10 Best Utility Knife (2024 Reviews)

Find the Best Utility Knife For Homeowners or Contractors

This buyer’s guide includes the ten Best Utility Knife options for your work. If you haven’t purchased a utility knife in a while, you will be surprised by the wide range of choices now available for homeowners and contractors, including my favorite – the FatMax from Stanley.

What Type of Utility Knife Should You Buy?

The Modern Utility Knife has come a long way since its early inception, and features such as a Folding handle or Automatic blade changes have improved user Safety. Another favorite feature to look for in a new Utility Knife is “Tool-Free” utility knife blade changes. With this feature, you can change Utility Blades without a screwdriver. The best Utility Knives will include a storage compartment for “On-Board”  Utility Blades.   

What are the Best Features Of a Utility Knife?

Here are the eight most important features when buying a Utility Knife.  The most important feature to you, of course, will be based on your budget, daily work needs, and the safety features you’re looking for:

♦ Rugged Construction                                 ♦ Comfortable Grip

♦ Safe Dependable Cuts                                ♦ “Tool-Free” Blade Replacement

♦ Extra Blade Storage                                     ♦ Retractable or Folding Utility Blade Design

The Best Utility Knife (Reviews for 2024)

Below are the Top Ten Utility Knife options we think you should consider.  Our list includes several carefully researched Utility Knife options: Fixed, Folding, Retractable, and Auto-Retractable utility knife. 

If you need a bit of research on utility knife features – check out  “How to Choose the Best Utility Knife.”  

Editors Choice – Stanley Fatmax – “Exo-change” – Folding Utility Knife

Stanley FMHT10289 FatMax ExoChange Folding Utility Knife

Why We Like It

The Stanley brand and Utility Knives are almost synonymous.  Stanley made the first modern utility knife in 1936 – Over 85 years ago. The utility knife has evolved considerably since then, and the Stanley FatmaxExoChange Folding utility knife is now a consistent favorite tool amongst contractors and homeowners alike.


  • Fixed Ergonomic Grip
  • Durable Steel Construction
  • Comfortable Soft-Grip handle
  • Utility Blade storage in handle
  • Several Blade Position Depths
  • Magnetic Blade Holder

Our Take Away

While the Stanley Fatmax is on the higher-priced end of the Utility Knives we reviewed, we think it’s worth the few extra dollars. 

With Its sturdy folding handle, this Fatmax model provides ultimate safety with an “open blade exchange feature” that exposes the entire utility knife blade – avoiding a pull and push motion on the blade itself, thereby reducing potential injury.

The Fatmax ExoChange produces very stable cuts, and a multi-position blade adjustment allows maximum blade depth options.  With an onboard 5-blade storage compartment – blade changes are at your fingertips safely and quickly.

Here’s a demonstration video for the “Stanley Fatmax – Exo-change – Folding Utility Knife.”


The Stanley Fatmax EvoChange folding utility knife represents a great evolution in Utility Knife dependability and function. While the Fatmax doesn’t have a belt clip, you can purchase a Utility Knife pouch separately, and you should – This is a utility knife you don’t want to lose – and will want on your hip for many years.

Stanley “Fatmax” – Folding Utility Knife



Runner Up:   DeWalt Fixed Handle – Retractable Utility Knife

DeWalt DWHT10046 Rugged Metal Body Retractable Utility Knife w/Lockable Blade

Why We Like It

If your job requires you to use a Utility Knife daily, your focus is probably on dependability and safety. For those reasons alone, we recommend the affordable DeWalt Retractable Utility Knife.  The fixed handle (not foldable) utility knife is easily one of the most rugged, convenient, and easy utility knives you can buy. 

The DeWalt retractable knife is one of the best sellers on the market – featuring a durable Metal construction, Quick-change (tool-free) Blade changes, a comfortable non-slip grip, extra blade storage in the handle, and an adjustable blade depth.

This particular DeWalt utility knife is one of the most trusted utility knives for contractors and, at this price – one of the most affordable models for homeowners to consider.


  • Rugged Fixed Handle (not foldable)
  • Quick-Load Utility Blade Design
  • Steel Handle with Rubber grip
  • Retractable and Adjustable blade  
  • Simple, no-nonsense design
  • Requires Holster for everyday use

Our Take Away

DeWalt has built a brand reputation for durable work tools, and the mainstay retractable utility knife featured here, we think, checks all the boxes most contractors and homeowners would need to consider.

