The Ultimate Knife Gift Guide For 2023

Gift Ideas For Knife Lovers. We Tested All Kinds of Knives From Kitchen Cutlery to EDC To Make This 2023 Guide.

There are so many choices in 2023 when it comes to choosing the perfect knife to give as a birthday or holiday gift. We understand that it can be overwhelming, so each year the writers here at Nothing but Knives choose their favorites in different categories including tactical, camping, survival, and kitchen knives.

We tested dozens of knives to find the best gifts for kitchen, EDC and survival knives.

We personally test, curate, and update this guide every year. We like to pull from newer knives that came out over the last year in the interest of making everyone look trendy, but there are also some classics (or updated classics) that will make a cool gift every year. This guide is broken up into categories by use so you can find a gift based on what someone likes to do, and we’ll link to some of our more specialized articles throughout if you want to dive really deep into a rabbit hole for a certain kind of knife.

The Condor Plan A Bowie stabbed through a Christmas gift and into a fence post.
Knives make the best gifts.

EDC Folding Knives That Make Great Gifts

Fun everyday carry knives for Christmas, wedding or birthday.

This is a sort of catch all category that includes casual folders and hard use beaters. We have a wider range of recommendations in our Best Hard Use Folders article, though, if you’re set on going that direction.

Revo Ness

The Ultimate Knife Gift Guide For 2023 - Image 1: Revo Ness EDC Knife
The Revo Ness is a versatile folder with a practical blade shape.
Overall Length:8.29”
Blade Length:3.375″
Blade Steel:D2
Open System:Back Flipper
Blade Shape:Nessmuk
Blade Grind:Flat
Handle Material:G10
Lock Type:Liner

What’s Cool About It

A folding nessmuk is a pretty unique thing. It keeps a lot of perks of the design like the big curving edge and the thumb-friendly spine, and pretty competently puts them into a compact size that fits in your pocket.

The Ultimate Knife Gift Guide For 2023 - Image 2: Revo Ness Pocketknife

Who Might Like This Knife

The original nessmuk design was a camping knife, so this is definitely a good option for someone who likes the outdoors, but it’s particularly handy for cutting food in a pinch because the blade-forward shape gives you a lot of knuckle clearance. The handles on this are aggressive too, so the grip stays pretty solid even in wet or muddy conditions, which makes it a solid hard-use knife too.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

The steel is a little more prone to rust than fully stainless steels, so it’s important to keep the blade dry. The aggressive scales on the handle are a double edged sword too. They’re great for gripping, but it will likely tear at the pocket lining pretty bad.

Check out our full review of the Ness here.

GFL Fast Eddie

The GFL Fast Eddie comes with a few different handle and blade options to help fit your gift budget.
There is a budget and premium version of the Fast Eddie available.
Overall Length:6.5”
Blade Length:2.6”
Blade Steel:10Cr15CoMoV or VG10
Open System:Flipper
Blade Shape:Drop point
Handle Material:G10 or Titanium
Lock Type:Liner
Carry System::Tip-up deep-carry clip

What’s Cool About It

This is the knife for small pockets and non-threatening situations. It’s little and light, comes in four different handle colors, and the blade sits well below the 3-inch mark, which gives it a widespread legal-carry quality for a lot of places.

The Titanium Fast Eddie is one of our top picks for pocket knife gifts this year.
The premium version of the GFL Fast Eddie features a titanium handle and a VG10 steel blade.

Who Might LIke This Knife

The size and gentler look of the Fast Eddie make it an especially good office carry, especially with the deep-carry pocket clip keeping the knife pretty well out of sight when not in use. But it’s also one of those knives that tends to appeal to person says things like “I’m not a knife person”, or “I just need something to open boxes”, and especially “that’s nice, but can we please talk about something besides titanium frame locks and cost-benefit analyses of Magnacut steel?”

So if you have someone in your life who’s a fan of Kizer, Bestech, or Civivi, The Beagle will probably fit into their collection nicely.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

The beauty of a little liner-lock flipper is that there’s not much to go wrong. But some people might like to know that there’s a titanium-handle version and a G10-handle version that comes in black, tan, and OD Green. If they don’t like the look of one, there are other options.

Customized Gerber Assert

We customized this Assert pocket knife on Gerber Gear's website. The process was easy, quick and fun.
We put a custom Assert together in Gerber’s custom shop. It is a fun way to get a unique gift for any pocket knife fan this holiday season.
Overall Length:6.95”
Blade Length:2.98”
Blade Steel:CPM-S30V
Blade Shape:Drop point
Handle Material:Polymer
Lock Type:Crossbar
Open System:Thumb stud
Carry System:Deep-carry pocket clip (reversible)

What’s Cool About It

It’s a US-made, hard-use folder with a blade under three inches, which is a convenient legal mark in a lot of places. It’s customizable. Not only can you adjust the placement of the thumb stud, but the ASsert is available in Gerber custom shop, so you can order this special in a long range of colors, with different blade finishes, and text or image engravings.

Who Might Like This Knife

The Assert has the kind of design that’s universally usable, and, up to a point, likable. That said, it looks more utilitarian than showy. I’d be more inclined to give this to someone who needs a small blade for hard work. That is, unless you make it showier in the custom shop.

The Gerber Assert has an ambidextrous deep carry pocket clip.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

Not much to warn about with this thing, except maybe that the choil is a little big and liable to catch on rope or cardboard. They might also like to know that the pocket clip is reversible.

