Question Of The Day: Which Knife Makes The Best Groomsman Gift?

Image courtesy my old high school buddy.

I’m the third from the left, not that you’re wondering. In consideration of the truly legendary foolishness that occurred at the bachelor party, this photo has been cropped the photo to protect the innocent.

When I stood in my friends’ weddings in the 1980s and 1990s, I barely knew the difference between a quality knife and a tire iron. But I would have been pretty happy to get a really nice pocketknife as a groomsman’s gift.

Reader JP is getting hitched this spring, and he wants to give his groomsmen the gift that keeps on cutting: quality EDC knives. His (and my) question is, which one?

JP wrote us:

I am getting married at the end of April. As a groomsmen gift, I am heavily leaning towards giving each member a knife. Ideally I want something somewhat stylish, could be EDC, and performs well in most situations; an “all-purpose” knife.
Something that 20 years from now they will still fondly use and appreciate, whether it ends up in the glovebox of the truck, in the belt loop at all times, or in a survival kit that saves the day when Daryl from the Walking Dead ain’t around.
Any suggestions?

JP’s budget is in the fifty-dollar range, and he’s already thinking of the Scallion, Delica, Griptilian, and the Gerber Paraframe.

JP also asks:

Also, I told that it is traditional to tape a coin to the blade when gifting a knife, so that the recipient may give you the coin back and thus “buy” the knife from you. Supposedly this counters the superstition that give a knife as a gift will inevitably “cut the ties” of the friendship. Any truth or origins to that tradition?

I’ve heard of that tradition, although I’ve never kept stock in it myself. I’ve given and received lots of knives with no ill effects, but there’s nothing wrong with wrapping your gift knives in dollar bills and explaining the tradition to your groomsmen over scotch and cigars at your bachelor party. (And you’ll probably want some dollar bills for later on in the evening, if your friends have planned the evening well.)

I wouldn’t tape anything to the blade, though; the adhesive might not come off cleanly, and you’d hate for one of your best friends to slice himself while trying to clean the blade with his fingernail.

So, readers, let’s hear it: which knives would you give your groomsmen if you were tying the knot this year? I wish my old buddies had been as forward-thinking as JP, so let’s give him some good suggestions. 

comments

  1. Duncan Idaho says:

    Schrade makes some really classy old-style folders.

  2. chris says:

    Case has several patterns,screams classic, and they get better with age. Full disclosure, I am a case collector and received one as a groomsman gift.

    1. fliteking says:

      I’d have to agree the Case knives would be a good choice. Well made, retain their values, speaks highly of how you feel about the person receiving the gift and just classy.

      That said, I gave some nice knives to my groomsmen and within a 2 years they all reported them as missing in action.

      My brother took a metal detector out in the woods, found his, and lost it again the next deer season.

  3. tbhride says:

    Agreed. Can’t go wrong with Case. Mini-Copperlock perhaps?

    A Victorinox Cadet is always classy as well and has room for engraving the groomsman’s initials which would be a really nice touch!

  4. Robert says:

    Case Peanut. Small, pocketable, most versions under $50, and a lot of versions to choose from:

    http://www.casexx.com/DisplayPatternPageFH.asp?PatternAutoID=40

  5. Roger says:

    A groomsmen gift should be around $70 on the low side guys. http://blog.timesunion.com/kristi/how-much-to-spend-on-bridesmaidgroomsmen-gifts/37839/ case is the go to though.

    1. Justsomeguy says:

      No offense, but the article you linked to made that as a guide line withe several exceptions listed.

      Speaking as one that teaches personal finance and has helped people get out of and avoid debt, the only thing that should determine the price of a gift is the budget of the person buying it.

      Just the opinion of Justsomeguy

    2. todd says:

      Idiot, not everyone has that kind of money to spend, so there shouldnt be a certain amount we should spend on our groomsmen. Thats why weddings get such a bad rap because of all of the so called things you must buy, and the fact that people jack up prices just when they hear the word wedding. My fiancee and I are paying for this with zero HELP FROM ANYONE and working and going to school while raising a child. I think after I pay for rehearsal dinner, free alcohol and dinner at the wedding that is enough. My groomsmen are long time friends and understand the value of hard earned money, not wasted on some frivolous engraved gifts.

      1. Sean says:

        You sound upset.

  6. Brandon says:

    I would say either a BM Griptilian or Kershaw skyline–both are USA made, both have good steel and a solid lockup, both are stylish, both are great EDC blades, and both are rather sheeple friendly.

