We've all been there. Our loved one eagerly stares at the beautifully wrapped box with wonder and begins to tear it open. As you watch, their big smile quickly fades and you hear the dreaded "Oh... thank you." They hate the gift you gave them.
If you're tired of giving your friends and family disappointing gifts, it's time to look for something new and interesting. We here at Knife Depot, unsurprisingly, believe knives make the best gifts for any occasion, whether a birthday or holiday, and this isn't just a ploy to sell knives. A knife or multi-tool can add some kick and originality to your gift that other items simply can't match.
Not convinced that knives make the best gifts? Part 1 of this guide will give you the lowdown on why they're the best. Then read through our gift suggestions to find that perfect knife for your loved one.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Why Knives Make the Best Gifts
Part 2: Pocket Knife Gift Suggestions
Part 3: Multi-Tool Gift Suggestions
Part 4: Throwing Knife Gift Suggestions
Part 5: Survival Knife Gift Suggestions
Why Knives Make the Best Gifts
1. Knives are actually useful.
How many times have you received a present like a nice set of cufflinks or a stuffed animal only to see it waste away on top of a dresser collecting dust? The thousands of ways a person could use a knife for everyday tasks makes it one of the most useful and functional gifts out there. Knives, depending on the type, can be stored in cars in case of emergencies or carried on the belt to help open boxes or slice fruit. Other types of knives, like throwing knives, can be used for sport and entertainment.
2. Knives can be personalized.
Take a look around the house at all the gifts you've ever received. While you might actually enjoy a fair amount of the gifts still in your possession, you've likely forgotten who gave them to you. With knives, you can inject some meaning and lasting memories into the gift by getting someone a personalized knife. At Knife Depot, nearly any of our knives can be personalized with an engraving or logo of your choice. When your friend looks at his knife in a decade, he'll know exactly who got it for him.
3. They make unique gifts for anyone.
Decorative sweaters and socks are staples of the holidays and birthdays. Even though these are gifts anyone can receive, they're the opposite of unique. Not only are knives great gifts for anyone from well-known outdoorsmen and jack-of-all-trades to women and responsible teenagers, but they're also unexpected. With a knife, you can put the surprise back in your presents.
4. Knives are timeless and long-lasting.
When I was in my teens, I received a classic Swiss Army knife from my dad. To this day, I still use the multi-tool for tasks that pop up unexpectedly. If you give someone a quality knife as a present, you can rest assured that it will likely last for decades, depending on how well it's taken care of. In fact, your present may even start a family tradition of being handed down, as I expect to do with my Swiss Army knife.
5. The variety makes it possible to match any personality.
Knife Depot sells over 10,000 knives. There's no need to state the obvious, but that's a heck of a lot. The vast amount of knives and blades on the market make it possible to get a knife that perfectly matches the nuances of any personality. Is your brother an adventure seeker? Get him a survival knife. Does your dad enjoy camping? Pick out a machete for him. Does your wife want a new hobby? Get her some throwing knives. The beauty of knives is that the possibilities are endless.
Pocket Knife Gift Suggestions
When you need something simple and all-encompassing, the pocket knife is the first place to look. Its versatility, long-lasting construction and traditional feel is unmatched by any other gift. For better or for worse, there are thousands of pocket knives on the market, which make it difficult to select what would be the best knife to give.
To simplify things for you, we've assembled this list of five pocket knives that make perfect gifts.
My Tighe by CRKT
If the person you're giving a knife to is a sucker for sleek designs and the latest technology, nothing tops the My Tighe. This knife is the creation of knifemaker Brian Tighe, who uses his knives for pretty much any hard-core thing you could think of. The quality of construction on this knife will blow any knife enthusiast or amateur away. It also boasts the latest technology, such as Torx fasteners, the OutBurst assisted opening mechanism, Triple-Point serrated edges and more.
Even if none of these specs mean anything to you, you'll fall in love with the My Tighe the minute you hold it. You may need to buy two, so you can keep one for yourself.
