I don't know how anyone could get through life without a good knife - let alone work on a job site. A pocket knife is a tool that every electrician uses every day. Choosing a good electrician's knife will ultimately save a lot of time.
The problem is that there is a lot of junk out there. Some electricians' knives have a hard time cutting through hot butter - let alone a piece of wire. So to help you tell the good from the bad - we've reviewed the top 7 electrician's knives of 2022.
Coping blades have a straight spine and a blade that creates a parallel line running to the point. The spine tapers towards the tip, thus creating a thin, sharp point. This blade is a good cutter at the tip and works well for opening boxes, skinning/stripping small wires or cables and for cutting or bending cuts in tight areas.
The sheepfoot is similar to a coping blade in that the spine and edge extend parallel to the handle. However, the difference between the two is the drop from the spine to the tip. It has a circular curve on the sheepfoot rather than the angle on the coping blade. The blade also thins as it approaches the tip, making it useful for detail work. The blade is ideal for heavy line work or stripping large gauge wire.
Spear tip blades are straight blades with a single sharp edge. The top of the blade has a false edge near the tip and the top and bottom of the blade drop and rise equally to form a point at the equator of the blade. The variation in this blade lies mainly in the tip, which is somewhat duller as in the traditional pocket knife example, or sharper as in the tactical knife example
Utility knives are knives used for general or practical purposes in the construction and trade industries. Utility knives usually have retractable and/or replaceable blades made of die-cast metal or molded plastic.
Knives are a personal thing. Each person has their unique tastes and requirements when looking for tools, knives, gadgets, mobiles etc. There are several things you need to consider when trying to find the best electrician's knife.
When choosing a new knife, the two things I look for most are：
Size - size does matter when looking for a knife. I don't want to carry around a Crocodile Dundee Bowie knife when I'm pulling wires and bending catheters. The knife needs to fit easily in the palm of my hand and be easy to handle. I hate knives and I'm constantly fiddling with how I hold it to get the best angle for the task at hand.
Accessibility - This is probably the most important requirement for me. When I need a knife, I need it now. Not after 6 seconds of rummaging around in my trouser pocket. For me, accessibility means quick drawing. This narrows my requirements down to a knife with a clip. I usually clip my knife in my right front pocket or my right back pocket next to my wallet. As I am right-handed, this works best for me.
You can choose to take it elsewhere, but as I said before, these are the two places that work best for me. Remember that the size and design of the pocket knife should fit into your trouser pocket for easy access and to help you be more efficient.
Disappearing knives: Pocket knives can walk away from you. When you lend it to a colleague, friend or wife, you might as well give it away. When you're busy working and someone asks to borrow it, tell them no. Unless they have a box in front of you and you can open it for them - don't let them borrow your knife!
Your knife should never be left anywhere but your hands and pockets - never put it down. When you have finished using it, put it back in your pocket or tool bag. Get into the habit of doing this. It will prevent you from scratching your head when your knife goes missing.
Choose your price: Now you need to choose the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a knife. My range is no more than $50. If I lost some coins - say $200 on a knife (yes, some knives are over $200 - and then lost it, I would be very frustrated.
Despite how careful you are with your knife, life happens and things can break or disappear. If you find a good deal, consider picking up two and keeping one in your toolbox.
The Klein Tools Hawkbill Blade is the ideal tool for stripping large gauge wire with thick insulation. If you're an apprentice electrician or a lineman working with large gauge wire, this knife will make your life easier.
The advantage of using tortoiseshell (sometimes called sheep's foot) is that the hook prevents accidental slippage when you are scoring and cutting insulation. It is designed to remove insulation easily and ensure your safety.
Blade: The blade is just over 2.5 inches long, made of AUS 8 stainless steel and has been hardened to 58-59 RC. RC stands for Rockwell hardness tester and is used to measure the hardness of different types of metals.
Grades 58-59 are in the range of RC very hard steel HRC 55-66. This range is where you will find chisels and quality blades. The blades are factory sharpened and will hold their edge for a long time. As with any knife used continuously, it needs to be sharpened occasionally.
As the name implies, this blade locks into place. This release is common in locking blades - pushing down with the thumb unlocks the blade and is ideal for one-handed operation.
Features and Specifications
The handle is made of impact resistant nylon resin with rubber inserts. This helps prevent the blade from coming loose if dropped or run over by a forklift. In addition, the reversible thumbroot is perfect for left-handed people - we all know they have it harder than the rest of us.
