The Cutting Edge

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Kids Should Play With Knives, Says Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls Survival Knives
Everyone’s favorite TV adventurer and badass outdoorsman Bear Grylls is stirring up some controversy in Britain with his comments that letting kids play with knives helps empower them and teaches them how to be responsible around dangerous tools.

In an interview with Radio Times, the Man vs. Wild star revealed that he lets his 6-year-old son, Huckleberry, use a sharp knife. That stance was only made worse to some by the fact that he followed up by saying that his son recently cut himself pretty badly.

But he was adamant that “if you try to negate risk in children’s lives, you do them a disservice. You teach them not to be afraid of risk. You cannot negate risk. Risk is everywhere.” He also said, “My six-year-old cut himself on a knife and had blood pouring everywhere. But he’s not cut himself again. He has learnt how to handle a knife.”

bear gryllsHere at Knife Depot, it’s probably not surprising that we agree with Bear Grylls that kids can become empowered by using tools (which admittedly can be dangerous if used incorrectly) at an early age. But is 6 years old too young?

The answer is a little complicated and may sound like a cop-out, but it depends.

As a parent of the child, you must make an informed decision based on the maturity and comfort level of your child, but sometimes even pushing a child out of their comfort zone will have positive ramifications later on.

Here’s more from Bear Grylls: “You empower kids by teaching them how to do something dangerous but how to do it safely. I say to Scouts, ‘We’re going to climb this, it’s going to be scary and dangerous, but we’re going to do it together and look after each other to stay safe’.”

We’ve touched on this topic before with some tips on teaching a child to use a knife safely and recommendations on a good first knife.

Another factor to this story that makes it controversial is that he’s from the UK. The citizens have a much more tense relationship with knives than the United States.

Still, say what you will about Bear Grylls, but he makes some great points in the interview. We suggest you check out some more of the interview here.


  1. Randall Graeber

    May 12, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    I Agree!!! Having been in the Cub Scouts & Boy Scouts, As Well As, Raised By A Dad Who Came Off Of A Farm & Fought In WWII!!! A Knife Is A Useful Tool & Proper Respect & Knowledge Of Handling It Should Be Taught Early On!!!

  2. I agree,kids should have knives and taught how to use them,i have had some all my life,their not just for “KILLING”people,but they can save your life in MANY WAYS.their are so many uses,it would take forever to list.The good out weights the bad MILLIONS to one!!!!!!!!!!!!!A knife is a great tool,i use mine almost everyday

  3. I have to agree also. My son is 6 yrs old, and I purchased some beginners throwing knives, and he is now with me in the back yard learning the proper way to handle them. It all depends on the parents of the child, and to teach them safety!

  4. Seems reasonable enough.

  5. Absolutely! My son is 32 and carries a knife every day and my nephew , at 14, is very capable with all of his 50 plus knives, machetes, hawks, etc . He doesn’t carry one to school but he loves telling me about how ridiculously helpless most coddled infants in his middle school are. It is very important that kids learn how to properly handle dangerous tools at an early age. You never know when one of these young people may be called upon to offer aid to someone and a little training could be invaluable.

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