Milwaukee has come out with a new safety cutter, 48-22-1916. They call it a safety cutter, I call it a package opener cutter thingie.
It’s got 2 recessed blades, which can be useful for cutting through cardboard, corrugated cardboard, tape, plastic, and shrink wrap. It can probably also be used on plastic straps, cord-reinforced tape, and other common packaging materials.
According to some product application images, the plastic edges on the front of the tool can also be used to pierce through packaging tape.
The recessed blades are described as being a singular blade, but it doesn’t look like the Safety Cutter blade is user-replaceable. On the other hand, a replaceable blade mechanism would likely drive the cost up.
The handle is made from durable nylon, and Milwaukee says it’s last 5 times longer than similar cutters already on the market.
Ooh, there’s also a lanyard hole.
Milwaukee is positioning the Safety Cutter as a quick and easy substitute for utility or pocket knives, which you might need for a knife-free jobsite.
ETA: October 2016
We previously wrote about safety utility knives, and also Stanley’s newish safety knife with slide-out shrink wrap cutter.
At $3 each, I’ll likely buy a couple.
This isn’t the first package opener of its kind, but it looks like a handy design and the price is right.
Compare(Other designs via Amazon)
I know Menards has something very similar to this: the Performax Safety Cutter. They gave one to all employees to use instead of a box cutter to cut open boxes. Great for the office for cutting tape and thats it.
I used to work for menards the day they hand those out mine went into the toolbox at the desk and never came back out. For the purposes of stocking and cutting open packages they get gummed up and dull fairly quickly. I much prefer a 18mm snap off knife to this. The one use I did eventually find for them it to cut shrink wrap off of a pallet but that’s about it.
Almost every utility knife I have has a slot in them for the exact purpose of these not to mention many others offer the same thing for almost free….. Pass
Except the slots in the utility knives are actually for cutting cordage, not opening boxes and such. Utility knives are fat, this thing is skinny. It looks to be a simple one trick pony, but it’s likely to do that one trick pretty well. As an added bonus the liability wonks and violets who shrink at the sight of a bare blade won’t be put off by these.
The price seems right compared to one I bought last year as stocking stuffers:
Fred, do you have any feedback on this particular model? My local tool dealer carries tech edge and this looks way better than the safety utility cutters that we hand out to retail employees.
A note for the nayesayers. I don’t think Milwaukee had carpet removal in mind when they developed this product. It’a 2016 and OSHA + liability insurance are a thing.
I bought 5 of them – I think for under $2 each plus about $6 shipping (for the 5) – from an Amazon 3rd party seller. I think that made the cost under $3 each . The all went as stocking stuffer Christmas gifts – so I didn’t keep one myself – but they looked a bit lightweight – suited more for home use than for long-term use on a loading dock or in a warehouse. At the price they seemed suited for purpose – and I didn’t get any feedback from the recipients.
So Milwaukee won’t make inflators because they aren’t “professional” but they have no qualms making a dummy-proof “crayola” version of a box cutter? I think a professional who opens boxes during their day can handle a utility knife.
It was a different brand that said they don’t consider inflators to be aligned with their professional image.
Anyways, there are some places where knives are not allowed, and so you’ve got to use something else.
There are also other places where knives really shouldn’t be used, as they can damage the contents of a box.
In the warehouse we used this tool:
I really think that it reduced minor injuries from cutting straps etc. with a utility knife.
Speaking of “places where knives are not allowed”. I was recently in NYC helping my daughter move to a new closet, oops I mean apartment, and the local Home Depot had all the knives and other cutting tools locked up in a cage. When I asked to see some the clerk had to get a manager to come unlock the cage. After I made my selection, under a watchful eye, the manager then took the knife and said that she would hold it at her desk until I was ready to checkout. It’s a crazy world and I like it a little less every day.
That’s not too unusual. You’ll find spray paint and bolt cutters locked up too.
At a local Sears, most of the mechanics tools are locked up.
It might be a store requirement to reduce theft, or possibly for insurance reasons.
Lots of Sears used to have the mechanic’s tools behind locked glass, some still do, but only where theft and shrinkage is highest.
Sears sure could reduce theft/shrink and make a lot more money if they put all the shiny stuff in display cases, but the thinking is it reduces sales since people can’t just go get a tool and handle it on their own without having to get an associate.
That’s one of the reasons I no longer shop at Sears. If you make shopping a difficult and unpleasant experience there will always be someone else ready to take your place. While I understand that shoplifting and security in general is reality for a retail business, it is incumbent upon each business to confront the issue without driving your paying customers away. For me Sears failed on this front.
Well, they could always change the tool department layout to make it easier for customers to get to the tools AND increase security. Putting the open stock stuff in unlocked display cases that customers could still access, but having them say, at or surrounding the checkout area, with an overhead security camera, would do a lot to deter theft, increase security, AND make it easier to grab what you need to warranty and turn around, be at the register, and be on your way.
Strangely, most of the Sears stores I have visited now have the hand tools fairly far away from the registers, instead all the mowers and seasonal stuff is there. Consequently, theft of small items seems pretty rampant since the onlne and actual inventory don’t match up, which results in a lot of unhappy customers getting store pick-up orders cancelled.
You should see how the Home Depot and Lowes are in Brooklyn.
I don’t quite remember how the Home Depot is – one path in and out or two – but the Lowes definitely has a sort of condoned off area with one way in and out. If I recall correctly, certain hand tools were in locked compartments too.
