10 Modern Gentleman's Knives

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When you think of a gentleman's knife, you probably picture something old-fashioned, like a knife you'd find in your grandfather's pocket. There's definitely something appealing about a knife with such a simple, classic style. But when it comes to adding one to your own EDC, you probably can't get past the fact that those knives rely on old, outdated technology.

Good news — modern gent's knives are a thing, and they embrace the design tenets and advanced materials you'd expect on a knife today. These include frame locks, flipper assists, and lightweight materials, to name a few.

And just like their traditional brethren, modern gent's knives aren't huge tactical folders that draw unwanted attention. They look sharp and sport cutting edge technology. Finding a knife that balances both advanced features and a refined, timeless style can be tough. We've laid out 10 solid options to get you started.


Benchmade 765 Mini Ti Monolock

Titanium collectors, the 765 is the modern gent's knife for you. Solid precision-machined titanium panels comprise the handle. This knife also features an open construction in the handle that makes it easy to clean and maintain. The 765 opens with a thumbstud, but its ball bearing assist makes that action easy to perform.

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Kershaw Showtime

Kershaw's Showtime is a beautiful knife that's ready for its closeup. It strikes a minimalist tone with a black oxide steel handle and black satin blade. That 3" blade opens in a flash via Kershaw's SpeedSafe assisted flipper opening. The knife weighs a tad below four ounces and carries deep in your pocket with its reversible clip.

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CRKT Crossbones

The CRKT Crossbones sports a slim and elegant profile with a light weight to match at 2.4 ounces. Its thin 3.5" AUS-8 blade is great for precision work like opening letters. Even with one hand, it's easy to use thanks to a flipper deployment made even smoother with IKBS ball bearings.

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Spyderco Dice

The Dice is a favorite modern gent's knife for everyday carry, and it's easy to see why. With a 2.5" straight-edge blade, it's less aggressive than other Spyderco knives but still offers the best benefits of those designs. It has excellent ergonomics and easy one-handed flipper operation. It also has an attractive carbon fiber and G10 laminate scale design pattern on the handle.

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Boker Plus FR

This is a low-profile and elegant knife with a blade made of dependable VG-10 steel. The sub-3” blade melds into the clean lines of the handle when closed. Only the flipper sticks out, making it easy to find and use when needed. The blade's titanium construction makes it extremely light at just two ounces in weight. It also allows for a solid and reliable frame lock. The knife is available in bare titanium, but for added elegance, you can choose cocobolo wood, grippy G10, or carbon fiber panel embellishments.

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Gerber Airfoil

True to its name, the Gerber Airfoil has a sleek and smooth design that's made to look like a wing. It has a lightweight aluminum handle and the entire knife weighs only 2.2 ounces. The deep pocket carry clip helps it stay low-profile in your pocket.

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Buck Nobleman

Buck is known for more traditional gent's knives, but their Nobleman is far from old-school. Where most Buck knives are nail nick lockbacks, the Nobleman is a modern frame lock with a thumbstud. It's a slim and elegant knife with smooth curves and a sub 3” drop-point blade. The handle is available in three options: stainless, titanium coating, and carbon fiber.

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Zero Tolerance 0452CF

If you're looking for a bigger modern gent's knife, this one fits the bill. Its large four inch blade gives you a superb cutting edge but it cuts down on bulk with its thin drop point profile. The ergonomics on this blade are top-notch, with a handle that makes it easy to get a firm grip. The flipper opening and KVT ball-bearing assist make it easy to deploy with a single hand as well. It sports gorgeous carbon fiber patterns on one side and titanium on the other, providing an attractive contrast in materials.

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SOG Arcitech

The SOG Arcitech features stunning Damascus blade steel and carbon fiber handles for a seriously modern look. SOG's take on this unique blade finish is a result of VG-10 steel and nickel folded together and then acid etched at the end. The blade is 3.5” long and opens with a thumbstud. SOG's arc-lock holds it in place when open, and it's rated to stand up to over 1000 pounds of force. If you prefer a more traditional look, the Arcitech is also available with a satin blade finish and a jigged bone handle.

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Chris Reeve Mnandi

A modern gent's knife list would not be complete without the Mnandi. The Mnandi is sleek and elegant. It's perfect for dressing up or adding a serious touch of class to a more casual ensemble. The Mnandi has a nail flick that makes opening this blade a two-handed affair. The frame lock and deep carry pocket clip adds modern creature comforts to the design. You can pick between five different types and shades of wood accents to make this knife your own.

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What's your favorite modern gentleman's knife that's not on this list? Let us know in the comments below. And if a traditional gent's knife is more your style, don't miss our guide to classic gent's knives.

#modern-gentlemans-knives #buying-guides #knives see all



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Discussion (19 total)

Great article. Some very interesting examples.
I prefer my benchmade 940-1 carbon fiber sv 90 knife. Light, handsome, durable, sleek like a fine rolled cigar.
Don't mean to come off as a knife snob but the only knife that meets the "Gentleman's Knife" criteria was the CRK Mnandi. I'm sorry but a solid slip joint should have made the list lime a Robert Loveless City Knife or a Northwoods. When purchasing a fine knife aka Gentleman's Knife the words budget and affordable should never be used, ever. That's the problem with most modern blade manufacturers CRKT, Buck, SOG, ZT....they all are cheap but carry a much higher price than what they're actually worth. I'm sorry but even the popular Zero Tolerance are cheap blades. Meaning if actually carried and used they won't be gifted down to your grandchildren or probably even your kids. They are all gimmicky just aren't solidly built. All the brand's I've mentioned Should NEVER charge more than $100 for any of the knives. A friend got a Zero Tolerance 0777-M390 CF a $450-$500 knife and took it on deployment. It didn't survive 6 months before failure. He went back to his CRK Sebenza. I have been carrying a TSF Beast ($300) for 4 years without one single issue and it has outlasted many many other CRKT, SOG, Cold Steel and ZT all used in the same conditions. If you're on a budget by Benchmade. I highly recommend to buy smart and buy from the likes of custom knife makers such as CRK and Three Sisters Forge. You just get a much better knife.
The 0452 is way too big to be a gentlemans folder. Should have opted for the smaller 0450
How is the SPYDERCO Hungarian Folder not on this list? It is an absolutely well-balanced truly modern piece with a nod to the old school fejesgörbe. This category was made for this knife!
Got the SOG knife. But I'll always carry my issued Kabar knife.
I carry the benchmade Megumi. Perfect size for a gents knife and in S30V.
Not a big SOG guy but that Arcitech is sick
Deejo's look sweet.
Love my Opinel #6, whose wooden handle makes the knife look very classy.

A great buy at around £8 - £10 here in the UK
The CRKT Ripple (v1 or v2) should be on this list. Perfect gentleman's knife.
Thank you for including the mnandi in this list.
I think the Boker Kwaiken should be in this list.
Another to consider is the Boker Panatela.
I think the CRK Sebenza would have been a solid contender to be on this list.
It's got classic graces that let it fall into the gents category but a tough construction so it can be used pretty hard.
Still a great article, good work.
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