Are you constantly struggling with opening larger sized mailboxes? Are you a fanatic of arts and crafts? Or are you just a regular Joe looking to make some improvements? An effective utility knife makes all the above hustle and bustles an easy breeze through the process.
A good quality utility knife comes with many benefits making them an essential tool to have in your home and office.
The key benefit of owning a utility knife is perhaps its specific functional construction design. The utility knife design allows it to deliver clean push cutting whilst maintaining the ultimate safety for its users. Plus, even with its lightweight and portable profile, a good quality utility knife boasts the toughest and most effective blade design.
And to offer value for your money, good quality utility knives feature durable housing designs with a quickly removable blade mechanism that prolonged usage and lifespan.
1. FC Folding Utility Knife
The FC Folding utility knife features an attractive and unique finish which is also inventively adapted to allow ease of use.
Its knife’s ultra-sharp blade design, sturdy blade material, and durable body design give it its high quality and performance abilities.
The folding mechanism gives it a convenient and pocket-friendly size for easy storage. The Five free bonus blades that come with the knife add value to the overall purchase.
Our In-Depth Review:
Whether you intend to use it during your camping, hunting or at your home as an everyday pocket knife to cut wallpapers or pack holiday gifts, the FC Folding utility knife offers good value and a high-quality portable knife option. The utility knife is built with heavy-duty carbon steel blades. Carbon steel makes an ideal material for the blades as it is tougher and more durable.
Additionally, when designed to use as a knife blade, it is sharper than other metals such as stainless steel. The material’s robust nature also gives them a more acute edge thus, preventing the utility knife from bending or braking even when cutting harder materials.
During maintenance, carbon steel is much easier to sharpen compared to other metal allow blade materials. However, carbon steel can fight corrosion but as effective as stainless steel.
For the ultimate functionality and utility, the pocket knife also comes with five free blade designs. Plus, the pocket knife is also designed to also accept all standard size utility knife blades. To make it easier for you to change the blades, the pocket knife has an easy access button that requires no extra tools to change.
Additionally, the foldable knife’s compact build is further enhanced by its weight and well thought out dimensions. When opened, the knife measures 6.6 inches and when closed, it measures down to 4.3 inches. And at all times, the knife weighs only 4.8 ounces.
The pocket knife comes with a knife holster. And the portability of the pocket knife also allows you to easily clip it on to a belt, money clip or toss it on to your daypack. The knife also comes with an ergonomic handle for a secure grip and all-day comfort.
- Affordably priced.
- Very sharp blade edges.
- The blade doesn’t break or bend when cutting hard material.
- It comes with extra blades and a knife holster.
- The blades may be easily susceptible to corrosion.
The combination of its durable materials and easy to operate construction design makes it an excellent pocket knife option. The pocket knife offers a heavier duty option for a box cutter whilst its carbon steel blades provide a lightweight design. The holster that comes with gives you that easy and stylish option to store and carry it with you. The quick blade change mechanism and lock back design also make the FC folding knife a true utility knife.
2. Sheffield 12113 Series Utility Knife
Built-in a one-hand operation design, the Sheffield q2113 Series utility knife offers convenience for cutting through basic obstacles such as paper, ropes, cardboard, and thin plastic.
The pocket knife comes with two highly durable blades whilst its patented quick and easy blade replacement mechanism allows for effortless blade change so you can use it to its full capacity.
Its mixture of good quality material housing and blades as well also adds to overall high performance.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Sheffield 12113 series is the ultimate utility knife option for both indoor and outdoor use. The pocket knife is designed with one-hand operation for added convenience and ease of use. With it, you can easily cut through paper, plastic and even thick cardboard. The pocket knife comes with a pre-installed blade and an extra blade for future changing.
The Sheffield utility knife stainless steel material also adds to blades’ hard, tough and rigid finish, so even if you accidentally cut through the rougher and hard surface the knife will not break. The blade’s tensile strength also gives it an excellent backbone as it is highly flexible and can easily bend without breaking.
The Sheffield pocket knife also boasts a unique and patented quick and easy blade change mechanism. Unlike traditional pocket knives, the blade change system makes it easy to use for anyone.
Plus, the pocket knife is designed to fit any standard blade. The utility knife also comes with a 3.5-inch aluminum handle to allow for easy grip and long-lasting comfort. Furthermore, the aluminum handle and housing help to significantly reduce the weight of the knife, at just 4 ounces.
Don’t confuse the lightweight built of the aluminum with its high performing abilities, however. Although ultra-lightweight, the aluminum housing material provides superior protective and sturdy qualities.
For added comfort and portability, the utility knife comes with a belt clip. Even with its superior quality, the blade surprisingly offers the best value amongst good quality utility knives. In fact, you can get this blade at a fraction of the price of similar high-quality utility knives.
Thus, utility knife gives you both value, quality and versatility. The only downside to the Sheffield 12113 series is its closing mechanism. It lacks a positive closing stop, thus, over time it is scratch inside the handle and housing. Yet the blade s comfortably hoked onto the aluminum housing, so the construction design will never disrupt function.
- Quick and easy blade changing.
- Lightweight and protective aluminum handle.
- Great value.
