My three-and-a-half-year-old son (the half matters a lot!) like most other kids in his preschool class, loves to get into things that are dangerous. This would include doing a deep-dive into the kitchen cabinet to “just look at” knives, kitchen scissors, peelers and anything sharp. Cue, my panic attacks! So, when I heard that there was a children’s knife for kids three-and-over called the Twinny from Zwilling, I got a little excited. But does it stand up to the hype or is it a huge boo boo waiting to happen? Read on to find out our honest take.
Zwilling Twinny 4 Inch Chef’s Knife, zwilling.com, $60.
Zwilling is a German brand with 290 years of history. Held to the highest standards, their Twinny knife is made with the same fine materials as their other grown-up knives (yes, I am looking at you, stainless steel). Besides that, it comes in cute packaging that looks like a book. Made out of recycled paper, the tiny cartoon character illustrations of tomatoes, strawberries, bananas and peppers that kids can colour, instantly signals a good time will be had for anyone opening the kit. The kit comes with the knife, a hand guard/blade cover and a kid-friendly recipe booklet. The name of the child can also be written into it, giving them that feeling that they own this item – and of course, that they’re big kids now.
The knife comes in two kid-approved colours: a deeper blue (we got this one) and red. It’s lightweight and measures in at four inches in length (10 cm) with the blade having a rounded, child-safe shape. It really does look like a mini version of any professional chef’s knife you would have in the kitchen. Can we say matchy-matchy, but make it chef’s edition?
Easy to clean
The wide blade and plastic handle and covers are easy to wipe, wash and dry without any special cloths or cleaning supplies necessary. I appreciate things that give me time back (thank you!).
Hand protection galore!
The hand and finger guard also doubles as the cover for the blade and it’s easy to use. “This is fun, mama,” my son Otto said while we were slicing the tomatoes and sausages for our pizza. “It’s super cool,” he exclaimed (very cool indeed that nobody will be losing fingers anytime soon). It’s fitted for smaller hands, so placing his fingers into the two slots for the index and middle fingers was a breeze. Bonus: since I have slender fingers, it even fits me perfectly, so this knife does not have a shelf life, like all his other kid stuff (does anyone need sippy cups?).
Maturity, even for little kids, really depends on the child. While some three-year-olds might be able to handle the knife like a pro, my son had a bit of a harder time grasping the idea around the hand shield. I had to stick his fingers in the slot and show him how to hold it a few times.
Hard to apply pressure to hold materials down (especially for little ones)
Let’s circle back to the grasping concept I described earlier. While there are teeth in the plastic hand guard to hold down the materials to be cut, my son could not hold it down firmly enough and apply the necessary pressure for the food to not slide around. I had to hold the knife, his hand and the hand guard to help him, which is fine, although it kind of defeats the purpose of them using the knife independently.
The blade is still a little too large (for my liking)
“Wow, mama, this is big,” Otto bubbled. Coming in at four inches long (or 10 cm) and the blade being pretty wide, I feel like a blade that’s half the size could still do the same job. And it wouldn’t look so big in little hands.
When it comes to safety, using this knife for smaller kids is hands down something parents should consider. I would love to receive this knife as a gift and would gladly gift it to all my mom friends out there. I’d definitely recommend this children’s knife as something to help teach kids about safely chopping fruits, veggies and other foods especially as they get older. The price point may not be within reach for every parent, especially for an item that eventually all kids will grow out of. However, given the size of the knife, it’s still comfortable enough for adults with smaller hands to use, so you can look at this purchase as more of a long-term investment.
Looking for more foodie gifting ideas? See our best foodie gifts from small Canadian businesses.