To many people, the Leek is Kershaw's premier knife. It has a very basic design, but its quality construction makes it complex. The ComboEdge stainless steel blade is four inches long and spring-assisted, so you can access it easily when you need it. The reversible clip means you can carry the Kershaw Leek in whatever way is most comfortable.
This knife will instantly become the receiver's new favorite knife.
Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops
If your giftee is someone who's always ready to spring into action and save the day, this Smith & Wesson will be the perfect addition to their arsenal of tools. Equipped with a glass breaker and belt cutter, the black Extreme Ops can save anyone from a harrowing jam. The rubberized aluminum handle makes the Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops extremely comfortable, so it's no burden during extended use.
Pick one of these up today and you'll be forever known as the best gift giver.
Schrade Old Timer
Not everyone likes the newest high-tech piece of gear, which is why we've added Schrade's Old Timer to the list. The Old Timer embraces the traditional look of a knife with its delrin handle and carbon steel blade. Although it has three folding blades in the same vein as the Swiss Army knife, the carbon steel makes the blades exceptionally sharp. The best part about the Schrade Old Timer is that it is a lifetime gift because it's durable enough to handle pretty much anything you can throw at it.
Every knife aficionado knows just what they're getting with a Spyderco: quality, impressive design and a gorgeous knife. That's why the Spyderco Tenacious rounds out this list. The Tenacious makes the perfect EDC because its length, sharpness and convenient pocket clip. The knife will quickly become something the receiver cannot be without.
Multi-Tool Gift Suggestions
Pocket knives, although one of the most versatile tools, aren't for everyone. In fact, there's an even more versatile piece of gear you could give as a present: the multi-tool. Multi-tools make awesome gifts for those who pride themselves on being someone who can fix any problem.
Multi-tools, depending on the brand and design, can have everything from bottle openers and screwdrivers to blades and saws. Below you'll see some of the best multi-tools that make both great standalone gifts and stocking stuffers.
Leatherman Wave with Nylon Sheath
Leatherman is credited with being the brand that pioneered the folding plier multi-tool and boy have they perfected it. The Wave is widely considered the best Leatherman (and arguably the best overall multi-tool) on the market because of its ergonomic design, 17 tools and 100 percent stainless steel construction.
Although it's a bit pricier than some of the other multi-tools, the Wave more than makes up for it in its quality. If a plastic knife is on one side of the cheap spectrum, the Wave is at the complete opposite side. Whoever finds the Leatherman Wave with Nylon Sheath in their stocking is one lucky person.
Victorinox Swiss Army One-Hand Trekker
It's impossible to make this list without adding something by Victorinox, but the One-Hand Trekker is not your father's Swiss Army knife. What separates the Trekker from its traditional brethren is its fully functional 4 ¼-inch locking blade. Whereas most Swiss Army knives feature slipjoint blades that can't stand up to rigorous use, the Victorinox Swiss Army Trekker can handle anything you throw at it.
Aside from the impressive serrated blade, it also includes 11 other useful tools for everyday use, such as screwdrivers, tweezers, a toothpick, wood saw and more.
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-tool
Normally, the mere thought of something with a celebrity's name on it makes me shudder and automatically think it's a ploy to make money (I never had much faith in Hulk Hogan branded "Hulkster Cheeseburgers," for example), but the Bear Grylls line from Gerber is no joke. The Bear Grylls multi-tool is aptly named the Ultimate Multi-tool because it features a rubber grip to reduce slippage, boasts 12 weather resistant components and comes with a high-quality sheath.
Plus, with the partnership from two highly reputable brands-Gerber Gear and Bear Grylls-you know what to expect with the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-tool.
Like the Founding Fathers set out to make the perfect country, SOG knives set out to make the perfect pliers multi-tool. The product of that quest is the SOG PowerLock. The PowerLock excels in its durability and tactical appearance, but its real asset-which is something none of the other multi-tools in this list has-is the ability to customize the tools. If you're not sure what types of tool the person you're giving the gift to wants, the PowerLock gives them the ability to switch things in and out, depending on what they'll be using it for.
