How to Clean and Maintain Your Bamboo Cutting Board – From a Real Life Mom of 5 Kids

A bamboo cutting board is an excellent kitchen companion in more ways than one.

Not only is bamboo an eco-friendly material, it is a sustainable alternative to wood or plastic cutting boards.

Bamboo is becoming more popular because it fights bacteria naturally — and if that isn’t a plus, I don’t know what is!

At Lazer Designs, we get a lot of people asking about the best way to clean and maintain their bamboo boards.  Is it okay to use bleach?  Can you put it in the dishwasher?  We have the answers!

Once you have your bamboo board — or if you’re already reaping the benefits of bamboo — here are some tips on how to maintain the magic.


What Happens in Real Life:

As a stay-at-home mom of 5 kids 6-years-old and under, I’ll tell you what you SHOULD do for best care, and what I sometimes do when the girls hanging on my legs. What Happens in Real Life.


Preparing and Maintaining Your Bamboo Cutting Board

  • Before using your bamboo cutting board for the first time (I know, it’s so hard to wait!), coat it lightly with mineral oil.  This will help seal the board and keep anything from seeping in.
  • Reapply the mineral oil once a month if you only use the board occasionally, or once a week if you use it more often.
  • Apply enough to coat the entire board with a thin coat
  • Apply the mineral oil to the cutting board with a soft cotton cloth–no sandpaper allowed!
  • Once the oil is applied, let the cutting board rest for about 20 minutes.  Then remove excess oil.  Perfecto!

(Mineral oil is recommended because continued use of vegetable or grain based oils can cause the board to become rancid.)


What Happens in Real Life?

Often I just wash a new cutting board, but I do try and give it a light coat of oil before or after first use. On the boards I didn’t do this on, they seem to be fine.

The thicker the board, the less likely to warp and crack over time of not being oiled. I often use olive oil or cooking oil since it is already on the counter.


But where do I find mineral oil?

Head over to your local pharmacy or big box store’s pharmacy department and look in the laxatives area. Or buy it on Amazon.

Other oils you can use include beeswax and carnauba. See Bamboo Goo on Amazon for a mix of oils.

How often should I oil my board?

Try once a month, though you may find that if you use your board every day and the finish is looking dry, you’ll need to increase those oil sessions.

We have heard some people say they only do it seasonally (4 times a year), but that means the board really needs it by the time we oil it.

What Happens in Real Life?

Sometimes I have time to oil my cutting board. About as often as I have time to clean my laundry that’s piling up in various rooms.

I would love to oil my boards every month – in reality, I get to it around every season – 4 times a year. Results? On higher end and thicker boards, like Totally Bamboo boards, I don’t see any impact and have had the same board for 8 years. On thinner or non-brand name boards, sometimes they will warp a tad, which usually works itself out (see below) or isn’t enough to bother me.


Cleaning Your Bamboo Cutting Board

  • After you use the board, wash it with a mild detergent and warm water.  Give that bad boy a nice little bubble bath.
  • Wipe the cutting board dry immediately after washing.
  • Do not let liquids pool on the cutting board for more than a few minutes, or they could start to seep in and stain.
  • Do not put your bamboo cutting board in the dishwasher. (unless you have a dishwasher safe cutting board)
  • Do not soak your bamboo cutting board in water or any other liquid.
  • Do not put the cutting board in the microwave, convenient though it may seem.

What Happens in Real Life?

Don’t let liquids pool on the cutting board? Hah! You should see the liquids I deal with every day.

I know I know, I shouldn’t let it sit… sometimes it happens, and if I was cutting strawberries it leaves a nice red mark if I don’t wash it right away.

I wash with soap once everyone is down for nap. Unless I am down for a nap. Or when I get to the dishes. The strawberry stains don’t always come out with that wash, but do on the next 2 or 3 washes next time I use the board.

(see below for some tips on getting stains out)


My cutting board has warped! What do I do?

No worries! It is possible to flatten that once-flat cutting board – just get it wet, place it on a flat surface, and put a heavy pan, pot or large baking dish on top.

It should flatten out within a few hours (or up to 8 hours). Some people say to put a wet towel on top of the board (under the baking dish). You may want to oil it again once done, since we just got it wet.

What Happens in Real Life?

I’ve never had a board warp so bad I couldn’t use it – but I have … encountered…. or caused …. boards to warp by not washing/drying right away. To me, keeping the kiddos happy is more important than an-always-flat-board, and they usually work the warp out over the next week (the cutting boards, not the kids).

Solution? Gift or buy a thicker board! 3/4″ boards don’t warp, just the 1/4″ ones. Thicker boards are quite a bit heavier. I still prefer the thinner ones.