- Safe blade locking design.
- When closing the knife there is no positive stop.
The Sheffield 12113 series utility knife does come with the perks of cost value without compromising quality and versatility. The brands patented and cutting edge quick blade change mechanism is definitely one to reckon with. The blade change mechanism makes it easy for anyone to use and features added elements that add security to the knives. So as much as this utility knife is highly functional, it bears an extremely safe design to use at all times.
3. Alltrade 150003 Series Utility Knife
The Alltrade 150003 series utility knife attests to the brand famed cutting edge design and quality on its home tool products. The Alltrade utility knife also features an easy to operate and blade changing mechanism with just a subtle touch of the button.
And to match the brand’s guarantee on user comfort, the utility knife is fabricated with ab ergonomic cushioned grip and naturally hand curved handle.
Its six generous blades give it the ultimate versatility.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Alltrade utility knife comes with no surprise in regards to its sharp blade edges and high performing abilities. This is thanks to the Alltrade’s trusted and long term quality guaranteed utility knives fabrication.
The Alltrade utility knife guarantees sharp blades, ergonomic housing design, lightweight finish, and affordability. The utility knife uses the highest quality materials and incorporates modern technology to produce a working gem.
The Alltrade 150003 series feature an auto-loading blade mechanism design that gives it a true utility knife profile. The quick blade removal and changing mechanism employ the safest precautions during the process. The same safety and subtle precautions are also employed and adapted on to the utility knife to ensure users are protected at all times.
To guarantee the unbeatable quality, the utility knife has undergone a series of tests to ensure its construction design and choice of high-quality materials are on-point and of long-lasting durability. The utility knife also bears a thick blade construction and heavyweight which allows it to tackle heavier material without compromising the construction and material integrity.
Plus, the sharpness of the blade alleviates that predictable and slow-paced cutting process you notice when using lower quality or lighter utility knife blades. Plus, the knife’s durability goes beyond the sharpened and heavy-duty nature of the knife.
Subsequently, the knife is also built with ultra wear resistance and less susceptibility to losing its sharp qualities. To add functionality and comfort to the user, the utility knife is fitted with an ergonomic handle. The padding on the ergonomic handle provided the ultimate cushioning so you don’t end up with strained muscles or burning fingers.
The knife also features a curved design for a natural grip to your hands, so even when you are using the knife, there is no risk of slipping.
- Easy action blade.
- Cushioned and natural curved handle.
- Comes with generously free blades.
- Extremely easy to discard and attach a blade.
- A little heavy for a utility knife.
The choice of high-quality Alltrade 150003 series is what gives it an extraordinary and superior performance. The heavier design of the knife comes with both setbacks and benefits. The heavier build limits its storage options whilst at the same time, it enhances its function. With the heavy-duty and crack-free finish, the utility knife easily with fast action treads through even the toughest card box or plastic materials. The knife’s quick blade removing and attaching mechanism allows for a faster change in less than 3 seconds.
4. Klein Tools Utility Knife
With over 160 years in the market of manufacturing high quality and durable home tools, the Klein Tools brand introduces this utility knife. The knife combines a unique lock-back design, snap lock and sliding mechanism to provide an extremely safe option.
The triple ground blade design on the other end delivers a sharp and fast action performance.
The specially designed and curved rubber grip on the other end also provides the ultimate comfort, grip and effortless usability of the utility knife.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Klein Tools utility knife incorporates an innovative design that helps to enhance its function whilst leaving the user safe and comfortable. The utility knife features a lock-back design that enhances its safety and precision function and it does this by employing the snap lock and sliding mechanism. And during the process, it is designed that it doesn’t retract.
Simply slide the retractor button that holds the blade in place until you slide the button back. The safe retracting mechanism also prevents the blades from accidentally falling off from the knife. The utility knife comes with six standard triple ground blades, one that is fitted onto the knife and others that are stored for future use.
To change the blades, simply use the release button to remove the older dull blades. Then slid the lever back to release a newer sharp blade from the storage compartment. To enhance the utility knife’s functionality and value, the Klein Tools combines high-quality plastic, metal, and rubber in its fabrication.
The standard style utility knife is also built with a lightweight aluminum handle which is appropriately curved for a natural hold. The handle is also padded with rubber material for the ultimate easy grip and operation. The easy access push button on the other end allows for effortless one-hand operation.
Additionally, the handle features a bright orange color which makes it easier for you to identify the knife in a bag or toolbox. The utility knife also comes with a belt clip fitted with a wire stripping notch for easy carrying especially when you are working with a tool belt.
The utility knife weight 7.5 ounces, making it not too heavy but also not too light. This average weight and blade sizes give it a mid-sized functional ability – allowing it to effortlessly cut through card boxes, thin plastic, and paper.
- It comes with five free blades.
- Features built-in blade storage for safekeeping.
- Effortless retracting mechanism.
- Cushioned rubber grip.
- The belt clip easily bends.
The Klein Tools’ long and trusted reputation in the home tools industry is showcased yet again in this utility knife fabrication. The combinatory features of the knife help to bring out its overall high functioning performance. Yet, in isolated instances, each ingeniously crafted feature still flourishes. Take, for example, the safe, rattle-free extra blade storage or the easy snap lock and slide blade change mechanism. Plus, its lower price will leave anyone shocked after experience its actual high-quality construction and function.
