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A decades-old superstition has some of us fearing that gifting a knife doesn't bode well for the relationship between recipient and giver. (The way around any ill fate is to include a coin with the blade so that its new owner can return it as payment — it's a purchase, not a gift.) The truth is, knives are perfect gifts. They're practical, utilitarian, can be prepossessing and the good ones tend to turn into family heirlooms.
It also helps to know which ones are worth your hard-earned cash, of course — especially if you're shopping for someone that already has some knowledge of the everyday carry space or the start of their own knife collection. But that's why we're here. So pluck up your courage and tempt fate, or break out the piggy bank. These are the best knives to gift right now.
Undoubtedly one of the most iconic folding knives of all time, Opinel's No. 8 is also still one of the best — and that's taking into account its incredibly affordable price point. Every EDC enthusiast should own at least one Opinel and this is definitely the one to gift if you know someone who doesn't. Furthermore, it's actually our pick for the best budget knife.
A simple and elegant made-in-Japanese folding knife that's as classic as it is useful, this non-locking friction folder knife is an iconic oddity that's actually useful in an EDC context.
One of the few folders that has a history comparable to that of the Higonokami and Opinel knives, this friction folder (meaning it doesn't lock or have a slip-joint mechanism) was named for the Melanesian spirit of destruction. But don't worry, it's as steady and reliable as iconic pocket knives get.
Affectionately named after Hemingway's fishing boat, the CRKT Pilar III is our pick for the best all-around EDC knife available right now. And that makes it an outstanding gift for anyone that needs or wants a new folding knife. And if the III isn't quite up to snuff, there are also some different varieties, including the smaller original Pilar, that are still available.
This mini multi-tool is mostly a knife, but there's plenty of use to pull from its set of tools — which includes scissors, a can opener and a corkscrew, making it as great for opening beverages as it is at cutting things.
First made in 1972, the Ranger has since become an icon of American knifemaking. It's the perfect way to begin a pocket knife collection and a worthy addition to one that doesn't yet include it.
Designed by Rick Hinderer, the Kershaw Cryo is probably the brand's most iconic and time-tested folder. It makes a great starter knife for anyone looking to get into EDC blades, but it's also just a great addition to any existing collection.
If you know someone who should carry a pocket knife but doesn't, get them WESN's best-selling Microblade. It's small enough for their keychain and handy in just about any situation that calls for a sharp edge.
Our pick for the best multi-tool knife, the Free K2 is more knife than multi-tool, but still packs enough implements to give it an extra edge. For the record, alongside the blade, it has seven built-in tools that range from drivers to a bottle opener and much more.
This lightweight, no-fuss folder was actually made specifically to suit rock climbing — that means this is an all-around outstanding outdoor folder. And while it's pretty inexpensive for TJB, it's still well-constructed from solid materials you can rely upon all day, every day.
CRKT devised a unique channel system that allowed it to pack four feet of paracord into the handle of this survival-oriented pocket knife. While most folders don't make for great outdoor knives, this one is a rare exception.
At 1.2 ounces, the Ultra XR is shockingly lightweight. But it's also plenty powerful with its S35VN blade and carbon fiber handle, which doubles as a money clip.
Part of a limited run of American-made blades, the Terracraft is a modern take on the do-everything fixed blade. It looks pretty, sure, but it doesn't need coddling. We're bending the rules with this one, as it's a fixed-blade and not a folder (like most pocket knives), but it's so good it deserves a spot — especially if you're buying for an outdoorsy person.
Your run-of-the-mill Phillips head won't help when it comes time to modify or adjust a pocket knife. But The James Brand packed everything you need for that inside a tool that's lust-worthy by itself. Granted, this isn't technically a knife, but it's so useful and well-designed that we're giving it a pass.
A decent pocket knife can be practical, but a great one will be indispensable.