Milwaukee has come out with a new compact side-slide utility knife, 48-22-1511.
You would be forgiven for assuming this is just a shorter version of Milwaukee’s updates side slide knife, which I didn’t really care for as much as their older version. I found a “new old stock” of the older style knife, and even without breaking it in first, I like it better, but I digress.
Yes, the new compact side slide knife looks to have a similar knife opening and closing mechanism, but its size changes everything. More on that in a bit.
The new Milwaukee compact side slide utility knife has an all-metal body, slide button, tool-free blade change button, wire belt clip, and tether-ready lanyard hole.
According to order pages, the compact side slide knife measures 4.75″ closed.
The new Milwaukee utility knife has a compact design, both closed and in use, in contrast to Milwaukee’s popular flip-open FastBack utility knives that are compact to carry but open up with full-sized handles.
But, with Milwaukee’s folding utility knives, you don’t get a retractable blade – it’s all or nothing – with a focus on portability and opening speed of cutting depth controls.
ETA: October 2020
Retailers are quoting late November and early December shipping ETAs.
This is the Stanley QuickSlide utility knife, a compact model that has been very hard to find in recent years.
The Stanley QuickSlide had a solid-feeling metal body, and it didn’t offer much in the way of features, outside quick blade changes. The blade didn’t retract.
Then came an updated Stanley QuickSlide utility knife, and while it shed some weight compared to the original and also added in a new caraboner clip and bottle opener feature, it always seemed cheapened to me.
The original was a bit weighty, but I liked that about it.
Now we have this new Milwaukee side slide utility knife, and with what looks to be retractable blade cutting depth controls.
For compact carry, you can choose between folding utility knives, rare folding and retractable utility knives that take two steps to open, and now another new compact retractable utility knife.
It’s good to have options.
So who is this for? Users who want a compact retractable utility knife, plain and simple.
Given my affinity for Milwaukee’s (older) full-size side slide utility knife and Stanley’s compact QuickSlide utility knife, this looks like it would a “buy it on sight” type of tool.
Maybe we’ll see a Black Friday “special buy” to help introduce the compact concept to more users?
What do you think – is this a solid buy, or not something you’d want to try?