Oops! What if I already got a stain on the board?

Not to fear. Not only are veggie stains not a hazard to our health, but they can be removed to get your bamboo back to its original glow. The solution? Salt!

Use a sponge to rub coarse salt over the board, focusing on the stain, then rinse and dry the board.

If there is also an odor that goes along with the stain, you can get rid of it with a paste of baking soda and water. Just rub the paste over the board, rinse, and dry!


Disinfecting/Sanitizing Your Bamboo Cutting Board

It is recommended that you do not use your bamboo cutting board with meat, poultry or fish.  The bamboo is porous and the bacteria from the meat can be absorbed by the board.

Can you imagine fish and chicken juices soaking into your cutting board?  Yikes!  So, it’s probably better to keep your cutting board on a vegetarian diet.

If you do decide to use it for meat anyway, it’s best to keep one board specifically for meat, and one for vegetables. You don’t want your veggies getting contaminated by meat juice, especially if you’re eating the vegetables raw.

In any case, you must sanitize the cutting board properly:

  • Sanitize your cutting board if it comes in contact with raw meat–every time, without fail or excuse.
  • To sanitize, use a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide, bleach, or vinegar, according to your state food inspector’s recommendations.
  • If you go with the vinegar solution, the recipe is 1 part vinegar to 5 parts water.  After each use for meat, use a sponge to rub the solution into the board.
  • Rinse the board completely after sanitizing, and it will look good as new.

What Happens in Real Life?

I find it easier to use a glass cutting board for cutting my meats so I don’t have to worry about the fuss of sanitizing. I focus on sanitizing 4 sets of fingers instead (6 if you count mine and my hubby’s).


If you take good care of your cutting board, it will give you a lifetime of rewards in return.

If this seems like a lot of work, don’t worry about it!  Once you and the bamboo get into a routine, it’ll be like second nature.  Plus, taking care of your cutting boards this way will help them last for years and years.

What Happens in Real Life – Summary

I don’t see caring for bamboo as that much extra work – as you can see from my notes above. But I do prefer it (lighter, easier to handle, quieter cutting) to the alternatives.

Bottom line that I do with decent results:

  1. Wash it with the other dishes
  2. Let it air dry with other dishes
  3. Oil it once a season.

Happy cooking!


Now, with all of bamboo’s splendid pros in mind, and now that you know how to take care of your purchase, go out and buy yourself and your friends (hint: Awesome wedding gift) a good-lookin’ engraved bamboo cutting board and enjoy all the benefits.

If you haven’t picked one out yet and you’re not sure where to start, look no further!  And if you have any more questions about how to maintain your board, we’re always happy to help.


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Hydro Flask Test vs. Comparable Bottle with cold water – Are Hydro Flasks worth it?

What keeps your water colder or hotter longer, Hydro Flask, or our very well built and comparable 40oz Titan thermal bottle?

Hydro Flask’s are awesome bottles, no doubt. Are they worth extra money you are paying for the brand? That might be up to the buyer, but they very well could be. See for yourself in our Hydro Flask test below!

Our Titan bottle, with matte black and stainless finish, comes in at $33 for only a few with personalization, down to around $13 at higher quantities, with personalization. Compare that to Hydro Flask, around $35+.

We wanted to know how they compared at keeping water cold, so we put them to the test.

hydro flask test

On left: 32oz black Hydro Flask. On right: 40oz Stainless Steel insulated Titan bottle

Filled with: Same amount of cold water
Same amount of ice (about 8 ice cubes)
Bottle colors: Both BLACK
Bottle Size: 32oz Hydro Flask, Titan 40oz
Start time: 1:11pm
Weather: sunny
Outside temperature: 90°F at start, up to 97°F
Real Feel temp: 96°F at start, up to 101°F

hydro flask comparison

Hydro Flask Comparison: Both bottles have same amount of cold water and ice at the start of the test. Hydro Flask on top, 40oz Stainless Insulated bottle on bottom


40oz Insulated Titan bottle Hydro Flask
Rated at: HOT 6 hours
COLD 12 hours
Will it sweat? NO
Double wall stainless steel insulation
Packaging: Heavy duty box, ready to gift or retail
Rated at: HOT 6 hours
COLD 24 hours
Will it sweat? NO
Double wall stainless steel insulation
Packaging: Bulk in poly bag

So, we left them in the sun for the day. Below are the results!

The outsides of the bottles got HOT to the touch in our Colorado sun! Too hot to pick up after 3 hours!

Hydro Flask Compare with engraving

The sun beat down on our black bottles for hours! Here you see them both with custom laser engraving (after all, that’s what we do here)


After 1 hour, no noticeable difference in amount of ice and water was still freezing cold, as expected.

