Unless you’re superstitious, knives make excellent gifts. Below are 24 particularly great ones… which are also compatible with last-second Amazon Christmas shopping. These are listed in order from lowest price to highest.
1. Gerber GDC Zip Blade: $13
This unusual EDC knife replaces any zipper pull and flips open into a small but surprisingly functional stainless steel utility blade. It was the crowd favorite from our roundup of the stealthiest EDC knives.
2. CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife: $17
Neck knives are polarizing. Some love them; some find no use for them. The CRKT Minimalist is a high-quality, low-cost option that’s especially perfect for someone who’s never owned one before.
3. Cold Steel Micro Recon: $20
This is Cold Steel’s version of the Spyderco Ladybug, for sale at half the price. It’s a handy little keychain knife.
4. Higo No Kami 10, Brass Finish: $20
Higonokami knives are utility blades handmade in Japan. The higonokami design first appeared at the end of the nineteenth century as an alternative stream of income for sword makers, as the market for samurai katanas was steadily disappearing. Although not practical for EDC or survivalist use cases, they’re a nice collectors’ item.
5. Victorinox Classic SD “Don’t Tread on Me” Keychain Knife: $25
Great things sometimes do come in tiny packages, and this bite-sized Swiss army knife is one of those great things. Everyone should have one. This multi-tool comes in every imaginable color and design, but we’re partial to the Don’t Tread On Me version.
6. CRKT Pilar: $25
Slightly larger than the Micro Recon (2.4″ blade, compared to the Micro Recon’s 2.0″), the CRKT Pilar feels nice and solid in the hand and features an intelligent and utilitarian blade shape that really does “punch above its weight,” as the manufacturer claims.
7. W.R. Case Medium Stockman: $35
A classic model from an iconic American brand. Case knives are elegant and well crafted, as you’d expect from a company that’s over 120 years old. Ask any knife-collecting old-timer: He’s probably still got a Case knife in his collection from his teenage years.
8. Gerber Covert Knife: $41
Gerber’s quality and designs have improved markedly in recent years. The slim Covert is an example of that. It’s a stealthy little auto-assist side locking knife with a titanium coated blade.
9. Kershaw Skyline: $46
The modern design of the Skyline makes for a distinctive but understated knife. Lightweight, secure and nimble in the hand, it’s especially good as a first EDC.
10. Morakniv Bushcraft Survival Knife: $55
This is a great hunting knife and camping tool, and it’s nice that it comes attached to a fire starter and sharpener. Although it is only partial tang, it’s a sturdy fixed blade knife that stands strong against its more expensive competition.
11. KIZER Dukes: $59
At this price point, you start to see pretty sophisticated fit, finish and aesthetics when it comes to folding knives. This KIZER is a great example of that, making for a standout pocket knife. If the dark red isn’t your style, there are lots of other variants.
12. Spyderco Delica 4: $65 – $75
The iconic Spyderco folding knife with its patented thumb hole needs no introduction. As one of Spyderco’s bestselling knives, the Delica is a perfect fit for both men and women with medium-sized or smaller hands.
13. Buck 110: $65 – $70
For the uninitiated, the Buck 110 is the initiation. No knife collection is complete without this American classic.
14. ESEE Candiru: $70
The Candiru is a lot smaller than your typical fixed blade knife, but that’s a good thing. The compact, sturdy shape gives you complete control and is powerful enough for any job. The edge will stay sharp through heavy use.
15. KA-BAR USMC Fighting Knife: $70
Another American classic, the US Marine Corps Ka-Bar was standard issue during WWII. It’s not something most people would buy for themselves, but anyone interested in weapons history would be thrilled to receive one as a gift.
16. Gerber StrongArm: $70
The Coyote Brown version is usually $95, but it’s on sale for $70 at the time of this writing. This no-BS full-tang bug out knife by Gerber is a high-performance piece of equipment perfect for a survivalist or outdoorsman. Versatile mounting options ensure that the StrongArm is always there when you need it.
17. Kershaw Knockout: $73
The Knockout is Kershaw’s tactical pocket knife. It features two one-handed assisted opening options: a thumb stud and a flipper, both ambidextrous. The aluminum handle makes for a very lightweight knife that still has a great, secure feel.
18. CRKT Rakkassan: $76
This all-business fixed blade is a product of CRKT’s Forged By War program, launched in 2016. The program invites combat veterans to design tools they wished they’d had available to them on the battlefield, and 10% of the sales are donated to that individual’s charity of choice. Austin McGlaun, who designed the Rakkassan, chose The Green Beret Foundation. This is a great gift that also genuinely gives back.
19. Benchmade Mini Griptillian: $106
The Griptillian and the Mini Griptillian are Benchmade’s most popular knives, and either one is a foolproof pick for a pocket knife gift.
