Holiday Gift Guide: Why Knives Make the Best Gifts

Holiday Gift Guide: Why Knives Make the Best Gifts

Posted by Clayton on Mar 31st 2016


gift-boxA mind-boggling number of gifts will be slid down and stuffed into, put under and fit into tens of millions of chimneys, stockings, Christmas trees, and boxes this year. Some gift ideas will be practical, some formal, others flashy and exciting, still more sentimental, with a couple thrown in just “for kicks” to top it all off.

Precious few gifts will possess these traits as knives do!

Certain objects represent the people you cherish in your life and the times you have shared and will share with them. Grandpa’s handy pocket knife, a less visible item but one you remember fondly – he always handed it to you when you had to have a quick sharp edge for cutting through tape on gift boxes.

There is something American about a knife that conjures images of the American Frontier, self-sufficiency, and freedom. Today, knives have become valuable collectors’ items as well as useful tools like Grandpa had.


Here are some of the other reasons why knives make the best gifts

knife-bullet-pointKnives Are Utilitarian

Knives, especially pocket knives, are highly useful for odd jobs like picking locks, opening boxes, slicing through hard-to-open wrappers, loosening or tightening screws, and much more. Some knives are also small enough to carry with you in your pocket, making them very convenient.

knife-bullet-pointKnives Last a Long Time

Well-made knives last a long time, and, if properly cared for, never lose their aesthetic appeal. That pocket knife or that knife your grandfather brought home from World War II remains as useful as it was 80 years ago.

knife-bullet-pointevery-day-knife-useKnives Often Tell a Story

As a teenager, receiving your first multi-purpose pocket knife as a gift for Christmas often becomes a treasured heirloom. It reminds you of your family, Christmases past, and your youth.

That knife from your grandfather’s World War II days proudly displayed on your mantle or bookshelf is a part of your heritage. It will remind your grandfather, and you as you get older, of the tales of his time at war. Your children and grandchildren will never forget the family history with a memento of this sort.

knife-bullet-pointKnives Are One-of-a-Kind Gifts

You know what your family members and friends like to do, how they talk, what thrills them, and, perhaps most importantly, what makes them smile. Now all you need to do is to find that “you” knife – that one that fits them like a glove. With a plethora of options available, finding the right knife for those on your holiday gift list won’t be an issue.

knife-bullet-pointKnives Are Great Survival Tools

Survival knives are often referred to as tactical knives or military survival knives and encompass all knives that are used in the wilderness or outdoors as well as tactical, military, or survival situations where a knife is needed to survive the elements. These knives are highly popular and often come in folding and fixed blade styles with blacked out blades made from the highest quality materials, which makes them extremely durable.

black-knifeGiving a knife made to help someone while camping, fishing, hiking, mountain climbing, etc. is a gift that could save their life.

There are many types of practical survival knives available. For example, folding knives, also known as pocket knives and folders, connect the handle via a pivot screw, allowing the knife blade to roll out and close when pressure is applied. The blade typically locks with a back lock, internal liner lock, or button lock. The average size of a folding knife is about four inches when closed.

This is the perfect, practical blade for someone to carry in case of an emergency.

knife-bullet-pointKnives Make Wonderful Multi-Tool Handyman and Camper Gifts

The famous Swiss Army knife has long been the standard for multi-purpose knives. Many companies make multi-purpose knives that include screwdrivers, corkscrews, hammers, small saw blades, leather piercers, and tweezers. Others have fewer but still practical items in addition to the blade built into the handle or sheath. For example, manufacturers often include a whetstone, fire starter, or some other essential item for camping or surviving.

The functional parts of the multi-tool knife make them perfect for a handyman. Many have a very rugged and durable construction that allows you to use a lot of force when using the pliers, hammer, or other features without harming the knife.

They are convenient, too, as most are made to carry in your pocket or attach to your belt. This is a lot more convenient and easy than carrying a tool kit or tool chest with you when, for example, you go camping.

knife-bullet-pointKnives Provide Protection

Knives can be deadly weapons. Given the laws prohibiting guns in many places, a knife can be a good alternative. The laws generally have less severe consequences if you carry a concealed knife instead of a concealed gun. In addition, several studies have demonstrated that people are much more intimidated by knives than they are by a gun.

knife-in-handGiving a knife, especially a tactical knife made for self-defense puts a tool in a person’s hands that could help save their life. Manufacturers make a variety of different types of knives for self-defense.

For the person who wants front access to the blade, the out the front (OTF) knives have blades that deploy through the front of the handle rather than the side as most manual knives do. These knives are operated manually via thumb slide for dual or double-action spring-loaded blade deployment.

A fixed blade knife is also known as a sheath knife due to the fact it is typically carried via a sheath on the hip or leg. Many of these knives are made specifically as self-defense blades. This knife type does not fold and contains a tang which makes it stronger than a folder, mostly because the blade extends into the handle for reinforcement. Fixed blades are also often hunting knives and military survival knives.


Knives, Unlike Many Other Gifts, Can Be Custom-Made to Your Specifications

custom-designed-hand-knifeIf your family member or loved one is already a knife enthusiast, a custom knife is a perfect gift. Knife connoisseurs love custom knives due to their one-of-a-kind workmanship and impeccable craftsmanship. Many online retailers carry custom knives made by several industry-recognized quality manufacturers.

