Can you give a knife as a gift?

December 25, 2022
handmade knives

It so happened that since ancient times people have been subject to certain fears, which eventually developed into superstitions and spread to many generations. And although no one knows the reasons that gave rise to the belief that it is wrong to gift a knife, it is still possible to cancel the effect of the bad omen – by simply attaching a coin to your knife gift.

Can we gift a knife?

A knife is a memorable and useful gift. Moreover, it has a symbolic value, showing your appreciation of the recipient. Knives have been seen as powerful items for centuries – either as weapons or as valuables. Historically, owning a knife meant an important title or a certain power over others (for example, that of a government official or the head of the family). Basically, knives meant power and respect.
Nowadays, there is a huge variety of quality knives in the market: kitchen knives, folders, survival knives, hunting knives, high-end chef knives, or even collectable lavishly adorned art knives. A knife can be engraved, intricately tooled or garnished with a lettering or a scrimshaw, to make it a very special, personalized gift. A quality knife will make a great present for a wide range of people: outdoorsmen, culinary enthusiasts, hunters, survivalists or keen collectors of vintage souvenirs. A stylish knife can be presented for a number of occasions: birthdays, anniversaries, job promotions, hunting tours, or meetings with a prominent person.

gift knives

Why is handmade knife a great gift?

While maybe not the best gift option for your girlfriend, a quality handmade knife will for sure impress your dad, grandfather or any lover of exquisite artifacts. The knife has been a symbol of power and manliness historically, and still has the savor of nobleness and valor for many.
Handmade custom knives are produced one-at-a-time or in limited batches by seasoned bladesmiths who invest superior craftsmanship and utmost care in their handicrafts. When buying a handmade knife from a reputable manufacturer, you can be sure you get the highest standard of quality. Professional knifemakers thoroughly weigh all factors involved in building a handmade knife – design details, type of steel, heat treating, geometry, balance, ornamentation. Such a delicate attention to detail is quite rare in today’s mass-production world.

best knives for gift
Quality handmade knives, apart from being showy artifacts, are useful cutting tools and feature superior service properties. High-quality alloys (such as various types of carbon steel) and intricate techniques (such as pattern-welded Damascus) impart excellent qualities to a knife that is hand-crafted – these cutting tools are known to feature top-notch strength, durability and edge retention. Remember, the words “handmade” or “custom” do not mean a knife is a museum exhibit or brittle. In fact, handmade custom knives are way tougher and more durable than mass-produced knives. They are infallible in performing their routine tasks of cutting various materials, no matter how exquisite, ornate or bizarre they may be.
A memorable gift is one worth remembering. You can show someone that they are respected and cared for by getting them an original handmade blade.

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Why a tradition says you shouldn’t give knives as a gift?

There is a number of myths and superstitions surrounding the gift of a knife. In many cultures there is an old superstition against knife gifts – some believe that gifting a sharp or cutting item will lead to destroying (severing) relationships. However, there is also a tip to offset the bad omen: a tradition advises to attach a coin to your knife gift, even a penny. The presentee will then return the coin to the gift-giver, thus turning the gift into a “purchase” and eliminating the bad omen. Regardless of whom you’re gifting a knife to or how superstitious they may be, just throw a coin in the gift box and you’ll do dandy.
Still, many people claim that superstitions only impact those who believe them. If you have a logical mindset, you will not believe in myths. There are many who deem that knives can and must be gifted, as it is a gift desired by many men.

gift knifeWorldwide traditions

The tradition of giving a coin for a knife came from old England. Having received a knife or any other sharp object as a gift, it was necessary to give the giver a halfpenny so that the trouble would pass by.
For example, in China and Latin America, a gifted knife can be perceived as the end of friendship. It is not customary to gift various kinds of cutting or piercing tools in Arab countries as well.
Quite on the contrary, in the countries of Central Asia, a knife is considered the most expensive and prestigious gift. People in these lands are sure that all pointed and sharp objects have the power of protecting amulets that can ward off diseases and misfortunes. A knife placed under the baby’s pillow was considered an effective way to save baby’s health. The knife plays a significant role in many cultures. For example, in the initiation rites of some peoples, such as the recognition of adulthood. Often, the knife accompanies its owner from birth, when it is put in baby’s cradle as a talisman. In Finland, if a young man wanted to propose to a girl, he put his knife in the sheath of the girl. If the girl did not take out the knife, a wedding was scheduled.

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Japanese manners

In the land of the rising sun, it is believed that any knives and even scissors bring good luck and scare away evil spirits.
The Japanese also believe that gifting a knife means protecting the recipient from harm. Since ancient times, it has been customary to gift any cutting object when a person reaches the so-called unhappy age. According to the Japanese calculation, it occurs in women at 19, 33 and 37, and in men – at 25, 42 and 61 years. This age is called “Yakudosi”. And even though the Japanese are not so superstitious now, the tradition of gifting a knife when reaching the “Yakudosi” is being preserved today.
However, in Japan, a country that is associated with swords and knives, there are superstitions about gifting knives. Some argue that any sharp gift can cut a friendly or business relationship. To avert bad consequences, the Japanese, like medieval Englishmen, disguise a gift with a conditional purchase for a coin of any denomination. The standard of decency is considered to have been observed when a coin is placed in a gift box, which the recipient must return as the symbolic payment. The knife has always been and still remains the only tool that has practically not changed throughout its entire history, and most importantly, it has not yet lost its meaning and purpose. And if you think that a person will appreciate your present, gift a knife boldly. Well, if he is superstitious, just take a coin from him. And even better, as polite Japanese do, put your own coin in the gift box, which will come back to you later.

You can choose and buy a fine Gift Knife here.

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