Customer reviews and ratings: Klein Tools Hawkbill Blade has over 250 reviews and an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. The only downside to this knife is that it doesn't include a belt clip, and as one reviewer said, "In my opinion, it could have cost $10 less, $10 less." In my opinion, the extra $10 is worth it to save time and frustration for years to come.
Conclusion: If you are an apprentice electrician or lineman and splice cables, a tortoiseshell knife can make your life easier. It saves you time by helping you make more consistent cuts without having to fix the indentations on your wires. Another advantage of using this knife is that there are no blades to change compared to a hobby knife. There is only one blade that is easily sharpened after dulling and is manufactured to Klein Tools' highest quality standards. This knife meets my requirements for the best professional electrician's knife.
The Milwaukee Electric FASTBACK Knife with storage is very efficient, compact enough to carry around in your pocket, and well designed in metal. Typical of all Milwaukee FASTBACK knives is the promotion of a one-handed "push and flip" operation for quick application.
It also has an extra blade in the handle that can be opened for easy removal. The extra blade is held internally by magnets and no tools are required to release the blade
Blades: Standard utility blade function - it comes with 2. The gut hook on the handle helps you to cut through the plastic strip easily. Another feature is the handy section for stripping #10 gauge wire. A useful feature that any electrician will be happy to use in a pinch.
Features and Specifications
Customer reviews and ratings: The FASTBACK Utility Knife has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon. The downsides are complaints about the pocket clip breaking and the fact that it is designed for people who are used to being right-handed. However, as one customer said, "It's a great tool. Nothing falters, it just feels like a quality tool. I ended up using the 'cable' cutting function more than I expected and it was great. I now carry this tool with me all the time."
Conclusion: The triple cutting function of the FASTBACK grooming knife is perfect for any electrician looking to increase productivity. The knife is stronger than a utility razor blade, it's not expensive and it's suitable for any workplace. It is excellent for stripping and stripping wires.
This is the ideal pocket knife for everyday use. It has a one-handed press and flip operation to help you open the knife faster - just when you need it. The large cord clip on the side has strong tension for maximum hold, but still allows you to easily slide the knife into your jeans pocket with the clip on the outside - without having to use the case.
Blades: I could not find the grade of stainless steel used in the blades listed by the manufacturer. However, FASTBACK's Smooth Drop Point blade is designed for controlled perforation and smooth universal cutting. It has a good edge
Features and Specifications
If you are left-handed, then this may not be for you. The button is positioned for right-handed use, which unfortunately leaves you high and dry.
Customer reviews and ratings: 4.6 out of 5 and 262 reviews
Verdict: The Milwaukee FASTBACK Folding Flip Pocket Knife is designed for people who use their knives every day. You can quickly flip it at the touch of a button to maximise productivity on the jobsite. No more clumsy fiddling with the knife with both hands to open the blade. The slim and lightweight body takes up less space, yet still stands up to daily use.
This 2 blade Klein pocket knife is an excellent electrician's knife for general cutting, wire stripping and for opening screwdriver tips on articulated panels or junction boxes. The handy screwdriver tip and easily sharpened blade make quick work of any problems that arise.
Blades: This knife has only two blades - one for cutting and one with a screwdriver tip. Both blades are 2.5 inches long and have a closed length of 3.75 inches.
Both blades are made of carbon steel - a mixture of iron and carbon. This means that they will rust. However, if you keep them out of the rain or wipe them off when they get wet, there should be no problem.
Another advantage of carbon steel is its resistance to use and wear - far more than stainless steel blades. You'll still need to sharpen it, just not as often as stainless steel.
If you prefer a stainless steel knife, Klein also offers this stainless steel pocket knife (1550-42).
Features and Specifications.
One thing to note is that the handle is not made of wood - it is a wood-grain plastic. So if you're expecting a 100% vintage style electrician's knife, I'd say there you have it, minus the real wood.
Klein offers a lifetime warranty against material defects. You will need to use this link to request a WRA or Warranty Claim Authorisation.
Customer Reviews and Ratings: Klein Tools Spearpoint 2-Blade Pocket Knife has 29 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. The two downsides to this knife are that the blade is difficult to open and the ring is attached to the handle. The blade being too hard to open could be many different things. Maybe their previous knives were easier to open, or were defective products. You never know.
As for the loop on the handle, from what I've read reviewers who don't like it cut it off. I think the loop is a selling point. Not only does it help to get the knife out of your pocket, you can also attach a small lanyard to it for easy removal from your tool bag.
