Harbor Freight is taking on the venerable Milwaukee Fastback folding utility knife with a Doyle utility knife of their own.
Harbor Freight describes the new Doyle utility style knife as a professional flip utility knife.
The Doyle utility knife is designed for fast one-handed operation, and also features a built-in cord or wire cutting recess.
Like the Milwaukee FastBack knife the Doyle seems to be inspired by, the new Harbor Freight knife folds closed into a compact package for easy carrying.
Carrying options include a lanyard loop and wide wire pocket clip.
Blade changes look to be quick and easy, with a release button.
As with Milwaukee’s more compact FastBack knives, this Harbor Freight Doyle doesn’t look to have built-in blade storage.
There’s that cord and wire cutting notch, which you can use when the knife is folded closed.
A couple of brands have already tried copying Milwaukee’s widely successful FastBack folding utility knife design.
With this new Doyle “professional” knife, Harbor Freight says you “save 33%” compared to the Milwaukee 480-22-1502.
Milwaukee has 3 main styles of FastBack utility knife:
- Compact ($9)
- Standard ($12)
- Blade Storage ($15)
This new Doyle utility knife does NOT look to have internal spare blade storage, so why is Harbor Freight using Milwaukee’s most expensive and more featured utility knife as the “comparison” model?
I suppose $10 compared to $15 sounds more impressive than $10 vs. $12?
Ignoring that potentially misleading comparison, the new Doyle utility knife looks more refined than I would have expected.
Here’s Harbor Freight’s Gordon folding utility knife. The new Doyle knife does look more professional, I’ll give it that, but time will tell as to whether it holds up well to demanding use.
Milwaukee has been making FastBack utility knives for quite a few years now, and I have lost track as to how many generations of designs there have been, with each release benefiting from years and years of iteration and feedback that can only come from extensive field use.
The Doyle piques my interest, but $12 for a refined Milwaukee, or $10 for a first-time effort from Harbor Freight?
The Doyle knife is made with cast aluminum construction, which could potentially make it lighter than the Milwaukee.
It will be interesting to see how well the Doyle actually compares to Milwaukee’s FastBack knives in use.
With such a narrow price difference, is there enough incentive for anyone to choose this over Milwaukee’s offerings? Or will most buyers simple pick it up at Harbor Freight store locations as impulse buys when they come across it?