Kansept Tuckamore

This high-end pocket knife would make a great present for almost any EDC fan.
Overall Length:8.05”
Blade Length:3.5”
Blade Steel:CPM 20CV
Blade Shape:Sheepsfoot
Handle Material:Titanium w/ Micarta inserts
Lock Type:Frame lock
Open System:Thumb hole
Carry System:Deep carry clip (partially ambi)
Designer:Jonathan Styles

What’s Cool About It

Well, first of all, it was designed by a guy named Jonathan Styles, which is suspiciously appropriate. It’s tougher these days to find a knife that looks and feels unique without being outlandish to the point of uselessness, but Styles sure did style this knife into being both a little outlandish and incredibly useful as an upscale EDC and a solid camping knife.

This folding knife features a CPM 20V blade and a titanium handle.

Who Might Like This Knife

This is kinda tricky. It looks odd, but has some gentleman’s carry vibes, especially if you get it with the carbon fiber inserts. But the steel, ergonomics, and overall toughness and usability that we’ve encountered using this knife puts it solidly in the “use anywhere for anything within reason” category. I guess what we’re saying is if your friend wants a nice knife but thinks most of the knives out there look boring, this might be the solution.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

Take note that the pocket clip is right-side-only. There’s no switching it around for the other pocket. On the more positive side, should your friend ever need to sharpen the knife, they’ll find 20CV pretty pleasant to work with compared to other steels at the same hardness.

You can learn more about this sophisticated hard use fold by perusing our Kansept Tuckamore Review.

Artisan Cutlery Xcellerator

The artisan Cutlery Xcellerator  woulde make a good present for any pocket knife fan that likes camping or hiking.
Overall Length:8.86”
Blade Length:3.86”
Blade Steel:AR-RPM9
Blade Shape:Harpoon
Blade Grind:Flat
Handle Material:Micarta
Lock Type:Liner lock
Open System:Thumb hole
Designer:Mike Snody

What’s Cool About It

Forget what it looks like, there are a dozen different ways to hold this handle. Actual, functional, helpful ways to hold it. Not showy, mall-ninja, flip-it-every-which-way-for-Instagram style of ways to hold it. You can choke up on the blade, hold it in a pinch grip, and shift your standard grip up or down the handle so one of your fingers locks into one of the finger choils. The thing feels comfortable almost every which way.

Who Might Like This Knife

We’ve always treated it as a hard use knife and we will continue to recommend it that way. The steel is tough, stainless, and easy to maintain. The handle is conducive to finding more leverage in tricky positions, and there’s a lot of blade to work with. We’d lean toward saying this is great for someone who works outside a lot, but anyone who prefers a larger folder in the pocket should find this interesting.

The Artisan Cutlery is a bigger pocket knife capable of hard work.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

The standard no-switching-to-left-hand-carry applies to the pocket clip on the Xcellerator. Otherwise, there’s not much to warn about with this thing. It’s tough and functional. You might be interested in following what the designer Mike Snody is up to these days, though.

Camping Fixed Blades & Folders

The Bonds Creek Badger is a good example of a practical camping fixed blade.

The knives mentioned in this section are perfect for a weekend getaway into the mountains or a family camping trip. They are great at a lot of outdoor tasks from carving up some weenie-roasting sticks to campfire food prep. They are generally not quite as tough as bushcraft or survival knives, but they’re a little more nimble and better for carving. There’s a lot of crossover here with our article on the Best Horizontal Fixed Blades, if you want to poke around some very carriable options.

White RIver Knives Exodus 4

The White River Knives Exodus for a an excellent camping tool, and a great opting for the camping fan on your gift list.
The White River Knives Exodus 4 makes a great camping buddy.
Overall Length:8.5”
Blade Length:3.88”
Blade Steel:S35VN
Handle Length:4.875″ or 4.5″ or 3.14″
Blade Shape:Drop Point
Blade Grind:Flat
Handle Material:Canvas Micarta

What’s Cool About It

This was designed to be a bushcraft knife that’s small enough to wear as an EDC. It’s probably the lightest belt knife on this list.

The White RIver Knives Exodus 4 is a horizontal carry fixed blade.

Who Might Like This Knife

This strikes me as a good fishing knife, and it’s not a bad EDC if you live in a place where walking around with a 4 inch fixed blade on the belt is legally and socially acceptable, but more than anything I enjoyed carving wood with it. This is a good knife for a whittler.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

The handle is made of a fairly dry Micarta that’s going to discolor a little over time with use. It’s not a sign of erosion or bad staining; it’s just the nature of the material. It’s also worth noting that the White River makes a smaller version of this knife called the Exodus 3.

You can read a bit more in our full review of the Exodus 4.

LionSteel M2m

If you are looking for a gift knife for a camper, hunter, fisherman or a combination of the three, the LionSteel M2m is a great choice.
Overall Length:8″
Blade Length:3.5″
Blade Steel:Bohler M390
Blade Grind:Flat
Blade Style:Clip Point
Handle Material:Micarta
Sheath Material:Leather
Designer:Michele Pensato – aka “Molletta”

What’s Cool About It

This is kind of a mid-sized luxury vehicle of knives. It’s comfortable, it rides smooth, it looks nice, and there’s a slightly inferior older model for you to look down on.

Who Might Like This Knife

I’m hesitant to use the term “gentleman’s camping knife” but I’ve always felt like that’s what the M2 designs are. It’s an excellent camping knife, sure. It’s a mean slicer and the handle is so comfortable and grippy that tricky carving tasks feel a lot more pleasant. But it has Italian-design lines. There’s just a lot of subtle curvature that makes it feel cooler than the average tool.

The LionSteel M2M is a versatile fixed blade with a sheath that can be configured for multiple carry options.