5. WorkPro Utility Knife
The WorkPro utility knife incorporates the ultimate affordability, dependability, and reinvention.
With the newer single lock design, the WorkPro brand puts customer concerns ahead as a priority to offer a safer, practical and easy to use a utility knife.
The knife’s authentic hardwood handles on the other end adds class to its finish as well as durability and comfort during usage. Its lightweight finish gives it a true pocket and utility knife design.
Our In-Depth Review:
Your household chores can be complex sometimes. Whether you are repositioning items around the housing, decorating for the festive season or doing random repairs, having essential home improvement tools is always a priority.
The WorkPro utility knife makes it to the essential tool list. The high quality and ingeniously crafted utility knife are designed to be handy when needed.
In fact, the high-quality build on the utility knife gives it a multipurpose function with the ability to easily cut through leather, carpet, thin wood, PVC, cloth and paper. The utility knife is also designed with just the ideal weight. The knife will not weigh you down even when you are cutting through tougher materials. This build also allows you to easily store it as well as clip it on your tool belt when working.
This simple less than 2 seconds will have effectively removed the blade. Then, proceed to attach a newer blade. The WorkPro utility knife accepts all standard utility knife blades. To cater to customer requests and concerns, the brand’s utility knife reinvented design features a single lock mechanism. Thus, when closed, it doesn’t lock. This gives the knife a safer working mode.
The back lock design of the knife on the other end allows you to safely lock the blade in place when fully opening or closing it. The back lock is complemented with a lock spring design. It is also the combined mechanism design of the utility knife that gives it a one-hand easy operation. The knife handle is made with stainless steel and polished hardwood material.
This construction design gives the knife a durable and classy look. The handle is also designed to offer maximum grip. Its foldable mechanism allows you to fold it into a compact and more portable tool for easy storage anywhere.
- Multipurpose design allows it to even cut through PVC, thin wood and leather.
- The stainless steel belt clip is highly durable.
- The built-in liner lock increases safety.
- Heavy duty yet lightweight design.
- The blade is a little too sharp.
If you a looking for a fully functional utility knife option for all needs – the WorkPro utility knife is the ideal choice. The high functioning qualities of the WorkPro is exhibited through its ability to cut through tougher material such as PVC, wood, and leather. Realizing and acknowledging the blades full function, the WorkPro brand has incorporated the safest, most practical and easy to operate the mechanism to prevent any impending accidents.
6. Mossy Oak Utility Knife
Designed as an EDC box cutter, the Mossy Oak utility knife is an ideal tool for use in lighter applications. Paper, tape, box, and light fabrics can be cut through easily with the Mossy Oak utility knife.
The palm fitting pocket knife still maintains high safety for its users even if it’s only designed to use for lighter applications.
The safety mechanism of the utility knife is fully guaranteed by the line lock and quick release blade systems.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Mossy Oak utility knife features retractable and removable razor blades. The housing is made of a durable metal material that is molded and curved on the side of the handle to enhance the knife’s grip. The Mossy Oak utility knife also features a subtle enough blade and knife housing design for articulate cutting without damaging whatever you are working on.
The blade liner lock system prevents the blade from falling or popping out whether the knife is folded or not. The 2-piece lighter functioning utility knife blades, however, boasts a powerful construction. The knife blades are built to be tougher, more durable and sharper.
Although the blades feature a thin finish, the blade is quite robust. The robust build on the utility knife makes the blade harder allowing the blades to hold and retain their shape and sharpness for a longer period.
Additionally, in the case that the knife cuts through slightly harder material, the blades will not be at risk of bending, cracking or breaking. The utility knife blades also feature a plain edge design. The plain edge design allows for better push cuts delivering better control, accuracy and precision cutting.
The choice of blade material and handle on the other end also enhances the blades wear resistance and corrosion-resistant build.
The easily operated retractable design of the utility knives also allows for quick and safe adjustability of the sharpness and cutting depth. And at only 1.8 ounces, the Mossy Oaks utility knife boasts an ultra-lightweight build. When opened the knife fully measures up to 5.25 inches with depth adjustability.
When closed, the utility knife easily fits into your palm at only 3 inches. Depending on your choice of new blades when it’s time to switch the blades, the utility knife accepts all standard utility blades. The 2-pice utility knife packaging also comes stamped with a highly cost-cutting price tag when compared to its high-quality build and functioning.
- Extremely affordable.
- Lightweight build.
- Liner lock systems effectively prevent the blade from falling off.
- Powerful blade.
- It doesn’t come with free blades.
The Mossy Oak utility knife is designed to cater to lighter home improvement tasks, yet, its heavy-duty and robust construction give it high capabilities resulting in its out-of-this-world performance. The effective liner lock system is also creatively snuck into the overall construction design to guarantee dependability, effortless operation and safety at all times.
7. Rexbeti utility Knife
The Rexbeti brand lives up to fulfill the essential home tool requirements by giving its consumers the 12-pack Rexbeti utility knife. Each pocket knife unit is attached with an 18 mm wide razor-sharp blade for high function.