DeWalt – Retractable Utility Knife



Best Folding Utility Knife:   Milwaukee 48-33-1502 “Fastback.”

Milwaukee 48-22-1502 Fastback Folding Utility Knife with 5 Blade Storage, Wire Stripping Compartment, and Gut Hook

Why We Like It

Coming in second place is the Milwaukee Fastback Utility Knife, a premium-grade, heavy-duty Folding- utility knife with multi-function capability, including 5-blade storage, wire strippers, and a gut hook (for slicing string or twine) without opening the knife. 

Where the DeWalt knife offers a fixed handle and functional utility knife features, the Milwaukee Fastback is a wearable folding knife (belt clip). It has multi-tool and utility knife functions.

We especially liked the Fastback “flip option,” where you can flip the blade open with a wrist flick – avoiding a finger pull on the edge to open the utility knife.

Another great feature is the solid wire belt clip (missing from DeWalt), which allows you to wear one less utility pouch. Also, because this is a folding utility knife, you can easily carry it in a pocket and on your hip.


  • Wire Belt Clip 
  • Flip Open To Use
  • Wire Stripper included (Up to 12 Ga. wire)
  • 5 – Utility blade storage
  • Quick Blade Changes
  • Gut Hook Access – Cut without opening Knife
  • Blade Lock
  • Durable Steel Construction

Our Take Away

The Milwaukee Fastback Utility Knife has a loyal following for a good reason.  With Its durable construction, comfortable grip, easy blade change-outs, and other unique features, it’s one of those tools you’ll never need to replace – unless you lose it!

Milwaukee Fastback – Utility Knife



Best Value:   WORKPRO – Folding Utility Knife

WORKPRO Folding Utility Knife, Quick-Change Box Cutter, Blade Storage in Handle with 5 Extra Blades Included

Why We Like It

For the frequent users of Utility Knives – most are looking for the features found in this highly rated and affordable utility knife.  The Workpro Folding Utility Knife includes 5 components: Safety (foldable design), Portability (carry in a pocket), Quick-Change utility knife blades, comfortable grip, and durability.

This is probably the best choice if you want to carry one utility knife – affordably.


  • Steel handle ABS non-slip grip
  • 5 Blade Storage in Handle
  • Quick-Change blade design (tool-free)
  • Foldable-Lightweight design
  • Comfortable curved grip
  • Includes 5 Utility blades

Our Take Away

Regarding “Best Value,” the Workpro Utility Knife is tough to beat. One of the highest-rated utility knives found at Amazon, this knife is also one of the most affordable. It does an excellent job for box cutting, craft, or construction projects – offering many of the same features and benefits as more expensive utility knives.

Workpro – Folding Utility Knife



Best  “Auto Load” Utility Knife – Klein Manufacturing

Klein Tools 44130 Utility Knife, Auto-Loading Folding Heavy Duty Retractable Box Cutter, Blade Storage, 3 Blades and Pocket Clip Included

Why We Like It

Klein now manufactures over 3,800 tools, including this High-performance “Auto-Load” folding utility knife.  With the Auto-load feature, you extend the knife blade – push the safety button to remove the old blade – retract the blade, and instantly auto-load a new utility blade.

While the Klein Tool brand may not be as recognized as the big guys (DeWalt & Stanley) – it’s not for lack of experience in fine tool making. The Klein brand is widely recognized for excellent electrical tools and has been making hand tools in Chicago (Yes, Made in America) since 1857. 


  • Auto Load New Knife Blade Instantly
  • Folding Knife Lock
  • Heavy Duty – Steel and Rubber Construction
  • Ergonomic non-slip grip
  • Includes 3-blade Storage in Handle
  • High Quality – Triple Ground Blades  

Our Takeaway

With a solid steel handle and ergonomic rubber grip, this utility knife quickly changes utility blades. It’s a little on the high side of the prices we reviewed, but it’s one of the best folding utility knives you can carry.

Klein – Auto-Load Utility Knife



Best Snap-Off Blade Utility Knife  – Kutir Retractable 

Kutir Retractable Box Cutter Utility Knife - Easy Self Loading Zinc-Alloy Heavy Duty Carpet, Rope, Cardboard Comfortable Handle Knive, 4 Sharp Rust Proof Razor Snap-Off Blades Set - Metal Safety Lock

Why We Like It

Regular users of utility knives might not consider the “Snap-off” blade design a heavy-duty tool for tough jobs.  The Kutir Utility Knife dispels that myth with this hyper-functional and retractable utility tool.