Hydro flask and bottle sitting in the sun

Hydro flask and bottle sitting in the Colorado sun, outside of Denver and Boulder

Hydro Flask with ice in it

After 1 hour, both still have plenty of ice. Hydro Flask on left. 40oz Insulated bottle on right.


After 3 hours, the surprising results are in!


Hydro Flask and Insulated Bottle after 3 hours

Hydro Flask and Insulated Bottle after 3 hours – Hydro Flask on left, No ice left. Insulated bottle on right, small bits of ice left.

It might be too close to call, Hydro Flask water still cold, Insulated Titan bottle still with small ice cubes in it (hard to see in photo).

What happened after another hour in the 97°F+ sun? (that’s 4 hours total)

Both still have cold water, but the Insulated Bottle’s was noticeably cooler. The water in the Hydro Flask has already started to warm up a tiny bit.

What happened after 20 hours in the car overnight?

To finish off our comparison, we left both bottles in the car, outside, overnight. Temperatures went from 95°F around 5pm down to 60°F and back up to 70°F for a few hours early morning.

Hydro Flask: Luke warm water
Insulated 40oz Bottle: Cool

Winner in terms of insulation: Insulated 40oz Bottle

There you have it, an unscientific, real-world comparison of Hydro Flask performance against a low cost, high quality generic bottle. While Hydro Flasks’ may look better, and maybe feel better, insulation is on par with other drinkware.

Hopefully this test has helped you decide on which drinkware to purchase for you, your company, team or customers. Did we mention the 40oz Insulated Bottle pricing includes customization? Get it engraved with your logo, wedding party names, or text for a unique, long lasting, high performing gift.

Now, there are ways to improve the insulation of your Hydro Flask or other insulated drinkware, such as filling with cold or hot water 10 minutes before you put your drink in it, so get the insulation cooled down/warmed up. This can make a big difference in performance (but who has time for that?).

We love Hydro Flasks and all kinds of drinkware here at LazerDesigns, and we engrave thousands of all kinds of bottles (including Yeti, Swell, Hydro Flask, Thermos, Stanley, you name it we’ve engraved it).

What have you experienced? Leave a comment below to tell us about it!













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How to Take Care of your Pocket Knife: Sharpening, Cleaning, Maintenance, Easy Tips and Tricks

Knife Care and Maintenance 

Congratulations on your new knife!

However you’ve made your way here, you want to know how to get the most out of your new blade. If you never did a thing to take care of your knife, it might last a long time, but if you take proper care, it could last a lifetime.

Laser engraved tanto blade rescue knives

Laser engraved tanto blade rescue knives

Whether your knife was a wedding party gift, a birthday present, or a personal purchase, you want to get your money’s worth, and we’re here to help. Immediately below, you’ll find some quick tips and tricks to get you started. If you want to dig deeper on a given subject, check out the directory and you’ll be on your way. Thank you for choosing for your personalized knife needs.

Quick Tips and Tricks

Types of locking knives

Types of locking knives (source: Wikipedia)

To open: Every knife will vary, but many have a thumb stud that will assist opening. Open it carefully the first few times, until you’re familiar with how your knife works. If

there’s no thumb stud, look for a groove or a hole that might do the same job.

To close: Again, many knives very, but a locking mechanism is common on folding knives to keep them from closing on you when you use your knife to cut. To close your knife, you may need to find the lever that will unlock it. The lever is commonly found at the base of the blade, or the spine of the handle, or at the base of the open blade.

-Keep your knife clean. For more on how to go about this, see our Cleaning Guide

-Keep your knife oiled. This is important for all knives, but particularly good for folding blades. They have moving parts that could corrode with heavy use. Your main worry with fixed blade knives will be in preventing rust. If you’re not sure which type of knife you have, check out Types of Knives to learn more.

-Keep your knife sharp. If your knife has gone dull and you’re not sure how to get started, check out our introductory Sharpening Guide. 

-Contrary to popular opinion, a dull knife is not safer than a sharp one. A dull blade will be more erratic when in use, meaning it is more likely to slip from the object to be cut and slice your fingers

– If you are using a folding knife, make sure to lock it all the way open before use. It should make a satisfying clicking sound.

– When cutting something open, grasp the knife firmly in your dominant hand and hold the object to be cut in your other hand. I usually have the best results when I put what I want to cut on a table so that I can exert downward pressure. Remember to always cut AWAY from your body (this includes your fingers!).

NEVER try to pry with your blade. Most knives aren’t designed for that, and it could break the tip off, causing injury and ruining your lovely new knife. Always use the right tool for the right job.

