Utilities like the utility knife are often taken for granted. These items can be found in the toolboxes and garages of most do-it-yourself enthusiasts. A utility knife is one of the most versatile tools whenever you are in a pinch. Small, compact, and has many applications, a must-have tool to add to your arsenal.
Any utility knife you own is most likely outdated and ineffective. Over the past few years, several advancements in function and design have resulted in a new type of knife that is more user-friendly.
So how can you differentiate a good from a lousy one? Good thing we are here to help! This guide is here to answer any questions you may have regarding utility knives, and our reviews will show you the best knives available on the market.
- 1 Our Top Utility Knife Review
- 2 Quick rundown of our top picks!
- 3 Best Overall | Milwaukee Fastback 3
- 4 Best Utility Knife Runner Up | Internet’s Best 10102 Premium Utility Knife
- 5 Best for The Money Utility Knife | CRAFTSMAN CMHT10382 Utility Knife
- 6 Best Cheap Utility Knife | Stanley Classic 99
- 7 Best Heavy Duty Utility Knife | FC Folding Pocket Utility Knife
- 8 Best Quick Find Utility Knife | Milwaukee FASTBACK Compact Folding Utility Knife
- 9 Best Premium Choice Utility Knife | Stanley FMHT10288 Retractable Knife
- 10 Best Mini Utility Knife | Outdoor Edge SlideWinder
- 11 Best Set Utility Knife | REXBETI 2-Pack Utility Knife Heavy Duty
- 12 Best Retractable Utility Knife | Pacific Handy Cutter S4R Safety Cutter Retractable
- 13 Features to Consider When Buying a Utility Knife
- 14 FAQs
- 15 Conclusion
Our Top Utility Knife Review
The task of finding the best Utility knife can be daunting. Using a defective Utility knife may cause discomfort in the hand, the blade to wear out rapidly, and it will chip if used inappropriate things. The best utility must be built with high-quality materials and design. Once you’ve used one, you’ll never want to use your ordinary chicken knife in doing all sorts of cutting stuff.
There are several factors to consider while selecting the best utility knife. We’ve narrowed the possibilities down to just a few to make things easier for you.
Quick rundown of our top picks!
- Best Overall | Milwaukee Fastback 3
- Best Utility Knife Runner Up | Internet’s Best 10102 Premium Utility Knife
- Best for The Money Utility Knife | CRAFTSMAN CMHT10382 Utility Knife
- Best Cheap Utility Knife | Stanley Classic 99
- Best Heavy Duty Utility Knife | FC Folding Pocket Utility Knife
- Best Quick Find Utility Knife | Milwaukee FASTBACK Compact Folding Utility Knife
- Best Premium Choice Utility Knife | Stanley FMHT10288 Retractable Knife
- Best Mini Utility Knife | Outdoor Edge SlideWinder
- Best Set Utility Knife | REXBETI 2-Pack Utility Knife Heavy Duty
- Best Retractable Utility Knife | Pacific Handy Cutter S4R Safety Cutter Retractable
Best Overall | Milwaukee Fastback 3
The Fastback has released a newer model based on this one. However, I prefer this one to the newer model. The older and more recent models based on the Milwaukee Fastback 3 can be found on amazon. This model is compact, versatile, and has a sleek design—and an excellent overall utility knife for your needs. My favorite utility knife has been the Fastback for a long time now, even though I’ve tried a lot of different models.
It would help if you pressed a release button on the side of the knife to open it. A small wrist flip is needed to get it open with one hand. With a click of the lock, the notch glides open effortlessly. Quickly changing blades is a breeze because of the release mechanism on the blade holder. A gap at the bottom of the blade holder displays a tiny portion of the blade’s cutting edge. This is indeed a fantastic tool for wire up to 10 gauge thick.
The knife has an excellent grip and is a pleasure to hold when cutting. Your hand will not slip or rotate because of the finger notch and the overall handle design. You don’t have to open this knife is a massive plus in my book. You can utilize the slot to cut when the knife is folded because it has a gut hook built into the handle. When the knife is unfolded, there is no wobble in the handle. It’s a no-brainer that it’s painted in Milwaukee’s signature color (red). The best utility knife I’ve found on the market.
