The 3 Best Kid-Safe Knives That Are Perfect for Tiny Chefs

updated Apr 12, 2024
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(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Before I became a parent, the idea of giving children under the age of 10 a knife of any kind seemed dangerous. Now, as a mom of two, I know that kid-friendly knives are actually powerful tools for teaching my children confidence in the kitchen, as well as for keeping them busy while I cook.

Luckily, kitchen tool makers have caught up with parents who want to teach their children to cook and now offer knives in different shapes and sizes, all fitted with blades of varying sharpness so that tiny cooks of all ages can help in the kitchen. These are my three favorite knives for kids under 10 years old.

Start really young cooks off with a nylon knife set, which mimics the weight, shape, and feel of a chef’s knife — without the sharp edge. The serrated edge makes cutting bread, cheese, soft fruit, and vegetables possible without any nicks or cuts.

Slightly older children can be introduced to safety knives, many of which have real metal blades with a flat blunt edge. They make easy work of most fruits and vegetables, save for hard squashes and watermelon rinds. You’ll need to monitor your kiddos closely during use, as these knives can still cut tiny fingers. This particular set from Uncommon Goods is a good way to practice safe knife holding and handling.

A smaller knife with a sharp edge is the perfect in-between knife for tweens and teens. Their hands aren’t quite large enough for a full-sized chef’s knife yet, but they have the hand-eye coordination required to manage a real blade. A paring knife might seem like a good transitional knife, but its dainty size doesn’t allow enough clearance between the handle and a cutting board for small hands. A small santoku knife, about 5 inches long and with a sheath for covering the blade, is a beautiful way to create a sense of ownership for your kid chef.

Do you have a favorite knife for a tiny chef? Tell us about it in the comments!