Conclusion: As I said before, this is the top knife for any electrician. It is great for general cutting, stripping wire and opening equipment panels or boxes. Despite the negatives I have pointed out, this is a simple knife with multiple functions and good usability.
Spyderco's Tenacious is a medium-sized flat-blade knife with a black G-10 laminate handle designed with user-friendly cutting in mind. Behind the laminate, the handle is steel lined to help add strength to the handle without adding extra weight or thickness.
Blade: Tenacious has an 8CR13MOV stainless steel blade that is shaped like a teardrop. The spine of the blade is ground flat to the cutting edge to improve handling cutting performance. instead of a thumb stud, Tenacious utilises an oversized round hole to rest your thumb against to help flick the blade open.
The spine is also textured to allow you to place your thumb to ensure non-slip when cutting open boxes or performing precision work.
Features and Specifications.
This knife also has a Walker Linerlock (with jumper). To unlock the blade, you simply push the lock away from the blade. Another cool feature is the 4-way pocket clip that allows you to set your carry preference: left hand/right hand tilt up/down.
Customer reviews and ratings: The Spyderco Tenacious G-10 has received over 1,600 reviews and 4.6 out of 5 stars! However, with such solid reviews, there are some unhappy customers. Most of the bad reviews I read had to do with the blade rolling or the locking mechanism not working properly. However, as one user said, "I see this blade almost every day and use it as much as I can. This is my go-to blade."
Conclusion: this is the kind of knife you use without fear of being beaten up. Out of the box, the Tenacious has zero blade clearance in either direction and even after a full day of use, it will still lock up and wait for the next task.
The #161 Case Trapper pocket knife has been a favourite of farmers and other workers since the WR Case and Sons Cutlery began production in the 1920s.The Case brand of jackknife is made entirely in the USA, which is important to many knife owners.
Not only is it a versatile tool to use at home, but it is also a knife with a long tradition of providing workers with a tool they can rely on every day.
Blade: This knife has two blades - a clip and a spé. Both are commonly used for skinning animals and game. Talk about versatility on the job site! If you find yourself dead-eyed by a squirrel, you'll be glad to know you can easily skin it and put it in the pit during your lunch break. Neither blade has a locking mechanism.
The blades are made from chrome vanadium (CV), a specially formulated alloy cutlery steel known for its ease of re-sharpening.CV blades require you to be careful to keep them sharp. A thin film of oil should be kept on the blade to maintain the finish of the steel and to prevent rusting. A quick touch-up paint job will bring back the original sharp edge of the chrome vanadium blade.
Features and Specifications.
The grip panel is yellow Delrin, a thermoplastic used in the most demanding applications where maximum toughness is required as well as high strength, creep resistance and fatigue resistance.
Customer reviews and ratings: The Case Cutlery Trapper 161 has a solid 4 out of 5 stars with 200 reviews. The worst reviewer said the knife was rusty. But like I said before, this knife needs a little oil to keep the blade shiny, pristine and rust free. If you are willing to do the extra maintenance they will hold their edge better and some claim it is sharper than other general purpose knives on the market.
Conclusion: The Case Cutlery is a great knife worth every penny. It is the perfect knife for all occasions, especially if you are an outdoor enthusiast. Remember, this is not a cheap Chinese made knife!
I've had great luck with Gerber knives in the past and if you want a sharp, small, lightweight knife that you won't realise you have in your pocket, then the Gerber LST is the one to buy.
The LST holds an edge well and is quick to sharpen when needed. Since this knife doesn't have a pocket clip, it's either in your tool bag, tool box or pocket. One thing I like about this knife is that it doesn't create a big bulge in your pocket when you carry it.
Blade: The LST blade is a common drop point design made from 420 HC stainless steel. HC stands for "high carbon" and it can be harder than 420 and should not be mistaken for it. Buck Knives stopped using the higher grade 440 stainless steel because users complained about sharpening and now only use 420HC.
Features and Specifications.
Gerber LST has 4.8 out of 5 stars and 123 reviews from Amazon. One complaint is that the blade wears out too quickly (this is the only review I could find on this issue). Another complaint is the size of the knife. If you are looking for a military specific type of knife, then you may want to pass on this particular knife. It is just over 3.5 inches long, which is not going to work for some people. Personally, the size works for me. Since it doesn't come with a clip, I don't want it to have the outline of a knife in my pocket when I'm out and about.
Conclusion. The Gerber LST is versatile. Its small size and sharp blade make it ideal for tradesmen, hunters, military and outdoor situations. It is currently available at a high price on Amazon.
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