- Wire belt clip
- Tape measure blade holder
- Press and flip to open and two-handed closure
- Folding knife with blade storage that holds five blades
- Changing the blade can be sometimes difficult
- Press and Flip Opening, 4 Blade Storage
- All Metal Body, Quick Blade Change
- Gut Hook, Wire Stripper, 6.75" Length
- Wire Form Belt Clip, Lanyard Hole
Best Utility Knife Runner Up | Internet’s Best 10102 Premium Utility Knife
If a tool promises to be the “best,” you’d be skeptical, right? The Internet’s Greatest 10102 Premium Utility Knife, on the other hand, is our overall pick for the best utility knife.
Why is this knife so appealing to us? The three changeable blade lengths and the grip made with rubber make this a long-lasting and comfortable tool. The blades can be swapped out quickly thanks to the quick-release mechanism, and this package includes five spare blades and two knives for your convenience.
This type of utility knife has only two downsides. In the first place, because of its placement, the quick-release button could mistakenly release the knife. The thumb slide also doesn’t move as smoothly as expected. Generally speaking, this utility knife is the best we’ve tested this year.
- The knife has a rubber grip
- Comes with various lengths of blades
- Has the ability to detach from the device quickly.
- Blades that can be swapped out as needed
- The fast release button is located in an awkward place.
- Sliding your thumb can be pretty annoying
- Heavy Duty utility knife: Metal, durable design with rubber grip allows for a long lasting, extremely durable cuts and slices on boxes, plastic packaging, and straps. Includes 2 premium utility knives. Perfect box cutter knife
- Retractable & Adjustable Blade : Razor simply slides open for exact cuts. Blade easily retracts to lock safely within metal frame when finished using
- Quick Release: When razor needs to be replaced, simply extend the razor blade all the way, press the red button and remove the razor blade. Insert the new razor while pressing down the red button until secure
- Replacement Blades: Includes refill pouch containing 5 extra utility knife blades
- Dimensions: 1.5” Width x 6” Length. Set of 2 Utility Knives.
Best for The Money Utility Knife | CRAFTSMAN CMHT10382 Utility Knife
If you desire a specific blade, you can get it at a very reasonable price. On the other hand, some of us are working under a limited budget. We think the CRAFTSMAN CMHT10382 Utility Knife is the most acceptable value for money option for utility knives.
When you consider that you’re getting two knives for the price, it’s hard to argue that this knife is worth the money. In addition, you receive three additional blades that may be stowed away in the handle’s hidden storage section. Finally, your entire transaction is covered by a lifetime warranty.
That being said, what prevents this knife from being on the top overall pick? Some users have reported that their knives arrived without blades., These blades aren’t as long-lasting as some of the other options available to consumers.
- Good Price
- Equipped with multiple blades
- Have blade storage
- lifetime warranty comes with the package
- In some cases, the package may arrive with no blade installed
- The knives aren’t as durable as some of the alternatives.
- Patented interlocking nose to hold blade securely
- Three position retractable blade
- Integrated blade storage in handle
- Includes 3 utility blades per knife
- Full Lifetime Warranty, refer to "Warranty & Support" section below for full details
Best Cheap Utility Knife | Stanley Classic 99
For those that want essential, inexpensive, and reliable tools, the Stanley 99E is a great option. Although the handle of this blade is thin, it provides a firm grip. There is only one moving part, yet it has room for up to ten more blades. The blade carriage has a minimal function, which is more than we can say about many competitors.
When it comes to the 99E, our primary issue is that the two halves are held together by a screw that must be backed out to change a blade. You’ll need a screwdriver or a coin if you’re in a hurry, but it’s not a big concern. If you don’t turn the handle flat when you separate the two sections, the loose blades from its handle will fall out. But we found this type, which can take a beating and keep going, to be an effective tool for cutting.
- Very Affordable
- Tool is needed when changing the blade
- Has Slim body, which is quite awkward for some users
- Length: 6.1in
- With retractable blade
- Interlock nose firmly secures blade into knife blade length: 2-7/16 inches handle length: 5.5 inches
Best Heavy Duty Utility Knife | FC Folding Pocket Utility Knife
This model from FC holding is an eye-catcher from the moment you open the box. It has a stainless-steel blade and a cool looking red aluminum body. The knife locks into place when the knife is folded, and it can only be unlocked by clicking the safety button the knife’s hinge. We could keep the lock in place by pressing down hard on the blade’s rear even after folding the blade outward.
It’s a big knife, measuring to five inches long with the blade extended and weighing a hefty 4.8 ounces, but it easily cut through all test items. The clip allows it to be worn on a belt, depending on preference.
