Utility knives are extraordinarily useful tools, which offer a short, sharp, flexible blade used to cut hide, cordage, gut fish, slice cardboard and other utilitarian uses. They are useful construction and home tools which are made more useful by the fact that they fold into themselves, rendering them safe and portable.

Finding the best utility knife for the job you’re doing isn’t always easy as there are multiple elements to consider when picking out a model. Because of this, we have prepared this guide using professional reviews to give you a good idea of the types of utility knives currently available, as well as what you should be looking for in your knives.

Top 5 Utility Knives for the Money

Below is a table of five of the top utility knives for the money. This list contains the best cheap utility knives made up of a range of different materials and built for different purposes, giving you a look at the options available.

PictureModelPriceRating (out of 5.0)Buy
Irwin Tools 1774103 Drywall Fixed Utility Knife$4.7
Milwaukee 48-22-1901 Fastback Flip Open Utility Knife$4.6
Bessey D-BKWH Quick-Change Folding Utility Knife$4.4
DEWALT DWHT10035L Folding Retractable Utility Knife$4.3
CH Hanson 03015 FlipKnife Dual Blade Utility Knife$4.4

Reviews of the 5 Best Rated Utility Knives

Irwin Tools 1774103 Drywall Fixed Utility Knife Review

#1The Irwin Tools utility knife is an excellent solution to your utility needs. It is made of a comfortable plastic casing that keeps it lightweight and its grip superb. Rather than being a straight case, the case is bent at an angle to allow for superior ergonomic control over the blade’s edge.

Inside the case is space for additional blades, which can hold up to ten additional blades and is accessed by a half turn thumb screw. This allows for quick and easy blade changes when on the fly, meaning that you can get on with your work without interruption.

This is also a very small utility knife, standing at just four inches, which makes it a very portable tool. It also means that it is a knife that is very easy to operate using just one hand, made more so by the tool-less access to the blades mentioned above.

Pros and Cons:

  • Excellent and innovative ergonomic design, superb one-handed access, lightweight and small
  • The blade holder can wear down quite quickly, leading to the spare blades falling out

Milwaukee 48-22-1901 Flip Open Utility Knife Review

#2The Milwaukee Utility knife is an impressive knife, boasting a slim design with a premium feeling metal body. It has a swish, elegant feel to it which is only enhanced by its one-handed use and premium features.

The Milwaukee makes use of a one-handed blade opening system, whereby the user simply flips the knife to open it, rather than pushing the blade up as one would in other utility knives. This makes one handed use even easier and operation even faster than in its competitors.

Adding to the one handed usefulness, the Milwaukee makes use a one handed blade changing system, allowing the user to switch out blades quickly and with ease, without the need for another tool or even both hands.

In addition to the standard blade, this utility knife includes an integrated gut hook and a wire stripper, making it something of a multitool and an exceptionally useful utility knife.

At five inches when closed, the Milwaukee is bigger than the Irwin, but not by much. This is still a very portable and comfortable to use tool, with an excellent handle which allows for comfortable grip and precise use of the blade.

Pros and Cons:

  • Integrated gut hook and wire stripper are useful, great one-handed operation
  • The quick release mechanism can sometimes allow the blade to slip


Bessey D-BKWH Quick-Change Folding Knife Review

#3While most utility knives slide their blades back into their bodies, the Bessey instead folds down more like a typical pocket knife. This good looking and quirky utility knife has a number of desirable features in addition to its swanky design.

Despite its odd folding mechanism, the Bessey D-BKWH still accepts standard utility blades, meaning that it retains all of its usefulness and compatibility. Just like the other blades on this list, the focus is on one-handed use. The Bessey makes use of a one-handed, no tools quick change blade replacement system, making the replacing of blades a much less hassling process.

Where this knife falls somewhat short compared to the previous entries on this list is in the fact that it lacks the storage for additional blades, meaning that you will have to carry them around separately and swap them out from a packet rather than having several spares in your knife when you need one.

The most impressive thing about the Bessey, however, is its high quality handle. Made of aluminum and wood, this is a far cry from the typical Stanley knife found in most homes. The knife feels premium, and is a joy to cut with. The handle also comprises a belt clip, making this one of the most portable utility knives out there.

Pros and Cons:

  • Extremely portable, beautiful design, good one-handed use
  • No storage for additional blades


Dewalt DWHT10035L Folding Retractable Knife Review

#4Another folding utility knife to consider is the Dewalt Folding utility knife. While the Bessey makes use of an elegant combination of aluminum and wood for its handle, the Dewalt opts instead for heavy duty metal.

