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So you who know me also know about my grandson Aaron (Winter Shadow) . . . he just started college and will be turning 18 soon . . . so what do you think would be a good knife to gift him for this important right of passage into manhood?  Most of you have experienced this step into manhood, I, clearly, have not, so I do not know what is appropriate.  He already has the basics, a Leatherman Wave, a Buck 110, and a Buck 119.  So throw some suggestions at me.  Hopefully less than $100, or closer to $50.  He likes fixed blades, especially swords, but a folder wouldn't be out of the question.

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As I'm basically a traditionalist, I'd suggest a good slipjoint knife.  I think something like this CASE would be a great 18th birthday gift.

http://www.knifeworks.com/browseproducts/Case-Large-Stockman--6.5-B...

Are you looking more for it to be something with lifelong subtlety that he'll appreciate more when he's older, or something he'd hold in his hand that would make him say "WOW!  That knife is bad-ass!"

I'd suggest something more along the lines of the latter, especially since he likes big fixed blades, & he already has useful knives.

Ontario knives keep popping into my head -- especially the RAT 5 in 1095 (about $90).  You can find sheath upgrades pretty easily for this one, & it won't set you back as much as the ESEE 5.  Also in the Ontario line, the Spec Plus knives -- I especially like the SP-50 & the SP-52 (both in your price range), & also the Spec Plus Kukri (around $65).  A lot of people like the Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie -- I'm not a fan, but a lot of people are.

But Kabar kept creeping into my mind.  In your price point, the 1277 Large Heavy Bowie ($60) is a favorite of mine.  Also in the $90 range are the BK-9 & the BK-2.

Frankly, though, you should be able to find an ESEE Laser Strike in the $99 to $110 vicinity -- not as bad-ass, but it's a thick hunk of steel with an incredible edge out of the box that he could use for a lifetime (ESEE will repair or replace it if anything damages it).  Going a little smaller is the ESEE 4, which should be pretty well in your range, & the ESEE 6 isn't too much more ($120?).

You've almost got too many choices in your price range -- wishing you luck!

You know some of the Lionsteel folders come in, in that price range.  He might like one of them.  The CNC, the Daghetta and even some of the TiSpines.  

The Ontarios are on sale at knife center right now also  http://www2.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_store.html?woCATEGORYdatar...

dead_left_knife_guy said:

Are you looking more for it to be something with lifelong subtlety that he'll appreciate more when he's older, or something he'd hold in his hand that would make him say "WOW!  That knife is bad-ass!"

I'd suggest something more along the lines of the latter, especially since he likes big fixed blades, & he already has useful knives.

Ontario knives keep popping into my head -- especially the RAT 5 in 1095 (about $90).  You can find sheath upgrades pretty easily for this one, & it won't set you back as much as the ESEE 5.  Also in the Ontario line, the Spec Plus knives -- I especially like the SP-50 & the SP-52 (both in your price range), & also the Spec Plus Kukri (around $65).  A lot of people like the Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie -- I'm not a fan, but a lot of people are.

But Kabar kept creeping into my mind.  In your price point, the 1277 Large Heavy Bowie ($60) is a favorite of mine.  Also in the $90 range are the BK-9 & the BK-2.

Frankly, though, you should be able to find an ESEE Laser Strike in the $99 to $110 vicinity -- not as bad-ass, but it's a thick hunk of steel with an incredible edge out of the box that he could use for a lifetime (ESEE will repair or replace it if anything damages it).  Going a little smaller is the ESEE 4, which should be pretty well in your range, & the ESEE 6 isn't too much more ($120?).

You've almost got too many choices in your price range -- wishing you luck!

Well I like all of your ideas Dead Guy but I don't know if they say "sentimental".  What do you guys think?

Not sure how much outdoor type of activities Aaron likes doing, but the Becker BK knives are a good price for a great knife. The BK2 or BK7 might be good choices. 

Where did Charles get that one that he had his initials engraved on it?

Jan -- good call on the Knifecenter Ontario sale.  I got the email after posting about the sale, checked it out, & I will say that it's just not very impressive.  I recall that Knifecenter has some really good deals, but certain brands tend to fall outside of those good deals -- Ontario must be one of them.

And if there are Lionsteel folders in that price, I've got to go check them out...!  I have very few nice Italian knives, something I'd like to change.

Data, I know the knives I suggested are not, for the most part, in the "sentimental" category.  I love my RAT 5 (mine's the D2 version, much more difficult to sharpen, but other than the skull crusher on the pommel it's almost perfect in size & weight & shape -- not to mention it has a beautiful leather aftermarket, scout-style sheath -- it's sentimental to me).

Generally speaking, though, my guess is if you get him one of the larger ESEE's (Laser Strike, ESEE 5, or ESEE 6), it will become very sentimental to him.  (After giving him the knife, tell him to Youtube some reviews on it & he'll be all over it.)

Question:  Do you have an idea of the kind of knife you'd like to give him already, or is it that you know what you generally do not want to give him?  

It's not difficult to find beautiful, functional knives, until you put a price limit on the search.  I don't mean to suggest you should give him a gift that you don't want to give him, or that you don't feel a sentimental connection to.  But maybe the sentimental connection will come through your search, & it would be better to be pointed in certain directions & to make the choice on your own.  You run the risk of the gift being more sentimental to you than to him, but it's a risk one always takes with gift giving, but that should never detract from the giving of the gift.

Before I start waxing philosophical here, I'll instead just point you in another direction:  Helle Knives.  

Or consider other Scandinavian knife makers, like Marttiini (they make many beautiful knives, not just the fillet knives you find at Target or Dick's, you'll likely never see them in a store(like the Owl Knife, below), but look online!). 

Really, though, Helle might be the next brand you should look into... 

You guys have given me some great suggestions. I have been looking at the Ontario and KaBar knives. Also looking at Case and Queen folders. Also looking at a custom Buck 110 but they can get expensive fast. Also ran in to Garett on FB and asked him what his ideas were. There are too many choices.

Hm, you mentioned Queen folders -- I'm a fan of the Mountain Man myself.  3 5/8" single blade with a lockback.  Pretty, versatile, functional -- & like a traditional folder on steroids (just tell him to be careful who's around when he uses it)...

Main reason for my suggestion of a traditional knife is their acceptance in a more public situation. While toting around a fixed blade wouldn't cause us to raise an eyebrow, it may cause problems if carried at college.

Ms Data- If you are looking for something he will treasure for a lifetime, I too would go with a traditional folder like a Case stockman or the like. One that he can carry everywhere and will not become passe over time. My other thought would be one that has some family history, such as one passed on from your own collection.  I own many a knife, but my most cherished are monetarily not even close to the most valuable, but as they are from my elder family members prior ownership they are priceless in my eyes.

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