  7. MD says:

    I’d prefer a knife the guys can wear with a Tux. The Benchmade 943 is a light, classy folder that can perform far outside the “gentleman’s folder” envelope. Made in the USA too.

    http://www.benchmade.com/products/943

    1. fliteking says:

      Nice nice. And made in the USA is also a nice feature, although I said the same on Amazon and have for months gotten negative comments from a rather large asian country. Huh, go figure.

    2. Rick says:

      The 943 is a bit over $50. (I carry a 585, but that’s still about $140.)

  8. David says:

    Option paralysis here. W/ the knives you are already leaning towards I would go Gerber. The other model/brands are closer towards the top of the $50 limit or beyond. I say make up your mind if you want your blades to fill an EDC role. If so go under 3″. If not then I would go bigger fixed blade w/ a nice scabbard or sheath (major style points).

    For Folder/EDC I am thinking:

    http://www.gerbergear.com/Tactical/Knives/Mini-Swagger-Knife_31-000593

    http://www.gerbergear.com/Essentials/Knives/PR-2.5-Knife_22-41579

    http://www.gerbergear.com/Essentials/Knives/Counterpart_31-001719
    (Breaking my 3″ advice but that is a good looking blade)

    If your groomsmen lean towards hipster/geek I would go for more style w/ something like (less function more flare):

    http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=401728&name=Western+Boot+Knife

    http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SS073BD&name=Musashi+Asuka+Tanto+-+Red

    Last, I would encourage you to give your gifts after the festivities. Why?

    Dudes + Intoxicants + Gifted-Knives = Trouble

    1. MD says:

      Haha, you wouldn’t trust your buddies with knives? Most of my friends carry blades at all times. Hell, I have a hard time being friends with people who DON’T carry a knife regularly. Personal prejudice, I guess.

  9. sagebrushracer says:

    voting for a nice case or schrade, classy knives.

  10. MD says:

    Tastes vary obviously, but I don’t understand the attaction of the old-style Case and Schrade folders. I’d much prefer to give my buddies a folding knife with a pocket clip, locking mechanism and a thumb stud. You know, something with some modern functionality.

    1. David says:

      I did not have the heart to state it until you did. If I went for a case knife it would be one of their fixed blades.

    2. Justsomeguy says:

      I agree. The Case and Schrade folders are indeed classy knives, but I never carry the ones I have. I carry a modern folder. The Griptillion is one I’m familiar with and partial to.

  11. Cheerstome says:

    I think that some of these are great suggestions, my personal suggestion is to look at some Boker plus knives on bladehq.com. I have a few such as the boker nano which is a little edc knive that is very cool, and the boker s2 by sniper bladeworks which is a rather large and awesome folding knife.

  12. Adam says:

    I got my groomsmen Case Stockmen and they all still carry them daily.

  13. Chuck K says:

    I guess a lot depends on what your groomsmen do for a living. I have a lot of knives, but what usually ends up in my pocket is a mini griptillian. Perfect size and weight for me. My other favorite is a Benchmade 921 Switchback, but I don’t think you can get that anymore.

    1. MD says:

      +1 on the mini Griptilian. A good friend gave me a mini-grip several years ago. It was my first Axis lock, and my favorite knife until I lost it in the snow.

  14. Eh says:

    I actually did this! I gave all my groomsmen kershaw scallions. They all lost them within a year so, good luck, maybe your groomsmen are more responsible.

  15. Mark says:

    Case Texas Jack or Canoe

  16. DP.Science says:

    Spend 30-40 on the knife but get them engraved.. they’ll be way more valuable to your groomsmen, they’re less likely to lose them and you (they) get the style points, no matter what the knife is, of it being one of a kind and just for them.

  17. Stephen M. says:

    If you aren’t fixated on a folder, I’d look at a small River Traders fixed blade. Well made, classy, will last a long time.

  18. BluesMike says:

    I agree with the suggestions for Case. The peanut is that old-school that my Dad carried and I really like those. For new school, I really like the Skyline. Good price. Reasonable lock-up. It’s in that right-in-the-middle weight/size that is just great for carry.

  19. Tom in Oregon says:

    May I suggest William Henry.
    Check out the B-10 titanium, with wave form Damascus blade.
    Classy, stylish, razor sharp. And will last.

    1. Sam L. says:

      Yes, but he’ll need money for the honeymoon. Those are $1175 each at AGRussell.

