We’ve found that utility knives are excellent companions to folding knives, and in some situations, they even win out as the preferred alternative. Here are five reasons why it can be advantageous to have a utility knife in your EDC collection.
1. Always have a sharp edge.
If we had to choose only one reason to carry a utility knife, it would be how easy it is to always have a razor sharp edge. Sure, you can become proficient with a good knife sharpener and put a hair-splitting edge on your supersteel folder, but if you’re anything like us, you’ll let that thing get butter knife dull between sharpenings. With a utility knife, you can swap in a new blade in seconds (especially with our Sideslip’s tool-less blade change) and always have a razor edge with you.
2. Fly under the radar.
It’s nice to have a discrete cutting tool to use when a full-size folder may raise eyebrows. In a more industrial or rural locale, a full-size folder can be great. However, in the office or around town there tend to be those who haven’t seen the light when it comes to EDC knives, and flicking open a tactical folder might draw some unwanted attention. As an alternative, a small utility knife is so discreet it will easily go unnoticed.
3. Minimize weight when it matters.
For activities when ounces become pounds and pounds become pain, you quickly start to think about each thing you carry. We don’t ever like to be without a good cutting tool when hiking or backpacking, and when minimizing weight is paramount, it’s awesome to have the option of a sub 0.5 ounce utility knife. It would be a challenge to find a lighter weight knife than our 0.31 ounce aluminum Sideslip!
4. Never be without a knife when dressing up or dressing down.
A small utility knife is a great option when certain attire precludes carrying larger knives. A thin utility knife will disappear in a suit pocket where a folder might be too bulky. At the other end of the spectrum, you probably aren’t going to have your full-size folder clipped into your boardshorts when you’re sipping margaritas on the beach. A unique advantage of utility knives is that they're often able to be carried on a key ring, so when you’re only going to grab your phone and your keys, you won’t be without a knife.
5. Decrease the hassle of airline travel.
Yes, it’s one of the annoyances of modern living, but flying commercially usually means no knife without checking baggage. If you’re traveling fast and light, you can simply remove the disposable blade from your utility knife before going through security, and then pick up a cheap pack of new blades at your destination.
Utility knives and folders each have their strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be an either/or problem! Carrying a utility blade in addition to a folding knife gives you the option to preserve the blade of your folder or perform intricate cutting tasks when the situation calls for it. However you choose to carry a utility knife, you really can’t lose!