Cleaning and Maintenance Guide

Like any tool, your knife may get dirty with use. If your blade is grimy and rusty, don’t lose hope.  You can keep your knife in stellar condition with regular cleaning.

To get it clean, you’ll need the following materials:

  • A sturdy pair of rubber gloves
  • Household lubricant (like WD-40)
  • Oil (3-in-1)
  • Mild dish soap
  • A soft sponge or toothbrush
  • A soft cleaning cloth
  • A nylon pad

Step 1: Put your gloves on. They can protect your hands from getting cut, and the oils and cleaners you use to clean your knife may cause skin irritation.

Step 2: Open the knife all the way. If your knife has multiple tools, open them all, too.

Step 3: Use a cloth to wipe down both sides of the blade with warm water.

Step 4: Take your sponge and dish soap, and scrub the blade again. For serrated (sawtooth-like) blades, a toothbrush may work better. For stubborn spots, trying letting it the soap sit on the stain for a short time and then scrub again. DO NOT soak the knife for a long period of time.

Step 5: To get any rust, spray your WD-40 (or other lubricant) onto the blade. Let it sit for a minute, then scrub with your nylon pad.

Step 6: Once the rust is removed, wash again with warm, soapy water.

Step 7: Dry off the knife with a soft cleaning cloth.

Step 8: Add a few drops of household oil (3-in-1) to the blade.

***PLEASE BE CAREFUL*** through the entire process. Even with a good pair of rubber gloves, it is still important to follow knife safety rules.

Introduction to Sharpening 

Over time your blade will likely begin to wear out. Depending on how often you use it and what you use it for, this could be as extreme as nicks on the blade and as simple as a dull edge. Either way, there’s no need to throw the knife away. A little sharpening can get it usable again without too much trouble.

There are are a number of ways to sharpen a blade. I am going to briefly cover four of the most popular methods. These methods require great care and precision, as you can ruin your knife if you do it poorly. Sharpening involves removing a small amount of metal in order to expose a sharp edge, so you must make sure you don’t remove more or less than what is needed.

  1. Sharpening Rods

Sometimes flat, sometimes rounded, a sharpening rod can be made of a few different materials, including steel, stone, ceramic and diamond. You will run the blade along the rod at a 20 degree angle going from the left side to the right side 30-40 times.

Kitchen knife sets often come with a plain steel rod. This is more for alignment purposes (straightening the blades) than sharpening and won’t remove any metal.

  1. Water Stone

A similar concept to the sharpening rod. You will run the knife along the stone at an angle several times. The stone must be soaked in water prior to use, and kept wet throughout the sharpening. This is the most difficult method, but experts consider it one of the best ways to maintain a knife edge.

  1. Sharpening stone

A hybrid between the rod and the water stone, a third option is a smaller sharpening stone. They’re often made of various materials like the rods. Honing fluid or water is sometimes recommended. This option has the benefit of portability going for it more than anything else.

  1. Accusharp

This method is the easiest, but must be used carefully as it will remove more metal than conventional methods. The Accusharp is a little device that you will pull the knife through several times, allowing it to do the sharpening for you. This is a nice alternative to electric sharpeners or power grinders, neither of which are good options as they can ruin your knife and void your warranty. There are other devices that do the same thing, but Accusharp seems to be considered the most reliable.


This is an introduction into sharpening and is not intended to be a thorough guide. For a more in-depth look at sharpening, I’ve included a few links below that will help you get started on your own. If you aren’t one hundred percent confident going into sharpening your knife blade, you can pay a sharpening service to do it. Some manufacturers such as Buck and Spyderco will sharpen their own brand knives for you for a modest fee.

A few other things to consider:

-There are many kinds of sharpeners with different levels of grinding power or “grit”. Which one you need will depend on the type of knife you are sharpening, and what condition the blade is in. A course grit is better for major flaws and nicks, while a finer, medium grit is best for knives that have simply gone dull. Depending on the knife, you may need more than one type of grit to get the job done.

-Serrated blades hold their edge longer, but require special considerations when being sharpened

-Gut hooks also need to be sharpened

-One trick you can use is to shade in the bevel of the knife with a black marker. When you sharpen, the black should be gone from the edge. If you can still see the mark, your angle is most likely off.

Buck’s Sharpening Guide

Accusharp on

Sharpening via a water stone

Types of Knives and Blades

Confused about all the different kinds of knives and blade types? Here’s a list of some of the more common types of knives.

Clip point: Similar to the drop point, but the spine is concave

Drop Point Blade: A sloping, rounded blade style

Fixed Blade: A knife that does not fold up. These usually come with a sheath to protect the blade and its owner.