20. Spyderco Paramilitary-2: $120
This is Spyderco’s flagship self-defense folder, and it’s a forever knife. The lucky recipient won’t be able to stop playing with it.
21. Benchmade North Fork: $140
This Benchmade folder is an ideal utility EDC with the aesthetics of a gentleman’s knife. The action is so smooth that it creates the illusion of a spring assist. The stabilized wood handle is even prettier in person.
22. Al Mar Eagle Ultralight: $187
Headquartered in Oregon with manufacturing facilities in Japan, Al Mar is a lesser-known brand that doesn’t advertise much. However, their knives are worth every penny. No other manufacturer anywhere close to this price range matches the fit and finish of Al Mar.
23. Benchmade Mini Crooked River: $187
A smaller version of the Crooked River, the Mini Crooked river is a beautiful premium pocket knife that can also be used for outdoors applications.
24. Spyderco Sage 2 Titanium Integral Lock Folder: $201
With this knife, Spyderco elevates craft to art. The liner lock on this folding knife is integrated into the handle as a single piece of titanium, and the operation is smooth and flawless. The leaf-shaped blade is precise and effortless to control. This knife will be a favorite for many years.
25. Al Mar Mini Sere 2000: $257
The Sere 2000 series from Al Mar might be the closest a folder has ever come to a fixed-blade knife in terms of feel, form and function. The buttery smooth action is dangerously addictive. If you know a knife lover who’s been really, really good this year, this is a gift he or she will never forget.
Bonus: One “knife gift” that isn’t actually a knife stood out to us as a potential novelty gift or stocking stuffer. It’s this Balisong-style bottle opener for $17:
Use to be, If you gave the person a penny, it took the bad luck off. Probably gone up. I bought my first 110 for way less and used it to cape and field dress a wooly mammoth that same day. Good times. -30-
It was a “thing” in my family that if you gave someone a knife they had to give you a penny so that the knife wouldn’t cut them. Old tradition–or old wife’s tale if you prefer.
Blade HQ has automatic 110s. I badly want one.
and a 112.
To which I would add
DO NOT SHOP AT AMAZON, even knives and firearm accessories.
EVERY DOLLAR you spend there helps to float the Washington Post, which is one of the biggest propaganda organs for the gun grabbers.
Find an online or local knife dealer.
Although I appreciate a fine knife, I am always leery of carrying something expensive that I might lose (or forget to take out of my pocket before going through airport security). So I usually stick with knives under $50. My EDC pocket knife is a Kershaw with a steel integral lock and “safe assist” opening that is very similar to the Spyderco, but only cost me $25. I admit that I have to sharpen it often–but it gets used often every day.
But the “knife” I wanted for Christmas has a 12″ fixed blade. It is called an Arming Dagger!
I keep a self addressed padded envelope in my carryon bag just in case I forget to put my folder in checked baggage.
Brilliant Tom in Oregon. That would have saved me at least four folders that I recall.
Same for me. But it is not “might lose”. It is “will lose”, or give to someone who needs one at the moment (not expecting to get it back), or have it commandeered by the son, or severely abuse it, etc.
I feel ya there. EDC is that cheapo Kershaw distressed nitride. It matches my whorish p938 “we the people.” For one such as myself 25 bucks a pop adds up to about 200ish a year on pointy steel bits after loses and drunken misuse. That gerber kinda looks interesting tho. Maybe it’s time for a fixed blade daily driver.
Life is too short….carry the stuff you like the best.
I EDC a Case Knife (of some sort) made in the 70s. Elephant Toe, Stockman, Whittler.
I would hate to lose one but pleasure of using them outweighs the fear.
That CS Micro Recon is a good knife, but make sure to get it in tanto. Stronger.
Varusteleka is not on Amazon, but they ship to the U.S. for only $9.99.
Check out their Terävä series of Finnish Puukko and Skrama knives. Choices of carbon or stainless steel, long, short, or mini. $27.99 to $88.99. Heavy duty without the high polished finish.
I will get some for myself if Santa doesn’t bring any.
In the link, change [dot] to .
I love my mini grip with D2 steel blade. It’s hard but when it dulls I can’t sharpen it, I’ve never been any good at sharpening anything. Benchmade will sharpen your blade and mail it back for free usually within 10-14 days, that’s customer service! I own a buck 110, a few Kershaw, old timers and a syperco but I carry my benchmade and a swiss army classic on my key chain.
The only superstions I’ve ever heard about knives is if someone hands you a knife, open or closed, you have to hand it back the same way, open or closed or it was bad luck.
Nah….its just being polite.
That Gerber isn’t an OTF. Just sayin.