With a stainless steel construction and slip-resistant rubber grip, this isn’t your typical arts and crafts snap-off blade knife.  This is a serious utility knife with a 5-blade storage compartment and auto-loading new blades. 


  • Includes 5 High-quality rust-proof snap-off blades
  • High-quality Stainless Steel construction
  • Slip-resistant rubber grip
  • Concealed blade storage
  • Auto-Load new blades
  • Safety Head Lock

Our Take Away

The Kutir retractable utility knife is the “next level” in snap-off utility blade design.  If you’re looking for a safe, dependable, lightweight knife – capable of cutting rope, boxes, and even carpet, this might be the exact utility knife you’re looking for.

Kutir – Retractable Utility Knife



Best Drywall Utility Knife –  Fiskars “Pro Drywaller’s Utility Knife”

Fiskars 770060-1001 Pro Drywaller's Utility Knife, Orange/Black

Why We Like It

While most Utility knives are designed for Multi-Task functions such as opening boxes, cutting string, etc., the Fiskars “Pro-Drywaller” utility knife is designed specifically with Drywall in mind.  

This genius utility knife design utilizes multiple tools with a professional knife blade and a folding “Jab Saw” in the handle.  With the flick of a button – you can engage the Jab Saw to punch through drywall and carve holes.


  • 2-in-1 Multi-Tool for Drywall
  • Rugged Steel Construction
  • Non-Slip Ergonmic Grip Design
  • Holds 2 Extra Utility Blades
  • Metal End on Handle to Sink Nail or Screw Heads
  • Large 1.8 Litre capacity
  • 2-Year Warranty

Our Takeaway

If we had to provide an award for the best workhorse in Utility Knives – It would probably be this one.  As anyone who has previously hung and installed drywall can confirm, normal installation requires switching between a standard drywall hole saw and utility knife – back and forth.  

The Fiskars Pro-Drywall tool ends that requirement by providing a Utility knife, and the Jab saw ends that waste of time, significantly improving speed and completion on any drywall project.

Of course, the Fiskars Utility Knife can be used for any other general utility knife tasks and drywall installation.

fiskars pro-drywaller knife
Fiskars utility knife with folding Drywall Jab Saw

Fiskars – “Pro-Drywaller’s” Utility Knife



Best “Self-Retracting” Heavy Duty Knife – CAT Safety Utility Knife 240071

Cat Safety Utility Knife Box Cutter Self-Retracting Blade, Squeeze Handle to Extend Blade, Release to Retract, Lock Blade Open w/Switch, Ergo Handle w/ 3 Safety-Tip Blades That Store Inside - 240071

Why We Like It

Also referred to as an “Auto-Retracting” utility knife, the CAT Safety – Self Retracting Utility Knife – is our pick for the best utility knife that extends and retracts the blade according to hand pressure.

A simple squeeze and hold of the bottom lever (trigger) will extend the knife blade, and the release of the same lever retracts the blade.  In this fashion, the knife blade can never be left open – significantly improving the safety of handling a utility knife.

Check out this quick demonstration Video for the CAT Safety Utility Knife.



  • Self-Retracting Knife Blade
  • Lock Blade open to Change Blades
  • Ergonomic Handle Design
  • On-Board Storage Extra 3 Blades 
  • Rugged Steel 

Our Take Away

While the CAT Safety Utility knife isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, for those who use their utility knife for daily heavy-duty work, This utility knife delivers on its design – Safety First.

Best Self-Retracting Utility Knife – CAT Safety



Best “Auto-Retracting” Utility Knife for Homeowner – “Slice 10554 Safety Knife”

Slice 10554 Auto Retract Utility Knife, Finger Friendly, Safe Ceramic Blade Retracts Automatically, Lasts 11x Longer Than Steel, 1 Pack, Green

Why We Like It

In certain instances, when using a utility knife, it can slip and lose contact with the surface it is cutting.  When this happens while using a fixed blade or manual retractable utility knife –  injury can occur to the user.

The Slice Smart Auto-Retracting knife helps solve that potential issue by automatically retracting the blade as soon as you let go of the button – automatically, not manually.