Folding: A knife with a mechanism where the blade can fold into the handle. Also known as a pocket knife.

Gut Hook: A hook that juts backward from the tip of the knife. Used for game and fishing to deal with entrails.

Hawkbill: A curving blade style resembling a bird of prey’s beak

Liner Lock: A folding knife with a locking mechanism at the base of the blade, located just inside the handle. When pressed, it will allow the blade to unlock for closing.

Lockback: A folding knife with a locking mechanism in the spine of the handle. A lever, when pushed, will unlock the blade.

Needle Point: Similar to the Spear, but with a more pronounced point, and there is no blade belly.

Rescue: a knife with a window breaker and seat belt cutter on the pommel.

Serrated: Saw-like teeth on part or all of the blade edge.

Sheepsfoot: A rounded, dull tip and a flat edge, this blade type is bit of a combination of tanto and drop point, and vaguely resembles a small hoof in shape.

Spear Point: A blade where both sides have a sharp edge

Tanto Blade: A sharply angled blade style.

Trailing Point: A blade that curves upward along its spine.

Wharncliffe: A blade with a spine that gently rises as it nears the handle of the knife



Anatomy of a Knife

Here we’ll take a look at the anatomy of a knife and what the different terms mean. For more on the different kinds of knives, see Types of Knives


Bevel – A flat expanse that runs from the spine to the belly of the blade

Blade belly – The area of the knife just above edge.

Bolster – Metal knobs situated on either end of a folding knife

Butt – The end of the handle, opposite the point.

Choil – The end of a knife’s cutting edge on the handle side

Edge – The sharp part of the blade

Guard – Projections between blade and handle meant to protect your fingers

Point – The tip of the blade

Pommel – A knob on the butt of a knife

Ricasso – A flat expanse between the guard and the belly of the blade.

Serration – Saw-like teeth

Spine – The thickest part of the blade, usually opposite the edge

Swage – An edge opposite the primary edge

Tang – The part of a blade where it joins or is held by the handle. “Full Tang” means the tang goes all the way through the handle

Thumb Grip – A projection on the blade to assist in opening a folding knife

Safety Tips 

Here are some safety tips for your knife. This is a great place to start if you are new to carrying a pocket knife, using a hunting knife, or both.

  • When cutting, always cut AWAY from your body, not towards. One of the easiest ways to injure yourself opening a package.
  • If you drop your knife, it’s best to let it fall. You might catch the wrong part of the blade and cut yourself. Just don’t let it hit your toes, either!
  • Hand the knife to someone handle first. Giving it to your friend or loved one with the blade facing out is not only rude, it’s also dangerous.
  • Keep your knife folded up and/or sheathed when you’re done with it. This is easy to remember with a big knife, harder to remember with a keychain knife, but they can both cut deep.
  • Keep your knife clean, oiled, and sharp. A properly working knife is always safest.
  • Speaking of… discard it, retire it, or get it fixed if something breaks. Sometimes the manufacturer will fix it for you, if it’s covered under warranty. If not, there are specialists who can fix a broken knife for you if you don’t know how to do it yourself. They will also sharpen the blade for you. (Look up “knife repair” in a search engine online to find options in your area)
  • Knives are like scissors in that you shouldn’t run with them in your hand.
  • Don’t use a knife on electronics until you’ve made sure they’re unplugged and/or the batteries are out.

Recommended Resources for Further Learning


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Buck Bantam Knife Comparison and Review

Buck Bantam model 285 in Camo

Buck Bantam model 285 in Camo

When choosing a knife, you want quality. For decades, Buck has been delivering well built, well-thought out knives.

From the battlefields of World War II all the way to now, they’ve earned a reputation for well made knives.

Enter the Buck Bantam, a series of pocket knives in a range of four sizes. With so many options even in the same family of knives, making a choice can be tricky. This is especially true when selecting a knife as a gift.

Our handy guide to the Buck Bantams will help you make the right decision for yourself or the people in your life. See the end of the post for a comparison chart!

Each of the Bantams come in the same six handle colors, aside from the Nano which comes in five.

The handle of each Bantam is made of an easy to grip, textured thermoplastic. Your main difference overall is in size, but there are a couple other key features to be aware of as well.

Buck Bantams in colors

Various colors available on Buck Bantams, from top left down: Mossy Oak Camo, Kryptek Typon, Kryptek Highlander, Blaze Orange Camo, Pink Camo, Black


Buck Bantam NanoBlade length: 1 and 7/8 inches
Handle length: 3 inches

The smallest size is the Bantam Nano. This knife will go great on a keychain or clipped to bag. The blade is a little on the stubby side, but as sharp as any Buck. Slim, compact, and portable, the Bantam Nano is a perfect choice for those who like to keep a blade handy at all times. Also a great beginner knife, since you’re less likely to cut yourself on this one, and you’ll do less damage if you do. At less than five inches long when open, this is one of Buck’s smallest.