Plus, the 12-pc utility knife package comes at a low price tag.
This Rexbeti offers you the ideal tool stash for your home that come in handy in many emergencies and will last you for a longer period.
Our In-Depth Review:
Whether you intend to use the Rexbeti utility knife at home or the office, they serve to be an ideal option. The utility knife boasts a plastic casing with a wide butt handle which enhances comfort and allows for one-handed operation. The plastic casing holds the blade in a fixed position when cutting your material.
When retracted, the housing securely holds the blade to prevent the risk of accidental lacerations. The design of the utility knife incorporates a slider that allows you to smoothly gauge and adjust the cutting depth to your preferences. In fact, the Rexbeti utility knife offers multiple blades cutting depth options.
The blades feature an 18mm wider design which boasts benefits that accentuate the knife’s function. The blades tend to be harder and more powerful thus, alleviating the risk of breaking, bending, cracking or popping out when in use. The carbon steel blades are deal designed to cut through paper, tape, plastic, cardboard, foam, and fabrics.
The blade is then held securely by the safety locking mechanism. The easy blade adjustment that is also supplemented by the plastic housing is further enhanced by is linkage to the blades. The multiple locking grooves molded on to the plastic housing allow the blades to smoothly glide through the knife without compromising safety.
The locking mechanism on the knife means that you don’t have to hold the slicer in place. This secure design, in turn, prevents hand strain. And lengthwise, the Rexbeti utility knife also offers a generously long sized design.
When closed, the utility knife measures 5.9-inches whilst opened, it measures to 8.85-inches. Additionally, without affecting its function or quality of the blade, each utility knife is extremely lightweight at less than an ounce each.
The only set back to the Rexbeti utility knife is that they don’t give you an easy option to change the blades. But then, at the extremely low price and generous dozen pc packaging, the knife gives you a hassle-free option of discarding the knife when no longer functional, as you have 11 more to go through.
- Extremely affordable price.
- Generous 12 count pack.
- Wider and more effective blade design.
- Thicker and ergonomic plastic housing.
- You can’t change the blade.
The Rexbeti utility knife offers a stationary solution to your office tools as well as home improvement addition to your home. The 12 pc package also adds value to the investment. The carbon steel blades and 18m wide design also help to add functionality and value for your money. Yet, it is perhaps the thickened plastic housing and a smooth locking mechanism that really makes the Rexbeti utility knife is the ultimate tool added to your home or office.
8. Holtzmann’s Gorilla Survival Utility knife
As the name suggests, the Holtzmann’s Gorilla Survival utility knife comes in a tool combo set – a survivor’s essential it. The combo features a screwdriver, a clip, and an army-style utility knife.
The sleek black and silver design on the knife also gives it that badass look whilst its low price makes it sought after by many customers.
Whether you are a hunter, carpenter, construction worker or simply looking for a home tool – the Holtzmann’s Gorilla Survival utility knife should be your new pal.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Holtzmann’s Gorilla Survival knife’s 2-in-1 functional design offers you a choice of having multiple blade options. So you have one pocket knife that does the job of two. The survival knife boasts a utility knife and pocket knife blade design. With the two-blade design, the utility knife offers you a wide range of applications from hunting and construction tasks to simple box cutting.
The knife offers enough power to carve wood on one side and enough gentleness to cut through a mail on the other. Thus, the Holtzmann’s guarantees full on out strength and durability.
Additionally, the survival knife comes with the advantage of a partially serrated and plain edge design. The serrated edge of the full knife allows more power to tackle tougher materials.
Additionally, the partially serrated design means that lade sharpening is virtually impossible for you. Unless you send the blade back to the manufacturer.
In the strained tasks of the outdoors, the partially serrated part of the utility knife is your friend. In the case of Holtzmann’s utility knife, the serrated edges are located nearby the handle of the knife, thus, making the serrated part effectively when dipped further into the specimen.
The other blade features a typical box cutting design. Its plain edge blade design on the other end offers a clear paper and other delicate material cutting qualities. The box cutter also boasts the ideal blade cutting depth. The opposite blade on the other end measures just the right size to make it not too bulky to use or carry with.
The ideal length also accentuates its versatility to tackle both light and heavy-duty applications. Plus, its medium blade size also allows the knife to easily adapt to its locking mechanism. When folded, the knife only measures 3.8 inches by 0.95 inches, giving it an ideal compact built allowing you to even fit into our jacket pocket.
- Extremely versatile.
- It comes with high-quality replaceable carbon steel blades.
- Safe lock mechanism.
- It comes as a box cutter as well as a full utility knife.
- A little heavy.
The Holtzmann’s Gorilla Survival utility knife comes with both style and function. Most importantly the utility knife is the cornerstone of versatility and multipurpose build. Picture it – you are out lightweight camping. You can use the larger end of the knife to cut your meat and vegetables for your quick meals. Then, use the smaller end of the knife to open up boxes with for camping gear. The carbon steel construction on the other end gives the knife its overall durable and heavy-duty build.
9. Tape King Utility Knife
Economical, ergonomic and portable design is what makes the Tape King utility knife such a great deal.
