As we posted about last week, there’s a Milwaukee Fastback utility knife bundle deal at Home Depot.
Shown above is how it’s depicted online at Home Depot.com.
This is the pack of Milwaukee general purpose iron-carbide-edged USA-made utility knife blades that is available on store shelves year-round. The dispenser has a dual-purpose design, as it’s dispenses new blades and also has a disposal section for safely storing used blades.
A reader comment, in reply to the deal post, prompted to investigate what you actually get in the bundle pack. With the in-store bundle, you get the Fastback knife, the Fastback Compact knife, and a pack of 50 general purpose utility knife blades.
But, it’s not quite the same as the everyday Milwaukee blade pack.
With the regular pack of blades, the contents are made in the USA. Well, at least the blades are. I don’t recall, but the dispenser might be made elsewhere.
Wit the promo pack, it says the contents are Professionally Made in China.
I think that the online image, showing the everyday 50 pack of USA-made blades, is an error, but most likely an unintentional one.
The fact of the matter is that while some of us will be disappointed at the slight discrepancy, most people won’t care, or even notice. To most people, “general purpose utility knife blades” don’t need any more details.
I should also point out that it looks like the dispenser in the holiday “special buy” pack is only a dispenser, with no storage compartment for used blades. It’s hard to tell for certain, but I am maybe 99% convinced about this. (While I was tempted to buy a bundle to find out, I really have way too many utility knives at this point. I didn’t even open some of the Lenox knives I bought last year for comparison purposes.)
Now knowing that you get a “special buy” blade pack rather than the everyday quality blades, I wouldn’t quite say that you get $29 worth of tools for $15. But, even if you take a few dollars off the value, what you get is still an excellent value for what you pay.
I believe the Fastback utility knives are exactly the same, whether you buy them individually, in two-packs, or as part of this bundle.
Would you spend a couple of dollars more on this bundle if it came with the everyday blades and dispenser/disposal pack, as opposed to the “special buy” version? Honestly, I don’t think I would.
Milwaukee Tool could have very easily taken the blade pack out of the bundle entirely, and it still would have been a good deal. So, while not the same blades, they do add extra value to the promo bundle.
And although I say “while not the same blades,” we really don’t know. As a reader mentioned, if they were the same blades, they would have the iron-carbide-edge labeling on the front. Maybe? Older packaging didn’t say this.
This is the image that Home Depot has up for the 48-22-1950 blade pack. The version that’s in-store now mentions the iron-carbide edge and 5X longer blade life. But this image doesn’t say that, and it in fact mentions up to 3X blade life.
While a little disappointing, I don’t think the difference in what you get is worth getting worked up over. Plus, there could be a difference between what is ordered online and what is available in stores. (I might order a bundle pack online, just to be sure.)
Hypothetically, while potentially not as good as the [newer?] iron-carbide-edged USA-made blades, you still get 50 general purpose blades.
Long story short, we’re all a little more informed about what you get in this $14.88 bundle. That being said, do you feel any differently about it? I don’t.
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
Koko the Talking Ape
I just got this bundle, and you are right, there is no way to store used blades in the dispenser. And the blades are regular steel, as far as I can tell. Still a great deal.
Oddly, I like the Compact better than the Flip. The Flip is bulkier and doesn’t offer a way to choke up on the handle so your hand is closer to the cutting edge. The Compact’s blade holder assembly has a concave profile that accommodates your index finger, so not only does the handle fill your hand, your hand overall is closer to the cutting edge. I feel like I have more control that way.
On the other hand, that blade holder assembly has sharpish edges, so they won’t be very comfortable for your index finger for long. A few minutes with a Dremel tool should fix that. It also lacks the twine cutter/wirestripper notch, which isn’t a big deal for me personally.
Well I’ll be. I went out to the garage to have another look and compare the ones I just bought this week for gifts to the ones I bought for myself last year. The knives look identical so that’s the important part. But the blades included last year were the 5x life iron carbide version with the included old blade disposal slot. Looks like they saved themselves a few pennies with the cheaper blades and container this year. Fair enough I suppose considering they are the same price given all the tariff wars this year.
I got the pack, I thought it was a good deal, but I have not tried these blades. I burn through blades fast so I purchase heavy-duty blades. However, the blade change is fast enough that I don’t really care. As for the price–I prefer cheaper even knowing the blades are not as high quality as those at a higher price point. That is because they are bundled. I would not buy the blades alone, even if cheap.
I bought the $15 deal last year with the 5X life blades and the disposal slot on top. I’ve been really happy with both knives, and think I’d still buy it this year with the lower quality blades if I needed more utility knives.
My local HD (El Cerrito, CA) has both versions out. I grabbed the one from last year with the better blades, and they still had quite a few left.
My thought is “shame on them” – they should have made it a $15.99 deal and kept the 5X USA-made blades – not packaged it with made-in-China blades that they don’t sell normally. While this may not be a bait and switch deal or false advertising – getting a “special” blade pack that has nothing special about will be disappointing to discerning buyers.
I bought the bundle after seeing your post about it. The clamshell bundle I had included the “5X” 48-22-1950 blade pack in the first two pics you show above. It’s curious the “5X” and the “3X” have the same part numbers.
