Matt writes: “The Schrade ‘Tough Tool’ ST1 is an incredible multi-tool — tough as nails and solid as a rock. I’ve owned it for years and it’s survived all the abuse I could throw at it. The key selling point for this $40 tool is that the fold-out tools are on the sides of the handle and not on the ends where you’d normally grip it to dig in. Some of the tools in the handle — the saw, both screwdrivers, and the knife — also lock in place. I’d buy it again if I lost it, and I’d rely on it (still) in a pinch.”
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This idea is so obvious that you may not have thought of it.
The thing to keep in mind is that picking out a pocket knife for Dad is sort of like picking out a wedding ring for your spouse-to-be. Don’t just go grab anything off the shelf. There was a special moment of bonding when your father gave you your first knife, and now you’ll re-share that moment with him through your gift. If you put some thought (and your heart) into it and pick out a knife that fits his needs, interests, and personality, it’ll be a gift he’ll remember, and likely carry in his pocket for decades to come. If you just buy him whatever you find at the mall, you might as well buy him a tie.
If you don’t already know what kind of knife your father carries, now’s a good time to find out. Fathers stick to the same pocket knife brand the way truck owners stick to Chevy, Ford, or Dodge. He’s likely carrying the same brand his father carried, and you’ll want to get him his favorite. To carry on the tradition while adding your own personal flair to the gift, consider picking out a version of the knife he carries in a different finish.
Our fathers happen to carry knives from Buck, Case, and Schrade. (Not surprisingly, we do the same. It’s learned behavior.) In our pockets today are the Buck model #307 “Wrangler,” a largish three-blade knife of good utility that was recently discontinued, and the model #425 “Minibuck,” a much smaller single-blade that’s a lot easier to explain to the gate security at concerts and sporting events. Among our fathers’ favorites are Case’s #035 medium “Stockman” in bone, and Schrade’s #340T “Old Timer U.S.A.” in classic brown.
To add a special touch to the gift on the ‘day itself, ask him to show you how to sharpen it — good memories, indeed.