Note: Post updated in 2022.
If you’re like me, trying to find a gift is the worst. Fortunately, for you, helping you find the perfect gift is part of my job.
I’ve written about 20 different knife-related gifts for under $20 with some great options. But, if your budget for a good friend or a brother is a little higher, we got you covered.
Here are 20 knife-related gift ideas for under $50. These include some of the best-sellers at Knife Depot and products people have been excited about recently.
1. Spyderco Persistence Lightweight
When we first made this list a few years back, the Spyderco Tenacious was one of the top picks for knives under $50, but its price is now well over the $50 mark.
However, Spyderco recently came out with a “lightweight” iteration of the Tenacious’ little brother: the Spyderco Persistence Lightweight.
The Persistence Lightweight has a smaller 2.77-inch blade but it feels just as big as the larger Tenacious. Its handle is bidirectional FRN.
2. Kershaw Reverb
The Reverb is an interesting little knife. This futuristic-looking folder was named one of the top sellers of 2017 by Knife News, and it’s not hard to see why. The small 2.5-inch blade is versatile and its machined recess allows for easy, one-handed opening.
A combo G-10 and carbon fiber handle adds some texture to the grip while a carabiner in the back allows for versatile carry. The best part about this knife is you can really take it anywhere you go.
3. Smith & Wesson Bullseye Throwers
Does your gift recipient already have a ton of foldings knives and fixed blades? Try getting him or her a set of throwing knives. This set from Smith & Wesson comes with six throwing knives that are durable and great for everyone.
Knife throwing is quickly becoming a popular sport that people can play in the comfort of their own backyard. Start a new tradition with this set.
4. Engraved Old Timer 6OT Golden Bear
From the modern to the classic, the next item under $50 is the Old Timer 6OT Golden Bear from Schrade. I’ve always been a big fan of Old Timer knives — the saw cut Delrin handles and the brass bolsters/pins give this knife a look that harkens back to the days of old.
This particular version of the Golden Bear also comes with laser engraving, making this an even better gift idea (though it’s available in its plain version too). The blade is 3.5 inches and locks with a back lock.
If you’re stuck figuring out what to engrave, check out my post on what to engrave on a knife.
5. Ontario RAT Model 2
Even after all these years, the Ontario RAT still takes the title as the most beloved budget knife (though the CIVIVI Elementum is gaining on that title). The RAT Model 1 and 2 are among the best budget folders around and have earned a reputation among diehards.
While you can opt for either one, I chose the RAT Model 2 because it’s a bit smaller and I tend to favor the slightly smaller versions. The 3-inch AUS-8 blade is still capable, however. If you look at reviews for all the different versions out there, you’ll see this knife is the real deal for anyone.
6. CRKT Squid XM
For a few years, the CRKT Drifter was in this spot because the Wirecutter did an extensive search for the best pocket knife for the masses and settled on the knife. But there are just so many better knives out there, including the Squid XM.
The Squid is one of the best little big knives and the beefed up Squid XM makes it one of the best knives overall. Pretty much all the Squid knives fall in this price range, so you can’t go wrong with any, but the Squid XM offers something a little newer and a little different.
7. Spyderco SpyderPac
If the gift recipient is a fan of knives and already has a ton, the Spyderco SpyderPac is an excellent alternative to yet another bladed tool. Spyderco made a scratch-proof storage system that allows you to store or carry your collection. It comes in two sizes — small (up to 18 knives) and large (up to 30 knives). Both of them are made from heavy-denier polyester denier and both come in at under $50.
These storage packs make excellent gifts for those with large, disorganized collections.
8. Smith & Wesson 1st Response
For under $50, you can get a functional and badass blade in the Smith & Wesson 1st Response. Like the Golden Bear, this one comes with free engraving on the blade to make it even more special.
I often carry this knife and when it’s out of my EDC rotation, it stays in my car as a rescue tool, thanks to its glass breaking tip and seatbelt cutter embedded in the handle. The 3.3-inch blade has a partially serrated edge and the rubberized aluminum handle provides a solid grip in all types of situations.
9. CRKT LCK+
The LCK was one of the best budget knives a few years back. Well, it made a comeback in 2021 in this CRKT-branded LCK+.
