10 Best Folding Utility Knives of 2023 – Top Picks & Reviews
A folding utility knife is one of the most versatile tools for DIY enthusiasts. You can use it for a myriad of functions, from stripping wires, opening carton boxes to cutting vegetables, and butchering animals. Apart from giving you superior cutting power, you can easily fold the knife and put it in your pocket.
Nothing beats the convenience of having complete access to an excellent folding utility knife whenever you need it. However, finding a good knife is one thing; getting the best one for the job is another. With so many options of varying types, designs, and sizes, the search can get overwhelming.
You may need to spend a lot of time to find the right tool for your needs and we understand that time is scarce. So, we did the heavy lifting for you to help you make an informed choice. In this article, we present reviews of the best folding utility knives on the market and tell you what to look out for when shopping for the perfect tool for the job.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Klein Tools 44135 Folding Utility Knife||
|Best Value||DEWALT DWHT10035L Folding Retractable Utility Knife||
|Premium Choice||Milwaukee 48-22-1903 Folding Utility Knife||
|Fancii 1B-UK10 Folding Pocket Utility Knife||
|Sheffield 12113 Utility Knife||
The 10 Best Folding Utility Knives
1. Klein Tools 44135 Folding Utility Knife – Best Overall
With a Klein Tools 44135 Folding Utility Knife by your side, you will always be ready for any eventuality. You can snap the blade open at a moment’s notice with the effortless push of a button.
The knife is also built with durability in mind. Its heavy-duty, durable construction guarantees it will remain by your side for many years to come. Additionally, its blades are designed for heavy use and will stay sharp for longer and you don’t have to worry about replacing them for a long time. You will also love the rubber grip handle, which is ergonomically designed to improve comfort and produce the extra torque required for more exacting cuts.
It is hard to find fault in this knife. However, we felt the manufacturer would have made it easier to open the knife with one hand. Nonetheless, it is still our overall best pick.
- Ergonomically designed handle
- Heavy-duty construction
- Includes wire-stripping notch
- Requires both hands to open
2. DEWALT DWHT10035L Folding Retractable Utility Knife – Best Value
The DEWALT DWHT10035L Folding Retractable Utility Knife is the best folding knife for the money on our list. The black and yellow contrast is aesthetically pleasing, and its design is sleek, to say the least. It is also very compact and will fit nicely in your hand and pocket.
You don’t have to worry about durability even with heavy-duty use since the knife features a sturdy metal build. The handle is made from plastic with a rubber grip that not only feels comfortable but also gives you that extra torque when you need it most.
Additionally, the handle doubles as a storage for the blades. It is easy to open and can hold a maximum of three blades, making it easy to switch between blades, especially when you are nowhere near your toolbox. Moreover, your safety is guaranteed since it is easy to open the knife deliberately but hard to open it accidentally. The only downside to this model is that the quick-release button is a bit stiff. With that being said, this is the best folding utility knife for the money available this year.
- Value for money
- Blade storage
- Compact when folded
- Variable cut depth
- Stiff quick-release button
3. Milwaukee 48-22-1903 Folding Utility Knife – Premium Choice
The Milwaukee 48-22-1903 Folding Utility Knife is a versatile option with many potential applications. You can use it for trimming shingles, splitting shims, cutting through drywall, and slicing through insulation. You can either open it fully or stop at 45 degrees to give you extra torque when dealing with challenging tasks.
You get all the convenience because changing the blades is quick and straightforward. The integrated magnetic storage also enables you to carry additional ones, and the single-handed press and flip opening will allow you quick access.
The wire stripper adds versatility and extends the knife’s use, while the in-built gut hook allows you to make cuts when the cutter is still closed. Additionally, the belt clip enables you to hook the tool onto your belt and take it wherever you go.
With all-metal construction, you can rest assured that the knife will serve you for a long time. However, one major drawback is the stiff unlocking button that may require you to apply extra effort. Overall, it is our best premium choice.
- All-metal construction
- Fast blade change
- Two positions
- Includes wire stripper
- Stiff unlocking button
4. Fancii 1B-UK10 Folding Pocket Utility Knife
The Fancii 1B-UK10 Folding Pocket Utility Knife folds in half when closed for compact storage. It weighs just over 5 ounces and has a length of 4.5 inches when folded. Therefore, it will fit in your pocket easily, allowing for quick retrieval.
The knife is also easy to use. Pressing the button releases the blade and enables you to pull it or flick it open. Once released, the blade locks into place, securing it for safe and effective cutting. Pressing the release button again enables you to fold the blade back into place. However, since the release button is not spring-loaded, you will have to hold it down when pulling or flicking the blade open.
Made mostly of metal, the knife has a nice and solid feel. Its anodized aluminum design makes it lightweight, rust-resistant, and durable. You don’t need to worry about the knife backing out with heavy use.
The blades are double-sided, and you can quickly turn them around when one side gets too dull. The back button on the upper side makes it easy to switch between them and pressing it releases the blade, allowing you to pull it out.
The major disadvantage of The Fancii 1B-UK10 Folding Pocket Utility Knife is its high price. Also, the additional features, including the low-quality pouch, drive the price up without providing much value.
