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Utility knives are the workhorse of the toolbox — we use ’em for slicing, opening, and trimming anything that comes to the shop or worksite. Few tools are as heavily abused and frequently discarded as the utility blade. This was our mentality when the first Irwin ProTouch arrived in the shop.

Right out of the packaging it was the most comfortable razor knife we ever held in our hands. The curved handle fits perfectly in the palm and situates the blade for a great cutting position naturally.

After the initial fawning over the blade, we put it to work. It was then we understood that this knife was made not just to look good but to be the best work knife it could possibly be. From electronics to fiberglass, we beat the living tar out of it, cutting anything we could get our hands on, and the Irwin held up fine.

We now keep six of them in the shop, one at almost every work area. Our mentality towards utility knives hasn’t changed, but in this case the knife has. Why throw it out or treat it as disposable when there’s nothing wrong with the tool? You can buy more expensive or flashier knives for its $10 asking price, but when it comes down to it there aren’t any we prefer to the Irwin ProTouch.

ProTouch Retractable Utility Knife [Irwin]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


8 Responses to TM’s 2007 Favorites: Irwin ProTouch Retractable Utility Knife

  1. PutnamEco says:

    I prefer the Lenox. I like the solid nosepiece, and their blades do seem to last longer.

  2. l_bilyk says:

    I have 2 of these. They’re great. The lenox knife is awesome too

  3. ba614 says:

    I have one of these and it will not take much abuse before the blade pops loose. I havn’t figured out how to store extra blades in the handle if that’s even possible. I had an old Stanley that was more difficult to change blades in because you had to unscrew the handle but you could store extra blades in the handle and the blade didn’t pop out when you put heavy pressure on it. I lost the old Stanley but if I hadn’t I would through the Irwin away and use the Stanley.

  4. John Laur says:

    I have one of these too and use it as my go-to utility knife (although I still usually cut through taped up boxes with whatever key on my keychain looks the sharpest). It’s fine all-around, but I can second that the blade comes loose (probably because of the way the knife opens, even when closed the weakest point is at the end with the blade) and the Irwin brand blades themselves aren’t really the best. They don’t hold their own on sheetrock, that’s for sure!

  5. Guru says:

    Actually, I’m pretty sure Irwin and Lenox are one in the same. They’re both part of the same parent company. The knives are little different, but the blades utilize the same patented technology. All of the leading technology I see one of them use I also see the other using as well. But betwen the two I like the look of the Irwin one better and the I think you get more bang for the buck with the Irwin blades.

  6. Chris says:

    Lenox has a newer blade yet, with a titanium edge guaranteed not to break, I’ve used both the blue Irwin, and titanium lenox great blades. This Irwin knife is amongst the best we’ve used. Next to the “serrated” blades to see if these are better, and to compare Irwin aviator snips to Lenox snips.

  7. Rodge says:

    I got to see this newer blade in action. Our “Grainger Man” stops by every week with one of their reps. Last week it was Irwin Tools who was handing these out to eveyone in the shop. They’re pretty awesome! Oh yes, the Rep for Irwin is also the Lenox rep. They’re all part of Newell-Rubbermaid



  8. Norm Zaccagnino says:

    I purchased a Irwin retractable knife from home depot, while on my last job, the button that slides the blade in and out snapped off. When I tried to return it, they said there is only a 90 day garrantee, I would have to contact Irwin direct. He also stated I should have purchased a Husky because they are for life.

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