It has a slim 3.31-inch assisted blade with a black GRN handle. This thin folder is one of the best EDC knives you can get for under $50.
10. Kershaw Kapsule
What makes a good gift is something unique. That’s where the Kershaw Kapsule comes in handy.
This is a manual OTF folder from designer Jens Anso is like few other knives out there. While it might seem like a novelty knife, it’s actually pretty good at opening boxes and light EDC tasks.
The recipient will be opening and closing this knife all the time.
11. Schrade SCHF51
I was tempted to put the best-selling Schrade SCHF36 on this list before deciding the newer version of the 36 should take its spot. The Schrade SCHF51 takes all the great things about the SCHF36 and removes some of the major complaints. The result is a nearly perfect budget fixed blade.
The blade is around 5 inches and made from 1095 carbon steel. The well-degisned handle is TPE and features the right amount of texture and jimping. Even those who aren’t outdoorsmen will appreciate this knife.
12. Spyderco Bow River
Spyderco is best known for its bizarre yet functional folders, but the Spyderco Bow River has been a big hit these past few years.
It’s a compact, all-purpose fixed blade with a 4.36-inch blade and two-tone G-10 handle. It comes with a leather sheath. If you want to get someone an outdoor fixed blade that’s classy and useful, it’s hard to beat the Bow River at this price.
13. Victorinox Cadet
You can never go wrong with a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. There are so many models that even collectors will always love a new one. If you’re unsure which one to get, I highly recommend the Cadet. This is the quintessential Swiss Army Knife. It’s compact with the right amount of tools needed for everyday carry.
What makes this such a great gift is the silver Alox handles. It looks classier and more expensive than the traditional red cellidor models but also carries the familiar Victorinox emblem.
14. KA-BAR TDI Investigator
When you want something that’ll shake the standard knife gift up a bit, there’s the relatively new KA-BAR TDI Investigator. This unusual-looking knife is designed to resemble the handle of a pistol to allow for quick access in last-ditch situations or everyday carry.
Customers have told us they’ve given this fixed blade with 2.71-inch blade to family for Christmas with much success. Knife fans will appreciate this well-built design.
15. Lansky Standard 3-Stone Sharpener
Gifts can’t always be fun and games. Sometimes, you need a good item to keep all your knives in tip-top condition. For those times, there’s the Lansky Sharpener. This is one of the most versatile mobile sharpening systems around.
This standard version comes with three stones and honing oil. All of this fits into a compact design that can be taken with you. This is a great maintenance tool for anyone with a knife.
An earlier version of this list had the great Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K, but the price is a bit too high now. Fortunately, there’s another new Kershaw that’s been taking the knife world by storm: the Kershaw Outlier.
This tactical karambit features a 2.6-inch black-coated hawkbill blade with a black glass-filled nylon handle. It has a built-in flipper tab and an assisted-opening mechanism to really get this knife open quick.
Like all karambits, the Outlier comes with a steel ring in the handle to allow for different grip positions. It’s no wonder this has been one of our bestsellers.
16. Spyderco Ladybug
Say what you will about the cute name, but this knife is a beast in a small package. The knife has a sub-2-inch blade that makes it legal in most places with restrictions and a back lock for security during use. Despite the small size, the back lock makes this a reliable tool to use in any situation.
What I love about this knife is that it can be great for anyone — men, women, and even teens.
Delta Force OTF
Nothing feels better in the hand than a solid dual-action OTF. This Delta Force OTF features a serrated spear point blade with a light green camouflage handle.
The blade is 2.75 inches long and uses an actuator to open and close it. It even has a glass breaker and comes with a nylon sheath.
19. Cold Steel Luzon, Large
The Cold Steel Luzon is a really popular knife because of its design.
Although it’s under $50, this knife is huge. Boasting a 6-inch blade, the Luzon is almost like a novelty but it also works well in self-defense applications.
CRKT CEO Flipper
Finally, there’s yet another insanely popular EDC from CRKT: the CEO Flipper.
The CEO was a nearly perfect knife when it came out, but CRKT managed to streamline the design even more with a flipper instead of a thumb stud.