- Easy to push button
- Aluminum construction
- Extra blades
- Low-quality pouch
5. Sheffield 12113 Utility Knife
The Sheffield 12113 Utility Knife is an inexpensive option. It has a unique quick-change system that enables you to switch the blades faster than traditional methods would allow. With this system, you can finally spend less time changing blades and more time being productive.
Made from high-quality aluminum, the knife is built to last and will serve you for many years. It is also lightweight and compact, weighing just 4 ounces and measuring 4 inches in length when folded. You can, therefore, carry it in your pocket and forget it was ever there.
The blade is made from stainless steel and is 2.5 inches long. With sharp and precise edges, you will have no trouble cutting through leather, cardboard, paper, or any other material. There’s a one-handed opening to allow you to access the blade quickly.
With the textured aluminum handle that also acts as a storage for the blade, you can enjoy a no-slip grip that will feel comfortable in your hand while also allowing for ease of use. However, the knife has no positive stop to protect the blade from wearing out while inside the handle. One-handed opening is also tricky.
- Unique quick-change mechanism
- Aluminum construction
- Has no positive stop
- One-handed opening is difficult
6. Klein Tools 44131 Folding Utility Knife
The Klein Tools 44131 Folding Utility Knife features a bright orange color that makes it easy for you to find it. Its ergonomic design combines with the rubber grip on the aluminum handle to offer you improved comfort and enhanced cutting ability.
The handle also acts as a blade storage area and can hold up to six blades. You can, therefore, switch between blades quickly, even when you’re far away from your toolbox. You only need a simple push of a button to remove and retract the blade. When closed, the blade locks for safer usage.
Other additional features include a Lanyard hole that allows for tethering and safekeeping and a wire-stripping for added functionality. With the belt clip, you can clip the knife on your belt and carry it wherever you go.
However, this knife needs improvement in certain areas. For instance, opening the blade with one hand can be difficult, and using two hands is not just inconvenient but also potentially dangerous. Additionally, the Klein Tools Folding Utility knife will not give you value for your money.
- Ergonomic design
- Includes wire-stripping
- Rubber grip on handles
- Requires two-handed use
7. WORKPRO W011021A Folding Utility Knife
This heavy-duty utility knife comes with a stainless steel frame body and a premium finish rosewood handle contoured for a firmer and more comfortable grip. Despite feeling heavy and solid in your hand, it is surprisingly easy to handle.
The quick-change blade mechanism is fast and easy to use and will accept all standard utility blades. Although it locks them tightly, you should expect to feel a slight wiggle like in many folding utility knives.
You will appreciate the belt hook that will help you carry the knife wherever you go. When you need to cut something on the spot, rushing to get a knife and scissors may not be a convenient option. With the belt hook, however, you can have a utility knife within your reach whenever the need arises.
What we didn’t like about the WORKPRO Folding Utility Knife is its bulky nature – the knife is way heavier than your average folding knife. And although it may be appropriate to keep it in your car or toolbox, carrying it in your pocket may not be convenient.
- Wooden handle
- Heavy-duty construction
- Quick-change blade mechanism
- Very bulky
8. Kobalt 0367251 Utility Knife
The Kobalt Utility knife includes one installed blade and ten more in a safety dispenser. These blades are best suited for general purpose cutting, making the knife an ideal choice for performing DIY tasks. If you are looking for something that will serve you for a long time, this is it.
You will love the handle which is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably into your hand and provide a firmer grip for more power and control. It is made from aviation-grade aluminum, which is incredibly hard, resilient, durable, and resistant to wear and tear. Additionally, the knife features a stainless-steel clip that allows you to attach it to your belt and carry it with you wherever you go.
The Kobalt Utility knife is designed for easy use and maintenance. Its quick-change blade replacement system allows for easy switching of the blades when they become dull. The mechanism is also foolproof, thus guaranteeing safety during use.
However, this knife is stiff and can be hard to open without oiling. One-handed opening is also tricky, and the blade wiggles significantly when secured. Moreover, the knife is too bulky and may easily fall out of your pocket.
- Quick blade change mechanism
- Ergonomically designed handle
- High blade play
- Two-handed use
9. Fiskars 770030-1001 Pro Utility Knife
The Fiskars 770030-1001 Pro Utility Knife features a sturdy metal construction built to withstand drops and impact and a reinforced metal end that offers protection from pounding and drops. Additionally, it includes a CarbonMax blade that lasts longer than standard utility blades. It is also very sharp and cuts with high precision.
You will appreciate the handle which is ergonomically designed and includes deep grooves and contouring to give you multiple grips for more comfort and control. It also provides space for additional blades and can accommodate all standard-sized utility blades.
The dual-locking blade system includes a button that releases the blade when pushed and locks the blade solidly when not in use to prevent accidental blade release. Although it is possible to manipulate the mechanism with one hand, the button is not spring-loaded, and the system may need some getting used to.
Overall, the Fiskars 770030-1001 Pro Utility Knife is overpriced. It also feels heavier and less ergonomic than required. Although you can perform several tasks around the house, you may need to buy a better model for heavy-duty jobs.