You'd better get used to the name PowerLock because you'll be hearing about it from the person you gave it to for the next 50 years.
Tool Logic Credit Card Companion
Finally, we venture into the less traditional multi-tool. If the receiver is constantly looking for something unique or already has a multi-tool, the Tool Logic Credit Card Companion will become his or her new favorite device. The multi-tool comes with all the usual suspects, such as a toothpick, tweezers, a 2-inch blade, awl and more, but its presentation is very original. These components are all packed into a tool that resembles a credit card, so you can easily take this piece of gear with you wherever you go.
A gift of the Tool Logic Credit Card Companion or any other multi-tool on this list will put the excitement back in opening presents.
Throwing Knife Gift Suggestions
This holiday season, give the gift of a new set of throwing knives, which will warm the soul of even the most seasoned thrower. Or take this as an opportunity to introduce a friend or family member to the glories of knife throwing, especially if they're huge Hunger Games, Expendables or Naruto fanatics.
Here are five throwing knives and knife sets that'll really make a memorable impact during the coming holidays.
Magnum by Boker Bailey 3-Piece Throwing Knife Set
Your giftee might already have a few sets in their collection, but these throwing knives by Boker are in a class of their own. In fact, they're so badass that the school administration had to isolate the Magnums in their own separate building. These minimalist knives are perfectly balanced and just look brutal as they fly through the air. An avid knife thrower will love their versatility, as they are equally capable of hitting their targets with or without spin. With all of these features and more, these knives will make an addict out of anyone.
Cold Steel Perfect Balance Thrower
Instead of opting for a set of throwing knives, you can give this beautiful thrower from Cold Steel. The Cold Steel Perfect Balance Thrower is 13.5 inches long and will make knife throwing beginners and pros alike swoon. This durable throwing knife will keep the receiver of this gift satisfied, and if you play your cards right, you'll be invited to throw this knife too.
United Cutlery Fantasy Skull Dozen-Throwing Set with Board
If the person you have in mind doesn't have a board to call their own, this is the gift to get! This set from United Cutlery includes a dozen flaming skull throwers plus a gnarly target for a very affordable price. Odds are the person getting this gift will already have tattoos to match. If not, well, we all need something to aspire to.
Just because it's a set of a dozen doesn't mean that these knives are cheap quality; actually, they're well-balanced and sharp, and come out of the box just aching to hit that target. This set also includes a nylon carrying case, so the receiver of this gift can take the show on the road and start that one-man circus they've always been talking about.
Jack Ripper Rainbow Throwing Knives 3 Piece Set
Looking for something with a little more razzle-dazzle? Then check out these rainbow throwing knives from Jack Ripper, which will make a unique and eye-popping impression at demonstrations, competitions and everything in-between. Though you might have your eye on these knives for their looks, their throwing finesse is nothing to shake a stick at: like all of Jack Ripper's progeny, the rainbow knives are well-balanced and easy to aim. Don't be afraid to gift these to even your manliest recipient-once he tries them out and sees how well these work, he'll embrace these rainbows like a brony embraces tiny, effeminate horses.
Hibben 12' Competition 3-Piece Throwing Knife Set
If you have no clue what to get someone, get them this throwing knife set from Gil Hibben. Made of a solid piece of 420 stainless steel, each knife in this Hibben 12' Competition 3-Piece Throwing Knife Set will transform even the newest thrower into an expert in no time. The knives feature an unparalleled balance and weight that feels so good they're like an extension of your arm. With one look at the set, this gift's recipient will be the happiest guy on Earth.
Survival Knife Gift Suggestions
Do you find yourself constantly worrying about a loved one who always seems to find himself alone in the wilderness? Now you can put your mind at ease while making him happy with the gift of a rugged survival knife.
A survival knife is a great present because it shows someone just you much you care about their life in hard-core situations. If you don't know which one to get, you're in luck. These are the five best survival knives you can give as a gift.