Since I am most likely the reader Stuart is referring to in this post, allow me to respond. As I originally stated, regarding this Milwaukee three piece bundle, “Everything was as expected with the exception of the pack of blades”. I went on to say, “The blades and the dispenser I got do not have any Milwaukee markings or logos and no mention of an Iron-Carbide Edge. There is also no Milwaukee part number on the dispenser. There is a label on the dispenser that says, USO General 10-15-1903D General Purpose Utility Blades. The only hint of Milwaukee is the red color of the plastic dispenser. I think I’ve been had”.
The only reason I noticed the difference in the blades was because I had purchased a pack of the Iron-Carbide Edge blades about a year ago and have found them to last a good bit longer than other common utility blades. So I was attracted to this sale pack, not only for the two knives it included, but also a chance to get a few more of my new favorite blades. I didn’t bother to inspect the display packaging contents until I got home, as I didn’t really expect a problem.
And Stuart, while I do appreciate the unexpected and extensive follow-up on this, it does seem as if you take umbrage to my last sentence where I state, “I think I’ve been had”. You do make the case that this isn’t really a big deal and you said, “I don’t think the difference in what you get is worth getting worked up over”.
First, I am not trying to imply that I think you are any any way responsible. I view you as a reporter not a purveyor. I hold Milwaukee responsible.
Second, I’m not “worked up”. I haven’t even returned the item and I don’t plan to. Granted, both my words and yours, “I’ve been had’ and “worked up”, are open to a wide range of interpretation and meaning. I can assure you that I do not have visions of a dimly lit office deep in the bowels of Milwaukee where sits a slight, elderly man, twirling his mustache hatching plans of subterfuge.
I was just looking for a little truth in advertising.
I was actually avoiding any kind of direct response, because of the complexity of the issue.
It was your comment that led me to investigate further, but the other commentary is not directed at you or in direct response to what you said.
I’ve been very sensitive to “special buys” in the past, and the feeling of being “duped” by irregular or cheapened products before.
By “the twist drill bits were disappointing,” I mean they were utter garbage.
In this case, I also felt that your disappointment was my doing, since I had posted about what I saw online before being able to examine the in-store packaging.
Quite frankly, your disappointment is very understandable. If in your shoes, I was wondering, would I have been as disappointed? Maybe. What about if I were aware of the discrepancy, as this post was intended to better inform about? To me, it’s less disappointing, and I really wouldn’t get worked up over it.
You’re got every right to be upset. My intention of this post wasn’t intended to diminish that or to oppose it; I wanted to adjust others’ expectations, to avoid anyone else being as disappointed as you are, and as I probably would have been as well.
It’s still wild to me that stores price stuff at $14.88 when it’s a common neo-nazi code word.
HD is probably re-using last years picture, I bought the fastback deal last year and that’s what it came with: the 2X blades.
It is misleading to show the incorrect picture if this year’s deal has changed.
It is misleading for Home Depot to show the incorrect picture if this year’s deal has changed.
This is typical of Milwaukee and it pretty much sums up what they are about and it really shows how cheap they are what lengths they will go to pocket a dollar. It really exhibits that Milwaukee considers customers are undeserving of their best products by including something half assed like this. Out of all of the brands that sell tools, Milwaukee excels at making themselves look like used snake oil salesmen. Do other brands do this? Yes they do, but we ain’t talking about them & they aren’t as blatant about it. And this is not an isolated incident being that Milwaukee has obviously manufactured several thousand of these. How many of their other seasonal sales products contain knockoff bs like this? HD deserves some blame also for not providing the correct information about what they are selling. They could have included the 5x blades and still would have made money, but this was done intentionally for one sole purpose. But I think this really shows how Milwaukee feels customers are undeserving of the best they have because it’s a sale.
Do you have any other specific examples of what you describe? Because I don’t.
I’ve contacted HD about incorrect product images before, and they’ve emailed the responsible department while I was on the phone with them, and it’s been fixed. I don’t feel that there’s any sort of intentional deception going on here, just a lack of communication between whoever ordered the product, and whoever is responsible for the website images being up to date.
I agree that it would be nice if they’d stuck with the better blades in the package, but there’s some reason (probably money related) that they didn’t, and I’m okay with that. I’d still have been happy with the deal if I’d gotten the lesser blades, considering the rate I go through them.
Thanks for the report, Stuart and readers! I had to run to a second Home Depot today because the first store didn’t have what I needed in stock. I have been thinking to pick up a package because of the first post and because of this post I paid a little extra attention.
So it turn out that both version are available and some Home Depot do carry both! So I wouldn’t say that Home Depot online intentionally deceit anyone. Beside some store still do carry both and I was able to score a 5x version while I was at the second store.
A little off topic but one of my Home Depot store recently introduce a new version of the self checkout and I firmly believe that whoever is in charge of that program deserve to be fire. The new checkout got rid of the fixed scanner in favor of a mobile wireless one. Which also mean that now you are force to touch the scanner at a hardware store where the likely hood of someone with a hand full of grime is very high. Obviously there are some advantage to have a mobile scanner such as when scanning a large item. However that hasn’t been a problem because the large item could have been easily be scanned by the one associate manning all the stations. So in short they are throwing a bunch of money at it for an “upgrade” that pretty much trading one problem for the next.
I checked my closest 2 HDs and it looks like both only have the new one. Sure, I’d prefer USA made blades, but so far I’m pretty happy with it overall, especially the compact.