Although designed, for light home and office applications, the utility knife features a relatively sturdy and durable blade fabrication.
The wide plastic handle at the bottom and curved finish give the user a more natural grip and effortless operation of the knife. Weighing at less than an ounce, the knife also makes its usage less straining and safer.
Our In-Depth Review:
If you are looking for a solution to light home applications or heavy dirty office applications – the Tape King utility knife makes an ideal option the utility knife lets you engage in a variety of activities ranging from typical office tasks, home improvement, arts, and crafts as well as cardboard or box cutting.
You can use the disposable utility knives as your main or as spare knives you hold in the office, kitchen garage or basement.
The plain edge design of the blade offers a clean, thorough and precision cut with each operation. The utility knife also comes with a snap-off blade design. The snap-off design is complemented by a smooth yet secure locking mechanism.
The blade smoothly glides through the marked lines and securely stops on each marked lock stop allowing you to effectively set your cutting depth. For a sharper and fresh blade, snap of the blade at the ideal line marking. Additionally, because the knife comes designed with multiple cutting depths, it is good practice to choose the specific depth for the task.
A shorter depth has been proven to be more effective, as it exposes the most functional and shaper part of the blade.
Furthermore, setting the blade at a shorter cutting depth with the safety lock tab prevents lapping. And even with it high-quality blade material and secure lock, the utility knife blade remains at the risk of bending or breaking if pulled out and used on a thicker or harder surface.
And to maintain the freshness and sharpness of your utility knife, the snap-off design comes to the rescue. Simply snap off the blade for a new and sharper cutting tip. For easy carrying, the utility knife comes with a lanyard hole. And you don’t have to worry about hanging it around your neck because the locking mechanism of the knife remains spot on and secure.
- Effective safety lock.
- 12 blade replacements.
- Ultralight build.
- Ergonomic handle.
- Easily breaks.
The Tape King utility knife offers a cheaper option to heavy-duty box cutting applications. The utility knife’s versatile build also allows them to be used for both personal and commercial use – a testament to their long-lasting durability and high function. Its smooth movement stride and multiple easy to set locking stops makes one-hand operation possible whilst maintaining safety. The blade will never protrude out of the plastic casing fast enough to accidentally cut or scrape your skin.
10. Husky Folding Utility Knife
The Husky’s well thought out and textured handle design helps to enhance the ease of operation and overall function.
The patented stainless steel blades give the knife a clear and razor-sharp cutting quality.
The hunting knife-like design gives it a robust and heavy-duty finish whilst allowing it to still fold and pack comfortably. To cater to different individuals, the utility knives come in varying colors packet in a 3-piece package.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Husky brand incorporates a highly functional single blade construction. The manufacturer focuses on the design of the single blade to deliver an excellent all-purpose EDC knife. The Husky Folding utility knife set features 3 utility knives and 3 utility blades.
Upon changing the used blades at a later time after purchase, the knives broadly accept all standard blades. For guaranteed safety and functionality the knife is equipped with a quick blade change mechanism.
To complement the Husky knife’s heavy-duty design, the lock back mechanism is incorporated. The lock-back mechanism allows for heaving cutting tasks without risking the breaking or damaging of the knife.
The Husky knife features a locking arm that is fitted on the spine of the handle this locking arm is equipped with a hook which fits into a mark at the back of the blade. This hook uses tension and pressure applied by the back spring to lock the knife in place during usage.
Although the Husky utility knife is built to be heavy-duty, the blade design will not allow you to cut through thicker material such as PVC effectively. The utility knife’s handle on the other end features a highly protective aluminum casing.
The aluminum handle is built to be lightweight and equipped with a layer of protective coating which adds to its wear and weather resistant qualities.
Furthermore, the aluminum handle is creatively textured. This textured design helps to enhance resistance between the knife and hand, thus, even with wet and slippery hands, you still have incredible grip and control.
To give out more convenience, the utility knife comes with a belt clip and an end clip for hanging. The durable metal belt clip keeps it comfortable hung on your pant bet loops, belt or tool belt.
- High grip handle.
- Strong and durable blades.
- Easily folds for compact storage.
- Helpful belt clip and lanyard loops.
- The blade retracting mechanism is very smooth.
The Husky folding utility knife features a cool dark finish that gives it an attractive look. And to go with your personality and liking, the utility knife comes in a variety of color options. The patented stainless steel construction is what makes the Husky, the ultimate box cutting utility knife. The construction not only gives it a tougher, shape and sharpness retaining abilities, but it also boasts just the right plain edge design to deliver an ultra clean and neat cut without damaging your items.
Utility Knife – Buyer’s Guide
What are utility knives?
Utility knives are simply everywhere. Look in a kitchen, office, home toolbox, or industry, and you’ll most likely find a utility knife.
A utility knife is a durable and portable tool used as multipurpose equipment for carrying out a wide range of cutting tasks. This knife is everywhere because it is small, easy to use, and majorly because of its versatility.
However, finding the right type of utility knife to satisfy your needs can prove to be a challenging task because of the sheer volume of models available on the market – both excellent and inferior.
Consequently, I have created this guide with vital info you need to aid you in choosing the perfect utility knife for you.
