Whether you’re a hardcore gear geek, a hunter, a thru-hiker, or a craftsperson, everyone needs a great blade. So, we’ve assembled a dozen of the best knife gifts, each for a specific person in your life.
The Best Knives to Gift of 2023
Case Knives Westline (Red Anodized)
The Westline is Case Knives’ first assisted opener in a modern silhouette. EDC knives are made for everyday tasks, but the Westline’s 3.2-inch, plain-edged drop-point blade maintains its heritage as a hunting knife ready to skin small game.
The blade is S35VN stainless steel with a stonewashed finish, and the handle has smooth, anodized aluminum scales. It measures 4.5 inches closed and weighs 4.5 ounces. Lastly, there’s an ambidextrous thumb stud and a removable, reversible steel clip.Check Price at Case Knives
For the Fidget Fiend: Gerber Fastball
If the person you’re buying for has a fidget spinner or clicks a pen while talking on the phone, the Gerber Fastball is the perfect blade for them. Thanks to the B.O.S.S. (Balls of Stainless Steel) technology, the Fastball flips as smooth and fast as a modern steel rollercoaster. The knife has an enticingly still flipper, but once you put enough pressure on it, it flicks open with a satisfying thunk.
But it’s not just a fidget toy. The Fastball is one of the best knives on the market today, sporting S30V blade steel and excellent lines on the Wharncliffe blade. It carries a fair price tag for a quality knife, and Gerber will customize it with text or images for an additional charge. One pro tip — add a little Loctite to the pocket clip screws when you receive this knife, as they tend to work loose.
For the Suit-Wearing Lady and Gentleman: Chris Reeve Mnandi
The Sebenza is a modern classic, but its classier brother, the Mnandi, is a real showstopper.
Available (but hard to find) in several configurations such as those with beautifully selected wood inlays, carbon fiber scales, or marvelously sculpted titanium clips — and fit and finish that compare 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 a jewel of a blade and has a price to match.
Note: Check availability and shipping. These are tough to acquire!Check Price at Chris Reeve
For the Hiker: Benchmade Bugout
The Benchmade Bugout is a favorite everyday carry knife of several GearJunkie editors. But they particularly love how well it transitions into the outdoors. Super light at just 1.8 ounces, yet extremely capable with a 3.24-inch, drop-point S30V steel blade, the Bugout is very hard to beat.
They love the premium Carbon CF version, which comes with a slightly higher price tag. But the standard Bugout is also a solid choice and will save you about $40. For hikers and general outdoors people who want a knife you can use everywhere, this one is a top choice.Check Price at Blade HQ
For the Ultralight Backpacker: Spyderco Dragonfly 2
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% 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 2 is the perfect ultralight knife.
For a Child’s First Knife: Case Sod Buster Junior
When a child is ready for the first knife, which do you give them? It’s a tough decision, as knives are often one of the first grown-up devices that many children own. They also require a level or responsibility that shows growth and trust in a child. Yet you don’t want to buy them a large or dangerous knife to learn with.
We recommend a small, simple pocket knife like the Case Sod Buster Junior. It comes nice and sharp, so it makes cutting easy. The nail knick skinner style blade is very versatile and easy to use.
The synthetic handle is secure and easy to hold in smaller hands. And with a simple, no-frills 2.6-inch blade, the Sod Buster Junior is about as nonthreatening as a knife can be. Give it with parental permission and a good discussion about knife safety and application.Check Price at Amazon
For the Generalist: Gerber Assert
The Gerber Assert recently threw its hat in the ring as one of the very top EDC knives you can carry. It’s an astonishingly well-designed knife that can do basically anything a user throws at it.