KA-BAR USMC Tactical Knife
When you talk about a strong reputation in the world of survival knives, it's impossible not to mention KA-BAR. This iconic all-around knife has been widely tested and used by the military since its early production during World War II. The fact that this knife was used in battle and for general use during wars underlines its durability. With its 7-inch razor-sharp blade, the KA-BAR USMC Tactical Knife will instill pride in anyone who receives this as a gift.
Cold Steel SRK
A wise outdoorsman told me that the best survival knife is one that you will actually carry because it does no good when it's locked away in your car somewhere. While many survival knives on the market are replete with features, knobs and functions, the Cold Steel SRK is a simple, matter-of-fact survival knife that gets the job done. The 10.75-inch knife boasts a Kraton handle and comes with a highly secure sheath. With its no-frills 6-inch blade, this knife can take a beating while holding its edge.
SOG Field Pup
Survival knives don't always have to be massively long to work. The SOG Field Pup is compact enough to be carried around with little fanfare but strong and durable enough to brave the elements unscathed. The 4-inch blade is rust resistant and carries a sharp edge for a long time, even after repeated use. One of the best aspects of this knife is that it's affordable without sacrificing the quality you will need to make it through harrowing survival situations. The receiver of this knife will not be disappointed.
The Swedish know a thing or two about knives, so it's hard to doubt their endorsement of the Fallkniven F1. The official survival knife of the Swedish Air Force, the F1 has undergone extensive testing in extreme temperatures on both sides of the thermometer. Although the nearly 4-inch blade is smaller than the others on this list, it's definitely nothing to scoff at. Its resilience and durability means you'll never have to worry about whoever you give this knife to because they'll be able to survive anything.
Gerber LMF II
Finally, if you don't think any of the previous knives will satisfy the undeniable survival knife urges of your giftee, the Gerber LMF II will sate their needs. Gerber's premier survival knife features a 4.84-inch partially serrated blade is made from high quality stainless steel. The Kraton handle is resistant to some of the harshest conditions and the knife comes with a molded plastic and nylon sheath for added durability.
Whoever you give this knife (or any one on this list) to will be eternally grateful, so be sure to give wisely.
Kitchen Cutlery Gift Suggestions
Every family has at least one culinary expert-they might peruse Epicurious during lunch breaks, concoct mind-blowing cocktails with homemade bacon vodka or have a frightening altar to Guy Fieri stashed away in a closet. No matter what flavor of foodie they may be, one thing they'll always need is another kitchen knife to add to their collection. That, or a convenient accessory for storing or carrying their collection.
Mercer 8″ Genesis Collection Forged Chinese Cleaver
Every chef aspires to own a BFC—that is to say, a 'big freaking cleaver.' For anyone who grew up watching Yan Can Cook, the Asian-style cleaver represents the height of technical prowess, strength and style. Mercer's fantastic take on the cleaver is easier to handle than the BFCs you've seen in your local Chinese kitchen thanks to its great balance and comfortable grip, but it's well matched in terms of precision and pure power.
This knife is so much fun to chop with; no animal, vegetable or mineral will be safe from its edge. Just make sure that you have plenty of food in your fridge, because the person who receives this knife is going to want to test it out immediately.
Top Chef 5-Piece Knife Set including Nylon Carrying Case
If thoughts of Padma Lakshmi set your giftee's soul aflame, this 5-piece knife set by Top Chef will make the perfect present. The set, which comes with two santoku knives, a paring knife, a sharpening steel and black nylon knife roll, is a jazzed-up version of the basic knife kits that many culinary students receive during their schooling.
These knives are distinguished by the official Top Chef logo etched onto the knife blades as well as the nylon roll. These knives by Master Cutlery are made for more than looks: the X30Cr13 stainless steel blades are ice-tempered and cut with hollow grounds to inhibit sticking. This is a level of utility that any chef needs to reach the top of their game.
Kanetsune 8.3' Seki Classic Damascus Kitchen Knife Series
Though many competent Western knifemakers have emerged on the culinary knife market in recent decades, Japanese knives still possess an undeniable feeling of elegance and craftsmanship that remains unmatched.