Who needs a utility knife?
The utility knife is primarily designed to cut through objects, but it can be used to carry out a lot of other basic DIY tasks in and around the home. The versatile piece of equipment comes in handy for those who wish to:
- Cut through the drywall.
- Cut vinyl sheets to fit the room.
- Slice through veneer before cutting.
- Loosen boards.
- Scratch out old grout from between tiles
- Cut meat and vegetable into smaller pieces for cooking tasty meals., among others.
As you can see, the uses of a utility knife are wide and varied; hence, why it would be beneficial for you to add one to your arsenal of tools.
Materials used for constructing a utility knife
The two primary components of a utility knife are the blade and the handle. And the material used in building these parts will go a long way in determining the durability, as well as the cutting performance of the knife.
Materials used in constructing utility knife blades include metals such as aluminum, titanium, stainless steel, and high carbon steel. The most commonly used blade material of the lot is stainless steel, and this is due to several exceptional qualities.
Stainless steel, for one, is quite durable and is also resistant to corrosion and rust. As a result of its resistance to natural forces, stainless steel blades require minimal maintenance. Impressive strength and rigidity also make stainless steel blades suitable for use in a wide range of cutting operations.
Utility knife handles, on the other hand, are built from entirely different materials. Some of the substances commonly used in crafting these handles include aluminum, steel, wood, bones, and artificial compounds such as micarta, carbon fibers, G-10, among others.
Composite materials have grown in popularity over the years, and are now the significant substances used in crafting knife handles. The combination of properties from different chemical elements and compounds make composites formidable handles, and they are primarily known for their impressive durability, and strength.
Types of utility knives
Utility knives are used in a wide range of cutting operations, and you’ll have to choose between three different models when you want to make a purchase. Utility knives commonly found on the market today are classified into three, based on how the blade retracts. These are the fixed blade knives, retractable blade knives, and the breakaway knives.
Fixed blade utility knives
These types of knives feature a permanent, immovable blade that can’t be slid in or out. Once the knife casing is engaged, the blade is completely cover, and if the housing is removed, the blade is out in the open as well.
Fixed blade knives typically have sturdy handles, and are especially suitable for use in heavy-duty cutting operations. Sizeable fixed blade knives usually serve outdoor purposes such as camping, hunting, fishing, and the likes. Some fixed knives incorporate a folding design which halves the length of the blade at an angle, when not in use, thereby making it more portable and more
comfortable to carry about.
A significant downside of fixed blade knives is the fact that they can’t be retracted after use, and if a user mistakenly leaves the blade open after cutting, there’s a high risk of injury. Also, most fixed knives do not have replaceable blades, and once they get damaged, you have to buy an entirely new one.
Retractable blade utility knives
Unlike the fixed blade knives, retractable utility knives allow you to withdraw the blade into the knife casing once you are done cutting. This retraction is usually activated via a slider or button typically found at the side of the knife. Because of their portability, and advanced safety features, retractable utility knives are the most popular models out there.
Retractable utility knives often offer you the choice of determining how much of the blade you want to be exposed; thereby, offering a wide range of cutting depths. Generally, the shorter the blade length for cutting, the safer the user. After cutting, users must remember to retract the blade to guarantee their safety and that of others. Also, once you fix the blade in place, there is no need to continue holding the slider in place, and you consequently eliminate hand strain.
However, because retractable blades are movable, they are prone to wobble while you’re cutting. Besides, if the slider gets damaged, the knife is as good as useless. Furthermore, if you go for a retractable knife model that doesn’t offer the variable-length option, there’s a chance the default blade length could either be too much or too small for the cutting operation. Thereby increasing your chances of getting an injury.
Breakaway blade utility knives
Breakaway utility knives are unique in the sense that the blades are divided into parts in such a way that when one wears out, you just break it off, and continue using the other blades behind it. As a result, breakaway blades are typically more fragile than other utility knife models and are best used in light cutting operations. Also, you’ll spend less on buying replacement blades for a breakaway knife, compared to other models.
Also, there’s a heightened risk of injuries, because there’s every possibility the blade could break off while in use – especially when you’re cutting fast and hard.
Self-retracting utility knives
Self-retracting utility knives are an advanced, more modern version of the retractable blade knives. In this type of knives, the blade withdraws immediately it loses contact with the cutting material, even if you’re still holding the slider down. This prevents accidents that would otherwise have occurred if a user slips while cutting.
Also, this model reduces work injuries as the user no longer has to withdraw the knife blade after cutting manually.
Types of utility knives handle
Utility knife handles fall under three main categories based on the materials used in making them. In general, a utility knife handle could either be made of metal, synthetic materials, or natural products.
Metal utility knife handles
Typical metals used in crafting handles for utility knives include aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel.
Aluminum metal handles
Aluminum is a lightweight metal, a trait that is subsequently transferred to handles crafted using it. Consequently, when using knives with aluminum handles, you will find that they are easier to hold and maneuver.
Handles made with aluminum are often coated with an oxide layer to improve color and hardness. They are also resistant to corrosion but are prone to get scratched and damaged by forceful impacts. Aluminum handles can be quite slippery as well, although this can be controlled by proper texturization.
