The Best Utility Knife (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

best-utility-knife-review-guideYou have a pile of boxes that you want to throw in the trash. You’re trying to put up new wallpaper. Perhaps you’re trying to cut through vinyl flooring. Whether you’re a construction worker, a maintenance worker, or just a normal human being with a need to periodically cut up heavy-duty objects, you would definitely be well-served by a high-quality utility knife.

Utility knives are compact, easy to store, and capable of cutting through thick materials in a safe and well-balanced manner. If you want to be able to cut apart cardboard or drywall at a moment’s notice, it’s an absolute necessity for you.

Compare: The 10 Top Utility Knives of 2016

What is a Utility Knife?

A utility knife is a compact knife that can be used to cut up heavy-duty materials like drywall, cardboard, or vinyl. Typically residing in every maintenance man’s toolbox, utility knives can usually be folded up so that they can be compactly stored in your pocket or bag.

While some utility knives are capable of storing several blades at one time, others are only capable of holding one blade at a single. Equipped to switch blades with as little effort as possible, most utility knives are intuitive and simple to operate.

What are the Benefits of a Utility Knife?

While many knives can be used to cut up heavy-duty materials like cardboard and drywall, no knife is more ideally used to do so than the utility knife. Because they can be folded up and stored away in your pockets, they are both simple and safe to transport from one place to another. This allows you to always have one on hand.

Their ability to switch blades easily essentially allows you to carry several different knives with you at one time. Made of heavy-duty materials themselves, such as rubber and metal, they can withstand a great deal of wear and tear, whether that be getting dropped on the ground or crushed under heavy objects.

Who are the Contenders for Best Utility Knife?

Workpro Quick Change Folding Utility Knife – Made of durable stainless steel and equipped with a non-slip rubber grip, this Workpro utility knife is both tough and easy to handle. Capable of being folded up when not in use, it can be quickly and conveniently stored away in your pocket, toolbox, or bag quickly and safely. Equipped with a quick change mechanism, it allows you to change blades with very little effort or fuss.

Irwin 2082200B ProTouch Retractable Utility Knife – Capable of storing up to 5 different blades at one time, this Irwin utility knife provides as much storage space as any utility knife you’re going to find. Made out of stainless steel and sporting a non-slip rubber grip, it is both ridiculously durable and easy to handle. With a quick change mechanism as well as a three position height adjuster, this knife works as conveniently and as quickly as any utility knife you’re going to find.

Milwaukee 48-22-1901 Fastback Flip Open Utility Knife – Constructed of stainless steel and equipped with an extremely ergonomic handle, this Milwaukee utility knife is absurdly durable and easy to handle. With a lightning quick ability to fold and change blades, it can be used at a moment’s notice. Also sporting a wire stripper, it is capable of stripping up to 10 gauge wire.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Utility Knife

For the most part, utility knives are all just about the same. They are quite simply convenient knives to have on hand for when you’re doing work around the house, such as hanging drywall or cutting cardboard. But, this isn’t to say that every utility knife is created equally. There are several aspects that separate each and every utility knife there is. In order to choose the correct utility knife, you must take these aspects into consideration. These aspects include the construction of the knife, how durable it is, how easy it is to use, and any other additional features it possesses.

• Construction
While some utility knives are encased in rubber casings with superb grips, others are enclosed in tough, durable metal casings. While neither casing is better than the other, you might have a specific preference for what type of construction you want.

• Durability
As with all products, you must consider a utility knife’s durability. Some are lined in rubber, ensuring that they don’t break after falling on the floor, while some are made of metal, ensuring that they can withstand a great deal of wear and tear. The truth of the matter is that, if you purchase the right utility knife, you may never have to purchase one ever again.

• Ease of Use
While utility knives are, in general, fairly simple to use, there are some that are more difficult to use than others. Between various safety locks and blade triggers, you might run into some confusion. It’s important to choose a knife that you understand, and which allows for simple and efficient use.

• Additional Features
From additional blade storage compartments, to simultaneous blade use, to safety locks, utility knives possess many different additional features. While these features are not absolutely necessary, they do help to make the knife all that more useful, thus making your life easier.

Related: The Best Multitool (Guide)

Construction

Workpro Quick Change Folding Utility Knife

With a stainless steel casing equipped with a grippable rubber grip, the Workpro Quick Change Folding Utility Knife is both extremely durable and easy to hold. Sporting a metal pocket clip, it’s easy to transport from place to place. Additionally, it accommodates all standard utility blades.

Irwin 2082200B ProTouch Retractable Utility Knife

Made out of durable stainless steel, this Irwin Retractable Utility Knife is tough as nails, and capable of withstanding a great deal of wear and tear. Lined with a sticky rubber grip, it is easy to hold onto, allowing you to cut with sturdiness and stability from any angle.

Milwaukee 48-22-1901 Fastback Flip Open Utility Knife

With a tough plastic handle and a safety stem made out of stainless steel, this Milwaukee utility knife is just a step below the Workpro and Irwin utility knives in our top 3. Due to its ultra-thin design and pocket clip, it can be stored away in your shirt or pants pocket with general ease.