The Dewalt DWHT10035L again boasts impressive one hand use, with the folding feature allowing quick one-handed access to the blade and easy closing. In addition to this, the Dewalt makes use of a button for quick release of the blade and, unlike the Bessey, the Dewalt has room to carry additional blades.

The Dewalt may be slightly heave, but it is one of the smallest knives on the list at just three and a half inches. This makes it very easy to pocket or carry one one’s belt using the belt clip provided on the back of the knife’s handle. For this reason, in addition to the metal body of the knife, this is one of the best solutions for anyone working up ladders or anywhere they may be liable to drop or damage their tools.

The metal body of the Dewalt makes it a much better option for people working in rugged environments, such as construction sites, where plastic tools are liable to get broken. However, this metal design does make the knife heavier and less comfortable. Luckily, this does not negatively impact the usability of the knife, which still allows for stellar dexterity and cutting prowess.

Pros and Cons:

  • A sturdy knife with a durable body, compact and portable, good one-handed use
  • Somewhat heavy and a bit cumbersome


CH Hanson 03015 FlipKnife Dual Blade Knife Review

#5The CH Hanson is another knife model that offers some neat extras in a small, compact package. At four point eight inches, this is a fairly large model of utility knife, but not so big that it is unwieldy or lacks portability. While the handle may look a bit dull, this is nonetheless a knife with some fantastic features.

Despite being called “flipknife”, this is not a flip knife in the same way as the Bessey or Dewalt. It does not fold down and flip out, but is rather named for the fact that each end can store its own individual blade, allowing the user to flip the knife over to quickly access a new blade should they need it. Again, both blades can be removed and replaced without tools, making this another great one-handed tool.

In addition to the dual knife blades, the CH Hanson makes use of a hook blade, which is very useful for roofing work. This blade is always present at the back of the knife, meaning that it can very quickly be accessed without needing to unlock it or push it out as one would with a normal blade.

Perhaps the most notable thing about this knife, besides its dual blades, is its grip. While the other utility knives have all had smooth handles made of plastics, metals and woods, the CH Hanson uses a proper rubber grip to ensure comfortable use and proper dexterity.

Pros and Cons:

  • Dual blades for quick access, hook blade at back, easy one-handed use, excellent grip
  • No clips to help you carry it, so potentially easy to lose


What To Look For In A Perfect Utility Knife

Not all utility knives and multitools are the same, and there are multiple design and build factors which make different knives suitable or unsuitable for different purposes. For that reason, it is important for you to consider all of these factors when researching the best knives for your purpose.

Size

As noted above, one of the most important elements of utility knives’ design is their size. Utility knives are designed to be compact and portable, so that they may be carried anywhere in the workplace or home without being too cumbersome. For this reason, smaller knives are usually desirable.

Weight

As with size, the weight is an important factor to consider due to the issue of portability and comfortable use. Knives that are too light are prone to break, while knives that are too heavy can be uncomfortable to use for many. Because of this, it’s important to find a balance between the two.

Accessibility

One of the major draws of utility knives is the ability to wield them with one hand, meaning that your other hand is free to do other things. Good utility knives, then, are designed with this one-handed use in mind. A good utility knife will be easily opened, closed, and operated using just one hand.

Blade Material

For all knives, the blade material is essential. As the blade is the part of the knife doing all the work, it needs to be of the highest quality. Mostly, utility blades are made of standard stainless steel. What makes utility knives different from other knives is the fact that the blades are replaceable, and can be switched out at a moment’s notice. This does away with the troublesome task of maintaining and up keeping the blade, and instead allows you to focus on the job at hand.

Handle Material

For utility knives, the handle is the permanent fixture, rather than the blade. Because of this, you are going to want to find a handle that is hard wearing, but also comfortable to use. Handles can range from simple plastics to full Steel, so there are a range of options for you to consider.


Conclusion

This is the ultimate guide for selecting utility knives. Now that you have read this guide, you have all the information you will need to make an informed decision and a wise purchase. If you have any questions or queries regarding this guide, please feel free to get in touch and please check out our featured guides.

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One Response

  1. Madun

    I’m intrigued; it’s a prtety clever way to make it easier to get three different types of use out of just one blade. It looks like it’d be a nice addition to a field tool kit or something to keep in a shared vehicle’s glovebox as a basic tool—not everyone using the vehicle may carry an E.D.C. knife or a multitool.I can see this as also being quite handy for those reluctant to abuse their usual knives or need a worksite knife that’s separate from their usual knife. I wouldn’t feel reluctant to loan someone a knife like this for fear that they might do something that would break the blade.Is it just me or does its handle shape kind of resemble the wooden handles on handtools made a few decades back?

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