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Building a Wooden Knife

Posted by John Traynor.
First Published Sept 2017; updated May 2023.

Teaching kids about knives can save a whole lot of accidents later. This great little kit helps with that by getting your child to assemble their own wooden knife.

I was eight years old when my father gave me my first knife and I’ve never been sure if it was an act of trust or negligence. His only advice was, “Be careful and don’t hurt your brother”. Sound advice but not much use. Unlike Nathan’s Knife Kit which, as well as being a learning process about knife construction, is also fun and was developed as a family craft project by the company owner and his son.

You can read more and watch a video here.

Made from beech wood, no tools are needed to assemble the parts.

A simple construction kit that can also be used to teach knife safety

it deserves to be on display when finished not left in a drawer

The learning is about knife safety as well as engineering construction with a neat opportunity for youngsters to take responsibility. Aimed at girls and boys from 7 years old, the kit is a practical work of art. Simple in concept and straightforward to assemble, it deserves to be on display when finished not left in a drawer.

Choosing the wooden knife

Faced with the choice of making the wooden Nathan’s Knife or the plastic Trigger Knife, Minnie picked the wooden kit as, “It looks much nicer”.

Minnie, aged eight, made short work of putting it together and, interestingly, treated it naturally with respect as though it was a real knife. Neat psychology.

Unlike so many adults assembling flat-pack furniture, all the parts were laid out, checked and related to the instructions for assembly.

Assembling the wooden knife

Assembly began without hesitation.

Minnie concentrates putting the knife together

Confidence and concentration – a great combination for children.

She needed a little help in pushing through the wooden dowels as they were so tight but she made the point they had to be, “Or else the knife would fall apart”. Good job the ‘helpful’ adult didn’t start sanding parts.

The knife is almost made

The end is in sight.

When finished the locking mechanism clicked into place and released smoothly as well. A little gem. Her verdict? “It’s great. Can I keep it, please?”

The knife is finished

Checking the end result.

A few minutes later, she was sanding down slightly protruding dowel ends, “To make it perfect”. Job done.

A great wooden knife

A little sad that the kit was completed so quickly, Minnie said, “It looks like a real knife but feels nicer”.

Here are a couple of places I found that are selling this kit in the UK:


***UK knife law - official information regarding the legal situation in England, Wales and N. Ireland, as well as Scotland, can be found here. ***

Also, please read our article on Pen Knives and Kids.

Photo credits: knife components - CRKT, all other photos - John Traynor