MoraKniv’s Guide Woodcarving with Kids

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 long 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, both 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 you can keep in mind when you’re about to bring out your knife and start to get creative together with your apprentice.
So starts this excellent piece on introducing kids to knives, by the folks at MoraKniv. It suggests a progression of 4 knives as a child gains maturity and experience, starting with the Mora Safe, to the Scout 39, to the Woodcarving Junior, and finally the “grown-up” Companion.

As we have discussed at length, teaching kids to use potentially dangerous tools such as guns, knives and even fire, has a number of benefits. Confidence, creativity, and respect are just a few of the lessons that a knife can teach a youngster.

One of the things I really liked about this guide is it explains process and reasoning. You may decide to handle things differently, for example I chose to give my daughter a Mora Eldris as her first knife. However, when you understand the reasoning they use, you can make a more educated decision for yourself.

Start simple:

Start by looking at and talking about the knife together. Explain the different parts of the knife: handle, blade, spine, edge, finger guard, and knife cover. Then go through how to handle a knife. Point out that they are sharp and pointy, and that one can cut or prick oneself if the knife isn’t used in the way you agreed. Never play with the knife! Never place it on the ground either, someone might fall or step on it. The knife will also get dirty and blunt. That’s why the knife should always be kept in its cover when it isn’t in use.

Read the whole thing, and please share your experiences regarding teaching your kids knife use in the comments.


  1. Sam L. says:

    This looks good!

  2. Jason Julian says:

    Good article.

    It’s rather surprising how “normal” this is in Nordic countries… the very thought of handing a knife to a child in some parts of the world, definitely some parts of the US, makes parents cringe and hoplophobes cry in the corner.

    Nothing wrong with teaching a child to use and respect one of the most essential, and critical tools humanity has ever put together.

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MoraKniv’s Guide Woodcarving with Kids

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