Stainless Steel handles
Stainless steel is the metal that is most commonly employed in making handles for utility knives, and this is all with good reason. Firstly, stainless steel is quite durable and is also resistant to corrosion. Also, stainless steel handles are easy to clean and maintain.
However, stainless steel can be quite heavy and is not suitable for crafting handles for heavy-duty or small, portable knives. Also, stainless steel is quite slippery and can prove challenging to grip, thereby increasing the chances of accidents. Manufacturers have tried – and failed – to correct this issue with some measures such as riding and etching.
Titanium handles are not as universal as the other two metal handles due to their high cost, but they provide an excellent, all-round handling performance. Titanium is strong, durable, and can resist rust, as well as corrosion. Although titanium is not as light as aluminum, it is way less dense than stainless steel. Like aluminum, titanium handles are also prone to get scratched, but they provide a better grip – although this can be improved by texturization as well.
Synthetic utility knife handles
Common human-made materials used in crafting utility knife handles include Micarta, Zytel, and Carbon fiber. Honorable mentions include Kraton, G-10, Juma, and Paracord.
Micarta refers to a group of substances made with phenol as the base material and is known for producing extremely tough handles. Despite their hardy nature, micarta handles are usually lightweight and are considerably scratch-resistant as well.
However, due to the slippery nature, micarta handles have a weak grip, although some models incorporate etches to provide a stronger hold.
Utility knife handles made with Zytel are typically strong and can resist all forms of stress and abrasions. Zytel handles feature nylon fibers, which are scattered throughout, resulting in a more robust handle. The grip of a Zytel handle is considerably weak, and even texturization doesn’t do much to change that. However, utility knives with Zytel handles are typically more affordable, compared to other models and will remain in good shape for more extended periods.
Carbon fiber handles
If you come across a utility knife with a synthetic handle these days, then it is most likely made of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber handles comprise thin strands of carbon, woven together tightly, and then dipped in resin. As a result, this type of handle is durable and lightweight but is also prone to cracks resulting from impacts.
The texture of the carbon weave also provides a good grip for this handle, and it’s available in a wide range of colors and patterns. However, it would cost you more to buy a carbon fiber knife, as they are typically more expensive than other models due to the sheer amount of human resources expended in creating them.
Natural utility knife handles
Natural products typically used to develop knife handles include wood, horn, and leather. Other natural materials that equally make good knife handles include abalone, mother of pearl, and bones.
The majority of utility knives that were first produced featured wooden handles, but they have decreased in popularity due to the tendency of such handles to crack. The most common types of wood used in crafting handles are hardwood, such as birch, black walnut, and burlwood.
Wooden handles are generally beautiful and affordable. Even better, they mainly provide a comfortable grip for users. A significant downside of wooden handles is the fact that they absorb moisture quite readily, which makes them less durable, and prone to falling apart at any time. Because of this moisture problem, wooden handles require special maintenance and care practices.
Features to look out for before buying a utility knife
There are a lot of utility knife models in the market, and frankly speaking, it can be a real struggle getting a quality product. However, there is yet hope of getting a good knife, and one that has most of the features listed below will serve you well.
The utility knife you end up buying must have measures in place that make it easy for you to eject old/dull blades and fix in new ones. Of course, this feature is more commonly found in retractable and breakaway utility knives, but you can as well see it in some fixed knife models.
Most knives with this feature have a slider or button which, when pressed, releases the old blade so you can them replace it. However, there have been complaints by some utility knife users that the location of this eject button is such that they accidentally pop out the blade now and then. Therefore, when examining a knife for the quick-switch quality, take cognizance of the slider’s location, and ensure it is such that your fingers don’t bump into it unnecessarily.
Also, this quick-switch mechanism is not as effective in some knife models, and is prone to failure at any point, thereby leading to the blade falling out unexpectedly. Therefore, if you must buy a knife with this feature, go for high-quality products with the best reviews
Ergonomic design and ease of use
Before purchasing a knife, test out its handle and ensure it is built in a way that it’ll be comfortable for you to hold and use. A good knife handle should feel comfortable in your hand when gripped tightly, and should also fill up your palm. The handle should also feature grooves, and strategic curves, so it doesn’t slip out of your hands easily when in use – even if it’s wet.
Also, knives with adjustable blades are more comfortable to use than their fixed counterparts as you can easily set blade length to conform with the thickness of the material to be cut, as well as incline blades at angles to make unique cuts.
Special blade compartment
Some utility knife models possess a particular slot where you fix in different types of blades for unique purposes. With this feature, you can easily switch from a straight edge blade to a serrated blade for various cutting operations.
Those who seek a multipurpose knife would do well to check a product for this feature before making a purchase. With this quality, you don’t need to carry multiple knives around as all you need do is to switchblades to suit different needs.
The material a knife handle is made of determines its durability, and this is one quality you should give a serious look at before buying a utility knife. Older utility knife models employ hardwood and plastic in making knife handles. Still, these are quickly fading out of use due to a tendency to crack after some time, consequently causing injuries to users.