For example, the custom Cypher Royalloy Apocalyptic by Microtech Knives, founded by recognized leader in knife manufacturing Anthony Marifone, is one of the premier knives available on the market today. This specimen is straight out of the Marifone custom shop and is an OTF collaboration between Anthony Marfione and Deryk Munroe.

A warning, though, regarding some of the high-end custom blades: The hand-made ones sometimes have a waiting list of several years!

holiday-gift-guide-why-knives-make-the-best-giftsmost-desirable-kniife-brandsKnives Make Fantastic Collectors’ Pieces

Collecting knives is an addictive hobby. There are so many types and kinds available. You can collect antique blades, artistic blades, and custom knives, or gather an eclectic mixture of modern and old.

Given the number of types and manufacturers, and the variety of blade lines that manufacturers have developed, you have a lot of possible blades that any collector would be happy to add to his or her agglomeration.

If you are interested in a true original as a gift for a newbie or for a seasoned collector, Danish knife and tool maker Jens Anso, a member of the ZT team, developed the ZT 0220.

The 0220 is a sleek, practical design with custom touches that make it a must-have addition to any knife enthusiast’s collection. The modified drop-point blade with a slight recurve is made of premium S35VN stainless steel. This high-quality, powdered metallurgy steel is tough and wear-resistant, and it resists chipping. Additional niobium and vanadium carbides enable a razor-sharp edge and enhance edge retention. The 0220’s attractive stonewashed blade finish looks good and hides use scratches.

Per Collectors Weekly, the most sought-after knives by vintage knife collectors include Buck, Case, Remington, Camillus, Queen, and Shrade. Some of these companies are no longer in business. However, Case and Buck still make quality knives today. Case is one of the most collected knife brands in the world. The company has made pocket knives since the late 19th century. Their staghorn or deer antler handles have become their signature trademark.


Remington blades are also very popular among collectors. Best known for their firearms back in the early 20th century and between World War I and World War II, Remington also made popular pocket knives. You can tell a Remington knife by the distinctive, proprietary plastic material of the handle. Remington dyed the plastic in a wide variety of colors.

Remington even made a knife known as the Bullet knife. This is probably one of the most collected types of folding knives. It has a bullet-shaped shield on the bone handle.

If you want to get someone started in collecting, a signature Case knife or a Remington bullet knife would be a great gift.

holiday-gift-guide-why-knives-make-the-best-giftsKnives Are Perfect Gifts for Law Enforcement and Emergency Responders

digital-camp-with-knifeA good knife is a necessity for law enforcement and other types of first responders. Knives are a tool in their response kits that save lives every day.

The most popular knife for a first responder is a single or double action knife. These knives open quickly with the touch of a button or push of a lever. These knives are often specifically designed only for military, law enforcement, and emergency response personnel.

You may have difficulty, however, in obtaining certain types of double action knives. Sometimes called Switchblades, some states have outlawed them entirely and/or severely restricted the sale of this product.

Flipper knives are another type of knife that is very popular with uniformed public servants. These types of knives use an index finger button molded into the blade that, when pressed, allows the knife to deploy quickly via a bearing system or assisted open technology. Flipper knives have become the legal version of the automatic knife.

holiday-gift-guide-why-knives-make-the-best-giftsKnives Possess Aesthetic Appeal

Knives can be very beautiful to look at. The sharp, clean lines and smooth, gleaming blade have a certain eye appeal. Damascus blades, for example, are known for the intricate designs and lettering etched into the blade itself. Many times, knife makers hand-craft a sheath and create a unique design that personalizes the blade.


Other knives are specifically manufactured as decorative items. They may have no other function other than as a piece of art.

However, the aesthetic appeal of a knife to a true blade buff has several components. When you are purchasing a knife for someone who enjoys blades, base your research on these traits:

always-checkHardness: This is measured using something called the Rockwell C scale. This is one of the hardness scales used by metallurgists to measure hardness in steel. However, the highest rating, RC, is not necessarily the best to look for in a knife blade. A blade with a rating of RC might hold an edge better than a softer rated steel blade, but it might crack or even shatter if struck hard enough.

Toughness: This is another quality to look for in a good knife. Toughness measures the blade’s resistance to chipping or cracking. Softer steel is tougher than hard steel. Hence, toughness is a quality that varies substantially, and having a tougher blade means owning a blade that may not hold an edge as easily.

Resistance to wear and tear:  This measures how much abuse a blade can take. It relates directly to hardness. Blades that resist adhesive wear when you cut something lasts longer. Some steels today have special wear resistant particles that reduce the adhesive effect.

Resistance to corrosion: This is something that everyone understands. The higher the resistance to corrosion, the more durable the blade under extreme conditions of use, such as in wet or humid regions or where it may be exposed to salt or sweat.


Final Thoughts

Unless the person for whom you are buying the gift has an aversion to sharp-edge instruments, a knife makes a terrific gift. There are many online retailers that offer an amazing variety of knives that make wonderful holiday gifts for the young and old to appreciate and enjoy.