The quick-blade-change function of the FC knife is very convenient. The old blade slid right out when you press the blade-release button near the blade’s tip. It was just as simple to replace the blade. On-board blade storage is the sole drawback of this knife.
- Sleek design
- High Quality Product
- Carry pouch is included in the package
- Blade automatically locks
- No blade storage
- Sleek, lightweight anodized aluminum design with anti-slip grip. Handle doubles as pocket or money clip
- Heavy-duty carbon steel blades stay sharp longer. Convenient folding with the press of a button.
- Lock-back design safely locks the blade in place when in use
- Quick-change mechanism for easy blade removal | Accepts standard size utility blades.
- Includes a knife holster and 5 extra replacement blades
Best Quick Find Utility Knife | Milwaukee FASTBACK Compact Folding Utility Knife
Milwaukee’s FASTBACK Compact Folding Utility Knife is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a good quality knife that is made is to open using one hand. We were blown away by how simple it was to use: After pushing the lock button release, a simple wrist flick locks the blade in an open position, preventing it from being accidentally opened. To open the blade more slowly and carefully, you can do so by hand.
With its 6.15-inch length and 4-ounce weight, this knife is a fantastic tool—and it performed admirably in all of our tests. We found the bottom side of the blade to be really easy to grasp, thanks to its ergonomic shape. It has a sturdy wire clip that you can attach to a belt for easy transportation.
When we initially opened the knife, we didn’t notice a small strip on the bottom side where we could store the blade. A handy blade storage pocket was found by squeezing the handle downward! A blade – button for releasing the knife is found near the blade’s tip, making it easy to remove the installed blade and replace it with a sharp one.
As a bonus, this mode has included a wire cutter. It’s possible to access a tiny portion of the blade even if it is safely tucked away. Although the cord can be easily damage if you try to pull it through the groove. This is a convenient way to cut thin cables without needing to open the knife.
- Flip action opening
- Quality Build
- Blade automatic lock function
• Blade sometimes wobbly
- Press and flip opening
- Compact size and lanyard hole
- Metal extension to prevent accidental blade removal
- Quick change and blade holder designed for scoring
- Durable wire belt clip reduces pocket tearing
Best Premium Choice Utility Knife | Stanley FMHT10288 Retractable Knife
The essential item in your arsenal is a utility knife. Because of this, it may be in your best interest to get the best cornerstone available. Retractable Stanley FMHT10288 Retractable Utility Knife is our recommendation for the best utility knife.
Do you know what makes this a “luxury” product? To begin with, the soft grip on this knife makes it easy to hold and reduces the chance of it slipping. Blade storage space in the handle makes blade changes quick and uncomplicated. Because it’s magnetic and exposed, the slider makes it simple to swap out the blades and clean them. There are finally four-blade positions to choose from.
So, why isn’t this blade our top pick? We don’t like how long and heavy it is. Adding insult to injury, the knife comes out far too quickly.
- Smooth and comfortable grip
- The blades can be changed in a matter of seconds
- Spare blades and blade storage is included in the package
- Can easily remove debris
- A bit heavy and long
- The blade easily comes out
- Fast manual blade change
- Quick and easy debris removal
- Excess blades to be stored in the handle
- Soft touch grip helps to reduce slipping
Best Mini Utility Knife | Outdoor Edge SlideWinder
The Outdoor Edge SlideWinder is a handy little knife to have in your arsenal when you’re on the go. There’s no excuse not to carry this multi-tool around with you every day, as it’s just 1/4 inch thick and has a pocket clip. Compared to other multi-tools in its class, this one has an excellent blade swapping feature and a good set of built-in Phillips and flathead screwdrivers.
The blade carriage lock is a problem despite the robust stainless-steel frame. It was stiff and unreliable, as we discovered. Because of its three-finger grip, this tool may be too cumbersome for persons with larger hands. Finally, the onboard bottle opener is only a minor issue. Even though it’ll do its job, the narrow mouth will have difficulty grabbing onto bottle tops. This handy little gadget comes in handy when you need it and is a pleasure to have around—a small precise cutting tool for outdoor camping and activities.
- Sleek minimalistic design
- Not very durable compared to other utility knives
- Locking mechanism needs improvements
- PERECT ERGONOMICS – Extensive jimping on the stainless-steel blade holder provides a secure, tactile grip allowing for precise control and for transferring power direct from the hand to the cutting edge.
- EASY BLADE CHANGE – The blade holder features a thumb activated blade release button with guard for safe and secure blade changes with the flick of a finger.
