The challenge of finding the right Father’s Day gift is eternal. Stone carvings in ancient caves depict the difficulty of choosing the right gift for Dad. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but the struggle is real. Stores are littered with pre-boxed ties, sports memorabilia, tacky boxer shorts and grilling tools. Another part of this puzzle is many fathers’ reluctance to share what they may want for this special day. While “I just want everyone to get along” is charming, it doesn’t help our mission. Knowing the conundrum you face, I will offer a suggestion that will resonate with almost any dad on Earth: steel.

Cold Steel

Adding to our list of good places to pick up a real knife, we turn to Cold Steel. One of the company’s most enduring and popular knives is the Recon Tanto. Over the last 20 years, Cold Steel has succeeded in establishing the Tanto as a superior combat blade. The Recon Tanto is rapidly redefining the standard for combat knives around the globe. It is well on its way to becoming the preferred fixed blade for SWAT teams and special military units. Reasonably priced and well made, this can easily be a winning choice. (

Condor Tool & Knife

Neck knives are one of the more obvious means of ensuring you have a cutting tool when the balloon goes up. Condor Tool & Knife recently added an interesting example of this category to its lineup called the Fidelis. The 1075 carbon steel, 2-3/16-inch-long, clip-point blade is mounted on a cord-wrapped handle and is carried in a Kydex sleeve with a neck chain. (


Does your father like to cook? Why not get him the best kitchen cutlery available. Chef’sChoice Trizor Professional 10X cutlery is fully forged and handcrafted in the U.S.A. The chef’s knife bolster is uniquely tapered, allowing sharpening of the full blade so that it maintains its optimum shape for the life of the knife. The textured polymer handle on every Trizor knife is seamlessly formed onto the full-length tang, eliminating bacterial contamination and ensuring a superb feel and non-slip grip, wet or dry. (

HallMark Cutlery

HallMark Cutlery’s Bad Blood Knives are designed by custom knifemaker David Mosier to create some very practical but economical tactical blades in both folding and fixed persuasions. One model that caught my personal attention is the Decepter, a sheath knife with a 4.5-inch, 8Cr14MoV stainless steel blade, a ridged G10 handle and a Kydex sheath. The spear-point blade lends itself to a wide variety of uses, including personal defense, and its 8.3-ounce weight makes it very comfortable to carry on a belt. (


While there are several fantastic knifemakers out there, some of the best on the market comes from Hogue Knives. Its knives are the vision of renowned custom knifemaker Allen Elishewitz, expressed through Hogue’s state-of-the-art manufacturing processes. Made in America by American craftsmen, a Hogue knife at your side is a trusted heirloom-quality blade combining the best of old-world craftsmanship and design set in the context of modern-day, real-world applications. While Hogue offers both folding and fixed blades, it is the EX-F01 fixed blade that will make the greatest impression.  (


Lansky knows a thing or two about keeping an edge on your knife, and its blade designs represent the company’s reputation for high-quality sharpening kits. The Responder X9 is an interesting and useful folder featuring rugged Swedish steel and ambidextrous ergonomics. The X9’s 4-inch blade is made of Sandvik 12C27 stainless and the handle is crafted from G10. A two-position pocket clip ensures the knife will stay out of sight and in place until you need it. (

Ontario Knife Company

Ontario Knife Company (OKC) is renowned for making quality blades, and it recently updated the top-selling RAT 1 folding blade to include OKC’s patent-pending Tactical Assisted Opening (TAO) design by Joe Pardue. This lightning-fast opening action will keep your knife, and you, ready at all times. The RAT 1A, with its aggressive yet practical design, can be used for everything from emergency situations to everyday carry. The textured G10 handle provides your blade with a durable enclosure and offers you an outstanding grip for every use. (

Outdoor Edge

The Harpoon from Outdoor Edge would make for a truly unique gift. It has a 2-7/8-inch, 7Cr17 stainless blade with a paracord-wrapped handle. The knife changes easily from knife to harpoon by slotting a shaft with the sharp hawkbill end of the handle and tying the knife in or by threading the accessory blade holder onto a standard broom handle. The blade holder features a liquid-filled compass in the cap with a compartment for storing fishhooks, line, matches and other survival essentials. The Harpoon weighs 8.9 ounces. (

SOG Knives

Another winning choice for Father’s Day is SOG Knives. In fact, SOG knives have accompanied elite U.S. special forces and law enforcement professionals on missions for decades. With a well-earned reputation for engineering, precision and quality, SOG continues to make knives and tools trusted by the world’s best.

One of the company’s most striking knives is the Forge. The SOG Forge evokes a period in Japanese history when honor was the most highly coveted virtue. It was a time when everything was handmade with meticulous care. A good knife or sword was meant to last a lifetime, and as such, the Forge is built using both traditional and modern methods. (

Spartan Blades

Few knife-making companies can match the real-life special operations background as the guys at Spartan Blades. Curtis Iovito and Mark Carey have been there and done that three times over, so when they design a knife, you know it comes from practical experience. The company’s Akribis folder is great example of this. (


The Tatanka is Spyderco’s biggest and baddest Clip-It folder yet. Given the size of the blade, the company also had to redesign the locking mechanism for added strength. Called the “PowerLock,” the improved rocker-bar system is built to stand up to everything you expect of a magnum-sized blade like this. (

Steel Will Knives

Steel Will Knives produces some top-grade blades that will be perfect gifts for Father’s Day. They’re very attractive, sleek, American-made and very functional. The company’s new Chieftain 1610/1620 has a classic clip-point, 7.48-inch blade made of 1095 steel that is heat treated and then finished with a black traction coating for additional protection.

The full-tang construction forms a multi-purpose hammer/glass-breaker, and the Micarta handle is available in orange (1610) and green (1620). The Chieftain securely stores in a nylon sheath that is simple to clean and adapts to packs or belts. (


Timberline’s Tactical SOC folder was designed to provide a tough-as-nails everyday work knife of practical size at an affordable cost. It is available in a variety of colors, including coyote brown. There are also partially serrated or straight edge options in each blade finish. (


While the company is better known for its heavy-duty, fixed-blade combat and survival knives, TOPS also produces a few very functional folders, too.

The combat-ready and easy-to-carry MIL-SPIE 3.5 Tanto is great example of this, with its 3.5-inch, N690Co steel blade. (

Wilson Combat

One of the most popular folding knives from Wilson Combat is the Star-Benza, a limited-edition collaboration made with Chris Reeve Knives. The Star-Benza features titanium frame-lock construction, a 2.94-inch, S35VN stainless steel blade, and Wilson’s signature Starburst grip pattern for enhanced traction. A double thumb stud makes it easy to deploy the blade, and Wilson includes an exclusive lanyard with an engraved titanium bead. The knife is 6.88 inches long overall and it weighs 3 ounces. (


I could go on extensively about numerous other companies and the fantastic blades they make. Instead, I believe you will be better served with some general advice on how to choose a knife for that special man.

The first rule of knife club is to stick with serious knifemakers. There are many companies out there that “also” make knives. While some are good, many are mass produced and less than desirable as a gift.

The second rule of knife club is to forget about practicality. A sharp, 7-inch piece of steel should not be included in a utilitarian conversation. This is a unique and meaningful gift.

The last rule of knife club is to make the investment. Real knives can be pricy. Understand, though, that this is a purchase that can be handed down to following generations.

There is something almost magical about handing a knife that you or your father owned to your child. Steel will stand the test of time. This Father’s Day, do the impossible and shock your father with one of the best gift he’s ever received.

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