I have always been a fan of knives. It probably started when I was just a little girl and I would watch in awe as my Grandpa cleaned his collection of pocket knives until they were shiny and gleaming in the case. While I do like guns, and I think they are an important part of any prepper protection plan, I tend to be more of a knife person. I like the feel of the steel in my hand and I enjoy the ability to maneuver with this tool. The knife is not only a great defense weapon but it is also a wonderfully unique and diverse tool. A knife is great for food preparation, cleaning a hunting catch, cutting wire, trimming trees, shaving, screw driving, etc.
When it comes to having a multipurpose tool, there really isn’t anything better than a good quality knife. The movie Crocodile Dundee proved that a good knife is better than a good gun, any day. Yet one of the biggest issues that people have with knives is that they do not understand how to care for them and how to operate them correctly.
Kids, in particular, are notorious for using a knife improperly and cutting themselves. So what is the best way to avoid this issue? As strange as it sounds, you have to start by giving your child access to a small knife, under supervision of course! Allow your kids to handle and use a knife so that they become familiar and comfortable with the safe way to use this tool.
Most parents do everything possible to keep knives away from kids and it’s really understandable. The movies are always depicting knife fights in a horrible way. Undoubtedly a villain will pick up a knife, hold it like a screwdriver, and begin to make wild slashes at the coming protagonist. Needless to say this is a poor example of how to handle a knife. Real knife skills are not going to be learned by watching a Hollywood movie. Instead, it takes one-on-one training with a qualified adult. Here are the first important lessons you should teach your children about handling a knife safely.
First, never hold a knife with just your thumb and index finger. While this is the most common grip used in movies, it is also the most idiotic. This grip is weak and it will end up hurting you more than anyone else. The users of this grip are simply showing that they have very limited knife skills. Depending on the situation, a knife should be held in different positions.
For the sake of this demonstration, if you find yourself in a life and death situation and you are using a knife for defense, the best grip for a knife is to hold it in a closed fist with the sharp end of the blade pointing away from you. This grip will allow you to punch and slash at the same time, as well as giving you great leverage and strength to come down in a stabbing motion.
Make sure that your son or daughter understands that this is not a game and this is not a toy. When they learn a skill like this they are actually learning true survival skills that could be called upon in the future. However grip is not the only issues that need to be covered. Your kids also need to understand how to open and close a knife. This can be tricky with some knives since there are several different opening styles.
Some knives open with a simple thumb roll and others will utilize the automatic release button. When closing, the majority of knives will use a bump stop that automatically locks the knife blade and keeps it from closing automatically. The only way to close these kinds of knives is to push the stopper away form the blade and then pull the blade in.
Finally, you need to teach your kids the proper way to care for a knife. Good knife blades are not cheap. The biggest issue that many people find is that the blade has not been properly cleaned. Not only will this lead to poor performance, but it could lead to serious injuries. A knife that is properly handled is also a knife that is properly cared for. It is extremely important that you take the time to teach your son and/or daughter the skills needed to sharpen a dull knife and to clean a soiled blade.
Dull knives lead to accidental puncture wounds. Dirty blades lead to rusted, corroded, dull blades. Always wipe your knife off after using it, no matter what you were using it for. If nothing else it is a good way to remove any oil that might have been transferred from your hands to the blades. Always work with a sharp knife blade. If the blade is dull, teach your kids how to properly sharpen the knife with a water stone.
Playing with knives has always been a huge no-no for your kids, but if you teach them how to appropriately handle this tool, it could be a life saving addition to their survival skills. By the time a child is around age 8, they should be mature enough to safely learn to use a knife under close supervision.