- ONE HAND OPENING – Integrated thumb stud allows for easy one hand opening making this a great addition to any job site or home project.
- DURABLE CONSTRUCTION – The 420J2 stainless-steel blade holder is mounted to a (Black, Orange) sure-grip textured ABS polymer handle with an integrated pocket clip.
- SERVICE FOR LIFE – Outdoor Edge produces quality cutting tools that are built to last; if you have a problem with your Outdoor Edge knife contact us, we address all replacement and service requests.
Best Set Utility Knife | REXBETI 2-Pack Utility Knife Heavy Duty
Rexbeti’s Knife Set comes with a retractable and folding utility knife. The retractable model has the same size and setting when the retractable model is fully extended. Fortunately, this model is built ergonomically for easy control.
With the blades extended, both knives are have the same length (7-inch) long and weigh slightly over 10 ounces. When comparing the retractable and folding knives, the most noticeable difference is the rubberized grip on the retractable. A minor degree of knife movement was found during testing in the e knife, which was not found in the other folding knife.
In both knives, there is a wire/cord cutter included. You can access this feature if the isn’t extended on a retractable knife. The wire cutter is only accessible on the folding model when the blade is on the folded state, which negates the purpose of having the main blade in the first place.
Although the retractable knife’s storage chamber had a cover that could be closed snugly, the blades were able to eject. The folding knife’s cover remained closed during our testing. Therefore, it was most likely a fluke. Regardless of whether the blades are opened or closed, both knives’ blades lock in.
The retractable and folding knives in this set are convenient for carrying in a toolbox or a pocket or glove compartment.
- Durable knife
- Cord and wire cutters
- Compact and sleek design
• Poor blade storage and in some cases the cover tends to loose on its own
- Ultra sharpness and double hardness blade, Perfect for hobby, DIY projects, cardboard, carpet, Rope,boxes, wallpapers, vinyl, rubber, leather, PVC material and etc
- Comes with 2-pack utility knife, retractable design and folding design. Ergonomical and rubbery handle offers strong grip all the time
- Blade storage design for easy and quick access. Extra 3 blades storage in the handle
- Extra 10-piece blades included
- Quick-change blade mechanism
Best Retractable Utility Knife | Pacific Handy Cutter S4R Safety Cutter Retractable
Take advantage of the utility knife’s cutting capability without shelling out a lot of money. The Pacific Handy Cutter Utility Knife has a few extra features. An adjustable, retractable blade can be retracted by swiping the side of the grip.
We couldn’t see the usefulness of the metal thumb shield at the point of the blade until we used it. This innovation allowed us to hold the knife closer to the blade without risking a cut to the thumb because of the safety mechanism. Sometimes, the shield comes in handy, significantly when cutting in a straight line, because it allows the user to slip their hand forward, which improves precision control. All of our test materials were easily sliced with the knife.
The Pacific Handy Cutter is 5.75 inches long and only 1.76 ounces in weight. It’s a great travel companion. It has a compartment for storing the blades: Slip your fingernail into the back edge’s slot and pull upward to uncover an additional blade space. When retracting the blade, we observed that if we didn’t retract it all the way, the blade’s tip would still protrude enough to cut a finger if the user didn’t pay close attention. Changing blades was made easy with a simple touch of one of the buttons on the bottom of the knife.
- Made with quality long lasting plastic
- Protective thumb guard
- It’s simple to change the blades.
- Sliding mechanism stops before the blade is fully drawn back.
- Safe, Precise Cutting: Designed with a sturdy metal protective guard to precisely guide the high-quality, sharp blade, keeping both workers and expensive box content safe from harm, all while improving improving speed and efficiency. This uniquely-structured steel guard will not flex, bend, or break like other cutters and serves as a guide for executing the perfect cut every time, no matter who is doing the cutting
- Multiple Blade Depths: Three adjustable blade depth positions allow for reliable, controlled top cutting, shallow depth window and tray cuts, and more
- Tool Free Blades Change and Stores 5 Blades: No tools required for this quick and easy blade change. Easily accessible blade storage compartment holds up to 5 extra Safety Point Blades making sure you never get stuck with a dull blade
- Heavy Duty Tape Splitter: This sturdy metal bladeless tape splitter safely and easily slices through even reinforced fiber tape, avoiding exposure to blades
- Comfortable Ergonomic Handle: Ergonomically designed for high frequency usage and minimizing fatigue
Features to Consider When Buying a Utility Knife
These are the features or factors you need to consider in buying your utility knife. Remember, not all utility knives have the same quality and use. This might help you, so please keep reading down below.