What Should the Gift Receiver Know About This Knife

It’s easy to accidentally cut into the leather when you’re sheathing the knife. And it’s really nice leather, so it hurts to damage. I’d suggest taking the care and attention to really watch yourself as you put the knife away to make sure the blade is aligned until you have the muscle memory down.

Check out our full review of the LionSteel M2M here.

Bonds Creek Knife Badger

The Bonds Creek Badger is one of our favorite knives of 2023, so we had to include it in this gift guide.
Overall Length:6.25”
Blade Length:2.5”
Blade Steel:AEB-L
Blade Style: Drop point
Handle Material:G10
Sheath Material:Kydex
DesignerDave Pratt

What’s Cool About It

Besides the steel finish and the EDC size, the Badger’s sheath design really stood out to us. It’s a pancake-style kydex with a spring clip attachment that pivots and can be moved to either side of the sheath. So not only can you slip the knife on without needing to undo your belt, but it’s really easy to adjust for right, left, vertical, and horizontal carry.

The Bonds Creek Badger set up for horizontal carry.
The Badger sheath can be configured for horizontal or vertical carry.

Who Might Like This Knife

The size and sheath make the Badger pretty versatile in terms of use and places it can be carried, but it’s probably optimized as a knife for small game hunting. It could run along something like the Bradford Guardian 3 as a good gardening knife, though.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

There’s nothing tricky to know about this knife, but it might be cool for your friend to know that the guy making these knives is doing everything by himself in Pennsboro, West Virginia, and he started making knives to follow somewhere in his grandfather’s footsteps who had been a blacksmith.

Real Steel Pathfinder

The Real Steel Pathfinder pocket knife is a Bushcraft styled folding knife for camping and bushcraft enthusiasts.
Overall Length:8.76”
Blade Length:3.83”
Blade Steel:Sandvik 14C28N
Blade Style: Drop point
Handle Material:Micarta
Sheath Material:Kydex
Lock Type:Slide lock
DesignerIvan Braginets

What’s Cool About It

It’s a bushcraft folder, which is still a fairly rare breed. The scandi grind makes it nice for carving up wood, but it’s also a pretty high and thin scandi grind so it has a much cleaner slice than a lot of other bushcraft knives on the market, so it’s actually not a bad EDC option as well.

The Real Steel Pathfinder is a great knife to have for camping tasks, but it is not ideal for chopping or batoning.

Who Might Like This Knife

I’d be lying if I said I could pin down a specific kind of person who likes this knife. It’s a great call back to a historical design, but it doesn’t feel classic or historical. It feels like a brick that can cut like a laser. I think the two most certain types of people to like this particular design are the Japanese knife fanatics (especially the ones into tanto blades) and people with very large hands.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

Even though this is technically a bushcraft knife based on a bushcraft fixed blade, there are certain bushcraft and survival tasks it was not meant for. Mainly batoning and chopping. It’s a great folder with a tough build, but you should draw the line at smashing it between and into large pieces of wood.

Bradford Guardian 3

There are many variations of the Bradford Guardian 3 available.
The Bradford Guardian 3 comes in a variety of steel and handle options.
Overall Length:6.75″
Blade Length:3.5″
Blade Steel:AEB-L, M390 (plus a bunch of other options)
Blade Style: Drop point
Handle Material:Micarta or G-10
Sheath Material:Leather (Kydex option available)
DesignerBrad Larkin

What’s Cool About It

This has become a modern classic in the realm of outdoor knives. It has a small handle with a three-finger grip, but something about the shape of it makes that grip secure and comfortable. It’s got a powerfully simple shape that just makes it good to take on pretty much any outdoor activity you have in mind.

Who Might Like This Knife

Normally I’d say this is a good knife for camping and hiking. It’s so nice to cut, whittle, and carve with the Guardian 3 that it finds its way into being used for pretty much everything when I have it on me. The thing is, everyone seems to like this knife. Knife people love it, non-knife people love it. The lady pruning her rose bushes in the yard seems to like it as much as the ranch hand tying a calf to his saddle.

Point being, if you’re getting a knife for someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, they will like the Guardian 3. But it seems like the odds are decent they’ll like it even if they don’t go outside much.

The Bradford Guardian 3 is a well designed fixed blade knife that is perfect for camping or backpacking.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

The belt loop on the leather sheath is very snug. It’s still leather, so it’ll loosen up over time, but you’ll need to be patient with it at first if you normally wear a thick belt. Or, if you aren’t feeling patient, you can just get one with the Kydex sheath. Those are a little easier to work with.

Check out our review of the Guardian 3 for more words and pictures and a breakdown of all the available variations of this knife.

Survival and Bushcraft

The Reiff F4 bushcraft knife decked out for the holidays.

These are fixed blade knives designed for the wilderness. These knifes can help start a fire, skin an animal, carve tent stakes and much more. Survival and bushcraft knives are similar to the camping knives listed above, but they are a little tougher and, in some cases, bigger.

In short, they’re the kind of knives people think about walking in one side of a forest with the intention of walking out the other end. If you have an outdoors man or woman on your gift list, we think they would be happy with any of these knives.

Reiff F4

The Reiff F4 is an excellent gift knife for the survival enthusiast on your Christmas list.
Overall Length:9″
Blade Length:4″
Blade Width 5.5mm
Blade Steel:CPM 3V
Blade Grind:Flat
Blade Style:Drop Point
Handle Material: G10
Designer:The Reiff Brothers
Sheath:Kydex & Leather

What’s Cool About It

I will never stop raving about the handles on the Reiff knives. It widens out at the top half so that the most material is under the grip of the index and middle fingers, which gives you a lot of control for carving tasks. The kydex sheath is also really clever because it rides on a pivoting clip. That makes the drawing ergonomics a lot nicer, and it’s easier to adjust the carry position.

