I was shopping at Home Depot a few weeks ago, sorting out some tools for a DIY tool buying guide project (see also: The Best Basic Tool Kit for Beginner DIYers), when I came across a new Husky utility knife. I wasn’t familiar with the design, and so I of course bought one on the spot.
This is one of the coolest, strangest, and completely unconventional utility knives I’ve ever seen.
Is it practical? Kind of.
It has some interesting selling points, and the knife works well. I’ve got mine on my workbench, and I think it could handle some rough and tough handling as well.
In a nutshell, the Husky sliding utility knife has all-metal construction, a full-size bottle opener, thumb control retraction mechanism, tool-free blade change, and quick-change dual-blade design.
Husky says that this knife features the fastest blade switch possible.
The knife is easy to use. Simply press your thumb alongside the front of the included blade, and push it forward. The front of the blade pushes the spring-action blade lock out of the way as it advances to its first locking position.
A quick push of the blade lock with your thumb and forward-motion with the blade, and it advances it to the second position.
Retract the blade, flip the tool over, and you now have access to the second blade which can be extended in the same manner.
You’re supposed to be able to retract the blades by moving the locking spring out of the way to let gravity pull them down. This works for me consistently if I give the knife a little jiggle.
It’s also still quick and easy for me to close the knife by unlocking and then pulling back on the blades.
There are two slots at the front where the front and rear blades can be extended from. You can load the same or different blades into the two slots.
In the above photo, the blade change locking lock is opened.
The blade change locking lever is basically just a physical block that doesn’t allow utility knife blades to be extended too far.
To change either blade, open the locking lever, depress the locking spring. and remove the blade. Replacement blades are easily inserted.
There’s a wire loop pocket clip on the rear, and a full-size bottle opener.
This seems like a more casual use utility knife for household or garage use, and I’m really liking it so far.
I would be a little cautious of using it in very gritty environments, but so far the blade extension mechanism has been reliable and robust.
Despite its unconventional design, thus Husky utility knife is incredibly user-friendly. Opening and closing the knife is easy, and the same for changing blades.
It feels secure during use, and I like that the blade change lock also helps to prevent unintentional pull-out.
I tested the knife with Husky, Stanley, Milwaukee, and Dewalt utility knife blades, and it seems to work well with all of them. The included blade might provide a tiny bit better grip due to having a slightly raised thumbprint pattern, but I didn’t have any problem extending or closing the other brands’ knives.
The knife comes loaded with a standard blade and a hook-style blade.
Are the advantages over other types of utility knives? I suppose there are, given its compact size and narrow thickness.
User reviews are very good, and I’m enjoying the use of the knife so far. But could I recommend it over more traditionally-styled utility knives?
This knife is different, and it works. I can see myself loading it with a standard and blunt-tip blades, although right now I still have it in the stock as-sold configuration with standard and hook blades.
I don’t know comfortable I am in saying I recommend it, but I certainly don’t recommend against – I just don’t know how suitable this will be for your needs, wants, or usage environment. I haven’t come across any issues yet, but I know this is not going to be a one-knife-fits-all type of tool.
I will say this – I purchased the utility knife at retail at a local Home Depot store, and if I knew then what I know now, I would absolutely buy it all over again. The same is not true about a recent Dewalt folding retractable knife purchase.
I like tools that do things differently, and in this case Husky pulls it off well. The utility knife features a smaller size and solid build quality, and that’s on top of the new blade extension mechanism.