So far, I’ve mainly posted about the new Milwaukee M18 Fuel brushless cordless tools and upcoming battery packs, in my NPS15 coverage. But, as teased in the first post of the series, I am particularly excited about the new Milwaukee EDC knives that are coming out.
While one could consider a utility knife to be an EDC knife, such as Milwaukee’s FastBack series, EDC – or everyday carry – more often pertains to the type of pocket knife that one would carry with them wherever, even outside of the jobsite.
EDC is very loosely defined, but for Milwaukee it seems to pertain to a finer style of folding pocket knife.
See Also: Check out our EDC Knife Reviews!
Milwaukee previously came out with a line of FastBack pocket knives, and while they are quite handy, they’re not quite the types of knives one might take with them after work or on weekends. They’re more aptly to be used as heavy duty work knives.
I caught a glimpse of the new Milwaukee EDC knives, and had to know more.
First, it looks like much more care is put into the shape of the blade, the grind, and the coating. The knife blades are made from D2 tool steel, which is strong, very tough, and wear resistance. It only offers some corrosion resistance, which is why you’ll see these knives with a black (DLC?) finish.
Although these are prototypes, I was very impressed with what I saw. They have deep-carry pocket clips, frame-lock locking mechanism, and a very solid feel. There’s not much shape to the handle, but for these knives I see that as a good thing.
Milwaukee designed the new series of EDC knives with assisted opening mechanisms. I didn’t like that you can only open them via the thumb stud, but these are only prototypes. I urged for a flipper opening design, and maybe it’ll be put on the roadmap.
Milwaukee showcased 3 sizes and styles of EDC knives to start: a small knife with a (modified?) drop point blade, a medium one with a tanto blade, and a larger one with a drop point blade.
The blade of the drop point knife has a subtle recurve, where there is a slightly concave outwards belly and then a convex inward section as you move towards the handle. This has somewhat of a Ken Onion influence to it, as with the Onion-designed CRKT Shenanigan Z, and CRKT Foresight, but I was told that Ken Onion as not involved with the designs.
Lots of knifemakers work a recurve into their knife blades, and so seeing a potential connection with Ken Onion was merely my wishful thinking.
In any case, I am very excited to see how the designs evolve over the next few months as they near production, and even more excited to see how well they perform. I hope that Milwaukee keeps the colors as they are – a black handle with red accent spacer works better than all-red knives. Then again, I have at least one red-handled knife in my EDC rotation.
I was told that pricing would be at the ~$80 mark. The Milwaukee product manager I spoke to made it clear that they’re aiming for the new EDC knives to be very competitive in what I know to be a highly saturated market. We’ll see if these knives, with their heavy duty D2 steel blades, meet those claims.
See Also: Click for Much More Milwaukee Tool News!
There will also be a new FastBack III, which improves upon the FastBack II utility knife by offering more internal blade storage – 1 in the blade, 4 in the handle.
I believe I spotted a new smaller FastBack knife as well, and also a camouflage-handled FastBack folding knife, but don’t have any photographs to show you – sorry about that.
ETA: March 2016 for the FastBack and EDC pocket knife expansion
Is the plan for the small knife to have a different blade than pictured? It looks more drop point than anything. For a small drop point, I’m listening, but a tanto, not even curious.
Sorry, that was a mis-type – the smaller knife definitely has a modified drop point profile, but it’s also a little close to being a spearpoint.
Milwaukee might have a greater spread of size and blade size combinations in mind, at least that’s what I’m hoping.
I also would be interested in the small one. It is still hard to beat the Kershaw 1660CBBW though.
The finish on these knives looks very similar to the Kai/Kershaw “Blackwash”, and the scalloping on blade and bolster look similar to their Cryo model. Perhaps they are Milwaukee’s OEM?
I was thinking the same thing
Thanks for the preview review. It answered several of the things I was curious about. They look pretty mean, so hopefully they can live up to their appearence.
I am really excited about these, d2 is my favorite alloy the black on black with red accent looks awesome. But frame lock is a deal breaker for me. Maybe there will be a liner lock option or better yet lock back. Also the $80 price is a bit steep for EDC from Milwaukee, they make mid range hand tools and lack the clout of kershaw spyderco or benchmade
What about changing the pocket clip (from right to left)?
I have mentioned this previously……
based on the photos- looks like there is holes for both sides, and tip up and tip down. (fingers crossed)
OT, but while I saw the other thread before NPS15 you posted regaring cases/storage, any other new storage products down the pipeline
A new folder with a D2 blade? Count me interested. My favorite full size EDC knife has a D2 blade, and if tempered properly, has about the best balance of edge holding and sharpen ability of any of the common blade steels IMO. Definately worth looking at.
I also like the folding knives that use a utility blade, for when I expect I may be in a situation where I’ll be using a knife a lot, like opening boxes. I like the little bitty folder that Gerber makes, for it’s small size and ease of carry, but it requires a tool for blade changes, and has no on board storage for spare blades. The Fastback III seems as small as any I have seen that looks to incorporate both. Do you know of any smaller ones that have tool free blade change, and storage for at least one spare blade?
Sweet, thumb stud opening is the only way to go! I’ll pick one up if its under $50.
Also that mini fastback looks awesome! I love my fast back!
I would like to see the new knife with the push and flip design instead of the thumb stud.
I’ve had the Fastback 1 and 2 since they’ve been available, as well as the spring assisted knife and use them daily. I’ve also given them as gifts and the people I’ve given them to absolutely love them(All 3 models) and as I’ve stated in other posts, the combination of price point and durability are hard to beat with all of the Milwaukee hand tools and cordless products.
These knives are the greatest thing since sliced bread. My only complaint would be the wire clips on the side. I’ve had to rebend them back into place more than once. If they had a solid metal clip they would be AMAZINGLY PERFECT.
When will Fastback 3 be available? No response from manufacturer.
Any updates? None of the mentioned knives are available on M’s website, and it is nearly a year later…
Lowes is selling the exact same Fastback 3 design but under different model name and color. I bought three of them.
I like the plain fast back. Unfortunately lost my original one from a few yrs ago. Had to buy another. I didn’t like the one with blades inside. It was bigger an dont like that it’s bigger
D2 is not a tough steel. It’s anything but. It has large carbides which take away from toughness.