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When I first saw these, I thought they were the bee’s knees — perfect for carrying because they’re so much smaller than a standard utility knife.  Then a friend of mine shared a story about cutting the living crap out of himself with one, and I had second thoughts.

Clearly folding-style knives like these aren’t going to provide the same protection as a standard utility knife because you can’t retract the blade.  When I’m using a standard knife, I only extend just enough blade for the task at hand — again impossible with these.

But they still look awfully practical.  What do you think?  Let us know in comments.

 

26 Responses to Hot or Not? Folding Utility Knives

  1. Randy says:

    Hot, but I don’t use mine as a shop knife. I put a small carpet hook blade in it and use it to skin deer. Much better, cheaper, less in the way, and sharper than a knife with a built in skin hook, and if it gets dull, rusty, or breaks, I change the blade.

    For a shop use utility knife, I still use the standard retractable style.

    Also, I don’t like the ones with the flip open blade changer. They seem much looser than my model which has the screw in blade changer.

  2. Will says:

    Not. I got one as a gift. It’s hard to open one-handed. The blade lock gets bumped open partially sometimes. The handle’s not comfortable. I prefer the newer Stanley retractable knife.

  3. Tom says:

    No way am I going to carry something like that. If I am planning on opening a lot of boxes or something maybe. I am going to stick with my Emerson mini-CQC7B. http://emersonknives.com/MiniCQC7BW.html

  4. Mike D in TO says:

    Great idea, but my experience with folding ones is they aren’t very sturdy. I like the solid non retractable such as the Stanley Fat max. The retractable ones are nice, but eventually they all seem to jamb up from debris that gets worked in from drywall, etc.

  5. Steve Thompson says:

    Hot. I picked one up at the checkout at Home Depot on an impulse and throughout my recent kitchen remodel it has never left my side. I’ll admit it may not be the greatest knife, but the combination of disposable blades, small size when folded, cheap price, and strong belt clip make it the most practical knife I own. It’s always there and so it always gets used. Plus, it’s cheap enough I don’t care about using it around paint or plaster or other messy situations.

    I find the clip snaps the blade in securely enough on mine that I don’t worry about it coming loose, and it’s not too bad to open one handed (no – it’s not like my Kershaw assisted open knife) once you get the feel for it.

    At 10 bucks and no worries about losing it, always havinga sharp blade, and always handy…I say Hot.

  6. William says:

    Hot. I first saw one of these and thought it was to bulky and stupid looking. Then I got one as a gift and I love it. If its not sharp flip it over, if its still not sharp get a new blade. I find most of the day I use my knife for opening boxes and mail so all I need is a small sharp blade.

    I’m not sure how this knife is anymore safe/unsafe than any pocket knife. Mine has a lock back and the flip open blade changed works just fine and tight I guess it could gets worn out and open on its own.

    I do like Tom’s Emerson, thats a nice looking knife.

  7. dbett says:

    I like my “Husky” version. It is solidly built and very useful for keeping in my desk at the office. The compact size is certainly a plus when you’re just using it occasionally and want to be able to throw it in the drawer when you’re not.

  8. MrWilliamWallace says:

    Hot, got a Husky one and loved it. Works great with Lenox Gold blades. Its replaced my pocket knife at work since i can replace a blade if it dulls. I also got a craftsman wood handled one like the one pictured, only problem with that is its at least twice the weight of the aluminum bodied ones. Also havnt found any made in USA =(

  9. John Eisenhower says:

    I think the wrong comparison is being used. They are better compared to a folding knife. They wont replace retractables in uses such as cutting drywall, carpet or anywhere else that requires a lot of pressure. The ability to change depth is also a big minus for its place in the shop.

    On the otherhand, it beats the folding “buck” knife. The folding knife needs to be sharpened, doesnt have different blade types (such as the hook mentioned above), heavier, and less precise. The folding razor blade is better for light duty.

  10. Stuey says:

    While I haven’t tried the folding kind, I like to use a Stanley quickslide for pocketable transportation.

    http://www.stanleytools.com/default.asp?CATEGORY=RETRACTABLE&TYPE=PRODUCT&PARTNUMBER=10-810&SDesc=QuickSlide%26%23153%3B+Pocket+Knife

    It’s compact but has the same shortcoming of being unable to retract partially.

  11. Hot. I’ve been carrying an orange Superknife since I saw it at the outdoors store, and I love it. It’s good for general purpose box opening, wire stripping, and other tasks. I don’t have to care about the blade, which is liberating.

    The mechanism is easy to open and close one-handed, and the fact that the inner half of the fold-out isn’t sharp means I haven’t even cut myself while closing it yet! The blade change lever holds the blade securely, and I’ve had no problems with loose blades.

