READ THIS FIRST
If you are a knife collector, Merry Christmas! This article is designed to help someone shopping FOR YOU, not necessarily YOU. Reading any further may spoil your surprise, and Christmas morning might not be as magical for you. If you were the kind of kid who looked under Mom and Dad’s bed early, then keep reading. If not, send this to someone who may be shopping for you!
How to Shop for a Knife Collector
Every knife collector (myself included) has this horrible problem. When asked what we want for Christmas, we’ll just say “It’s so easy. Get me a knife!”
There are a few problems with that. First, a knife is not necessarily what we want; rather, we want that knife. We’re a picky bunch, so if you just grab a knife willy-nilly, there’s a chance we won’t like it, or at least won’t carry it. Second, knife enthusiasts have little bearing on what “budget-friendly” means. Last week I caught myself describing $160 as an “accessible price point.” Lastly, the knife world is surprisingly large, and navigating it requires learning a truckload of industry jargon.
But never fear. I’m here to help you. After reading this article, you should have all the information you need to shop for even the pickiest knife nerd who already has it all. I want to help you find the best gifts for knife enthusiasts to ensure they all have the merriest Christmas possible.
The Easier Option: Knife Accessories
If there’s one thing that knife lovers don’t have enough of, it’s tools to maintain their knives. That makes accessories a very low-hanging fruit for Christmas fodder, and you can find stuff at every price point, from a $9 TORX bit set to a $900 sharpener. I’ll leave some specific examples below.
Lubricants: Benchmade Blue Lube, Tuf-Glide, and various weights of KPL all make great gifts for knife lovers, especially those with a ton of folders. Carrying a knife for a long time can gum it up, and you need to re-lubricate to keep it running smoothly after cleaning. Often, knife lovers don’t think about this until their bearings bind up! As an added plus, most lubricants are super affordable, well under $20.
Sharpeners: It took me an embarrassing amount of time to get a really good sharpener. We knife folk are all too familiar with the feeling of buying a new knife while our pile of dull knives stares judgmentally back at us. If your knife lover doesn’t have a good sharpener, that is an easy way to breathe new life into their collection. I swear by the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener and the Spyderco Sharpmaker. Both are superb. If you’re feeling a bit more spendy, the Work Sharp Precision Adjust series, as well as sharpeners from KME, Edge Pro, and Wicked Edge are all great options.
Storage: A knife storage system is something most knife lovers will wait to get until not having it is a big problem. For me, it was when my collection was so heavy that its drawer in my dresser wouldn’t stay shut, and my children started getting curious. Now I have a knife carry case (or two, or three). Regardless of how many knives your knife lover has, a way to store multiple knives is a safe bet. We have several fabric cases from various brands, and even a few Pelican cases with inserts designed to hold knives. I’ve currently got my eye on the Vault Case Co. Locking Case because it has a built-in lock to keep little fingers out!
Tools: Whether they’ll admit it or not, all knife collectors have stripped at least one T6 in their day. And I’d bet the farm that most of us have at least one knife we lack the tools to disassemble. To make a long story short, every knife enthusiast should have a driver set, and every knife enthusiast that has a driver set should have another. We have many knife maintenance tool kits at Blade HQ, and I guarantee your knife lover would use any of them. You can go simple with a small set from Wiha or Kershaw or get fancy with something from Benchmade or Knafs. Heck, Knafs even offers the Loaded Tool Burrito for an all-in-one knife maintenance package!
Knife-Adjacent Gear: Does your knife lover have a multi-tool? If not, get them the new Leatherman ARC! How about a ferro rod? Check out Exotac’s lineup! Do they carry a flashlight? Check out Olight! If they don’t have an axe, now is a great time for you to remedy that! Do they have a crusty old wallet that needs replacement? Get them a fancy minimalist metal wallet like the Chaves Ti Fold! You could try a Tactile Turn pen, a small pair of Knipex pliers, a challenge coin from their favorite brand/maker, etc. There’s a world of gear that knife lovers collect other than knives, and they tend to be less picky about it.
The Harder Option: A Knife
In the earlier section, I linked a ton of products that any knife enthusiast would be very happy to receive. Allow me to reiterate: you will have an easier time shopping up there. But if you are bound and determined to get the knife, I’m all for it, and I’m here to help. Unfortunately, I don’t have a nice list full of hyperlinks to safe bets. Knife enthusiasts are all unique in their tastes and collections.
My first bit of advice is to just ask them. Don’t say “What knife do you want for Christmas?” if you want it to be a surprise. Rather, start with a knife you saw or heard about somewhere. The less you know about knives, the better. Feel free to use any of these lines:
- I saw a police officer at the store today, and he had a knife with a butterfly engraved on it. Why would a cop carry a knife with a butterfly? Would you?
- Remember that scene in John Wick where the British dude talks about “the finest cutlery freshly stoned?” What was that cutlery? Do you have any?
- Why would Crocodile Dundee carry such a huge knife? Why do you carry a smaller one?
Any question along these lines, along with some follow-up questions, will get you the information you want. A knife enthusiast with an interested audience will talk more than a vegan who does CrossFit and invests in crypto. As a side note, having a loved one take an interest in their hobby is the Christmas wish of every enthusiast of every subject in the world!
Another option is to ask them to show you their knife collection. They will happily do so, I guarantee. Look at all their knives until you feel like they all look the same. They probably do, and while that may seem like a problem, it’s your best friend. They have a dozen knives with 3” blades and black handles? Well, go to BladeHQ.com, sort by blade length and handle color, and pick one that looks vaguely different from the others in the collection, and you’ve got yourself a winner!
My next idea requires that you have access to their computer. A quick look at their search history can show you what they’ve been looking for online, and that can help you find what specific knife they’re into. If you can get into their Blade HQ account, they probably have something in their wish list. You can jot it down, or even share it to yourself! If they know a knife is coming, you can just have them share it, too.
If neither of these is an option, think new. I don’t even know how many knives I have, but I do know that most of my knives are at least a few years old. Look for stuff that came out in 2023 to have the best chance of finding something they don’t have. You can find this either on the Blade HQ New Arrivals page or any other category, sorted by newest.
Anyway, I hope that helps. If this is still stressing you out, feel free to email me personally at [email protected] with any questions you may have. I’ll answer any questions I receive until the Next-Day Air shipping deadline for Christmas delivery. As I said earlier, I want every knife lover to have a merry Christmas, so I’m here to help.
Best of luck, and happy knife shopping! If you catch the knife bug yourself on your quest (it’s highly contagious), we’ll see you back here real soon!