Camping, hiking, or just out and about, a pocket knife, pen knife, swiss army knife, or multi-tools as they are often called, are undeniably a useful bit of kit. But are they still legal? And can kids still have them?
Pen Knives and the Law
I suspect that most of us had a pen knife when we were kids. But things have changed since then.
So the big question: Are pen knives legal? Are kids allowed pen knives?
Yes, and yes.
under 3 inches and no locking bladeThe UK law states that you can carry a knife under 3 inches if it has a folding blade without a locking mechanism, and can be carried by those under 18.
I can understand why they don’t allow a locking blade, but it’s actually unfortunate as a locking blade actually makes a penknife safer for your kids to use as you know the blade won’t fold up onto their fingers.
Pen Knives for Scouts
The Scouts policy on pen knives is that they should be looked after by an adult when at Scout HQ, and if travelling to camp, should be securely stowed in the middle of the scout’s backpack.
Essentially the pen knife should only be used when you need to use a pen knife, and should not be carried around by children ‘just in case’ they need it.
You can read more on the Scout Pen Knife policy here.
Pen Knives and Kids – Useful Tips
Remember to teach your kids to angle the blade away from themselves when they are using a knife, and watch how they use the folding knife so that the blade doesn’t close on their fingers. (A good idea to teach first aid on cuts as well).
If you got them a pen knife with a saw, then they could help cut sticks to an appropriate size for cooking over the fire, and use the knife to strip the bark from sticks to cooking with.
You may want to take up whittling with your child (see this guide to whittling and knife skills for more info).
Recommended Pen Knives for Kids
The two leading pen knife manufacturers, Victorinox and Wenger, both produce child friendly pen knives, which all have a rounded blade to reduce the risk of injury.
My First Victorinox penknife for kids
Victorinox Duke of Edinburgh Award pocket knife
Victorinox Swiss Army D of E Pocket Tool
Eligible For Free Postage
Wenger Scout Junior Pen Knife
If you are worried about carrying a knife then you might want to consider the credit card sized toolset from Victorinox.
Interested in buying an (adult's) pen knife (these are not necessarily for kids)?
| Lifeventure Ellipse Plates, Bowls, Mugs, and Cutlery ||Buy||See It|
| Confidence Picnic Backpack Hamper ||Buy||See It|
| LY Professional Military Compact Foldable Cultery Set || ||See It|
| Easy Camp Folding Cutlery || ||See It|
| Outwell Somerset Picnic bag || ||See It|
|* Prices may not be the latest. Click the 'See It' button to confirm latest price on the seller's website. Some links may be affiliated. Click to view more details.|
The retailers above will send us a few pennies if you buy from them. This does not change the price. So it is FREE for you to support us.
To see why your support is important to us and find discounts for your purchase, then please click here.