    If I were to pick up another one, I’d look for one with spare blade storage in the handle, but as this one goes, it’s my favorite knife for everyday use. I keep the Olfa snapoff on the workbench for fine detail work, but the Superknife is in my pocket every day.

  12. Jaxx says:

    Hot, get a cheap one if you work with boxes at all and you wont regret it, also grease the action and you can flick it open one handed.

  13. Pat says:

    I was given one of these, and use it over the retractibles any day and twice on Sundays.
    Mine locks open & closed, so when it is out it is out and when it isn’t, it is away. I like that.
    I always find with retractibles that they don’t lock open very well, so if our are doing something which requires a lot of pressure you risk (or feel like you risk) it slipping.
    My one, which looks a lot like that, is a pile more sturdy feeling than my previous retractible – the retraction mechanism was always just flimsy.

  14. Abe says:

    Hot!!!
    I use my Sheffield folding utility all the time. Had it for about 2 years and it’s still going strong.

  15. ~eriC says:

    Awesome! i work in a warehouse part of the day and these knives are indispensable. It’s great to not have to worry about ruining a the blade.

  16. Old Donn says:

    Not. Got the Craftsman version of this. It was on sale and looked handy. It’s currently gathering dust in the tool box. My Swiss Army can do anything this does, and is more versatile.

  17. Douglas Kwan says:

    get the superknife sk2 it has the best blade changer/holder

  18. Russ Philipp says:

    Hot. I have owned over a dozen utility knives in my time and have never been satisfied with any of them. When I first saw one of these I thought “great another Piece of Crap utility knife, Just what I need”. Then I used it. The one I was using was a Sheffield and it belonged to my brother. Within 5 minutes I didn’t want to give it back. It folds up nicely, locks solid in the open position, blades easily change, blades do not wobble nor do they retract under too much pressure and no plastic parts to twist up on you. I went out the next day to by one, be careful as there are a lot of cheap imitations out their. I also agree with MrWilliamWallace in that the craftsman one looked very bulky. After about two weeks of fingering different brands I settled on a Sheffield. I have had it for about two years and can say without a doubt that it is by far the best utility knife I have ever owned. I don’t know if it will ever replace my daily pocket knife or hunting knife but as they say, Never say Never.

  19. G1ZM0 says:

    Just like any tool there are many different levels of quality when it comes to these knives. If the one’s I’ve tried I like the superknife the best. It’s the one you want for smooth one-hand operation.
    The lock back models like the Husky probably have a stronger lock but if you’re using it right that shouldn’t matter much. Meyerco has an assisted opener if you like kershaw’s. I’m waiting for someone to come out with one that has butterfly style handles.

  20. fabmandan says:

    I have a mini Sheffield. It’s been my everyday pocket knife since I got it in my Christmas stocking a couple of years ago. I love it. I’ve carried a small knife or multi-tool for years and I use this more than any of the others.

  21. Aaron Baca says:

    Hot. I can spend an hour or more with a brand new knife getting the edge I want and then another ten minutes every week sharpening it. Then I screw up and nick the blade and I spend another hour+ getting the edge back. Then I lose it.
    I’ve had the original version and the version with the blade storage which is far superior. Since you’ve literally got a razor blade you have to exercise more caution, but in the end I believe they are safer since any cutting action requires less pressure.
    The only downside I have noticed is in applications where a longer cutting surface is needed. Rope is one example that comes to mind. These also make a poor letter opener.
    Many of them are pretty shoddy quality and have a lot of give in the mechanism that holds the blade in place, occasionally allowing it to fall out. I’d love to be able to spend another ten dollars and get one that is a little more solid.

  22. Rob says:

    Hot. As much as I like knives and prefer a good slipjoint or tactical folder, I like the “disposableness” of these. I just don’t worry about the blade at all. I can pry, cut on cement and generally abuse the blade because at the end of the day, I can just replace it. I’d never do that to my nicer knives.

  23. shawn says:

    Definitely hot. I carry one with me all the time. Need to go on an airplane? just take the blade out and grab another one where you’re going, especially if it’s to a relative’s to help him work on a fixer-upper (as was the case with my brother last week).

  24. Stuey says:

    FYI Sears has their model on sale for $7.77 – 2 bucks cheaper than usual.

    http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?pid=00994848000

  25. Bob says:

    I have a husky mini and can not find replacement blades. I have contacted Home Depot and was told the knife and blades are no longer available.

  26. Galen says:

    EXTREMELY HOT! I use mine several times a day around the farm and house. I routinely cut things from carpet, drywall, bale twine and even barn tin. I’ve had mine for over 3 years and love it. I am looking for another, but would like to have one with blade storage in the handle.

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