We have had some fine knives pass through our hands for review this year, and many of them would make fantastic gifts this Christmahanukwanzakuh season. The great thing about living in 2015, is that no matter your budget, there is well-made product to be had. So join us, won’t you, for our first annual Holiday Gift Guide for Knives.
I’ve broken down the sections into maximum spend. If you are still looking for ideas for that certain knife-person on your list, or looking how to spend your latest gift-card, I hope we can help you out.
Budget Beater/Stocking Stuffer: The Ontario RAT-1 may just be the best one-hand opening folder out there for less than 25 bucks. There may be nicer knives, but few in this price range are as solid as the Ontario. Also makes a great launch pad for those modders out there.
Folding Fish & Fowl Flipper: Not only does it work well for small game, the CRKT Hootenanny by Ken Onion is great for EDC and food prep. Plus, it allowed me to practice my alliteration in this title!
Tactical/Survival Knife: With careful shopping you can find the Gerber Strong Arm (black handled version) for under $50. It was the most solid offering out of the four knives that we reviewed during Gerber Week, and we are happy that it is made in the USA to boot!
Gentleman’s EDC Flipper #1: The CRKT G.S.D. looks good whether you are wearing jeans or slacks, and offers an impressive amount of high-end features for the price. There are a ton of classy details on this knife that set it apart from other items in this price range.
Outdoor Neck/Belt Knife: The ESEE Izula-II makes a fantastic backup knife for the outdoorsman – this little guy can take a beating – and unlike most small fixed blades, the handle is actually big enough for all four fingers! A few different options/color combos are available, ranging from the high $60 to high $80 range.
Gentleman’s EDC Flipper #2: With a D2 composite blade, the Kershaw Leek is a knife so nice Clay bought it twice! This assisted opener by Ken Onion has tons of class and is extremely pocketable. If you can’t afford the price tag of the blackwashed D2 version that Clay tested, it is also sold with the excellent 14C28N stainless steel for between $40-$50.
Heirloom Quality Slipjoint: For the fan of traditional folders, check out the Great Eastern Cutlery Tidioute #73 Scout. GEC makes the finest production slipjoint knives I have ever seen, and this single-blade model features classic 1095 carbon steel and beautiful jigged bone handles. Collector quality but made to be used and built in the USA.
Handcrafted Bushcraft Icon: The L.T. Wright GNS is an American made spin on the classic Woodlore blade pattern. With micarta handles, O1 tool steel, and a scandi grind, you can’t ask for a better combination of features for bushcraft tasks. (Technically this knife is $155, but I’m gonna let it slide!)
Motorized Knife-Sharpener: The Work Sharp: Ken Onion Edition is one of those tools that I don’t know how I ever lived without. Whether you are reprofiling an uneven bevel, sharpening through nicks in a blade, or you just want to put a beautiful convex edge on your knife, the Work Sharp makes the task speedy and painless, all without ruining the temper of your blades. The Ken Onion Edition also has the advantage of other accessories that can be added later, further increasing the versatility of an already great tool.
High End Survival Knife #1: When asked, the Wilmont Knives Wharny was Clay’s choice for a take-no-prisoners survival knife. He had this to say: “…when I hold this knife in my hand it feels like it wants to work. This is a knife I can trust, it has a substantial heft that borders on the (relatively) invincible.” Nuff said!
High End Survival Knife #2: The Fiddleback Forge Camp Knife is my current choice for the same situation. The extended handle helps the blade to chop hard, but still facilitates comfortable carving and detail work. The blade is awe-inspiring, and the fact that it is made with CPM-3V steel is the icing on the cake!
THANK YOU FOR BEING OUR READERS!
I hope you have a great holiday folks. We are already lining up some cool items for review in 2016 and I hope to make this list an annual tradition. Until then, keep coming back for the latest in knife news, stories and reviews!