Is giving a knife as a gift bad luck?

It’s a myth half as old as time itself, that giving a sharp object (and especially a knife) as a gift will bring bad luck. Specifically, so they say, the sharpness of the blade will ‘sever’ the ties of the friendship.

Knives are not alone in being considered unlucky gifts in some cultures: handkerchiefs (waving goodbye to a relationship), shoes (a bringer of evil), clocks (calling for bad luck), pears (signalling a coming parting), and umbrellas. Furthermore, there are superstitions about broken knives, and about knives coming anywhere near one of your dreams!

We live in a world where many of these old myths have been forgotten, and many would think that it is a good thing, too. We have enough problems without introducing more into our lives.

However, in the case of a knife, there is an ‘antidote’ to the bad luck of a gift of a knife, which is to tape a small coin to the box, or the blade, so that the recipient can use it to ‘pay’ the giver. This is called ‘trading a penny for a knife’, even though it can be whatever coin you would like it to be.

We may think that this is all a bit silly, but we might also enjoy innocently taking part in a tradition that dates back many hundreds of years, when so many other traditions have gone by the wayside. That coin will be a talking point, and the giving back of the coin extends and deepens the pleasure of receiving the gift.

A Forest and Forge knife, made in Sheffield and with a native English wooden handle, comes in a smart gift box that will be a perfect resting place for a coin

Which would all make a pretty acceptable present.

Forest and Forge Range