Durability

Workpro Quick Change Folding Utility Knife

To put it simply, the Workpro Folding Utility Knife is built like a tank. With a stainless steel casing, it can withstand a great deal of wear and tear, whether it’s being dropped on the ground or crushed by a heavy item. Odds are, if you don’t lose this utility knife, you’ll have it in your arsenal for the rest of your life.

Irwin 2082200B ProTouch Retractable Utility Knife

While it’s not quite as durable as the Workpro Utility Knife in our top 3, this Irwin utility knife is still plenty durable. Due to its stainless steel casing, it can withstand a great beating, whether that be falling hard on the ground, or getting stepped on. In short, you can count on this knife lasting many years.

Milwaukee 48-22-1901 Fastback Flip Open Utility Knife

Because it’s handle is made of plastic and not pure stainless steel, this Milwaukee utility knife is just a step below the Workpro and Irwin and terms of durability. While it can withstand a great deal of wear and tear, it likely will not last as long as the other two knives in our top 3.

Ease of Use

Irwin 2082200B ProTouch Retractable Utility Knife

Of our top 3, this Irwin utility knife is by far the easiest to use. With the use of just one hand, you can switch its blade to three different heights, allowing you to make cuts of three different depths. When need be, you can switch its blade with its quick change mechanism.

Milwaukee 48-22-1901 Fastback Flip Open Utility Knife

Capable of being operated with just one hand, this Milwaukee utility knife can flip open 3 times faster and change blades 5 times faster than most utility knives. Due to the shape of its grip, it can be easily handled without the risk of slippage and instability. This makes it as safe as any utility knife you’re going to find.

Workpro Quick Change Folding Utility Knife

While it’s very easy to change blades on the Workpro Folding Utility Knife, it does require the use of both hands. This could make it dangerous if you’re working on unstable terrain in which you can’t find firm footing. To store it, it can be simply folded up like a pocket knife.

Additional Features

Irwin 2082200B ProTouch Retractable Utility Knife

Along with its quick change mechanism which allows for easy blade changes, this Irwin utility knife also possesses additional storage for up to 5 blades at one time. Its lock lever also allows for three different heights, enabling you to lock blades into place with the use of just one hand.

Workpro Quick Change Folding Utility Knife

As far as additional features go, the WorkPro Folding Utility Knife is fairly limited. While it does possess a safety lock for locking and changing blades, it doesn’t possess much else. It, of course, can be folded up to accommodate easy and convenient storage at all times.

Milwaukee 48-22-1901 Fastback Flip Open Utility Knife

Like the Workpro utility knife in our top 3, this Milwaukee utility knife is fairly basic in terms of additional features. A safety lock allows for easy blade changes as well as secure and safe blade stability. In addition, it possess a wire stripper which can strip up to 10 gauge copper wire.

Conclusion: Our Utility Knife Reviews

Best Cheap: Craftsman Soft Grip Retractable Utility Knife

craftsman-9-94832For a utility knife in its price range, this Craftsman utility knife is the best utility knife you’re going to find. Made out of silver-plated aluminum and equipped with a soft, rubber grip, it possesses fantastic durability and handle. Containing three heavy-duty blades, it allows you to store two of the blades while another is being used, making for quick and convenient blade changes. If you’re looking for a great utility knife at a very affordable price, you should definitely give this one a look.

Pros:

  • Capable of storing 3 blades at a time
  • Excellent grip and handle

Cons:

  • Not as durable as high-end utility knives
  • Blade change mechanism is a little complex for some users

Best for the Money: Milwaukee 48-22-1901 Utility Knife

milwaukee-48-22-1901While the absolute best utility knives can be a little expensive, there are quite a few high-quality utility knives on the market that are available for very reasonable prices. One of these is this Milwaukee Fastback Flip Open Utility Knife. Made out of stainless steel and equipped with an ergonomic plastic handle, it is as tough as any utility knife you’re going to find. Capable of being opened with just one hand, it folds up compactly for fast and convenient storage. If you’re looking for the best utility knife for the money, you have to take a look at this one.

Pros:

  • Compact and convenient storage capabilities
  • Quick blade change mechanism
  • Also possesses a built-in wire stripper

Cons:

  • Some users have trouble opening it with one hand

Best Overall: Workpro Quick Change Folding Utility Knife

workpro-quick-change-folding-utility-knifeAlthough there are many high-quality utility knives on the market, in our opinion, this Workpro utility knife is the best utility knife there is. Made out of durable stainless steel and sporting a non-slip rubber grip, it’s both exceedingly tough and easy to handle. With the ability to change blades and fold up into itself with just one hand, it functions as well as, or better than any other utility knife on the market. If you’re looking for the best utility knife around, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Pros:

  • As tough and durable as they come
  • Can fold up into itself for quick and compact storage
  • Quick change mechanism makes it easy to change blades

Cons:

  • Some users need two hands to operate it adequately

All in All

It doesn’t matter who you are. As long as you have possessions of any kind, you have a use for a utility knife. Utility knives can be used for anything, from cutting down drywall, to cutting wallpaper, to slicing up vinyl flooring, to breaking down cardboard.

Tough and highly-functional knives like the Workpro Quick Change Folding Utility Knife can be folded up and stored away quickly, compactly, and safely. A necessary tool in every toolbox is a high-quality utility knife.