As long as it’s DTF I’m good.
Very timely and helpful article. Thank you and Happy Holidays!
As a knife guy, I’ve got more than a few from this list.
Various sellers on Amazon also sell a wide selection of TOPS knives at 25-40% (or more) off MSRP.
Last week I was informed that I’d need a $30 guy’s gift for Dirty Santa at the Xmas party we’re going to. I caught a last-minute sale for a Kershaw Leek with the weathered BlackWash finish for $29.56, and 1-day Prime shipping. If I don’t end up with it, I’ll be buying another one for myself. Very handy little pocket knife, and the only flipper-style opener I’ve ever liked.
I miss Truth about Knives
No wonder nobody wanted to take credit for this lame list.
The $12-$14 S&W HRT dagger should have been front and center.
There is not one single full length double blade knife on the list!
The HRT is only the #1 selling fixed blade on Amazon Prime.
Who blew it this badly?
chicom. many on this list are not u.s. made. those spydies are taiwan, very good in most respects, but if it matters dig until you see country of origin. older spydies were jap. most of the crkt’s are imported, cold steel as well.
when a benchmade and spyderco are equally priced, why buy the import?
many of the kershaw’s are made here, as are the big bucks. only a few gerbers are still.
try to find steels rated above 440. search for “sprint runs” of the styles you like.
If only there was a knife site like this one. They could call it “The Truth About Knives”. Oh that’s right, there was one but it got shut down and now it’s a zombie site.
Marine Corps, not Marine “Core.”
The author is rotten to the corps.
Thank you for fixing the error.
I edc a CRKT igniter T assist. Kinda rough when I got it, but I’ve completely worked it over – polished the pinion, tightened it straight, ground and polished the scales and liners, oiled it w/gun oil, shaved the scales opposite the liner lock for better grip to close. It works like a full-fledged auto – instead of pushing a button on the scale. you push the button (I rolled this free-float button on a dremel polisher to get an annoying edge off the low side) on the edge of the blade and “snikt” INSTANT OPEN. It has good steel (that crmov stuff) will take and hold an edge. It’s about 3.5″~ with Veff Serrations (the only useful serrations since the wwI German sawbacks) (one of which I also have). I tape and roll fine-grit sandpaper around a pen or pencil and chuck it in a drill to sharpen the large serrations. The are scalpel-sharp after that. Very nice knife and I only paid $30 for it at Lowe’s, something similar on amazon. It’s so just right I can’t justify trying to buy something nicer when this one does everything so well. I wish I “had” to have another knife, but all the ones I like cost 10x as much (Protechs, etc….)
Sometimes Amazon WON’T ship any knives to certain states with B.S. restricted article WARNINGs..Even if the items in question are available at your local Wal-Mart…So, no…Amazon DOESN’T always support THEIR customers, or the 2nd Amendment….Especially, when you have to be hassled to death by someone from Amazon’s Customer Service department— [located in New Delhi India]…Who DOESN’T speak English or understand English very well….
actually the USN MK1 by k-bar is a really cool knife, so is the Mark 3 by Ontario.
Love my knives.
Glad that Gerber is coming back to good QC. Have several pre-china, a few newer, but not for a long time. Most of these knives are good choices. I prefer the Kershaw Leek. Have a few, and one first run. I don’t have much use for Spyderco. Never liked the look of the big hole. Carry what you want. If you have the bad luck to live in a left state, carry cheap. For the rest of us, sky is the limit!
Have a very early 110 w/ 3 pins. Almost every original 110 is missing the first 1/8th inch or so. The point was too fine. The one pictured is not like the original.
Gotta love the Ka-Bar knives. The one in the picture looks like it comes with a cheap sheath, though. I have one which my dad used in Korea as a marine. Still razor sharp, with the original sheath, his rank/name engraved on it, etc.
As Crocodile Dundee said, “Now that’s a knife!”.
I run a knife store. The leather sheath pictured with the KaBar is a good sheath, thick leather. For a few dollars more, they also offer a kydex sheath. KaBar has stood the test of time, and is a classic for a reason.
I have several Mora knives and have not been disappointed in their quality yet.
I have several Kershaw folders made both in China and USA and they have been good.
Some Taiwan company which makes the RAT series, ESEE series, and Joe Pardue series folders does a very nice job as well.
Do not like Gerber China knives.
Victorinox and Opinel makes nice folders.
I have a few of these, but my EDC is the Spyderco Endura. Feels just right in the hand, gets razor sharp and stays that way. Love that little Esee, too, and the Junglas is the most badass piece of steel I’ve ever used, just awesome. Another great one is the Cold Steel Trailmaster, just a beautiful, gleaming, thick, sharp, beast.