Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Choosing a heavy duty utility kife: Stanley FatMax Xtreme Twin Blade Knife, a 'safe' choice

10-789 - 6-7/8" FATMAX® Xtreme® Twin Blade Knife
There are three types of uses for a utility knife which all require different types of knives:
  • Precision work
    • steady blade, no slack 
    • fresh point 
    • sharp blade 
  • Every day use (check this article)
    • variable blade length 
    • strong yet light body
    • easy to handle (easy locking mechanism) 
    • easy to maintain (e.g. snap-off blades) 
  • Heavy duty (see below)
    • strong and reliable
Depending on the category you fall in and use you are going to make of your knife you can expect additional nice to have features. This article shows how the Stanley FATMAX Xtreme Twin Blade Knife packs a good load of them, giving it an edge over many other ones:
Versatile: twin blade system
  • Excellent build quality (metallic body)
  • Versatile: two blade system, giving you instant access to two different types of blades (or a spare one ready to be used)
    Note: both blades cannot be open at the same time
  • Spare blade compartment (9 blades)
  • One-piece blades (i.e. not snap-off) reducing chance of the blade breaking.
  • Appropriate for left handed people
  • Good grip

The cons of this model are also common to most heavy duty utility knives:
  • Heavy
  • Short blade
  • Blades are harder to replace compared to snap-off alternatives (althaugh it is easier than with most alternatives)
  • Large and possibly difficult to handle for little hands (I am thinking about women, not kids ;-)
  • A little blade slack which is not optimal for precision work
Blade storage in the handle: handy !
Bottom line: a very good knife for heavy duty uses (cuting carpet, thick cardboard, vinyl). I would however not recommend it tu cut foam (where a long blade is needed) or precision work.