At what age would you consider it safe to let a child use a whittling/wood knife to carve with?

At what age would you consider it safe to let a child use a whittling/wood knife to carve with?

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  1. I remember being 5 or so and being handed a knife by my grandfather, he’d just shown me how to do it safely.
    If I remember right, it was essentially “Hold the stick strongly but relaxed with your left hand, with the right hand hold the blade. The blade goes in front of the fingers when carving. Carve thin slices.”
    I did exactly what he said, and I was carving that stick like a pro!
    Later that evening I went and grabbed the knife and whittled on my own, but decided to not follow his advice, and promptly cut myself in the palm of my hand.
    I didn’t stop though, I very carefully switched and cut like he’d shown me, and it was fine.
    I learned two things.
    Pay attention when people who know more than you are explaining things.
    When you fail, pay attention to why and adjust accordingly.
    That lesson was later repeated with a wood turner and a bench grinder!
    By the time he handed me a chainsaw I’d learned to pay attention the first time.
    My dad and my granddad taught me loads of things growing up, my granddad died years ago but I’ll be seeing my dad next time I visit Sweden 🙂
    Just as swords, knives aren’t designed to be safe.

    At what age would you consider it safe to let a child use a whittling/wood knife to carve with?

    The best you can do is teach them, supervise them, and hope they learn before hurting themselves too badly.

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  2. Children and knives
    It’s completely silent and concentration is total. All focus is on carving the stick, sliver by sliver, on carefully evening out the edges of the piece of wood. Is it going to be a bark boat? A barbecue stick? Or maybe even a butter knife? Working with a knife and a carving subject can give countless moments of pleasure. It gives adult and children alike an almost meditative feeling of being in the present.
    As always when working with a knife, one needs to have respect for the tool, adults and children alike. When we carve wood together with children, we need to be aware of what we do with the knife, how we carve and how we behave. Here are our tips for what to keep in mind when you’re about to bring out your knife and start to get creative together with your apprentice.
    Choosing the child’s knife
    Choosing the right knife is the first and perhaps most important step when starting to learn wood carving. It can also be difficult. Basically, it’s about finding the best choice for each individual child. It is not possible to say exactly at what age it is appropriate to introduce a knife. Nor what model the child is able to handle. It’s up to you to assess the situation and the child and choose what you think is most suitable. Below are some of our recommendations for different models adapted for children who want to learn to carve in wood.
    Things that are good to have
    There are a few good things to bring with you when you go out in nature to carve wood. Always have a first aid kit at hand, with plasters, tape and smaller first aid supplies. It can be good to wear a belt so that the child can carry the knife cover around their waist. Make sure there are plenty of potential carving subjects – brushwood to carve sticks from, aspen twigs or round trunks of linden, birch or alder. Make sure you point out that cutting down branches from living trees is not allowed. Prepare a place with stable benches, pales or tree stubs of child height. It can be good to have a fire to keep warm, or a roof nearby to run for cover in case of rain.
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  3. Assuming that the kid is responsible and will pay attention to what you tell them, I think the most important factor is hand strength. They need enough strength to hold the knife securely and to make small, controlled cuts without having to use their arm muscles.
    Judging from my son and grandson, I would be comfortable at around age 6 or 7.
    PS – And start them with a dedicated carving knife, not a pocket knife. Much safer and more productive. And teach them when and how to sharpen.

    At what age would you consider it safe to let a child use a whittling/wood knife to carve with?

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  4. Totally depends on the child. A friend’s 34 year old son is still not ready for a sharp knife. He lacks the patience, attention and interest to ever be trusted with sharp knives. His wife will not even let him help in the kitchen because he always leaks red. I got my first carving set when I started building balsa models at roughly age 7. But, I was always very coordinated and careful. You can have them take something complex apart and put it back together as a pseudo test to see if they are ready. Also, provide them with good carving gloves as protection…

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  5. Reply
  6. When I was five years old, I used my own carving knife to cut apples.
    I think a child can use a carving knife at the age of five or six.
    But you need to always teach children how to use carving knives safely. This is the most important thing. You have to watch the children using the carving knife.Until children can use carving knives independently
    Be careful, the knife is sharp. You should teach children not to hurt themselves by the knife.

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