I’ve bought far fewer tools at the 2 nearest Sears than I did when there was a Sears Essential still around, part of the reason being the need to first find a sales associate and then have them hover while I look at anything from the locked mechanics tool cases.
Ok but I prefer tools I don’t have to throw away and can simply resharpen. I’ve noticed lots of guys these days can’t freehand sharpen tools to a dry shaving edge (I’m only 24) and part of that is due to the throwaway society we have. I get that its often quicker to change blades and some stuff you cut will ruin a blade making disposable blades to be far more practical. I just resharpen a lot of my disposable blades and they last a long time and it takes litterally seconds of my time to do so. I can still swap them out when I need to on the spot. And Milwaukee needs to finally release the Fastback 3.
Same here. How do you sharpen utility blades? I tried my Lansky sharpening system and the [Blue Hawk 1\-1/8\-in Steel Multipurpose Garden Hand Tool at Lowes\.com](http://www.lowes.com/pd/Blue-Hawk-1-1-8-in-Steel-Multipurpose-Garden-Hand-Tool/3309214) on good carbide edged [DEWALT Carbide Utility Blades](http://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-Carbide-Utility-Blade-50-Pack-DWHT11131L/204473025) but I could never get a wrist-shaving edge.
I haven’t used the carbide utility blades and haven’t tried sharpening them but maybe diamond abrasives could work but I’ve no experience there. I personally use DMT Diafold Sharpeners but I’ve used many different sharpening mediums and types of steel. The most important thing with sharpening is to learn consistency. Also remember to finish off using something soft yet firm and rough with the edge trailing such as a strop, almost any leather, the edges of cardboard, wood, etc.
I do have a DMT diamond honing set that is like the Lansky. It has a blade guide that maintains the proper angles. I haven’t tried that yet. So you are sharpening free hand right? How do you manage to get a consistent angle?
Consistent angles just come with practice. I’d recomend practicing on a cheap or inexpensive knife such as one under $20. It will probably be of soft steel which will be quicker to sharpen and you will be able to quickly see if you are making any mistakes and those mistakes will be quick to fix.
When stropping – you might also try running through some various grades of jeweler’s rouge.
While I like diamond dust impregnated sharpening “stones” for some tasks (e.g. putting a crown on some plane blades with a set of crowning plates) – I more often use a diamond plate only to flatten my water-stones.
My thing is to stop when I have a highly polished edge on my chisels, gouges and carving knives – then touch them up with a hone/strop between sharpening.
I know folks who swear by other sharpening tools and techniques – but I think that whatever works for you is the best.
Yes, for my purposes, stropping would be overkill. But I still don’t know how you can sharpen a blade freehand. I tried it many time with good natural stones but I always got a rounded bevel, not a clean triangular one.
I use buffing compounds I bought from stropman strops. One day I’d like to get some japenese water stones. I like my diamond stones because they seem to cut quicker using the monocrystaline diamonds.
Yeah, I guess it is an acquired skill. Thanks.
The fastback 3 has been out for a while.
Where did you find the fastback 3? I only see the Fastback 2 on Milwaukee’s website.
I guess they just aren’t calling the new one the Fastback 3? Seems confusing to call the previous knife the Fastback 2 Flip Utility knife with storage if the new knife is called the Fastback Flip Utility Knife with blade storage. It should labled 3 if after 2.
Look for model 48-22-1903 for the one with blade storage, and 48-22-1906 for the compact model.
I can’t find it being sold anywhere because the few places I’ve found give conflicting product descriptions to the model number 48-22-1903.
I don’t know what to tell you. This is the info I have from Milwaukee:
Fastback™ Flip Utility Knife with Blade Storage (48-22-1903)
Fastback™ Compact Flip Utility Knife (48-22-1906)
48-22-1901 is the original, 48-22-1901 is the FastBack II.
Menards gives those away…. free with rebate. Milwaulkee needs to stay true to what they are good at. Stop making trinkets
Gee, it looked as if it were using a replaceable utility blade. That’s very disappointing that the blade is irreplaceable.
I’m assuming it’s not user-replaceable – it certainly doesn’t look to be.
This seems less like something to buy and more like it should be swag given out by Milwaukee/TTi at trade shows and tool demo events.
To be sure, it probably costs all of 10 cents to make in China, so they are making a hefty profit even at $2-3 each, since they are so light and probably just fill in the extra space on the boat when shipping power tools and parts over here, but still, kind of annoying to see this kind of stuff from Milwaukee when they have quality utility knives under $10.
I actually have a prototype of the original one of these (not the Milwauke, the ORIGINAL style) from years back from the guy that made them and was trying to get them into Wal-Mart (was in asset protection management at the time).
They’re a nice idea with three major, and I mean really major flaws:
1) They’re just way to expensive to replace any of the safety cutters on the market, even the semi-expensive ones.
2) No way to replace the blade, so you throw the entire thing away when it gets dull. Every cutter I’ve ever used/seen has at least 2 blades/4 edges available (at least 1 for use and one stored) whereas this just has the one blade. Replacement blades take up almost no space. (Like a 100 are the size of a deck of cards with the disposal container. 100 of these, not so much.)
3) When the tips guarding the blade break (and they do), the whole thing is much more dangerous than a safety knife because there’s no effective safe way to dispose of the blade.
I still have the prototype sitting in my truck (after all these years) and use it every great once in a while, but otherwise I find my old box cutters from the day are just handier and easier to use (even for carpet)!
Here is the original I believe.