Quick demonstration video for the Slice “Auto-Retracting” Utility Knife:


  • Auto-Retracting Blade 
  • Includes Ceramic Blade – 11X more prolonged use than Standard Blades
  • Durable Glass-filled Nylon Handle and Slide Button
  • Ergonomic grip design
  • Finger Friendly knife blade edge
  • Counterbalanced Easy Grip Handle
  • Tool-Free Blade exchange

Our Take Away

For those who want to take a lot of the worry out of using a utility knife, the Slice 10554 Auto-retracting knife is, in our opinion, one of the best possible solutions for doing so. 

While this utility knife isn’t for everyone or indeed isn’t “cheap,” – knowing you are as safe as possible while using a utility knife is certainly something worth considering.

Best “Auto-Retracting” Utility Knife – Slice 10554



Best “Fixed Blade” Utility Knife – IRWIN 

IRWIN Utility Knife for Drywall, Fixed (1774103)

Why We Like It

The Irwin Tools 1774103 Drywall Fixed Utility Knife is the perfect knife for cutting drywall and other materials requiring a fixed blade. The knife features a slim nose for scoring and pinching the nose of the utility knife.

The 1/2-turn thumb screw allows for tool-free access to blades and blade changes. The knife can hold up to 10 blades for quick blade changes. The trigger grip is designed for easier cutting on the pull, and the ergonomic handle gives the user an optimum cutting angle. 


  • Rugged Steel Construction
  • Fixed Blade – Not Retractable
  • Requires Holster for carrying
  • Thumb Screw – Tool-free blade Change
  • It holds up to 10 Extra Blades in the Handle
  • Increased “pull strength” in Grip Design

Our Take Away

We think Irwin provides the most reliable Fixed blade utility knife for those who prefer to reach into their hip holster and use a utility knife without extending or retracting the blade.

The Fixed Blade Irwin Utility knife comes with the new Irwin 4-point blade with a snap blade end on both sides to give the user four clean tips for sharpness while cutting.

Best “Fixed Blade” Utility Knife – IRWIN



Buyers Guide (FAQ):  Best Utility Knife

What is the Safest Way to Use a Utility Knife?

The best safety precaution when using a utility knife – is to avoid leaving an “open blade” while the utility knife is not in use – the safest way to fold a utility knife is by using a retractable, auto-retracting, or smart-retracting utility knife model.

Who makes the Best Utility Knife?

For general purpose and value, the Fatmax from Stanley is the best overall utility knife, closely followed by the DeWalt retractable utility knife.  If you’re looking for the best value Utility Knife – consider the folding utility knife from WorkPro.

Who makes the Best “Folding” Utility Knife?

If your budget allows, The Milwaukee “Fastback” is the best “Folding Utility Knife” you can buy.  Loaded with features like an ergonomic and durable steel handle, the Fastback also incorporates a wire stripping tool and a Strong wire clip for belt attachment.  If you can afford to spend a few extra bucks, this is one to consider owning.

Who makes the Best Utility Blades?

Many different brands manufacture utility blades, and while they are all functional, there are noticeable differences in quality. 

Available utility blades range from the standard honed utility knife blade from Craftsman to longer-lasting utility blades like the titanium-edged blades from Lenox, and finally, the ultimate “Carbide Edge” utility knife blade from DeWalt.

DeWalt promotes their Carbide edge blades to be 35% sharper and last 10X longer than standard honed utility knife blades.


Finding the best utility knife, with the number of choices available, can be a daunting task.  However, with our utility knife reviews above, we hope we’ve made that research easier and quicker ahead of purchasing a Utility Knife and finding the one tool that suits your needs perfectly.

Ultimately, choose the type of utility knife that allows you to accomplish the bulk of your daily tasks and one that you can use safely.

If you would like to leave us a comment or suggest another Utility Knife review or any products you would like to see reviewed, please don’t hesitate to comment below.

Thank you for visiting Best Home Gear – Check out any of our 100+ articles – All designed to help you improve your home, garden, or workshop!

Additional Resources & References:

Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carrollhttps://www.besthomegear.com
Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear, and uses his 25+ years experience in Commercial and Residential Construction Management to author and publish the work for this website. In addition to publishing Best Home Gear; Kevin enjoys the outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, hiking, cycling, fishing, golf, and completing DIY projects at his Home and Garden.


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