On top of that, if you don’t like the kydex, they also ship the knife with a nice drop-carry leather sheath. It’s not my personal preference, but it does feel pretty dang nice.

The F4 ships with a leather sheath on a dangler.

Who Might Like This Knife

This is definitely an outdoor knife. We’ve used it happily for chopping, cutting cordage, and starting fires. It was especially good at processing wood, but that high sabre grind with a convex edge is incredibly versatile. If someone likes camping light, or taking high functioning tools for backpacking, this is would probably be a good option for them.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

The steel is high carbon, and not at all stainless. The finish on the blade helps a little, but we’ve definitely gotten some rust spots on it after some negligent shoots. It’s an incredibly steel that takes a nice polished hedge, and it’s pretty easy to sharpen in the field, but for the love of God dry it off every now and then.

Check out our full review of the Reiff F4 here.

Off-Grid Ridgeback V2

The Ultimate Knife Gift Guide For 2023 - Image 3: Off Grid Ridgeback V2
It’s nice to have choices. The Off-Grid Ridgeback V2 is available in either Flat or Scandi grinds.
Overall Length:9.7″
Blade Length:4.5″
Handle Length:5.2″
Blade Steel:D2
Blade Thickness:5 mm
Blade Grind:Scandi or Flat
Blade Style:Spear Point
Handle Material:Micarta
Blade Finish:Blackwash or Stonewash
Sheath Material:Kydex
Designer:Cary Orefice

What’s Cool About It

Knives with scandi grinds are pretty much always cool, and the Ridgeback has a very well done scandi grind. Of-Grid also makes a version with a flat grind if that is your preference. If you are not sure which version the person you are shopping for would like best, it is probably safer to go with the flat grind model.

This thing chops and carves like a champ, and even though the handle is big, the shaping and texture of the handle do a lot to keep the knife in your hands with a lot of control over where the blade goes.

The Ultimate Knife Gift Guide For 2023 - Image 4: Survival Knife Gift 1
The Off-Grid Ridgeback ships with one of the best kydex sheaths we have tested.

Who Might Like This Knife

This knife will do it all at a campsite, so active campers will definitely find a use for the Ridgeback, especially if they like to go all out and build their own shelters. This knife excels at just about every outdoor activity you would need a knife for, and maybe a few you don’t.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

If you like to start fires with a knife and a ferro rod, the Ridgeback can do that really well, but only off the sharpening choil. Once you find the spot, it works really well, but it takes a little bit of technique. We say a hell of a lot more about it in our review of the Off Grid Ridgeback.

Work Tuff Gear Apex

The Work Tuff Gear Apex is big, effective and fun.
Overall Length:18.2”
Blade Length:12.1”
Blade Steel:SK85
Blade Shape:Trailing point
Handle Material:G10
Designer:Julio Diez

What’s Cool About It

I mean, just look at it. Everything about this thing is telling you to go outside with too many beers and do increasingly irresponsible activities. It takes some muscle and leverage to get it going, but once it’s going it clears a quick path.

It’s basically the trailing point alternative to the Plan A Bowie for people who feel like they already have too many Bowie knives.

Who Might Like This Knife

Someone with some property to take care of seems like the most likely fan. But I’m not sure you should be considering this thing in terms of a “practical” option.

The Work Tuff Gear Apex is a great outdoor tool if you are strong enough to wield it.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

A couple of things: first, this is heavy. It’s a hell of a workhorse, but it’s a big weight investment if you’re planning to spend a few hours clearing brush with it.

Second, the sheath might be a little funny. It’s hard to make sheaths for big curvy blades. They ship it with a shoulder strap, so it’s easy enough to carry, but you’ll need to learn how to negotiate with the thing before you’re really comfortable with it.

Finally, SK85 steel is a high carbon tool steel, which is pretty reactive. You can beat the hell out of this blade, just make sure you wipe it off and oil it afterwards.

If this seems cool, you should probably check out our review of the Work Tuff Apex.

Tactical Knives

The Off-Grid Stinger is a great tactical pocket knife for anyone looking for a gift under $100.

These knives are primarily designed for self defense. They may be capable at survival or hunting type tasks as well, and also at making boring people feel cooler sometimes, but their primary purpose is helping you survive emergencies and get out of danger as quickly as possible. You can find more recommendations in this category in our Best Tactical Knives from Our Favorite Brands article.

Hogue SIG K320 AXG

The Hogue K320 tactical knife is right at home in the great outdoors.
Overall Length:8.0”
Blade Length:3.5”
Blade Steel:CPM S30V
Blade Style:Drop point
Handle Material:Aluminum w/G10 Inserts
Lock Type:ABLE lock

What’s Cool About It

From the company that started out making really good gun grips then started making really good knives, this is the conceptual descendent of the Sig P320. It’s also a tough, comfortable design with a slide lock and four possible carry positions for the pocket clip, so it’s completely ambidextrous.

The Hogue K320 Tactical folding knife is a good choice for understated self defense.

Who Might Like This Knife

Gun folks are a pretty safe bet for this knife, especially someone who owns a Sig Sauer (and especially if that Sig is a P320). But as good of a design as the knife is, one of the benefits of it is that it doesn’t have an aggressive “tactical” vibe. It’s just good, which makes it a nice hard-use EDC too.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

There are quite a few variations of this knife available, including automatic versions. It is possible to find a Hogue K320 that matches the handle materials and color of your companion Sig if that’s really how you want to live your life, but you might have to dig for it a bit.

