This mega-minimalist knife is perfect for those of us who are sick of sharpening our blades after opening one too many Amazon shipments. Made of stainless steel, weighing only 2.2 ounces, and measuring just 2.4 inches when closed, the Gerber E.A.B (Exchange-A-Blade) Pocket Knife ($9) has a replaceable blade system that uses standard utility blades so you'll always be sharp and ready. It also sports a finger guard and a pocket clip that can double as a money clip.
Let's face it, most of us don't spend much time during the week out in the wilderness — making that serrated saw blade on your pocketknife pretty useless. The Victorinox Cybertool Lite Multi-Tool ($115) is intended more for the kind of guy who sees more keyboards than leaves day-to-day. With tools like multiple screwdrivers (including a mini flathead), a wire stripper, cutter, and crimper, hex sockets, a ballpoint pen, and a white LED flashlight, you're bound to find plenty of uses for this handy knife. And for the off-hours, it also includes a cork screw and a bottle opener (perhaps the most useful tools of all).
Survivalist icons like Bear Grylls make due in the wilderness thanks to their experience, their wits, and plenty of equipment. You might not have what it takes to rough it like Bear, but the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pack ($950) might make you feel like giving it a shot. The pack comes with every Gerber Bear Gryils product in existence, placed skillfully in his Commando 60 survival pack. So if you've got what it takes to turn off Survival programming and actually take on an adventure of your own, this pack should equip you for just about anything, except maybe drinking your own urine.
When you spend most of your time outdoors, there are few things more important than a good blade. The Joseph Bowen TAD Edition Micro Hatchet ($160) combines the small size of a knife with the tactical versatility of a hatchet into one useful cutting tool. In spite of its small size, it doesn't shy away from a serious task, thanks to a chisel-ground CTS-HXP steel blade. It includes a slip sheath designed to wear around your neck, making it as portable as it is stealthy.
We've seen some fancy knife handles in our day, but none more interesting than the ones you'll find on the ends of these Pearce Knives ($20-$75). Surprisingly affordable, these unique knives are made by a second-generation craftsman in the traditional manner of heating metal to high temperatures in a fire and then beating it with a hammer. The handles are made from all sorts of everyday objects, including horseshoes, bolts, rebar, railroad spikes, and even rasps, making them a nice mix of the old and new.
Looking for an all-purpose knife to carry on you pretty much everywhere? The Gerber Outrigger Knife ($35) should do just fine. Taking design cues from at least three prior models, the Outrigger features a fine edge blade, the company's Assisted Opening 2.0 technology for quick access, dual thumbstuds for one-handed operation, a pocket clip for keeping it handy, an open frame design to reduce the weight, a plunge lock for carefree closure, and a rubberized overmold for comfort. Also available in mini and XL versions.
Most knives are made for cutting, but few are designed for cutting attackers. The Manticuda Knife ($275) is designed to aid in weapon retention, and as such offers a pistol grip for a secure hold and added power and a multi-faceted edge design that provides more cutting angles. Its wide design serves to produce larger wounds, while cutouts reduce weight and perform various utility functions, and an included nylon sheath keeps things safely tucked away when not in use.
Every man needs a dependable pocket knife — and like a meat patty at Burger King, you can have yours your way with the Buck Custom Knife Builder ($TBA). This Flash-based tool lets you select from three models, a variety of blades and handles, and even lets you add engraving before deciding what type of sheath you'd like. It's as close as you're going to get to building one yourself.
Why carbon fiber? Why not? These Carbon Fiber Daggers ($200) come in a bundle, and include the slotted-blade Escort, the honeycombed Escort II, and the open-handled Escort III. With weights ranging from 20.67 to 31.2 grams and lengths ranging from 7 3/8" to 9", there's sure to be one to suit whatever situation that might arise.
Knives don't need to do a bunch of different things to be useful — they just need to do one thing really well. The Gerber Venture Knife ($75) adheres to this mantra by limiting its design to a polished titanium handle and a three and a half inch serrated blade that's ready when you need it thanks to the Venture's FAST spring-assisted opening mechanism.
Who knew becoming a ninja could be so affordable? Apart from the black outfit you made from scrap linens and black socks, all you really need are the tools of an assassin, and these Ninja Stealth Throwing Knives ($7) should work just fine. Arriving in a three pack with a nylon case, they measure 6.5-inches overall, with a circle loop on each end, and a blade that's reasonably sturdy yet dull enough to make them great for beginners — so you might want to sharpen them before trying to hurl them through another man's skull.
When shaving every possible ounce of weight out of your pocket or pack is really essential, nothing beats the Baladeo 34 Grams Knife ($35). Made from 420 stainless steel, this diminutive blade is true to its name, weighing in at a scant 34 grams — 1.2 ounces — all while packing in a locking system and integrated belt clip.