Need a gift for the knife knut on your list? Here are some on-point suggestions for time-tested knives for gifts at decent prices — and all readily available.
Whether a hardcore gear geek, a hunter, a thru-hiker, or a handyman, everyone needs a great blade. Here are the best knife gifts for the different people in your life.
For the Ultralight Backpacker: Spyderco Dragonfly II in ZDP-189 ($84)
Ounce-counters will love this knife. It clocks in at 1.2 ounces, has a wonderfully small form factor, and hardly ever needs sharpening. The ultra-high-carbon (though still stainless) ZDP-189 is 10 percent harder than most steel on the market and, as a result, almost never needs to be sharpened. If the person on your list can’t pack toothbrush handles, sharpening stones are out also of the question. And the Dragonfly II is the perfect ultralight knife.
For Everyone: Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener ($30)
A knife is only as good as the blade you keep, so make sure it’s always sharp with this Guided Field Sharpener. Purpose-built for hunting knives, pocket knives, filet knives, and camp tools, this sharpener is a welcome gift for all manner of outdoor adventurers. With five stages of sharpening packed into a portable package, this will soon become the knife-lover’s favorite accessory.
For the Design Afficionado: Victorinox Alox Cadet ($32)
If the person you’re shopping for loves high-design finishes, this is the knife for them. No knife looks sleeker or is more functional than the Victorinox Alox Cadet. The beautiful, checkered aluminum handle scales give the knife a clean and modern look (despite a decades-old design). The blade is just the right size, and the extra tools are both well-designed and just the right set of implements.
For the Suit-Wearing Gentleman: Chris Reeve Mnandi ($400)
The Sebenza is a modern classic, but its classier brother, the Mnandi, is a real showstopper. With beautifully selected wood inlays, a marvelous sculpted titanium clip, and fit and finish that compares well to Rolex, the Mnandi is the perfect knife to drop in a pair of slacks or carry in a suit breast pocket. It’s an excellent jewel of a blade and has a price to match.
Note: Check availability and shipping. These are tough to acquire!
For the Fidget Fiend: Massdrop x Ferrum Forge Drop Gent ($80)
If the person you’re buying for has a fidget spinner or clicks a pen while talking on the phone, the Gent is the perfect blade for them. Designed by Ferrum Forge, made by WE Knives, and sold through Massdrop, the Gent flips as smooth and fast as a modern steel rollercoaster. Thanks to a race of bearings in the pivot and a superbly designed flipper tab, the Gent opens and closes with an addictive quality.
But it’s not just a fidget toy. The Gent is one of the best knives on the market today, sporting S35VN blade steel and excellent lines. It costs $80 in its basic configuration and $100 in its fancy version.
For the Old-Timer: Benchmade Proper ($115)
If your grandpa’s knife is looking a little worse for wear, it might be time for a new knife. The Proper is an excellent choice, as it has the shape and function he will be familiar with, but with high-tech precision and exceptionally well-rounded S30V blade steel. It still has a nail knick and lacks a lock, but the old-time charm merges well with modern touches.
For Your Dad, Mom, or Uncle: Buck 110 Slim Line Pro ($90)
Supposing that you don’t need to go full on old school, but instead just need a good knife that will tap into old memories, the Buck 110 Slim Line Pro will score big points. The original Buck 110 is the most famous and influential folder of all time, but it is a beast of a blade, weighing almost half a pound in its traditional configuration. The Slim Line, on the other hand, weighs 3 ounces, sports a thumb stud, and finally adds a pocket clip. The Pro sports Buck’s expertly heat-treated S30V.
For the Chef: Spyderco Spydiechef ($235)
If you want to give someone state-of-the-art cultery steel, LC 200N is the absolute best of the best. It is hard, tough, and corrosion resistant. This might be the first steel that makes no real compromise in terms of performance. And the best design with this steel is the Spydiechef. With a titanium framelock and LC 200N, the knife is essentially waterproof. Originally intended as a folding kitchen knife, the Spydiechef is a great all-around blade.
For the Minimalist: ESEE Candiru ($51)
The ESEE Candiru fixed blade is small and thin enough to be carried in a pocket. With the excellent Rowen-treated 1095 and a sheath or pouch, the Candiru will never close on a set of fingers, no matter how much someone thumps on it. This is ironic given that the knife is named for one of the most painful-to-humans fish ever.
For the Bling King: Reate Baby Machine ($288)
If you’re buying for someone that insists on as much chrome as possible on their car, looks with envy upon Super Bowl rings, and prefers to wear gold Rolexes, the Reate Baby Machine is the perfect knife. With lots of complex machining, multiple anodization colors, and a flashy deployment method, the Baby Machine is a superb eye-catcher.
Knives make great gifts. Hopefully, these suggestions will get you out of a pinch. And if you want to be the recipient of one of these blades, I highly recommend you send a not-so-subtle hint. Simply cut, paste, and email this to your significant other.