The blade shape can considerably affect how handy and long-lasting your knife is for various activities. For example, a box cutter outperforms a long, fixed blade in its intended purpose, whereas a fixed blade outperforms a folding knife in outdoor utility settings. Some operations call for a thicker, robust blade, while others call for a thinner slicer. To chop, use a knife with a fragile tip.
Depending on the intended purpose, a longer or shorter blade may be required for efficiency and safety. There are thousands of utility knives out there that have different lengths. Length is another feature of factor you must consider when buying a utility knife. The blade length will give you convenience and difficulties depending on what things you plan to use them. Many users much prefer a longer or mid-range blade.
Blade Versatility and Durability
While fixed utility knives have their purpose, most handymen prefer retractable blades because such knives are pretty versatile for any DIYer.
Retractable knives allow you to pull the blade out anytime. Like fixed knives, retractable knives have benefits and drawbacks before purchasing.
The main benefit of this knife is increased safety for the user. Retracting the blade when you are not using it significantly limits the risk of catastrophic injury. Also, various blades allow you to retract or fold much as you need for specific activities, allowing you to modify blade length.
The spring that assists in removing the blade is the only significant “con.” While working, the spring forces the blades to move. That’s why many users prefer a fixed knife for demanding tasks.
Ease and Comfort
Buy a knife that can be used easily and won’t hurt your hand when using the knife. Many good utility knives on the market have super grip and comfortable handles with razor-sharp blades. Being that said, these quality products cost more than your usual utility knife.
What is a Utility Knife?
A utility knife is a small type of knife used for general crafting and a wide variety of manual work. In the past, standard utility knives came as fixed blades and didn’t possess features like retractability, extra blades, internal blade storage, or a blade change mechanism.
Outdoorsmen used these knives for exercises like reshaping timber, cutting cordage, cutting and cleaning hide and fish scales, and even some light piercing tasks.
However, the utility knife has since evolved and that term is now mostly used to describe small retractable, replaceable class models and folding models of knives. These knives have become essential multi-tools that you’ll find useful to power through tasks on a daily basis. They’re also good to have in a sticky wilderness survival situation, too.
What’s the Maximum Size of a Utility Blade Knife?
7 inches is the maximum size of a utility blade knife. Once a cardboard box cutter utility knife exceeds this length, it’s technically no longer a simple utility blade.
Are All Utility Knife Blades the Same?
No, all utility knife blades aren’t the same. The blades of standard utility knives are often differentiated based on their shape and functionality features. At the moment, standard utility knives can come with any of six (6) different types of blades and edges. These are:
· Breakaway blades or snap-off blades
· Scalloped blades
· Rounded tip blades
· Hook blades
· Pointed tip blades
Is the Blade Material of a Utility Knife Important?
Yes, the blade material of a utility knife is very important. The type of material used to make the knife influences everything from utility to durability and ease of edge retention. It also determines how well the entire blade can weather the forces of corrosion and extreme temperature.
The most common material used to make utility blades is steel. Because steel has many alloys, there’s a wide variety of forms the material can come in. As such, depending on the type of steel used, your blade edge could be super tough and better able to withstand abuse!
What is the Most Common Steel Material for a Utility Knife?
Carbon content steel is the most common steel material for a utility knife. Carbon content steel blade materials offer a durable and dependable build.
It’s an especially great choice because, unlike most disposable blades, it’s quite hard so it won’t get misshapened with use. It also has excellent edge retention so you’ll be able to use it for longer durations as well. The downside of opting for cold steel with a high carbon content is that these materials can get very brittle and, if you’re not careful, it can even break outright.
Also, cold steel with a high amount of carbon is more predisposed to rusting. Many utility knife makers compensate for this by covering the cold steel blade with a water repellant. The coated blades can retain their finish for longer as long as they’re kept clean and dry.
Stainless steel construction blade materials are also worth considering. Though not as hard as high carbon steel, they’re more rust-resistant and the stainless edges usually have a decent sharpness level.
Any utility knives in the above list can be used for scoring drywall, cutting carpeting and cardboard, and other various everyday cutting tasks. If you’re looking for a practical and stylish bag, Milwaukee Fastback 3 is your best option. The Stanley Classic 99 utility knife is an excellent choice for a low-cost utility knife. It has a sturdy body and a protected thumb shield for cutting with precision.