It seems that Lowe’s has introduced a new Kobalt 3-inch folding razor utility knife for the 2021 holiday shopping season.
The new Kobalt utility knife has a replaceable blade, but it’s not anything like most utility knives that work with standard blades.
This Kobalt knife takes a special blade, and it actually closely resembles the Outdoor Edge replaceable blade knives that are available on Amazon.
Lowe’s bundles the Kobalt knife with (3) 3-inch drop-point knife blades, and (3) 3-inch utility knife-style blades.
They advertise the knife has delivering “nearly 3 times the cutting edge of a standard utility knife” and that it’s “a significant upgrade and perfect companion for the seasoned contractor or DIY enthusiast.”
What’s the Catch?
I was hesitant to write about this new Kobalt knife. The design is definitely not for me, but that was not it.
What happens x-number of months from now when this product disappears from Lowe’s shelves? How long until readers and visitors write in, asking where they could buy replacement blades, and I have nothing good to tell them?
However, it turns out that there is good news.
Buried on the product page, Lowe’s says that their new knife is compatible with Outdoor Edge’s 3-inch drop point and “RazorSafe” knife blades.
So, unlike some of Lowe’s holiday specials before, such as the almost horrendous Kobalt Triple Cut, users will be able to find replacement blades for this Kobalt knife.
But is this a good utility knife?
Standard utility knife blades are usually reversible. When the point or edge dulls, you can reverse the blade to get a fresh cutting edge. When both ends are dull, that’s when it’s time to replace the blade.
I picked up two knives from my workbench – a popular retractable utility knife (Dewalt) and a popular folding utility knife (Milwaukee Fastback). The retractable knife extends its blade to approximately 1-inch, and the folding knife has approximately 1-1/4″ of its cutting edge exposed.
With Kobalt’s utility knife-style 3-inch blade, you get one point and I would assume a 3-inch-long cutting edge. Once that point is dull, you need a new blade, regardless as to the condition of the rest of the cutting edge.
Does this knife work better than typical snap-blade knives that can be extended outwards if or when needed? It’s possible – Kobalt says the back blade support helps to give the replaceable blade “the strength of a standard knife blade.”
However, in contrast to snap-blade knives, where you can control the blade and cutting edge exposure, you have no such control here.
The Outdoor Edge knives seem to be popular with hunters, and I can understand why.
And, I can see some work applications that could potentially benefit from a 3-inch straight utility knife-like blade. But, that doesn’t mean I agree even in the least but that this is “a significant upgrade” or “the perfect companion for the seasoned contractor or DIY enthusiast.”
Judging from the inventory numbers Lowe’s is reporting from the various stores in my area, this Kobalt knife does not look to be selling well. To be frank, I am not surprised by this. Even if the style of knife appealed to me, the $24.98 price does not.
What do you think – is this knife a hit or a miss for Kobalt and Lowe’s?