Check out our review of the Hogue K320 for a little more info.

Off-Grid Stinger

The two sides of the Off-Grid stinger folding knife showing the pocket clip on the Coyote version and the logo side of the blackout version.
Overall Length:9.25″
Blade Length:4″
Blade Steel:154CM w/ DLC coating
Blade Style:Spear point
Handle Material:G-10
Lock Type:Liner
Designer:Cary Orefice

What’s Cool About It

A good folding dagger is hard enough to find; it’s even harder to find one that’s made this well. Even though the blade is huge, the edge has a thin-cutting quality, but can still handle a surprising amount of a work before the edge starts to see any wear.

Slicing four water bottles with the Off-Grid Enforcer XL was pretty easy.
We had a lot of fun testing out the Off-Grid Stinger.

Who Might Like This Knife

This is definitely a knife for someone who lives in an area with very slack laws regarding the size of knife you can carry. Outside that, it’s pretty much a purebred tactical design. It’s tough, slicey, and pokey. If you have the pocket space to spare, it’s a great tool and a great deterrent.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

It’s worth spending a little time working with this knife if you’re concerned about getting it out of the pocket fast. The pocket clip tends to hug tight when you press it, so it takes a careful grip to pull the knife smoothly.

You can read our full review of the Off Grid Stinger here.

Spartan Blades Alala

The Spartan Alala with its kydex sheath to show the compact size of the sheath.
Overall Length:9.25″
Blade Length:4″
Blade Steel:154CM w/ DLC coating
Blade Style:Spear point
Handle Material:G-10
Lock Type:Liner
Designer:Cary Orefice

What’s Cool About It

This has a pretty remarkable sheath. It’s kind of a locking sheath that has a little lever you push to get the knife out. That might sound bulky on paper, but in practice it’s incredibly fast and intuitive, and one of the best retention methods we’ve seen on any fixed blade design.

The Spartan Blades Alala looking very tactical in the razer wire.

Who Might Like This Knife

If you know anyone who jumps out of planes regularly, they would be the obvious choice. But the sheath retention and overall size of the knife make it a great choice for anyone who has to spend a lot of time crawling, or climbing, or squeezing into tight spaces where the environment tends to tug at all their clothes and gear.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

Pretty much everything about this knife is ready to go out in the field. But it doesn’t ship with the sharpest edge (at least, not when we picked it up). Obviously it’s all about personal preference and use cases, but you might want to test the edge and put it to a sharpening stone before you try putting it to work.

We prattle on about this more in our full review of the Spartan Alala.

Gentleman’s Carry

The Vosteed Nightshade in Elmax is one of our favorite gentleman's carry gift knives.

Gentleman’s folder knives are pocket knives that are kinda dressy looking and can be a good choice for situations where a large tactical or survival knife are apparently inappropriate. We have gone through great lengths here at Nothing But Knives to avoid such situations at all costs, so this is probably the category we are least qualified to give recommendations in. But we have reviewed at least two folders that we liked and could maybe take to a wedding without getting weird looks.

You could probably find a few knives that count as snappy dressers in our nostalgic slip joint article.

Kershaw Federalist

The Kershaw Fedwralist has a classic look that makes it a perfect gift for the knife fan on your holiday gift list.
Overall Length:7.5″
Blade Length:3.25″
Blade Steel:CPM-154
Handle Length:3.9″
Blade Shape:Clip point
Handle Material:Micarta
Lock Type: Slip Joint

What’s Cool About It

It’s one of those new “modern classic” folders the kids keep talking about. Kershaw did a really good job on this call back knife. It feels like something your grandpa would have carried except the blade is made of a really nice powder steel that wasn’t developed until 2006.

The Kershaw Federalist is a new design with a classic slip joint look.

Who Might Like This Knife

This knife was made for the people who missed the salad days of Case, Old Timer, and Buck, when all anybody thought they needed was a sharp blade with a nail nick. As near as I can tell, those people tend to be the ones with a fifty year old truck that is somehow cleaner and in better condition than most cars made after 2010.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

There’s no pocket clip on this, so it’s a floater. On the one hand that keeps it looking nice, but it also makes it a little awkward to carry. It’s thin, though. I usually set it behind my wallet in my pocket and it rides well enough.

It’s also worth mentioning that the detent is pretty light. The integrity of the knife is just fine, but all the things people tell you not to do with a slip joint go double for the Federalist.

Read up a little more on it in the Kershaw Federalist review.

Ocaso Solstice

The Ocaso Solstice is the perfect EDC gift for the classy person in your life.
The Solstice is an impressive folder with a variety of handle scale and blade finish options.
Overall Length:7.8”
Blade Length:2.5″
Handle Length:3.5″
Blade Steel:CPM-S35VN
Blade Style:Clip Point
Handle Material:Carbon Fiber
Open System:Back Flipper
Made In:Ambi fold-over tip-up clip
Designer:Andrew Demko

What’s Cool About It

The fascinating pull to this knife when it first came out was that it was designed by Andrew Demko, who’s pretty famous for his big, overbuilt folders. Taken purely as a knife on its own merits, though, the Solstice is a super snappy, lightweight folder with a very fine slicing action.

The all black carben fiber version of the Ocaso Solstice is a sleek looking pocket knife.