That is, thanks to its idealistic 6.95 inches overall length and time-tested S30V drop-point blade. Tack on a crossbar lock, well-executed thumb stud, and nicely textured handle scales. At 1.87 ounces, you’ll barely notice in the pocket — until you need it. Then, the Assert will do most any job, from backyard to office to field, and do it well. Check out our full review of the Gerber Assert here.Check Price at Blade HQ
Unconventional in its design and powerful in its aesthetic appeal, the CRKT Provoke EDC deploys the brand’s Kinematic design scheme to offer users single-digit deployment. The aluminum handle brings lightweight strength to the overall design, partnered with a D2 steel construction for overall durability, edge retention, and long-lasting performance.Check Price at CRKT
For the Minimalist: ESEE Candiru (45% Off)
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 your fingers, no matter how much you thump on it. This is ironic given that the knife is named for one of the most painful-to-humans fish ever.Check Price at Blade HQ
For the Chef: Spyderco Spydiechef
If you want to give someone state-of-the-art cutlery steel, LC 200N is the absolute best of the best. It’s 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.Check Price at Amazon
For Your Dad, Mom, or Uncle: Buck 110 Folding Knife
The original Buck 110 is among the most famous and influential folders of all time. It rocks very well, has Buck-hardened 440HC steel, and features an iconic clip-point blade. It’s a bit of a beast, weighing almost half a pound in its traditional configuration.
So no, it’s not for ultralight hikers or those who want the latest tech. But for those who love tradition in a proven, wonderfully reliable tool, this is a win. And it will still be just as cool when handed down to the next generation in 50 years as it is today.Check Price at Blade HQ
For the Jack- or Jill-of-All-Trades: Leatherman Wave+
OK, OK, this isn’t technically a knife. It is so much more. But if the person you’re shopping for does a bit of everything, the Leatherman Wave+ is the tool for them.
And really, no outdoors kit is complete without a good multitool. And in our years of use, the Wave+ just might be the perfect multitool. Based on a pair of needlenose pliers, it has everything you need to do just about any small mechanical job.
It’s gotten us out of so many pinches we’ve lost count years ago. And with a robust design and one-handed operation, your loved one will remember you every time it saves their behind.
For the Hunter: Benchmade Raghorn
If you love someone who is passionate about hunting and want to pony up for a really nice gift, we promise, they’ll appreciate the Benchmade Raghorn. Yes, it’s pricey. But for those who spend their entire autumn chasing game in the forests and mountains, this knife will be the most trusty of sidekicks.
The Raghorn uses top-tier CPM-CruWear steel blade with blaze orange ceracote on the business end. Coupled with a remarkably nice carbon fiber handle, this simple knife can handle any game, big or small, that a hunter may face butchering. Our team has tested it on deer and elk and been blown away by the hair-splitting sharpness and edge retention of the premium steel.
It’s one of the best hunting knives you can buy, period. Get it for the mature hunter who doesn’t lose things anymore, and know they’ll think of your gift every time they reach for it for decades to come.Check Price at Blade HQ
For the Camp Cook: New West Knifeworks 5″ Chopper
New West Knifeworks makes some of the prettiest knives we’ve put to the test. Color pops off the distinctive, ergonomic G10 handles. The S35VN steel blade is wicked sharp and holds an edge. And the blade shape is ideal for slicing up veggies at the campsite.
Our editor has found this model as a go-to in the home kitchen for finer tasks when a full-size chef knife is too much. He adores the effective and beautiful blade.Check Price at New West Knifeworks
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 the link to this article, paste it in an email or text, and send it to your significant other.
Yes, quality knives make excellent gifts for those the right recipient. For those who spend time in the outdoors, cooking, or participating in hobbies where knives are useful, they are an ideal gift.
Knives make great gifts for holidays and birthdays. Kitchen knives also make wonderful gifts for weddings and will be appreciated for many years by the bride and groom when they cook meals at home.
In 2023, good knives usually cost from about $100 and up in the U.S. There are serviceable knives in the $50 range, but if you can afford premium steels and handle materials, more expensive knives will generally last longer and require less maintenance.
Why You Should Trust the Authors
Anthony Sculimbrene and Sean McCoy are knife aficionados and collectors who study the tools year-round. Both authors have tested and written about at least 100 knives, knife sharpeners, and accoutrements for GearJunkie — probably more. They also attend tradeshows and stay up to date on the latest trends in knife and EDC manufacturing, blade steels, and product development.
And their goal here is to give you a list of things they’d love to receive as gifts — if they didn’t already own them. These are the things they would personally recommend to anyone who loves knives, EDC, and tools. GearJunkies tested each of these knives and enjoyed using them.
Want to give a gift that isn’t a knife, but is knife-adjacent? Check out this list of knife accessory gifts.