  20. Samuel Leoon Suggs says:

    Almost anything Case! Can’t beet em for class/utility ratio! However I recommend either the Medium Stockman or the Russlock in black G10 (both 1st link below) or the Minicopperlock in Amber bone or pretty much anything else in the amber bone family.

    http://www.wrcase.com/knives/standard/black-g-10/

    http://www.wrcase.com/knives/standard/amber-bone-ss/

  21. Lolinski says:

    It might not be fancy but a victorinox craftsman is what I would recomnend as a practical, quality knife that will serve for years. Maybe add some fancy wooden scales to it?

  22. 0351 says:

    I personally have a Gerber, which is the Gerber 06 fast, assist open. I got mine in the Marines, and have had it for about 8 years now. It’s been useful as a tool and has held up very well. Not the fanciest piece, but I’ve never had an issue with it.

    1. MD says:

      Semper Fi, brother. I’m a former 0351 myself. (Long time ago).

  23. Bob says:

    I was going to suggest this:
    http://www.crkt.com/SnapLock
    It’s a really nice knife and makes a great gift because its very unique.

    I have had one for several years and I love it.

    However turns out they discontinued it so I guess that’s out.

  24. Mike L says:

    Well I’m gonna take this one out on a tangent. Its been a loooong time since I was involved with buddies getting married BUT…if I had to do it I would be gifting out the following. How about a Cold Steel Spetsnaz Shovel or one of the SOG Tomahawks? Both will see a lifetime of use and when you need that special something it will do the job. Both are under 30 bucks.

  25. Matt in FL says:

    Robert Wallace left this over under the Digest on TTAG:

    To: JP

    As groomsmen gifts, I got everyone a Letterman that was enameled and laser etched with their name and the date of my wedding. That went off very well with all involved. Everyone knows I am a gadget kind of guy so the all thought it was a great gift to remember the day.

  26. Matt in FL says:

    Personally, I like the idea of a Kershaw Scallion, as you initially said, or possibly a Leek. It will come as no surprise that I carry Kershaws; I currently own a Leek and a Chive (the Chive is my EDC). I prefer those over the others you mentioned because they all have steel grips natively. You can get the Delica (for sure) and the Griptilian (I think) with metal, but both are at an additional cost.

    I agree with those who suggested getting them engraved. Doesn’t have to be fancy, might even just be the date (and your initials?). Could be on the handle (assuming it’s metal) or the blade. But it gives it that “something more.”

    Whatever you choose, I would stick to something more modern, with a thumb stud or assisted opening (or just the Spyderco hole). Case knives and the like are nice for presentation pieces, but few people would choose to carry them over something more modern, and it sounds like you’d prefer it’d be something they’d get some use out of.

    I would avoid fixed-blade knives unless you know the majority of your friends would be into that or get some use out of them. Otherwise it’ll become just more “stuff’ to lug around for the rest of their lives.

  27. Jim says:

    Benchmade Mini Griptillian. I’ve got a drawer full of knives and it’s the one in my pocket almost every day. I prefer the tanto blade shape , but that’s me. The plain edged 556 will make almost everyone happy.

  28. Derek says:

    “Something that 20 years from now they will still fondly use and appreciate.” If they aren’t all knife guys, then that’s probably not possible. If it’s not something they will appreciate and value, then you have to assume that it will be abused, lost, or thrown in the junk drawer. $50 is still way too much if your groomsmen aren’t knife guys.

    I was recently a groomsmen in a wedding. The groom hauled off and bought us all Liga Privada #9s. Mine and his were the only two that were completely smoked. That’s about $100 worth of partially burnt cigar.

  29. aircooledTOM says:

    CRKT Swindle. Featured on these pages a few weeks ago. I bought one to have as a “dress-up” knife. I figured it would go wonderfully with business attire. Right at 50 bucks on Knife center. Beautiful ball-bearing deployment, flipper, unique ken onion design. Blade folds completely into the scales…. Unique gift.

  30. JMZ says:

    I agree that it should be engraved. Just make sure to get their name or initials and maybe the date. Don’t put your wedding crap on it. That is lame.

    Many great suggestions. Would probably get made in USA with a lifetime warranty. Gerber 39 Series?

  31. JP says:

    Thank you everyone for your suggestions.

    I apologize for not responding sooner, but there have been quite a few suggestions. I have ordered a Kershaw Scallion all-black to check out in person. I am leaning in that direction, although the Gerber 06 caught my eye as well. Between the tastes of both myself and the my groomsmen I think the more “modern” style will go over a bit better than the more classic style.

    Once again I appreciate TTAK posing my question and I appreciate all of your responses.

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Question Of The Day: Which Knife Makes The Best Groomsman Gift?

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