Who Might Like This Knife

The Solstice hits a blade-to-weight ratio that you don’t see in knives often. There’s about an average of 1.75” of blade for every ounce. That’s a lot of cutting edge for something that’s barely noticeable in the pocket. So if you know someone who’s a snappy dresser and a stickler for efficiency, they’ll probably appreciate this design.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

This is more purely gentleman’s carry than a lot of the knives we review, which is to say that it is optimized for polite use. That thin, lightweight build makes it great for slipping into some tailored slacks, but I wouldn’t trust it to really hard use and abuse.

Check out our full review of the Ocaso Solstice here.

Vosteed Nightshade

The Vosteed Nightshade comes in a variety of colors and steel options
Overall Length:7.48”
Blade Length:3.26”
Blade Steel:154CM
Blade Shape:Drop Point
Handle Material:Micarta
Lock Type:Liner
Designer:Yue Dong

What’s Cool About It

In a world saturated with three-inch flippers, the Nightshade manages to pull from a tradition that makes it stand out. This is an homage to the Shilin cutter from Taiwan. It was made to be a slicey, hard use folder in its day, and over time it became a highly sought after collector’s item. There have been a couple of knives based on that design over the years, but Vosteed really hit it home with this.

The Vosteed Nightshade Lt in the wilderness.

Who Might Like This Knife

The designer, Yue Dong (aka Doctor EDC), has a bit of a following. He’s been clicked in on the crowd that loves snappy, smooth flippers for a few years now, and his designs seem to have a wide appeal. The Nightshade in particular falls into the category of “a nice looking knife that just works”.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

There’s a thinner, lighter, and cheaper version of the Nightshade called the Nightshade Lt. It doesn’t quite pop in the same way, but it’s still a damn fine knife if you want to go down a price category.

We say more cool things about the Nightshade in our full review.

Kize Begleiter V2

The Kizer Begleiter is a well designed gentleman's folder that is practical  in daily life.
Overall Length:8.24”
Blade Length:3.54”
Blade Steel:Bohler N690
Blade Shape:Drop point
Handle:Carbon fiber
Lock Type:Liner
Designer:Azo Mai

What’s Cool About It

What’s really interesting is that even though it comes to over eight inches it feels like a smaller knife. It carries light and has a pretty understated vibe, especially if you get it in all black.

This is a very smooth knife, especially if you get the version with carbon fiber scales. The pivot runs on caged bearings, the thin blade slices with very little effort, and it slides in and out of the pocket easily.

The Kizer Begleiter version 2 is a fitting upgrade to this popular folder.

Who Might Like This Knife

This is one of the few knives I would slip into a suit, if I ever made the mistake of needing to wear one again. So I imagine regular suit wearers looking for a knife would be into this. It’s also a very fidget-friendly knife, though. It’s fun to just sit and play with, if you happen to know someone who tends to tap their fingers when they’re still.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

There are a lot of different variations of this knife. The one pictured here is actually the second iteration of one of Kizer’s earliest popular designs, and they have been busy trying the design in every material they can get their hands on. If you want a different look or feel, you should be able to find it if you dig a little.

You can read more in our review of the Kizer Begleiter.

Boker Barlow Fixed Blade

The Boker Barlow Fixed Blade ships with a leather sheath.
Overall Length:6.02”
Blade Length:2.76”
Blade Steel:AEB-L
Blade Shape:Clip point
Designer:Lucas Burnley

What’s Cool About It

You don’t often see something that could be called a gentleman’s EDC fixed blade, but that’s definitely what this thing is. All the handle options for the Burnley Barlow have a sort of “classy outdoors” looks, and the pocket clip on the leather sheath gives it a fairly unique style of carrying that keeps handy and understated (if a little bulky in the pocket sometimes).

The leahter sheath that ships with the Boker Barlow Burnley Fixed Blade has a pocket clip.
The pocket clip on the Barlow’s leather sheath makes front-pocket carry convenient.

Who Might Like This Knife

I’ve always pictured this thing being carried at an outdoor wedding, but I do everything in my power to avoid weddings, so it’s better seen as a classic curiosity. The design is based off old barlow knives, so it fits in well with the old timer crowd (not just the old ones). It also handled camping tasks pretty well when we tested it. The handle is about as neutral as anything can get, which makes it workable in a lot of different grips, so it’s not a bad way to spruce up the next trip into the woods.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

The clip on the sheath is strong enough to keep everything in your pocket, but not strong enough to keep itself in place when you pull the knife out. At least not at first. You’ll need to hold the sheath in place yourself to get the knife free.

Check out more eye candy for this thing in our Boker Burnely BFF photo tour.


Even non-knife types usually light up at getting a multitool. It’s like getting twelve presents hinged inside one pocket-friendly package. Even if someone doesn’t plan on using the knife part, odds are pretty good they’ll end up needing the phillips attachment and the bottle opener.Speaking of which, you might find some more streamlined options in that vein in our article on our favorite knives for opening beers.

Benchmade Weekender

Header image for the in-depth review of the Benchmade Weekender slip joint knife.
Overall Length:7.0” / 6.0”
Blade Length:3.0” / 2.0”
Blade Steel:CPM-S30V
Blade Shape:Drop point/ clip point
Lock Type:Slip joint

What’s Cool About It

The toothy blades and grippy handle make this a great whittling knife. It’s one of my new favorites to have around a campfire for that reason. I also like how the bottle opener is tucked into the spine of the handle. It looks awkward at first, but once you get a feel for the angle, it works incredibly well.

The bottle opener on the Weekender works well,

Who Might Like This Knife

My own experience says that anyone who likes whittling and drinking will like this knife. But I would extend that to people who like fishing and drinking too.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

There isn’t really a good way to carry the Weekender. There’s no pocket clip, and it doesn’t ship with a sheath, so it’s the kind of thing that’s best kept in your tackle box or small backpack pockets if you don’t like the feel of it floating around in the pocket.

