You don’t need to be versed in knives to give the perfect gift to the ‘nut’ in your life. Think beyond the blade and get something they’ll really love!
Giving gifts is hard. And while a few folks seem to have a genuine knack for the art, the rest of us are often left fumbling in the dark.
Things get even more challenging when you’re shopping for a member of a particular fanbase. Take the EDC Community, for instance. Under the banner of “Every Day Carry,” these folks invest a lot of thought into the accessories and tools of daily work.
Pocket knives are a mainstay in this hobby, making them a natural target for gift-giving. But knife shopping is a minefield, with hundreds of makers and designs.
Instead of trying to puzzle out which combination the recipient would like, why not give something that can be applied to all knives, or to the EDC hobby in general?
Below, you’ll find several options sure to please even the most snobbish of knife nerds. And we should know, as GearJunkie contains a few such individuals in its ranks.
We’ve broken things up into three levels, ranging from affordable to premium. This should help you navigate the strange world of pocket knife gifting, based on your relationship to the recipient.
Gift Guide for Knife Nuts
The Tiers of Gift Giving
First up is Level One. Think of this as the “Secret Santa” tier, and you’ve drawn the name of a coworker who’s always the first on-scene when there’s a box to be cut or a package to be opened. These are for when you need something relatively inexpensive, but of a high enough quality for regular use.
Then we have Level Two. This can be a bit of a tricky one, usually aimed at close friends. You’ve spent enough time with this person to know at least a few of their preferences, and to be more than casually invested in their reaction. These are high-quality, reasonably priced gifts that show you’ve done some homework.
Finally, we have Level Three. For all intents and purposes, this is the tier for someone you’ll nearly see every day, and more often than not in the evenings. Items in this category are the expensive, centerpiece gifts that say, “I don’t care how strange your hobby is. If it makes you happy, I’m happy, too.”
Got all that? Then let’s get to the shopping.
Level One: Victorinox Dual Knife Sharpener
This compact design ($15) from Victorinox allows users to carry a honing stone and sharpening system clipped in the comfort of their pocket. The “Dual” approach is simple: Use the honing rod to straighten out the edge, and the V-shaped ceramic pull-through to bring it back to life.
Now, this isn’t the best tool for repairing a truly damaged blade. Chips and dents will require a more aggressive surface than the ones found here.
But while most “pocket sharpeners” amount to little more than a gimmick, this model excels at keeping sharp blades in working condition.
Level Two: The Work Sharp Precision Adjust
When it comes to value for money, no one provides a keener edge than Work Sharp. Its Precision Adjust system ($60) is the paragon of budget sharpeners. With its adjustable angles and multiple stones, this contraption will put hair-popping edges on everything from kitchen to pocket to hunting knives.
How do we know? Because we reviewed one a while back. An upgraded version has since hit the market, adding more stones to boost its finishing to mirror level. These stones can be purchased on their own or as part of a complete package with the original kit.
Level Three: KME Sharpening Set
There are plenty of guided-angle sharpeners out there. And if you’re familiar with the Work Sharp listed above, this setup may look a bit familiar. But when you’re looking for razor-quality edges, nobody out-sharpens KME ($224).
The clamp, rod, and stone designs have been employed by other makers. But KME has refined the system to an art.
The quality of its sharpening hones also sets these apart, from the 140-grit extra-coarse to the 1500 extra-fine. Users can also purchase stropping surfaces, and even lapping films for the final micro-finishing.
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line sharpener, the KME is it.
Sharpening systems are great. But with so many on the market, gift givers might run afoul of a particularly picky individual.
What about something with a little more universal appeal? After all, there are other parts of the knife that need to be kept in working order. Here are a few ideas that should please even the most discerning of blade junkies.
Level One: Wiha Torx Driver Pen
From their pivots to their back screws, most pocket knives use Torx ($20). These star-shaped heads require special bits in order to loosen and tighten their fit. And like Victorinox above, Wiha can put the whole kit in your pocket.
The Wiha Torx Driver Pen is a great way to carry a full breakdown set on the go. The included bits range from T3 to T8, all of which fit nicely in the hollow shaft of the handle.
The bits themselves are made in Germany, utilizing a tool steel hardened to 60 HRC. They’re tough and should stand up to years of repeated use.
Level Two: KPL Knife Care and Maintenance Kit
KPL stands for Knife Pivot Lube, so this company knows its blades. This maintenance kit ($24) comes with a bottle of the brand’s proprietary oil, 14 reusable cleaning swabs, a microfiber polishing cloth, and even a bottle of Vibra-Tite thread locker.
Each of these components has a use, from keeping surfaces slick to clean or ensuring that the screws stay firmly in place. KPL also includes a die-cut sticker, which can be applied to your lunchbox or hard hat.
This is a lot of kit for $24, from a maker that purpose-builds its products for knife enthusiasts.
Level Three: GoodSkrew
Looking for something a bit more personal? The cheeky folks over at GoodSkrew have you covered. These premium drivers ($97-190) are available in several colors and patterns, with materials ranging from titanium to zirconium and steel Damascus.
According to the company’s website, everything apart from supplied materials and bearings is created “in-house (designs, crafting and finishing) by the skilled and talented team we’ve assembled.”
GoodSkrew’s operations are split between Hong Kong and Singapore, so be sure to allow adequate time for overseas shipping.
Sometimes it’s best to gift with an eye to broader appeal. The items below are more about the general fun of the EDC hobby, from companies that are as enthusiastic about making their items as the recipients will be with receiving them.
Level One: Knafs Mousepad/Poster
Knafs is the brainchild of Ben and Athena Petersen, a pair with deep roots in the gear community. Over his 8 years in the knife industry, Ben earned a reputation for knowledge and good humor.
It’s available in two sizes, or alternatively in an oversized mouse pad.
Level Two: Blade Magazine Subscription
Who says print media is a thing of the past? Pocket knives are tangible, and so is BLADE Magazine ($24). This venerable publication has been around since 1973, and it’s a major player in the event arena as a backer of BLADE Show.
From coverage of the latest releases to features on makers old and new, its coverage has you, well, covered.
One- and 2-year subscriptions are available, and each comes with a supplemental guide entitled “Sharpening Knives.” This is a valuable addition, with techniques for honing everything from folders to axes and machetes.
Level Three: EDC Organizer
One of the best gifts you can give a gear person is the chance to carry more of their favorites with them. And like any type of bag or accessory, the choices in style are endless.
I’ve provided three options here, starting with the Husky Maximizer 2.0 ($47) from Vanquest. With its wealth of pockets and durable construction, this allows you to carry not just knives, but practically an entire tool set.
Looking for something more knife-centric? Check out the EDC Roll ($90) from Hitch and Timber. This handmade carry method includes six waxed canvas sleeves, along with three more in Horween leather.
The last option offers a blending of these two styles. With the utility of the first and the material quality of the latter, Nutsac’s Admin Pouches ($169) have everything you could want in a gear organizer.
Available in multiple materials and styles, this company also boasts a lifetime guarantee on its products.