Considering a personalized laser engraving? Due to the smaller size, I recommend keeping personalization to a single word. A first name, for example, will look fantastic. Most logos and longer names will still fit just fine, but could look cramped depending on their shape and length. If you’re looking to engrave something on the more complicated side, I recommend hopping up a size to the Bantam BBW 284.

Buck Bantam 284BANTAM BBW 284

Blade length: 2 and 3/4 inches
Handle length: 3 and 3/4 inches

The Buck Bantam BBW 284 is a middle of the road knife. It’s not too big, not too small. The 284 is lightweight, and still something you could clip onto your keys. The keychain hole gets a slight upgrade here to a larger lanyard hole.

If you’re put off by the tiny Nano, but still want something you can easily slip into your pocket, I would recommend considering this knife. Another upgrade is the thumb-stud on the blade, which allows for one-handed opening. Probably the biggest drawback is the lack of a pocket clip, but once again Buck has a solution in the next size up, the BLW 285.

Considering a personalized laser engraving? As you can see, the blade is a little longer. Perfect for logos, names, and wedding titles. I have seen a lot of corporations use this knife as an affordable safety gift, and their logos often come out looking good even on the modestly sized blade of the Bantam BBW 284.

BANTAM BLW 285Buck Bantam BLW

Blade length: 3 and 1/8 inches
Handle length: 4 and 3/8 inches

The Bantam BLW 285 is probably my favorite of the four. It’s a little bigger than the 284 without getting too carried away. The 285 has a pocket clip in addition to the lanyard hole. If you’re like me and you like to be able to clip your knife to a pocket (or a belt), you’ve got the ability here.

Like the 284, the BLW 285 also features one-handed opening thanks to the thumb stud on the blade. The blade itself is a good size, maybe a little larger than your average pocket knife. The 285 is like a hunting knife in a more compact form. If you’re set on a Bantam but unsure which knife to choose, this one is definitely your safest bet. This size is very popular for personal gifts.

Considering a personalized laser engraving? The bigger, taller blade makes for a lot of engraving space. A taller logo will fit better on this knife, or if you have a lot of text you want to fit in, go with the 285 or consider going up to the fourth and final size. Names, wedding titles, full Bible verses and personal messages are all going to look good on this Bantam.

BANTAM BHW 286Buck Bantam BHW 286

Blade length: 3 and 5/8 inches
Handle length: 5 and 1/8 inches

The Bantam BHW 286 is huge. This is the biggest Bantam, probably perfect for hunters, soldiers or survivalists. Personally, I think it’s too big for everyday use, but don’t let that stop you.

The standard Buck quality is still there, in a size that dwarfs the Nano. For the size, I will say it remains lightweight. Compared to other hunting knives I’ve used, this one is by far the lightest. If you’re on the go, camping or traveling or what have you and carrying a lot of equipment, this could be a major plus. You still have a pocket clip like the BLW, as well as the lanyard hole and the thumb stud for one-handed use. A very popular knife with hunters, particularly in the green and pink camo.

Considering a personalized laser engraving? Being the largest, naturally the 286 has the most engraving space. Perfect for showing off an extra-complicated logo, but of course just about anything will work here, including names, wedding party titles, and lengthy, personalized messages.


I have a hard time finding anything negative to say about any Buck knife, and the Bantams are no different. Consistently sharp, well-made, and reliable. In all my experience handling knives (and I handle hundreds any given week), I have not come across any crafted with as much care as Buck makes their knives.

You might pay a little more for the Buck name, but this is one case where the brand is actually worth it. Whatever size and color Bantam you might choose, I think you’ll be glad you did.

We hope this brief guide to the Buck Bantam will help you make a decision. If you have any questions or comments let us know.


