Monday, September 3, 2018

Razor Knife Review

Most preppers expect to need a knife of some sort when disaster strikes, and because preppers find themselves in so many different situations, there is not uniform solution for everyone.

I prefer to carry a pocket knife, but sometimes it makes more sense to carry a razor knife, especially at work where you may need to open packages or otherwise cut things, but a regular pocketknife is seen as a weapon.

To that end I decided to do a head-to-head review of two of my favorite razor knives, the DeWalt Premium and the Milwaukee Fastback, with a specific emphasis on their prepping uses.

My ideal razor knife is:
  • Easy to use
  • Safe (I have had some terrifying experiences with older tools)
  • Durable (no problems with a little bit of water or dirt)
  • Robust in operation, does not jam etc. easily
  • Fits in well with my other preps
With those qualifications in mind, let's review some knives.

DeWalt Premium Utility Knife

The DeWalt Premium has a solid single-piece shell and seems to hold together fairly well even in harsh environments like construction work.

It has several razor blades' (officially five, but I have fit as many as eight) worth of storage built into a compartment that stays closed even when accidentally dropped.

I like how the larger handle gives me more grip and power. It actually seems to be a little bit more precise, even though it is larger than the Milwaukee. This makes carving things, and carving bits off of things (such as fire starters), much easier.

I use the loop at the end of the knife much more than I thought I would. It makes a good attachment point for a carabiner or a loop of rope, and it allows me to clip it to a bag or similar until I need it. I have even put a zip tie through it in order to identify it as mine when somebody else has an identical knife.

I actually prefer the tool-free blade change on this one to the Milwaukee. Neither one requires a tool to change the blade, but I prefer the DeWalt method to the Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Fastback Utility Knife

The Milwaukee Fastback cuts well and folds up fairly small, but because it is a fold-out knife, it has an unwieldy feeling when due to the large handle and shorter total length.

There is space for up to four extra razor blades of storage, compared to the DeWalt's 5-8.

It has a pocket clip on the other side which has held up well over several years of use, and I know multiple people who use this knife for everyday carry.

The button lock on the fold-out portion works well, but it occasionally opens inside my pocket. Be careful about that!

I prefer the line cutter on this one to the line cutter on the DeWalt for ease of use. When fishing or cutting lots of small cord, it works quite well.

It's a good knife overall, but the occasional opening makes it a no-go for me.

Honorable Mention: Gerber EAB

The Gerber EAB doesn't fulfill all of my needs in a razor knife because I end up cutting through a lot of larger objects and I need a longer handle for leverage.

That said, I ownone of these, and despite its size it has made a remarkable general purpose tool. It has no spare blade storage, and it requires a tool of some sort (such as a dime, butter knife, or even a screwdriver if you really feel the need to) to change the blade, but it seems to do a fairly good job overall.

Verdict for Preppers
I prefer the DeWalt in every single category other than portability. If I needed something that folded, I would choose the Milwaukee.

Good luck, and don’t forget to practice.

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