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A good utility knife should be something you want to reach for over and over again. Deploy it for general everyday tasks, like opening cardboard boxes and slicing tape, or more specialized projects in the studio, like cutting canvas panels or trimming fabric. When choosing a knife, it’s important to think not only about sharpness but also comfort and safety. We’ve done the research for you; check out our favorite utility knives below.
1. Klein Tools Utility Knife
This 7-inch knife has enough hefty to keep from flying out of your hand as you pull it from your pocket. The rubber grips on the curved handle also improve safety by reducing slipping. The retractable blade can slide out to two different locked positions depending on how much of the edge you want exposed.
2. Fancii Folding Utility Knife
Some artists prefer utility knives that fold, like this one, because they can be more comfortable to open (no need to press a button to extend and retract the blade) and have a smaller footprint. The extended neck on this tool is thin enough to fit in tight spaces for cutting. When not it use, it can be clipped onto a pocket or belt to keep it always accessible.
3. Internet’s Best Utility Knife Set
Unlike other budget utility knives, which can be made from plastic, this one is made with metal, so it’s much less likely to wear down or break. It also features a one-button blade-change mechanism that puts it on par with higher-end knives. This set of two comes with five extra blades that can be stored in the handles of the knives, but note that, unlike the Klein product, a screwdriver is needed to access that storage compartment.
4. Stanley Quickslide Sport Knife
If longevity is key, spending slightly more for this Stanley utility knife is worth considering. The die-cast zinc handle won’t deteriorate even after years of use. To change the blade, lift a tab and pull the blade out, then reverse the process to slide a fresh blade in. This design choice eliminates the need for a plastic pushbutton, which can break after heavy use, and it eliminates the possibility of placing the blade in the wrong position and having it fall out on you.
5. Outdoor Edge SlideWinder
The SlideWinder is a small, super-slender tool that’s great for artists on the go. Made from stainless steel and a protective glass/nylon polymer grip that can withstand rough conditions, it weighs just 1.5 ounces. Some design compromises were made to get a multifunction tool into such a thin package; for example, the placement of the lock button makes it easy to hit accidentally.