We go into more detail in our review of the Benchmade Weekender.

Remington Cutlery Collector’s Sets

The Reminton Cutlery Collector's sets are a fun and affordable option for the knife fan on your gift list.
Overall Length:Varies (2.75” to 7”)
Blade Length:Varies
Lock Type:Varies (slip joint, lockback, fixed)
Blade Steel:440
Blade Shape:Varies
Handle Material:Varies (wood, bone, synthetic)

What’s Cool About It

Remington’s Collector Series #AD has a wide range of classic-style knives that each come in a different themed tin case. Designs range from the Duck Collector Set (featuring ducks!) with a two-bladed lockback folder with a bone-white handle set with a waterfowl scene to the Whitetails Cut Over set featuring their 7” Jr. Sinner fixed blade and a tin with a scene of whitetail deer.

Two knives are included in the Remington Cutlery

Who Might Like This Knife

Anyone with old school sensibilities (not necessarily just old school people). This is a return to an old tradition for Remington, and they’ve geared it for collectors to go crazy (which isn’t to say these knives aren’t viable EDC options).

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

This is a collector’s item first, but as it’s not an especially expensive collector’s item you should really press that these things can be used and abused. The vintage-style art and limited edition knife styling is all cool, but very often more enjoyable, and eventually more meaningful, after a knife has been worn in.

Kitchen Knife Sets

Ceramic knife sets make affordable gifts for almost anyone.

Kitchen knife sets make a great gift for anyone who likes to cook, but is getting by with substandard knives. Fortunately, there are great gift options for just about any budget from top cutlery brands. Here are a few of our favorites.

Vos Ceramic 4-Piece Knife Set

The Vos 5-Piece Ceramic knife set ships with a compact, modern looking storage block that makes it a great choice.
This compact ceramic set takes up a minimal amount of counter space.
Overall Length:13.125”
Blade Length:8″
Blade Steel:FC61
Blade Grind:Flat
Style:Western chef’s
Handle Material:Brushed polymer
Designer:Bob Kramer

What’s Cool About It

These are ceramic knives, which is cool with a big asterix that I’ll address in the “What to Know” section here. The upside is that ceramic is a very hard, lightweight material, so these knives have great edge retention and feel lighter than a feather in the hand. Also, since ceramic is an inert material, there’s no danger of rust.

The six inch Vos ceramic chef knife is a standout performer in this set.

Who Might Like This Set

A lot of people like knives like these for cutting vegetables, but the heart of it is that anyone who doesn’t sharpen their knives or complains about the slight steel taste left by more traditional knives will probably be into this set.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Set

Ceramic is not the kind of material you trifle with. It’s incredibly fragile, so you can’t use these knives on tougher foods like squashes or anything with bone. These knives will absolutely chip if you bump the wrong material or drop them. So there’s a certain level of exactness required in handling them. The bright side is that these are also very cheap knives, so it doesn’t cost much to replace one.

Bavarian Knife Works 19-Piece Dreamcut Set

Slicing an onion is fairly effortless with the Bavarian KNife Works chef knife.
Overall Length:13.125”
Handle Material:Pakkawood w/ steel bolster & cap
Blade Steel:X50Cr15MoV
Blade Grind:Flat
Handle Material:Brushed polymer

What’s Cool About It

What I really love about these knives is the crowned spines and the balance. For German-style knives these are very lightweight with just a minor bias toward the handle. More importantly, the spines are really nicely rounded, so these don’t bite into your finger in a pinch grip. I also like the selection of knives in this set. It has a 10-inch chef’s knife, a cleaver, a paring knife, a slicer, and a bread knife. All those cover a nice spread of uses for pretty much any kind of food you might bring into your kitchen.

The detachable steak knife block is another neat feature, if you like modular things and playing around with your counter ergonomics.

Peeling a lemon with the Bavarian Knife Works paring knife.

Who Might Like This Knife

This whole set looks and feels nice and has a certain premium feeling to it that you don’t quite get even with some Wusthoff or Zwilling knives thanks to the crowned bolsters. But the block is still pretty big and tall, so this is a better gift for someone with some counter space who needs a jumpstart on their culinary toolset.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

The edge retention is a little subpar on these knives. The steel is soft so the edge rolls a lot. It’s not too big of a deal if you just work the knives on a honing rod before using them. The standard block also comes with a 10-inch chef’s knife. If you want a regular 8-inch you’ll have to buy it separately.

This set made such a good impression on us that we added it to our Best Professional Knife Sets article.

You can read our full review of the Bavarian Knife Works set here.

Imarku 16-Piece Hammered Steel Knife Set

The Imarku 16-Pice Hammered Steel knife set is a great gift option for anyone who likes the Western/ Japanese hybrid knife aesthetic.
Set Size:16 Pieces
Blade Steel:High Carbon Japanese Steel
Handle Length:4.5″
Blade Grind:Hollow
Handle Material:Packawood
Set Includes:One 8″ chef knife, one bread knife, one slicing knife, one sharpening steel, one santoku knife, one 6″ chef knife, one utility knife, one paring knife, six steak knives, one pair of kitchen scissors and a Pakkawood storage block.

What’s Cool About It

It is a big set that looks great and performs well. It also has a relatively low price point.

Hammered steel knives usually cost a lot of money or they are cheap and have the looks and performance to match. The Imarku 16-Piece Hammered Steel knife set has good fit and finish, decent Japanese steel with good edge retention and steak knives that match the quality off the hero knives.