Kanetsune's Damascus series kitchen knives are hand-hammered from Swedish steel in Seki, the Japanese city that has been the heart of the knife world for 800 years. The blade's rippled design makes even the most banal culinary tasks like poetry in motion. From the gorgeous mahogany wood handle to the signature of the craftsman on the blade, this 210mm knife will blow the mind of any recipient.
Boker Damast Damascus Chef's Knife with Olive Wood Handle
For a more Eurocentric style of knife, look into getting a Boker Damast Olive Wood Chef's Knife for your giftee. If they're more into pizza than sushi, this Mediterranean-inspired knife will be a surefire hit. This 8 1/4" knife by the German-based Boker company pairs 37 layers of Damascus steel with handles crafted from hand-picked samples of genuine olive wood. The combination makes for a stunning juxtaposition of natural patterns and ripples that will class up even the humblest of kitchens. Your recipient will be inspired to cook every day, especially if that means they'll get to use this knife more often.
Ergo Chef 9-Pocket Soft Roll Knife Bag
However, maybe adding a new knife to a someone's already-sizable collection isn't the best idea. If your gift recipient is the kind of person who likes to take their show on the road, give them this 9-pocket cutlery bag from Ergo Chef. Even if they're not a professional restaurant chef, they'll appreciate the ability to bring their personal knives with them to special cooking occasions and dinner parties.
This knife bag is made from a durable blend of nylon and polyester, with enough room to hold nine knives plus an array of smaller tools. Ergo Chef's well-known emphasis on comfortable designs extends to this bag, which can be easily folded up and carried via shoulder or hand straps. If there's anything a foodie loves, it's showing off; happily, this knife bag will give them plenty of opportunities to do so.
Personalized Knives Gift Suggestions
Whereas a new shirt or fitness band might be a fun present to receive, it can feel cold and inconsiderate. That's where personalized knives come in.
An engraved knife with a meaningful phrase or name will inject some much needed emotion into any occasion. The best part is that you can get a variety of knives with the exact text you want. Don't believe us? Here are five personalized knives that fit the bill as a great gift and then some.
Smith & Wesson 1st Response Pocket Knife
Who says a present has to be dull and impersonal? The Smith & Wesson 1st Response isn't only a great knife for around the house but it also doubles as a lifesaving tool. Nothing's more empowering for the recipient of this gift than having a durable knife with their name on it. Along with the 3.3-inch blade, the knife features a seat belt cutter and window punch for emergencies. Give this to the hero in your life.
Schrade Uncle Henry LB5 Smokey
If you don't yet believe in love at first sight, give this personalized knife to someone in your life and you'll instantly see the sparks fly. This rugged Schrade Uncle Henry LB5 Smokey Pocket Knife boasts a handsome brown rosewood handle that complements the razor-sharp 2.9-inch stainless steel blade. The only thing that would make your giftee even happier is seeing their name emblazoned on the blade. And that can be arranged.
Parker River 'Classic' Folding Knife
For a personal gift that perfectly blends the modern with the classic, this Parker River pocket knife is the only way to go. Designed to resemble the types of knives your grandfathers carried, the 'Classic' is classy in every sense of the word. What sets this knife apart from the rest is that the text is engraved right onto the wood handle in one of five fonts of your choice.
To make the gift even more special, every knife comes with a burlap gift bag and a penny. Giving a penny along with a new knife is a tradition, which is explained in an included card. This gift may even jump-start your own tradition.
Smith & Wesson H.R.T. Boot Knife
An engraved knife doesn't have to be limited to a pocket knife. The badass Smith & Wesson H.R.T. Boot Knife is the perfect gift for that special someone who always likes to be one step ahead. When this gift is safely tucked away in the included leather boot sheath, the receiver will think of you every time they take off their boots to rest.
Old Timer 6OT Golden Bear
If none of the other personalized knives jump out, the Schrade Old Timer Golden Bear is the gift everyone loves. Whether you're giving it to someone for their retirement or giving it to your son as a Christmas present, the Golden Bear is a classic model that never goes out of style. For decades, this Old Timer has remained as relevant as ever and you can guarantee that with some personal text on the blade, this gift will never fall by the wayside. It'll be in the recipient's hand for years to come.
