In partnership with Deejo.
When you think of a pocket knife, what comes to mind? Eagle Scouts? Dads on a camping trip? All of the above?
I was right there with you, until Deejo caught my eye. If the typical pocket knife just isn't your vibe, that's exactly where they come in, with ultra-light, beautifully made but above all 100% customizable designs. With everything from the size, handle materials, finishes and engravings completely yours to mix and match, they offer over 20,000 unique combinations. When I say there's something for everyone, that's no exaggeration.
With holiday gifting season in full swing, what initially seemed like a genre of gift that was too generic to be meaningful now felt like the perfect opportunity to design something special for my partner. And while I'll save the details on their eye-popping customization tool for later, it's no spoiler to say I was able to hand-pick exactly what he wanted.
- Knives are light and portable but remarkably effective
- 3D design tool allows you to try out different styles for full customization
- Designs are ready to be shipped in less than 48 hours, which is practically unheard of for custom orders
We don't like
- The tattooed (ie. engraved) blade style might not be a favorite with purists
A PERSONAL STAMP
When Stéphane Lebeau founded Deejo in 2010, his primary focus was on making each blade lightweight. He perfected a design process that produced knives as light as a standard mailing letter, but that still cut with precision and didn't skimp on material strength. In fact, their knives are even named for their weight, from the 37G (37 grams), 27G or even the naked stainless steel 15G, which weighs less than a metal teaspoon. This ultralight tactility makes the blades insanely easy to transport: they slide right into your pocket without weighing you or your clothing down.
But several years after that, his friend and collaborator Luc Foin proposed the concept that became Deejo's real signature: total personalization, not just from modular designs but also by offering optional blade "tattoos." They dreamed up a plethora of patterns and motifs, inspired by the world of tattoo art, to be laser engraved onto each blade as a personal statement. The options truly run the gamut, from astrology-inspired images to ocean waves to Art Nouveau embellishments, and that's before you add your own custom text engraving on the handle.
As mentioned above, materials and finishes are equally up for modification, converging into one singular object that's meant to reflect its owner. I was sufficiently intrigued by this offer, if not daunted but what I assumed would feel like way too many choices. But when I tried my hand at their online 3D customizer, the whole process felt visual, intuitive — and most of all, fun.
CHOOSE YOUR GEAR
The first thing that struck me about the My Deejo 3D customizer was… well, how 3D it was. You can swivel the knife around to view it from any angle, even seeing how light reflects off the blade and handle. I chose to select the weight first, going with the heaviest of the three options: 37 grams. Though that brought the base price to $90 (up from $80 for 27g and $35 for 15g), I wanted my gift to be as substantial as possible.
Which also meant I had to pick a killer tattoo, and though I loved the writerly motifs of the Manuscript style and the significance of the Infinity sign, I opted for the bold, geometric Art Deco style. The cascading chevrons were eye-catching in the best way, and were way more my partner's style than anything literal. Beyond that, there were tons of handles to choose between: everything from dark wood Walnut Burl to black Carbon Fiber and yellow, pink and white gold gilding. I opted for the minimalist, timeless Juniper Wood, which would look good with any outfit if he opted to use the belt clip.
Though I didn't add any personalized text, I appreciated the option to dedicate up to 35 characters right on the handle. But more than that, what truly impressed me was that this highly specific design would be ready to ship in less than 48 hours. It's a testament to Deejo's streamlined process that even a fully customized knife wouldn't need the typical 4-6 week custom order delay. All the better for me, a notoriously last-minute shopper.
UNBOXING (AND REBOXING)
As I found out when my order arrived just a few days later, designs generated via the 3D configuator arrive in a sleek box (like the one picture above) — all the more enticing for unboxing. On first grasp, I couldn't believe just how light the knife felt. Putting it in my pocket, it weighed significantly less than my iPhone. But still, when I made a few test cuts with it on everything from pieces of paper to cloves of garlic, the blade fell right through with sharpness and precision.
The cherry on top of all, of course, was the beautiful Deco design, which looked even better in person than on the site. I giddily placed the knife back in its case and squirreled it away, where it's patiently waiting to be opened and cherished next month. Not only did Deejo help me knock out my biggest gift to-do in almost record time, it gave me a one-of-a-kind experience that exceeded all expectations. I can't wait for him to open it and for it to be the conversation starter it's inevitable to become.
There's nothing like giving the gift you truly can't find anywhere else.