The knives are bit on the heavy side, but they are well balanced, and the chamfered spines help with the overall comfort anytime a grip is used that requires a thumb or forefinger on the knife spine. Evry knife in the set we received was sharp right out of the box and they have held their edge well after regular use for a few months.

These knives are made of a higher carbon Japanese steel, so they will need to be hand washed and dried to avoid spotting.

The 8 inch chef knife that ships with this set is a great kitchen workhorse for almost any slicing or dicing task.

Who Might Like This Knife

These are technically Western style knives with a bit of a Japanese aesthetic, so this set is a good option for anyone that likes Japanese/Western style hybrids. Overall this set is great for anyone that likes the hammered steel look, but doesn’t want to pay the higher prices these knives usually demand.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Set

The knives in this set offer decent performance, a pleasing aesthetic and a well-designed storage block at a price that won’t break the bank.

Chef Knives

Chef Knives

The Shun kanso is a realatively affordable chef knife for the Japanese cutlery fan on your gift list.

The kitchen is where many of us really use knives, so we figured we should include a few of our favorite chef knives in case you have a busy home cook on your gift list. We think just about any serious cook would be happy with these knives even if they already have a chef knife or two in the kitchen.

Oishya Sakai Kyuba 8-Inch CHef Knife

This chef knife makes a great gift for anyone who is a fan of Japanese cutlery.
Overall Length:14”
Blade Length:8.2”
Blade Steel:VG-10 in 47-layer Damascus
Style:Petty Gyuto
Handle Material:Stabilized maple
Made In:Japan
Blade Grind:Flat

What’s Cool About It

Besides the overall quality and cutting performance of Oishya knives, they have a certain level of presentation that isn’t always a given with Japanese knives. It comes in a nice wooden box with a five-yen coin to act as the symbolic exchange, so this is very much ready-made to give to someone as a gift.

Oishya makes excellent chef knives that are well worth the price.

Who Might Like This Knife

Really anyone who’s into more traditional Japanese kitchen cutlery will like this. But especially someone who cooks a lot of fish or dices a lot of fruit and vegetables. Our own testing showed this thing is excellent for making salsa, but the blade geometry is so smooth that it really makes itself useful for a broad range of precision cutting.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

Japanese knives tend to be more brittle than most. They’re hard and thin, so they’re a lot more prone to chipping. A lot more caution needs to be taken with this thing than usual. If your friend likes to sharpen their knives, they should have at least a 1,000-grit stone for this, and it should be used on anything with bone without a very steady hand.

The Sakai Kyuba series is also available in a set. We liked the set enough to include in our article on the Best Japanese Knife Sets.

Vosteed Morgan

Vosteed Morgan

Header image for our Vosteed Morgan chef knife review.
Overall Length:13.11”
Blade Length:8″
Blade Steel:9Cr18MoV
Style:K-tip chef’s
Handle Material:G10
Designer:Yue Dong
Made In:China

What’s Cool About It

This won’t sound very exciting, but the Morgan is a really easy knife to take care of. That’s not a super common feature with Japanese style knives, but this one has a fairly soft steel that responds really well to stones and honing rods.

The Vosteed Morgan chef knife made short work of the bell pepper.

Who Might Like This Knife

This is a great intro knife for someone who’s either just getting into cooking or wants something lowkey but still unique. It would also be a good way to get more familiar with using thinner Japanese knives without risking a three-hundred dollar edge.

What Should Your Friend Know About This Knife

The Morgan has an asymmetric grind favoring the right side of the blade. There might be a few moments where you start to cut and it just doesn’t feel sharp enough. Sometimes you just need to adjust your angle to the grind. It takes some getting used to, but once you get comfortable with it, the cutting action is very smooth. There is also a Vosteed Morgan knife set available. We liked it so much we included it in our Best Budget Knife Sets article.

You can read more in our review of the Vosteed Morgan.

Knife Accessories

Sometimes the better answer is to get something somebody can use a knife with. Maybe because a person already has so many knives you can’t process the idea that they would actually want another one, or you have the wisdom to recognize you’re not sure what they’d actually want.

The alternatives are things like knife rolls and cases, sharpening systems, or maybe just a big cardboard box and the phrase “hey could you break this down for me?” All perfectly reasonable options.

Vault Case Secure

The Vault Secure Case is a great way to keep your folding knife collection mobile.
Combo lock w/ resettable code
2 small-loop panels
2 small medium-loop panels
1 large medium-loop panel
1 large buffer/patch panel
Detachable shoulder strap

What’s Cool About It

There are a few cases out there, but this one locks, and comes with a bunch of removable flaps. It’s a really great solution to a large EDC collection. You can fit a whole mess of knives and pens in this and still have room for notebooks, strops, sharpening stones, or whatever else is just a little too bulky to fit in the pocket.

The Vault Secure pocketknife case is a great present for the pocket knife collector on your gift list.

Who Might Like This

Someone who travels with a lot of gear is likely to use a Vault case a lot. But also anyone with a large knife or pen collection will definitely use it one way or the other. Even if it just gets filled up and tucked into a drawer, things like this are an organizational God send to gear junkies.

What Should Your Friend Know About It

The lock on this is resettable, and you can buy extra panels separately, so there is a lot of possible modding to be done here. And if you’re not too concerned about having a lock, they make a few other variations in different sizes and colors.

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Avatar of Ben North

Ben started a twenty year commercial photography career after a blurry stint in the navy. He spent a lot of time losing and breaking knives and other EDC gear on location shoots before starting Nothing But Knives. He has reviewed and tested hundreds of both outdoor and kitchen knives over the course of the last six years, and he was mostly sober while testing and reviewing.

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