Newer knife models incorporate the use of composite materials such as Micarta, Zytel, Kraton, as well as fiberglass and metal in their handles. These materials do not crack or split easily, and are generally resistant to moisture, thereby ensuring greater durability.
The handle material also impacts on the knife’s aesthetic appeal, and this is something that’ll bother you, go for a knife with a decorative handle. And while human-made composite handles might not be as aesthetically pleasing as those made from natural materials, the fact remains that they are sturdier and will give you more extended service.
If your utility knife is intended for light use, you can buy one with slightly weaker and decorative handle material. However, if you’re planning on doing some heavy-duty cutting, buy a knife with a sturdy handle.
The overall weight of the knife determines the ease with which you can use it in carrying out various cutting operations. Heavier knives are generally harder to use and handle, and prolonged usage can cause wrist sprains; hence, you should consider going for a lightweight model.
However, bigger knives are more suitable for heavy use than small knives, and if this is what you intend to do with your utility knife, then the weight is just something you’ll have to deal with.
Factors that generally impact on knife weight include the blade size, and handle material; hence, you should examine these and make a purchase based on your needs.
Generally, utility knife blades are made of stainless steel nowadays. The reason stainless steel has gained such a high level of acceptability includes the fact that it is resistant to corrosion, and also requires less care and maintenance. Check the manufacturer specs of the utility knife before buying to ensure it is made of the more durable stainless steel.
The other material that is more commonly used in making blades is the high carbon steel, although these are declining in popularity and usage. One advantage high carbon steel has over stainless steel is its typically smaller grain size, which makes it easier to sharpen. Also, this tiny grain size means HCS blades can be sharpened to finer edges and will retain a sharp cutting face for long periods.
Ultimately, the choice of blade material is on your hands, and your cutting needs greatly influence it. If you seek a blade that is resistant to water and other elements, and generally requires lesser maintenance, then you should go for stainless steel. However, if a sharper cutting edge is your kryptonite, then a High Carbon Steel blade would make an ideal choice.
The blade size of a utility knife determines the kind of cutting operations you can use it for and the ease with which you can move it around.
For hard tasks like wood chopping, a bigger blade will come in quite handy. However, for the less demanding tasks, you will be fine with a smaller, lighter blade. Also, if you need a portable knife that you can easily carry around, go for a small blade.
Summarily, it is not possible to find the perfect utility knife as there will inevitably be shortcomings in some areas where other models excel. However, what you can do is get a knife that possesses the majority of features listed above, and you’re good to go.
FAQs related to the utility knives
What is the difference between a utility knife and a box cutter?
While a box cutter is a type of utility knife, it is mainly used for cutting in straight lines, and for splitting thicker materials. The general utility knife can be used in a broader range of cutting operations and offers greater control, thereby enabling artists to make unique curved cuts.
How do you sharpen utility blades?
Sharpening a utility blade can be quite technical and requires you to maintain complete concentration and use the appropriate tools as things can quickly go south. You can gravely injure yourself as a result. To sharpen your utility blade: Prepare a flat surface for the sharpening process. Get a sharpening stone, and place it on a chopping board to prevent scratching. Holding the knife at an angle of about 20 degrees, start sharpening the cutting edge with long, smooth strokes on the stone. Ensure you regularly change the part of the stone used for this process. Regularly wet the stone surface to generate more friction for sharper cuts. Also, apply oil to the sun’s surface to polish the cutting edge. Test the cutting edge to confirm its sharpness, and if you’re satisfied, wash the knife with water to remove any residual metal particles. Maintain the knife’s sharpness with the aid of a sharpening steel.
What can you cut with a utility knife?
A utility knife is mainly suitable for general cutting purposes, and not heavy-duty work. You can use the utility knife in a vast range of cutting operations, which includes cutting drywall, trimming roof shingles, slicing fiberglass insulation. You can also use it to cut up old carpeting, slit cable insulation, scratch out the old grout, and dried paint, among others.
How do you break the end of the utility knife?
Once the tip of a utility knife becomes blunt, it becomes pretty useless, and there's a need to change it. Follow the steps listed below to carry out a blade-breaking operation on your utility knife successfully: First things first, put on safety glasses. Because you’ll be snapping the blade off with a bit of force, there’s every tendency for it to fly off, and in the direction of your eyes – how do they know to do that? Retract the knife blade, leaving only the section you wish to cut exposed. Using a plier, slowly, but steadily bend the exposed segment at an angle ninety degrees to the break line. To be on the safer side, fold the blade away from yourself rather than towards you so that when it breaks, it’ll fly off in the opposite direction.
What are the sharpest utility blades?
Generally, the sharpest utility blades are those made of high carbon steel. These blades have smaller grains, which make them easy to sharpen, and they are also able to maintain a sharp cutting edge for long periods.
Are utility knives legal?
Yes, utility knives are entirely legal and safe to carry about. However, to be doubly sure, check out your state’s legal code.
What is a 6-inch utility knife used for?
A 6-inch utility knife is an all-purpose tool used in a wide range of cutting jobs, and its length makes it maneuverable. It is designed to carry out both small and big cutting tasks without necessarily excelling at any. The 6-inch utility knife has gained widespread use in kitchens for chopping vegetables and carving meat.