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 But when it comes to adding one to your own EDC, you probably can't get past the fact that those knives rely on old, outdated technology.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.