The Panel Decides: Utility Knives Tool Review

Our panel of experts put utility knives to the test. But which one will come out on top?

In this Article:
Utility knives put to the test
Our panel use them and rate them
Read this before you buy!

The Tools


HAMER – Folding Utility Knife (KFU)
WATTMASTER – Utility Knife (WATUK1)
KLEIN TOOLS – Folding Utility Knife (44131)
RRP $34.25 RRP $13.95 RRP $18.46
THE LOWDOWN: Made from forged steel, this knife has features ideal for tradies. Maintaining a sharp blade is essential when stripping cables all day, and the easy blade change button is a quick, safe way to make sure you have the edge needed. The folding mechanism allows the blade to lock in the ‘open’ or ‘safely closed’ position. THE LOWDOWN: This utility knife from Wattmaster features a zinc-plated body, easy blade change feature and a retractable blade. It holds five spare blades, Includes two spare blades, and has a 27mm exposed blade length. THE LOWDOWN: Lockback knife and utility knife together with an easy push-button open and close. Triple ground blades stay sharp longer and contain a wire stripping notch. The patented snap lock and sliding mechanism enable quick blade changes, while the heavy-duty, durable construction features a sturdy aluminium handle with fold-out blade housing.


Billy Cooper

from Billy Cooper Electrical

Experience: 21 years

Grant Young

from Electrickery Electrical Services

Experience: 30+ years

Peter Blissett

from Beam Electric Pty Ltd

Experience: 36 years






The Verdict


HAMER – Folding Utility Knife

“This immediately felt like a quality, well-made knife as soon as I picked it up.” – Grant

Did the job!

The quick-change blade is a handy feature, and it clips to the side of your tool belt. I didn’t like the pull-back release button to open and close the knife, this needs to be smoother. Having extra blade storage would have improved it.


Quality product

This immediately felt like a quality, well-made knife as soon as I picked it up. It’s comfortable to hold, and the locking mechanism is solid and easy to use. It feels well-made, reliable and built to last. It’s full-time in the tool belt!


Solid pick

A very solid and well-made tool! Blade replacement is safe and easy, the pocket clip works well, and the bright orange colour makes it easy to find. It could have been improved by simplifying the opening mechanism.


RATING: 6/10


VERDICT: Top notch



VERDICT: My Favourite




WATTMASTER – Utility Knife

“I liked the extra blade storage, and the price – you know what you’re getting in a knife like this.” – Billy

Good price

I liked the extra blade storage, and the price – you know what you’re getting in a knife like this. Better blade security would have improved it – the blade seemed too loose. It was pretty good overall, but not the best I tested.


Feels weak

It’s lightweight – but the mechanism feels weak. It feels like it wouldn’t take too much to clog it up or break. While probably adequate for use in a store as a tape and box cutter, I couldn’t use it as an everyday electrician’s knife.


Not up to scratch

The rubber coating on this knife provides a solid, slip-resistant grip. I liked the provision of onboard storage for space blades, but I feel that this knife is of poor quality and feels flimsy. It’s also quite bulky to carry, and doesn’t fold.

VERDICT: Value for money

RATING: 7/10


VERDICT: No thanks

RATING: 2/10


VERDICT: Not for me

RATING: 4/10



KLEIN TOOLS – Folding Utility Knife

“I consider this the crème de la crème of knives!” – Billy


The quick-release open and close was great and easy to use. I didn’t really find a use for the cable stripper function, and storage onboard for extra blades would have been good. I consider this the crème de la crème of knives!


A good option

This feels similar to my top pick but not quite the same quality. Easy push button operation of both the opening mechanism and blade swap felt good. Overall, this is a good mid-range knife. Great to have in the van as a backup!


A strong contender

This was a well-made, solid tool. It feels secure when using; the blade release is easy, and it can be opened with one hand. This was a nice tool, and almost as good as my top pick, but just slightly less well-made.

VERDICT: The best



VERDICT: Good backup

RATING: 6/10


VERDICT: A good choice

RATING: 7/10


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