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Please help me pick a knife for my dad's 50th birthday..

Jan 5, 2007
I don't really know much about knives, nor does my dad. We do understand and appreciate quality and craftsmanship though. I want to get a nice pocket size knife for my dad as part of his 50th b-day gift....something from me (son) and my 2 sons....just seems like a nice knife feels like a good gift. I dont know if I want a traditional buck style knife or something with the bone style handle. I originally thought about having something engraved, but not sure if that is the way to go. I dont want to spend a fortune $40-$80 or so. I was hoping some of you guys could steer me in the right direction for something that will be a little more special than a chinese job from the flea market :eek: I like the idea/style of the old time grandpa heirloom knife that is practical, but still has something special to it...if that makes sense...

...any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks all,

Case makes some versions that have etching on the blade,worlds greatest dad, worlds greatest son, and if I remember correctly there was a grandfather and grandson version also. Do some searching, possibly e-bay. I think they were all serial numbered too..
I say get a Benchmade Griptiallian/Mini-Grip. They fall right into your pirce range, and it is one of the most popular knife talked about on this board. I just got my mini-grip not more than 2 weeks ago and it has already replaced my MOD CQD Mark II as an EDC.
I think SAK Soldier would be appropriate, or may the Pioneer so that you can engrave his initial on it's scale
all good choices. check agrussell.com. he sells many brands at very good prices. you should be able to find something nice there.
You might look at some offerings from Queen Cutlery. They make traditional folders, many with D2 steel (very good blade steel). And a some of them have stag bone handles. They are well executed and American-made. Stag handles may put them in the upper end of your stated price range if you buy them on line. Try Googling the phrase "Queen cutlery D2 stag".

Good hunting.
... (bumping) (it's a nice thread and maybe some more suggestions might come:)).

My grandfather had the same functional pocketknife for most of his life and as long as I can remember. It was bone handled (quite durable). He used it for everything. When he went into the hospital they took it away from him and I'm not sure what happened to it. My dad's every day was a multi-purpose, since he was so active (there wasn't a trade he didn't know and a thing he couldn't fix). :)

You might want to check out the knife reviews and testing forums for ideas.


Here's a list of some men's favorite pocket knives from that forum:

In my opinion, the best pocket knife you can carry in most circumstances is a Swiss Army Knife made by Victorinox in Switzerland. They make a few models with what they call alox handles. Alox means solid aluminum alloy, and it's checkered for a good grip. The three best models are the Farmer, the Pioneer, and the Soldier. Each should be under about $30. I'm sure he will enjoy one. These are excellent quality knives, and those few models made with alox handles seem to be a little heavier duty than their plastic handled models. I'm older than your dad, never without my SAK, and know whereof I speak.
Welcome to Bladeforums!

Here's a few links to look over for the kinds of knives suggested by the others:

A.G.Russell will mostly be out of your price range.
Case knives -- a lot of traditional patterns
Queen -- traditional with better materials.
Swiss Army Knives, many real good values in useful knives by Victorinox, and also by Wenger.
Thanks for the advice guys. I like the look of the queen ones here:

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/s...rch=eqCATE CODEdatarq=que&eqKEYWORDdatarq=csb

I am wondering what the difference between some of them is though (stockman, wittler, etc?)

I am thinking the 3.5" one is probably the best size to be pocketable.

I was wondering what is a standard engraving technique for a knife like this. I guess the only engravable surface would be the blade.....i really dont know what I would write either??
I got my grandfather a spyderco kiwi and he loves it. The knife is spyderco's "grandpa" knife I guess you could say. Pretty (with the red bone or jigged bone scales), no clip, wharncliffe blade (straight), small, comes with suede pouch (for inlay versions), backlock which older people are most familiar, and an absence of the cut-out called the boye dent. This makes it easier for older people to press down.

Stainless Steel versions at around 50, inlayed versions around 80-100.


I am wondering what the difference between some of them is though (stockman, wittler, etc?)

I am thinking the 3.5" one is probably the best size to be pocketable.

I was wondering what is a standard engraving technique for a knife like this. I guess the only engravable surface would be the blade.....i really dont know what I would write either??

You can find many of the standard pocketknife style names in A.G.Russell's Knife Encyclopedia at http://www.agrussell.com/knife_information/knife_encyclopedia/index.html

The stockman is a cowboy knife, with the big clip blade for general utility, the sheepsfoot for precision cutting, and the spay blade at the far end to spay or spey or neuter a calf.

The whittler is just that, a knife specialized for whittling, with the clip again for utility and a small pen and coping blade at the far end for carving fine details.

The trapper has a clip and long spay blade at the same end, in this case as a skinner, since the blunt point won't tear up the animal, just remove the pelt.

The muskrat is a skinner for smaller game, with a long fine tip blade at each end.


I agree that 3.5" is a good length. I like a 4" slipjoint sometimes, but it is more than you need for ordinary use.


I can't help you with the engraving. You might get that done by a jeweler. In malls, you may find kiosks that sell memorabilia like small knives or lighters or silver cups where the proprietor will engrave items.

I don't like the idea of engraving the blade, which damages the surface in a way that promotes rust. Most natural handle materials aren't amenable to engraving and the bolsters aren't large enough.

Package it with a card. He'll remember getting it from you without having anything written on it.
If your dad hasn't already got one, you can't go wrong with a good Swiss Army Knife, like a Wenger or Victorinox. I got one 30 years ago and I carry & use it every day. Frankly, I don't know how anybody can get along without one.

If he already has a SAK, you might want to consider the Kershaw DoubleCross or DoubleDuty. They look like nice pocketknives, but have the advantage of one handed opening. Planning to get one myself.
You might look at some of Benchmade's axis locks because they are easy to open. My older friends like things that are easy to open.
As usual, I agree with Esav 100%. He's given you all the answers you need.

Were I your dad, I wouldn't need engraving to remember who gave me a nice blade. I gave a nice little pocket knife to one of my bosses when he retired. 20 years later, he still remembered it. How much more your father remembering what knife his son gave him. Go with the good knife and don't worry about the engraving.
Heres Anoter Vote For A Spyderco Kiwi