Christmas is coming early and often for me this this year — trying to get families together at the same time has resulted in at least four different Christmas gatherings. At the first of these many gatherings I scored a Craftsman folding utility knife with rosewood handle.
After struggling with the blister pack, I had to wipe the oil covering the knife lest it get all over my clothes. Since this knife came from China it was inevitably coated in a layer of oil to keep the salt air from corroding it. At least that’s what I’m guessing, but I could be wrong. Maybe it’s just not cost-effective to wipe the machining oil off at the factory.
Something about this knife just says “pick me up and touch me.” The knife’s heavy construction feels good in your hand and the rosewood inlay looks pretty, too. When you open the knife, the locking spring emits a solid click when the blade is in position. That’s where the love affair ends. A few things really bother me about this knife.
- There’s no provision for storing extra blades.
- The blade can come in contact with the back of the knife when folded, dulling it.
- The thumb post is too close to the pivot point so it’s a pain to open one-handed.
- The lip of the blade-change mechanism is too close to the thumb post, so you can accidentally unlock the blade if you’re not careful.
It’s just disappointing that there are so many minor problems with this knife. No one who’s ever used a good knife would’ve designed a knife with these flaws. Except for extra blade storage, fixing these problems would not have affected the manufacturing cost.
The Craftsman website also shows two different knives on the website, the Craftsman-branded knife I received and a very similar-looking knife branded Sheffield. The Sheffield knife looks like it addresses at least two of my grievances: the thumb post looks like it’s a few millimeters further from the pivot, and the direction the blade holder opens is reversed so you’re less likely to open it while you’re opening the knife.
Craftsman includes a leather case, but the knife also comes with a beefy belt clip attached to it. With all its faults, it’s still hard to pass up this knife for just $8. If Craftsman would just make a few minor changes, this knife would be an unbelievable bargain.
Lockback Utility Knife [Sears]