching some knife reviews on YouTube while he is nearby to see what catches his attention.

From: RJ Hunt
19-Oct-20

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I would be glad to make him one. Let me know. If not I would go with a buck vanguard in s30v (cabelas guide series) they are a decent knife for good price.

From: RJ Hunt
19-Oct-20
Thanks for the mention guys. Is a huge compliment.

From: redheadlover
22-Oct-20
CRKT

From: stagetek
22-Oct-20
There are many "firsts" still out there. And, a good many are Buck knives.

From: Aspen Ghost
22-Oct-20
I recommend that you get him one that won't upset you when he loses it. He's only 9, he's gonna lose it. And he'll be upset when it happens. But if you are upset when it happens then you spent too much on it - and that would be your fault because you already know he's gonna lose it.

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