NANO 283 BBW 284 BLW 285 BHW 286
Blade Length 1 7/8″ (4.8cm) 2 3/4″ (7 cm) 3 1/8″ (7.9 cm) 3 3/4″ (9.5 cm)
Steel type: 420HC 420HC 420HC 420HC
Length Closed 3″ 3 3/4″ 4 3/8″ 5 1/8″
Pocket Clip No, keychain hole No, lanyard hole YES YES
Thumbstud NO YES YES YES
Weight .6 oz (17.1 g) 1.5 oz (42.7 g) 2.4 oz (68.3 g) 3.2oz (91.1 g)


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The Best Personalized Valentine’s Day Gifts

Our top Personalized Valentine’s Day Gift Picks

See our top picks below, and mention you would like one of our exclusive infinity heart designs laser engraved on your Valentine’s Day Gift to make it extra special for the lucky guy or girl in your life!

add hearts to your engraved valentines day gifts

Infinity Hearts Collection for personalizing your Valentine’s Day Gifts


Leatherman Wingman – Affordable, all the tools you need and quality you expect from Leatherman
Wingman engraved
Flask and Buck Nobleman Gift Set he’ll use both gifts all the time, for years!
Flask Knife Set Personalized
5pc Bamboo BBQ Set – Get him ready for BBQ season, with the best spatula he’s ever laid meat on
Personalized BBQ set for him
Top Gift: The all new Money Clip for the 21st Century Guy – The Credit Card Wallet Tool, featuring 7 tools so he is Mr. Prepared. Give him the gift he’ll keep close for years.
money clip for cool guys
See our best selling pocket knives for guys

Bamboo Cuttig Board – Complete her kitchen with a high quality cutting board she’ll keep for decades!
cutting board
Pink Maglite – give the gift of light! In pink!
pink maglite for her
Pink Mug – give her somewhere special to put her coffee – she’ll think of you every time she sips!
engraved pink mug
See our best selling cutting board designs for her

For Her or Him, Personalized Valentine’s Day Gifts that are great for anyone!
Thermos Mug – leak proof, spill proof, vacuum insulated, with or without a handle, in choice of 3 colors, what’s not to love?
engraved mug
Compact Rescue Knife – A gift for guys and gals, keeps her safe, keeps him prepared
rescue knife
Bamboo Wine Box – Engrave wine box, with tools, pair with a nice bottle you will share together!
engraved wine box
See our most popular drinkware for this season
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Best Personalized Christmas Gifts for 2015

Photo Credit: katedahl via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: katedahl via Compfight cc

As the holiday season rolls around, it can easily catch us off-guard or inspire panic. What can we possibly get our loved ones that we haven’t gotten them before?! How can we express how much those gift recipients mean to us without resorting to gift cards, cash, and socks?

One easy and meaningful way to get out of the gift card rut is to try personalizing your gifts. Throwing in a little customization makes presents special and one-of-a-kind.

At LazerDesigns, we specialize in one-of-a-kind gifts which inspire surprise, joy, and sometimes tears — the good kind, of course!

Here is our 2015 roundup of the best personalized Christmas gifts:


– Looking for a Christmas gift for a master griller? Take a look at our elegant 5-piece bamboo BBQ set!

It comes complete with a BBQ fork, tongs, knife, basting brush, and spatula with built-in bottle opener.

Just customize the design with your own information, or send us your unique art or message.


– For a unique and impressive Christmas gift for a wine enthusiast, try a custom engraved bamboo wine box.

The box includes a foil cutter, decanting pourer, stopper, and corkscrew. Plus, you can add names, logos, clip art, or a custom message for no extra charge.



– Or, our personalized barrel wine set with tools is a great Christmas gift idea for wine lovers.

Just like the bamboo wine box (and like so many of the best gifts), it already includes all the tools you’ll need. Just add wine!


– For a camper or an upcoming celebration, get ahead of the gift-giving curve by ordering a personalized leather flask set.

The cap holds three handy shot glasses, while the leather sleeve can be customized to make it a portable-but-personalized Christmas gift.



–  Try giving your favorite cook a quality bamboo kitchen setThis set comes with a lettuce knife, salad hands, and a 10×7″ Totally Bamboo cutting board. 

Plus, the whole set can be engraved, and comes in a wooden crate for easy and attractive gift giving.


– Present your favorite camper with a personalized fire starter and rescue knife gift set

The set includes a genuine Zippo lighter (with Zippo’s famous lifetime warranty) and a black rescue knife, both with the engraving of your choice.




– Looking for a gift for a guy in your life this Christmas? Try our tough, tactical, and customized rescue knife.

One of our most popular items, this rescue knife features a seat belt cutter, glass breaker, and pocket clip.

The knife can be engraved on either the blade or the handle, giving you plenty of space to personalize.


– Stay ahead of the Christmas gift-giving rush and order an engraved Leatherman Skeletool for your tool man.

The Skeletool comes with wire cutters, pliers, bit driver, bottle opener, and a partially-serrated knife.

This variety of uses will certainly come in handy when trying to break into the various kinds of packaging on Christmas morning.


– For a Christmas gift for that person who always gets the job done, try a custom engraved Leatherman Wave multi-tool.

The Wave comes in your choice of stainless steel or black oxide finish, and includes tools including (but not limited to) pliers, scissors, ruler, saw, bit drivers, screwdriver, wire stripper, and wire cutter.

