Utility knives can be expensive, especially if you go through a lot of them. Having the best utility knife with quality that matches the claims they make will help you to spend less – and get the performance you’re paying for.
Our guide takes you through 7 of the best utility blades on the market. These knives offer an excellent balance between price, performance, usability, and durability. By the end of our guide and review, you’ll be ready to choose a utility knife that closely meets your needs and gives you the performance you’re looking for. Let’s get into the guide!
Top 7 Best Utility Knife Reviews in 2023
In this section, we’ll take a deeper look into each of the 7 utility knives we’ve chosen. These knives have been carefully selected and handpicked to give you a variety of choices. You’ll be able to find something that gives you what you need from a quality utility knife.
You’ll find information on what we think stands out most for each of the knives. Also, you’ll learn about how they hold up in the real-world and the kind of performance you can expect. We’ll finish off each review with what we did and didn’t like about each of the models so that nothing catches you off guard. Let’s dive in!
Gerber EAB Light Pocket Utility Knife
Here’s a great lightweight and easy-to-hold utility knife. It can double as a pocket or money clip thanks to the intelligently designed handle. You’ll find this compact utility knife is very comfortable to hold and you won’t have any trouble finding space for your fingers to fit. You get good cutting power and the 2.3” blade is more than enough for general use and box cutting.
The stainless steel body and blade lend to the overall durability of this Gerber knife and will keep it rust and corrosion-free for longer. You won’t need to replace it as soon as many other utility knives as the tapered edges help the blade maintain some of its thickness. It’s a quality choice for the best folding knife and won’t hurt your wallet either.
- Deep groove on the handle gives you a good grip despite the smaller size
- You can use the handle as a secure money clip
- Made from stainless steel so it’s resistant to corrosion and excess scuffing
- Takes up hardly any space when folded
- Difficult to clean due to the cavities in the handle
- Quite slippery when the handle is wet
Klein Tools Heavy Duty Utility Knife
The curved design of the handle is one of the more ergonomic styles and gives you all the cutting power you need. This combined with the rubber inlays on the grip makes it one of the most comfortable handles on any best utility knife. With the ability to store up to 6 heavy-duty blades, you’ll be able to carry this with you around a large warehouse or a busy day.
You won’t need to worry about constantly opening the unit and looking for the spare blades. The opening/closing lock is tighter than most. It’s quite hard to close at times. This is a fantastic affordable choice for the best retractable utility knife at this price.
P.S. Here’s how, why, and when you need to change the blades on your box cutters or utility knives. Learn how to save a little extra cash and get the best from your blades.
- There’s a wire stripping notch on the blade-side of the handle
- The handle has rubber inlays to help you better grip the knife for heavy cutting work
- Internal blade storage can hold up to 6 blades
- Excellent ergonomic handle design and functionality
- The button tends to get stuck in the open position and is quite hard to click over to closed
- Long term durability is questionable as they’ve tried to keep this knife on the cheaper side
WORKPRO Quick Change Utility Knife
Here’s a great option if you’re looking for the best utility knife and have large hands – although the handle still needs some further sanding and refining. It’s shaped well and fits into your hand perfectly. There’s a deeper channel for your index finger to slope into if you need the extra space and cutting power.
You’re getting an incredibly versatile heavy-duty utility knife. It can handle heavier cutting work like PVC piping and cutting leather, while still being a great option for boxes and general utility work. The wood grain inlays on the handle are gorgeous and give the knife a more classy appearance. This is a top-rated utility knife that’s made even more tempting by its ultra-low-cost.
- Excellent value for money and low-cost option
- Versatile cutting applications ranging from cutting PVC to slicing leather
- The wood-grain handle is anti-slip and looks attractive
- Compact design is portable and clips onto belts easily
- There are quite a few rough or uncomfortable edges on the handle and spine of the knife
- Blade lock gets lose over time and needs to crimped tightly again
Alltrade Auto-Loading Utility Knife
This is the top-best utility knife if you’re looking for something fast and easy to use. It’s great for light use around a warehouse or wholesaler. You’ll be able to change out the blade in as little as seconds with some experience.
You’re getting great value for money as the knife comes with 6 heavy-duty blades. These last longer and perform at a higher level than many of the stock blades that come with other knives. The zinc-alloy construction makes the knife lightweight despite being able to handle heavier cutting tasks.
Once the 6 blades are done, you can use any blade brand and won’t be bound to any. I love that you don’t need to use a screwdriver to open the frame and switch out the blades (like the old-style box cutters).
- One of the fastest quick change utility knives on the market
- On-board blade storage is handy and unobtrusive
- Comes with 6 heavy-duty blades with good durability
- Cheap best utility knife
- Not the most ergonomic utility knives you’ll ever use
- Sometimes the knife catches the blade a little too early
Irwin Folding Utility Knife
This is a utility knife that’s built to last. If you work in a warehouse or shipping then you’ll need something highly-reliable and consistent. You’re getting that and more with this knife. It’s extremely durable and its simple design is what gives it the edge over most other utility knives. Also, it’s a safe knife thanks to the linear clip and 45° angle requirement when changing blades.
It’s worth sacrificing a little speed in exchange for safety when using the best utility knife in a professional setting. There’s a handle lock to make sure you don’t accidentally close the blade on your hand while doing heavier work. You’re only getting on-board storage space for 2 blades which isn’t a whole lot. Overall, you’re getting what’s possibly the best quality folding knife for the money.
