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Reddit, for gift ideas, what is the coolest thing you own under $100?(r/AskReddit)
There are quite a few pretty decent pocketknives that can be had for under $100 nowadays, and they make decent gifts because they’re practical. Most dudes I know appreciate receiving gifts that are more practical and useful (like tools) rather than sentimental.
SOG Flash II – $33.90. Assisted open, able to be locked closed, tip-up carry, Zytel handle, AUS8 steel, ambidextrous clip and thumbstud. This is a great economy folder. Lock-up isn’t perfect, the blade steel isn’t top of the line, but the assisted open is very slick, the handle feels great in the hand, and the overall very light feel of the knife makes for a great little workhorse that you won’t be afraid to beat up and get dirty and carry every day. Also nice is that the clip comes out of the very bottom of the handle, allowing for a very deep carry.
Spyderco Endura 4 – $60.87. Lockback, tip-up or tip-down carry, Zytel handle, VG-10 steel, ambidextrous clip and thumb hole. Some people hate Spyderco’s for their looks. The large thumb hole causes their blades to have a bit of a hump up top and an overall unusual shape. However, the hump makes for a great thumb ramp and the large hole makes it easy to open quickly, even with gloved hands. The handle surface uses what they call “volcano grip;” textured squares that lean away from the handle center. Hard to explain, but very grippy. You also have a few different configuration options with the Endura 4; the plain edge, the fully serrated Spyder-edge, or the combination edge, and then the plain or black Ti-Ni coated steel. Overall, a very damn solid knife which is actually pretty large. Great every day workhorse.
Cold Steel Ti-Lite – $43.52. Liner lock, tip-up carry, Zytel handle, AUS8 steel, right-handed only clip and thumbstud. The Ti-Lite is kind of a gimmicky knife. It has no assisted open, but is designed to look like a 50’s switchblade or stiletto, so the blade is rather long and thin. Some people love it, some hate it, but having carried one for a couple years, I can tell you that they’re nice knives. They have something similar to an Emerson Wave opening feature – there are little nubs near the base of the blade, and if you pull the knife out of your pocket a certain way, it opens automatically as you draw it out. Hard to explain, so here is a video example. Very easy to get used to, actually faster than a switchblade, and 100% legal. One thing to look out for – this will SHRED the edges of your pockets if you do it often, especially if you’re wearing slacks or lightweight pants. Gimmicky with limited practicality, but a decent choice if you like the looks. (Oh, and a heads up: there is a 6″ version of this knife, which is pretty obscene for a pocket knife. That sucker, while technically legal in many places, will likely have the cops breaking your balls if they see it.)
Kershaw Leek – $51.21. Assisted open, able to be locked closed, frame lock, tip-up or tip-down carry, 410 stainless handle, 13C26 steel, right-handed only clip and thumbstud. The Leek is a very small, very thin, elegant little knife that I like to think of as my “gentleman’s knife.” Not suitable for workhorse applications, you could probably snap the very tip off this blade by giving it a solid tap on a table – it’s really that fine at the tip. The blade can be deployed with a bit of pressure on the thumbstud, or by using the index finger on the small “flipper” that pokes out the back. The heavy-duty frame lock is easy to close with one hand.
Benchmade Griptilian – $93.35. AXIS lock, tip-up carry, Noryl GTX handle, 154CM steel, ambidextrous clip and thumbstud. Most people who are into knives will agree that Benchmade is an upper-tier company, and one of the few still making most of their products here in the USA. Their products are mostly quite excellent, and the Griptilian is no exception. The AXIS lock takes a little getting used to, but once you’re familiar, it’ll quickly become a favorite. Makes the knife very easy to open and close with the flick of a wrist, yet still offers an absolutely rock-solid lockup. The handle material is different than my other suggestions in that it’s not exactly a hard plastic, but a more grippy rubbery polymer that feels tacky in the hand. If I had a single complaint about the Griptilian, it would be the handle shape; I have pretty damn big hands, and it feels a bit too short for me, and a bit thicker than I usually like. But for people will average sized hands, it should really be fine.