What more could your favorite handyman need?


– Shed a little light on someone’s Christmas this year by giving a personalized LED flashlight.

The Cree R2 LED Tactical Flashlight is rugged and unique, with an incredibly bright and energy efficient beam.

This flashlight comes with a stainless steel belt clip, batteries, and a black gift box for easy presentation.


– Give a gift that’s both elegant and practical with our personalized decorated grip hunting knives.

These knives pack a lot of elegance into a small package, with engravable rosewood handles and decorated bolsters.


– Put a twist on ordinary travel mugs! Our customized stainless steel barrel mugs are sure to be a hit this Christmas.

With 14 oz. of space and a double-walled structure, you can fill this guy up with either hot or cold drinks. Have it engraved with the recipient’s name, and everyone else will always know they can look but not touch.



– Or, for cozy Christmas cocoa and cider, try our deep-etched ceramic mugs.

These mugs have a classy black coating, a bright colored inside, and your engraving shows up in bright white for great contrast.

Whatever you engrave is sure to look sharp and impressive on these custom mugs.


– Give the gift of a caffeinated commute with a customized 16-oz Thermos travel tumbler.

The Thermos Stainless King keeps drinks hot for 5 hours or cold for 9 hours, so whatever your recipient likes to drink will be the perfect temperature for quite some time.



– For the foodie in your life, try a customized bamboo cutting board.

The Totally Bamboo 11×15″ Martinique Board gives you plenty of space for all your slicing and dicing, plus it looks classy while in action.

Plus, bamboo is naturally microbial and easy to maintain, so bamboo boards make great gifts.


– Or, go for something a little closer to home with a state-shaped cutting board.

Totally Bamboo state-shaped cutting boards are great personalized Christmas gifts. You can engrave one of our pre-made designs and make it your own, engrave a heart over a special town, or create your own design with text and artwork.

There are so many possibilities, and they all result in an incredibly special and unique Christmas present.


If you’re still keeping an eye out for ideas, check out our other options for personalized Christmas gifts!

Posted in Holidays, Personalized Gifts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Must-Have Personalized Gifts For Fall Weddings

Photo Credit: cat mayer via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: cat mayer via Compfight cc

With the leaves putting on a spectacular show of color and the pumpkins ready to carve, there is something more then just a chill in the air.

Fall brings with it a special sparkle of love and romance, and it’s the perfect season to tie the knot.

If your refrigerator door is crowded with fall wedding invitations and save-the-dates, it’s time to start shopping for personalized gift for all the happy couples on your list.

Forget giving another generic gift card shoved in a drug-store greeting card.  These are the must-have gifts couples really want.


Leather coasters

Whether they are hosting swanky cocktail parties or getting their day started with another cup of coffee, every household needs a beautiful set of coasters.

Unfortunately, coasters are almost always overlooked on registries and forgotten about until a pesky ring shows up on the coffee table.

Fill the gap by gifting the couple with an elegant leather and rosewood coaster set. Customize it with their names, wedding date, or a sweet saying.


Wood cutting board

Unlike the wedding day, married life isn’t all glitz and glamour. There’s nothing romantic about chopping kale for a morning smoothie or dicing onions for a last-minute dinner.

But, a high-quality cutting board can turn a boring task into something much more pleasant. Not only is it useful, it’s easy to personalize and turn into a special wedding gift.

The Circle Monogram Totally Bamboo 18×11 Marbled Cutting Board features their names, newly-shared last initial and the date that took their vows, so not only is it a practical gift, it’s a beautiful reminder of how awesome it is to be married.


Rustic wood planks

After paying for elaborate floral arrangements, a giant cake and appetizers for 200 people, the newlyweds’ budget is bound to be strained.

Artwork for their new home isn’t likely to make the budget cuts, so a personalized rustic wood plank is the perfect way to add some style to their décor.

Available in many sizes and shapes, these planks can be customized with nearly anything, making them the perfect way to get creative with your gift. Have an engagement photo engraved on wood, or a favorite quote or bible verse.

Whatever you choose, it is sure to become an instant keepsake that will grace their home well beyond their newlywed days.


Personalized wine boxes

Another perfect addition to the wedding gift pile is a personalized wine box.

Wine boxes can be engraved, color-filled, and personalized with various messages or artwork, making them an impressive custom gift.

For an upcoming fall wedding, try a more rustic and whimsical look with the Balloon Design Bamboo Wine Box. With a unique design, personalized text, and wine tools to accompany it, this box will certainly stand out among the rest of the gifts.


For more wedding gift ideas, look no further!

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