- Linear lock makes one-handed use seamless
- A very safe knife that only changes the blade when it’s at a 45° angle
- Robust durable construction and anti-slip handle
- Screwdriver bits are handy and can be changed out
- A little slow when you’re trying to change blades quickly
- Blades can sometimes be slightly loose in the holder
Wideskall Heavy-Duty Box Cutter Set
If you need a plain and simple box cutter set that gives you good value for money, then this might be for you. You’re getting 5 box-cutting utility knives with this set. Each of them has an interlocking nose that holds the blade securely in place. These aren’t fancy or top-of-the-range knives, but they have a good balance between price, durability, and performance.
The retractable blades are durable enough for the most common use box-cutting needs. There a utility razor blade included in the set for when you need that extra bit of sharpness. These are plain-looking knives that give you enough performance to justify their affordable price. It’s a low-cost option if you need the basic functionality of utility knives, without needing to pay the extra cost.
- Excellent value for money
- The interlocking nose holds the blade in place (even during heavy work)
- Lightweight, easy to use, and compact design
- Lanyard hole lets you fix it to a belt or chain easily
- The button for retracting the blade is plastic and isn’t very durable
- The handle can get quite slippery when wet
Milwaukee Fastback Flip Utility Knife
If the price isn’t your main concern and you’re looking for something that’s expertly designed and gives you high-end performance, this might be your next knife. The fastback design is one of the best I’ve seen on a utility knife. You can pull it off your belt and get to work almost immediately.
This knife is well-suited to one-handed work thanks to the press and flips opening mechanism. You might want to keep this knife out of your pocket as it tends to catch on to the material and quite hefty. This is one of the top utility knives on the market and will give you the professional performance you’d expect at this price.
- The snappy “press and flip” one-handed opening is unique and useful
- Comes with a wire stripper and a gut hook in the handle
- A lanyard hole isn’t too common on this type of knife
- High-quality materials are used and durability is one of this knife’s strongest aspects
- Quite expensive compared to the other utility knives is this list – but you get what you pay for
- Can be hard to remove the knife from your pocket quickly
What to Look for When Purchasing a Utility Knife
When you’re picking a utility knife, you’re probably not thinking about using it to curve up wood or get some bushcrafting done. These knives are mainly used for cutting materials, and their straight edge needs to be sharp all the time.
However, since the changeable blades are often incredibly sharp, it’s straightforward to get injured with this. Hence, we’ve made sure to keep safety in mind while picking the knives above. Aside from being sharp yet safe, there are three essential factors you should consider:
Retractable or Folded
Utility knives with retractable blades are more common. However, if a compact model of a knife is what you prefer, I suggest you get a folded model. Folded utility knives are smaller when stored and are generally safer in practical use.
A Grippy Handle
Utility knives are most often used in cases where you need to cut a material vigorously and for quite a long time. For this reason, using a knife with a non-slip, textured handle is beneficial. Otherwise, your hand might slip and get a nasty cut.
Body of the Knife
Utility knives tend to go through many toils, so you should pick one with at least a partially metallic body. Extra features like a cord cutter, extra blade storage (which helps to change out the blade swiftly), and a clip would also come in handy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What Is a Utility Knife?
A: A utility knife can be confused as a boxed cutter. They have similarities, like how the blade is deployed or retracted. However, a utility knife has a durable blade capable of cutting more than cardboard boxes. It can be used as a kitchen knife to slice sturdier vegetables, clean fish scales, and even slicing animal meat.
Q: How Useful Can a Utility Knife Get?
A: A utility knife is more capable of cutting than a box cutter. Utility knives in the market today have different styles and blade lengths according to the amount of work each can perform. Utility knives meant for outdoors have a blade length of 3 to 5 inches and are capable of cutting small tree branches and electrical wiring.
This knife also comes in handy in a warehouse where there are work desks and packaging stations. It can trim box edges, scrape plastic molds, and cut rubber.
Q: How Safe Is a Utility Knife?
A: Most utility knives are designed with safety in mind as they feature various blade deployments. Usually, the blade is deployed through a sliding/retractable motion with a lock mechanism. The lock secures the blade in place with remote chances of unwanted blade adjustment.
Aside from the locking mechanism, a utility knife has gripping handles made from a rubber-like material. You can securely wield the knife since the material’s friction is sufficient to accommodate your grip. Some of the most advanced utility knives in the market today include more safety measures for various applications.
Q: Do I Need to Clean a Box Cutter or Utility Knife?
A: This depends on the knife you have. Higher-end utility knives could use a good clean now and then. You need to make sure you thoroughly dry it though, as it’ll rust in no time. You should clean the folding mechanism, all the buttons, and any slots or cutouts in the handle. Don’t worry too much about cleaning the blade as they need to be changed quite often.
Q: How Long Do Box Cutter Blades Last?
A: If you’ve got a decent quality set of blades, you can expect anywhere from a week to two months of use from each blade. This is a broad range as it largely depends on the frequency and type of cutting you use it for. If you’re just cutting boxes and light materials, then it’ll last longer. If you’re cutting PVC and other tough materials, it won’t last as long.
Q: Can I Use a Utility Knife or Box Cutter in a Kitchen?
A: Yes, of course. If you have a space in your kitchen and don’t want to tarnish your premium knives with cutting boxes and packets, then these knives are excellent. You shouldn’t be using them for any type of food prepping as they aren’t the cleanest or most sanitary knives. They’re suited to work that would ruin your more expensive premium knives and should only be used for handy work around the kitchen.
You should have a clear idea of what to look for in good quality and value-for-money utility knives. We’ve taken a deeper look at 7 of the best options out there that give you a fair balance between price, performance, durability, and functionality.
If you’re ready to make a decision, feel free to go back over any of the knives and see if it’s right for you. Once you’ve found one that suits your needs, get it on order. With the best utility knife that’s right for you, those annoying handyman tasks will be a breeze – and you won’t have to spend a pretty dime on replacement knives and their blades!