- Sturdy metal construction
- Sharp blade
- Poor quality
- Feels bulky
10. Irwin Tools FK250 Folding Utility Knife
The Irwin Tools FK250 Folding Utility Knife features a unique technology that securely locks the blade in the handle, only allowing you to remove it when the holder is locked at a 45-degree open position. This excellent safety feature prevents the blade from accidentally slipping out during use.
You will love the silver and blue appearance that makes the knife stand out. You can easily spot it even from a distance. Moreover, the all-metal construction guarantees durability while the handle has cast finger grooves for a more comfortable and firmer grip.
Other additional features include a wire stripper notch that makes the tool more convenient to use and an extended thumb to give you more comfort during use. You will also appreciate the belt clip that allows you to clip the knife on your person and carry it with you wherever you go.
However, the Irwin Tools FK250 Folding Utility Knife comes with a few drawbacks. First, the knife has noticeable blade play, which, although secure, can be quite annoying. Additionally, the pocket clasp is loose, and the knife will more than likely fall out of your pocket when you sit down. Lastly, it is too heavy and bulky.
- Unique blade lock technology
- All-metal construction
- Too bulky
- Significant blade play
- Loose pocket clasp
- Blades are not easy to replace
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Folding Utility Knife
There are many factors to consider when buying a folding utility knife. With the sheer number of models present in the market, finding the right one can be challenging. Luckily, we have prepared the following buyer’s guide to aid you in your search for the perfect tool. Here is what you need to consider before making a purchase.
The blade and handle are the most critical components in a pocket knife. The materials used in making these parts determine its durability and performance. Stainless steel is the most common material for the blade. Apart from being durable, rust, and corrosion-resistant, it also requires minimal maintenance. Other materials used for making the blade include aluminum, titanium, and high carbon steel. Handles are either made from metal, synthetic materials such as rubber, and natural materials like wood, bone, and leather. The best materials should be durable and provide a comfortable and firm grip.
Before buying a knife, ensure the handle is easy and comfortable to use. A good grip is essential for safety since it reduces slippage even when working with wet hands. It also gives you more control and power. The best handle will be ergonomically designed to provide you with a good grip. Some will feature a curved design; others will have a textured surface, while others will include grooves or finger ridges.
Folding knives that allow for one-hand use are more convenient and easy to operate. Since you are already holding the item you need to cut before even removing your knife, using one hand is more efficient. Utility knives that you can fold and unfold with a single hand usually have a spring-loaded push or sliding button on the handle.
The pocket knife you buy should have an easy to use mechanism for ejecting old/dull blades and replacing them with new ones. Most of them will include a button that releases them when pressed, allowing you to slide the new one into place. Always ensure that the blade is firmly secured before you can use it. The location of the eject button also matters; it should be conveniently placed to prevent your fingers from accidentally pressing it and popping out the blade when working.
The weight of the knife will affect the ease of use. A heavy knife will be harder to use and can even cause wrist pains with prolonged usage. On the other hand, lightweight models are easy to handle, and you can carry them in your pocket wherever you go. However, heavier knives are more suited for heavy-duty use.
Pocket knives come with a wide variety of blade lengths. Some can be as long as 7.5 inches, while others can be as short as two inches. The blade size you should go for will depend on the nature of the task. Heavy tasks such as chopping wood will require a large blade. Smaller and lighter blades are best suited for less demanding tasks.
Your budget and personal preferences should guide the amount of money you’re willing to spend on your folding utility knife. However, you should always consider quality before cost. Cheap pocket knives usually compromise on quality and will generally not last long and expensive doesn’t necessarily mean high-quality. Ensure you find a quality folding pocket knife that fits within your budget.
Finding the best folding utility knife for your needs may not be easy. Hopefully, our reviews of the best available options will help narrow down your search. If you want the best knife that will serve you for a long time to come, we recommend the Klein Tools 44135 Folding Utility Knife. It is easy to use and is built with durability in mind. However, if you are looking for the best value for money, you can never go wrong with the DEWALT DWHT10035L Folding Retractable Utility Knife.
Ultimately, the folding knife you should go for should suit your unique needs and personal preferences. A folding knife is a personal thing and what might be suitable for you might not be the best fit for someone else. But you may never know what is best without trying a few knives.
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
- 2 The 10 Best Folding Utility Knives
- 2.1 1. Klein Tools 44135 Folding Utility Knife – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. DEWALT DWHT10035L Folding Retractable Utility Knife – Best Value
- 2.3 3. Milwaukee 48-22-1903 Folding Utility Knife – Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. Fancii 1B-UK10 Folding Pocket Utility Knife
- 2.5 5. Sheffield 12113 Utility Knife
- 2.6 6. Klein Tools 44131 Folding Utility Knife
- 2.7 7. WORKPRO W011021A Folding Utility Knife
- 2.8 8. Kobalt 0367251 Utility Knife
- 2.9 9. Fiskars 770030-1001 Pro Utility Knife
- 2.10 10. Irwin Tools FK250 Folding Utility Knife
- 3 Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Folding Utility Knife
- 4 Conclusion