Gift Suggestions for Women
Think women aren't into knives? Think again. Many women carry knives for tasks around the house, self-defense and emergencies. Although knives are often associated with manliness, women can enjoy the convenience and protection offered by knives just as much as men.
If you're thinking about getting the woman in your life a knife, here are some quick knife gift suggestions for women.
Spyderco Ladybug 3
The Ladybug 3, despite its name, is not necessarily made only for women. The name likely comes from the fact that it's very small and boasts a variety of colors. Still, these are two qualities women often look for in knives. The ability to get the handle in different colors can add a little personality to the tool and the 2.44-inch closed length makes it convenient to carry.
If that lady in your life isn't usually a sucker for big blades, you can opt to get her something simple and functional. Enter the Victorinox Tomo. This Swiss Army knife is stylish and elegant without screaming "pocket knife." The Tomo comes in a variety of colors and features scissors, a nail file with cleaner and a blade.
The Kershaw Leek is an amazing knife for anyone and consistently gets on the list of best pocket knives, including our list of the best pocket knives. The Leek has traits that any knife lover would enjoy but also boasts some of the qualities many women look for in knives. The longer slender design makes it easy to carry and it has an assisted-opening system for quick deployment in emergencies.
Although this may not look like the classic knife designed toward women, the Fallkniven WM1 was built and designed especially for women. According to the Fallkniven site, "Model WM is probably the first sheath knife designed from scratch to suit the hands and requirements of women." This high-quality fixed blade is perfect for the knife loving females on your shopping list.
Buck is an iconic name in knives that even casual knife fans know and love. With the Buck Impulse, you can let the girl in your life in on the tradition. The Impulse, which comes in different colors, including the pink above, is an assisted-opening knife with a blade length of 2.5 inches. The knife is a testament to the quality of Buck and can be used for countless tasks, from the mundane to the lifechanging. That's what makes this such a great knife for anyone.
Gift Suggestions For Teenagers
Getting your first knife is a step into adulthood because it's a representation of trust and responsibility. While it's ultimately up to the parents to decide how old a child should be when they receive a knife, it's always important to make sure they're mature and reliable enough to carry it.
Still, fewer gifts are as meaningful to teenagers as a knife. To help you pick out something special for the young person in your life, here are a few items that make great knives for teenagers.
Buck Knives Cadet
Bucks are excellent first knives and knives for teenagers because of their durability and functionality. In reality, many types of Bucks could work, including the Trapper, but the Cadet is the best. The Cadet is a smaller knife that will get the job done and prove a reliable friend to first-timers.
Old Timer Minuteman 2
The Old Timer is another classic pocketknife perfect to give someone who's younger. Folding knives are better to give to younger people because there's a small risk of getting cut with a fixed-blade knife when not in use. This Old Timer Minuteman 2 features two stainless steel blades and is remarkably light at 1 oz. There's also something special in giving (or getting) a knife with such a deep tradition and classic look and feel of a Schrade Old Timer.
Sure the Leatherman Skeletool isn't a true knife, but it's a good way to get someone young acclimated to knives. If a young person is able to associate blades with tools, then they will be more likely to treat them responsibly. The award-winning Skeletool is great for a number of reasons. First, it doesn't have the overwhelming amount of tools other multi-tools have. Second, it's smaller than other Leathermans. Finally, it looks cool.
A first knife doesn't always have to be a slipjoint. The Kershaw Shuffle is a small yet highly versatile knife with a liner lock that gives it the strength for tougher tasks a working teen might encounter. Kershaw is well known for making some of the best and most innovative knives on the market, and the Shuffle is a great entry point into the esteemed company.
Swiss Army Knife - Tinker
Last, but definitely not least, is the Swiss Army knife. This knife is the quintessential first knife for most people because it is more than just a knife. Sure, the blades are a bit duller than other knives, but that can be a good thing when someone is using a knife for the first time. Since the Tinker is a bit smaller and still has a variety of tools, it could potentially come in handy more often and further empower the knife's owner.