Life in the Kitchen

Is It Bad Luck to Give a Knife as a Gift?

updated May 2, 2019
Post Image
(Image credit: Emily Han)

We always include knives in our gift guides; from the splurgy to the economical, a good knife is almost always a practical and welcome gift. But there are some people who would object to this, saying that it’s bad luck to give a knife as a gift. Have you ever heard this, and are you superstitious about gifting knives? If so, there’s one little custom that you should follow…

Why is it bad luck to give knives? Who knows, but it’s a common belief all over the world. From China to Europe, the superstition is that a gifted knife will “cut the friendship” between giver and receiver, or that it will cut the gift recipient… unless they do one thing.

The giver of a knife, according to many traditions and superstitions, should only offer a knife with a penny attached, which the recipient promptly gives back to the giver as a “payment” for the knife, thereby preserving their relationship (and fingers).

Do you follow this custom? Or do you find it silly? Personally, I always think it’s interesting to discover where traditions like this originated, but I also think that knives make some of the best presents going. If you need me to gift you a penny too, I think it’s worth it.