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The Best Utility Knives & Box Cutters For Everyday Use

Best Utility Knives and Box Cutters 0 Hero
Photo: Aerocrafted Sideslip Utility Knife

With easily-replaceable and widely available blades, the ability to perform finer, more intricate tasks than your average EDC knife, and designs that lend themselves to industrial use, utility knives and boxcutters can make for stellar additions to any EDC loadout. With so many different types and models on the market, it can be difficult to know where to even begin one’s search. Well aware of this reality, we’ve thoroughly scoured the segment to deliver this curated guide to the best utility knives and boxcutters. 

The Best Utility Knives & Boxcutters

Utility Knives: 101

The 6 Main Areas To Consider When Buying A Utility Knife

Before we dive into our picks for the best utility knives on the market, let’s first unpack half a dozen of the most important areas you should consider when shopping. 

Type: Boxcutters and utility knives come in several basic varieties, ranging from small pocketable models to full-size heavy-duty boxcutters — both of which can also vary in how their blade is deployed. 

Blade Storage: With even heavy-duty utility blades measuring just 0.025” thick, these items are compact enough to easily be stored in a utility knife’s handle — a setup that a great many full-size utility knives often employ. 

Lock & Deployment: While there are utility knives of the fixed blade variety, the vast majority of models on the market feature deployable blades that typically feature a sliding or folding operation to be revealed. Once deployed, most utility knives also sport some type of locking mechanism to keep the blade in place and stop it from retracting during use. 

Size: Boxcutters and utility knives can hugely vary in size, from large full-sized models to ultra-pocketable items — the former of which better lend themselves to industrial use while the latter is better geared towards EDC applications.  

Blade Release Mechanism: Almost without exception, practically every utility knife on the market will feature a replaceable utility blade, though how these blades are loaded and swapped out can depend based on a given model’s release mechanism. Most modern boxcutters and utility knives are equipped with easy-to-use tool-free quick-release mechanisms — some of which are even magnetic.

Materials: Just like any other knife or piece of EDC gear, the material used to craft the frame, body, and other elements that comprise a utility knife will play an enormous role in a model’s overall quality. 

Stanley Classic 99 Utility Knife

Stanley Classic 99 Utility Knife
Photo: Home Depot
  • Stellar value
  • Proven 70+ year-old design
  • Non-ergonomic design
  • Finicky slider mechanism.

Best Budget Pick: First introduced in 1952, the Stanley Classic 99 is unequivocally one of the most trusted and widely-used utility knives in existence, with a rugged yet minimalistic design that’s gone pretty much entirely unchanged for more than 70 years. Backed by a lifetime warranty, the knife is constructed around a die-cast zinc alloy body with a patented InterLock nose and internal storage for three blades. The Classic 99 comes with carbon steel alloy blades that are deployed via a three-position locking thumb-slider. At less than $10, the Classic 99 offers pretty unbeatable value, too, especially considering the fact it lends itself so well to industrial use.

Body Material: Die-Cast Zinc
Blade Deployment: Locking Thumb-Slider
Length: 6”

Stanley FATMAX Xtreme Twin Blade Utility Knife

Stanley FATMAX Xtreme Twin Blade Utility Knife
Photo: Amazon
  • Offers two deployable blades
  • Has a comfortable, ergonomic rubber grip
  • Uses interlocking blade sliders
  • Boasts internal storage for 9 blades.
  • Limited real world uses.

Best Upgrade Pick: Protected by a limited lifetime warranty, the Stanley FATMAX Xtreme Twin Blade Utility Knife is a modern take on a boxcutter that features separate side-by-side deployable blades, allowing its user to swap between the two on the fly. Fitted with a molded rubber grip and an integrated lanyard loop, the body of this utility knife is crafted from stainless steel and features internal storage for up to 9 additional blades plus interlocking sliders that only allow one blade to be deployed at once. What’s more, either blade can also be swapped out with incredible ease thanks to the use of Stanley’s INSTANTCHANGE system. 

Body Material: Stainless Steel & Rubber
Blade Deployment: Dual Locking Thumb-Sliders
Length: 9.06”

Snap-On Button Lock Utility Knife

Snap On Button Lock Utility Knife
Photo: Forester Shop
  • Made by a highly-trusted brand
  • Has a rugged aluminum frame
  • Features a sturdy button-lock
  • Thumb-disc doesn’t offer the best grip

Best Industrial Use Pick: Founded in Milwaukee in 1920, Snap-On has long been viewed as something of the Rolls-Royce of the automotive tool world, producing some of the finest hardware, tools, and accessories that money can buy. As such, it comes as no surprise that the company makes a terrific utility knife. Built around a rugged aluminum handle with a pocket knife-style button-lock mechanism, this boxcutter features a spring-loaded quick-change blade system. Snap-On also stands behind this product with a lifetime warranty.

Body Material: Aluminum
Blade Deployment: Folding Button Lock
Length: 6.375”

ToughBuilt Scraper Utility Knife

ToughBuilt Scraper Utility Knife
Photo: Lowes
  • Utility blade pivots to become scraper
  • Offers excellent grip
  • Features a built-in pry-bar
  • Bulky size

Best Multi-Function Pick: Released in August of 2021, the ToughBuilt Scraper Utility Knife features a metal and triple-injected plastic handle with a rubber-coated grip, internal blade storage, a quick-release blade setup, a button-equipped thumb-slide lock, a built-in lanyard loop, and a raised thumb-guard. On top of an integrated pry-bar and paint can opener, what really makes this item special is its patented switch mechanism that allows the blade to pivot 90°, transforming it from a utility knife into a scraper at the push of a button. 

Body Material: Metal & Triple-Injected Plastic
Blade Deployment: Locking Thumb-Slider
Length: 6.0”

Gerber Prybrid

Gerber Prybrid
Photo: Amazon
  • Features a bevy of integrated tools
  • Crafted around rugged G-10 handle
  • Backed by lifetime warranty
  • Small size can limit grip under hard use

Best Outdoor/Survival Pick: Offering ample utility in a compact and hardwearing 4.25”, 2.9oz package, the Gerber Prybrid is a pocketable pry tool that packs an integrated retractable utility blade. Offered in several color options, the Prybrid is constructed around an incredibly durable G-10 handle with stainless steel hardware and tools. A small slit in the side of the frame also allows the blade to act as a seatbelt/strap cutter even when the boxcutter’s removable/replaceable blade is retracted. It doesn’t end there, however, as this utility knife also boasts small and large bit drivers, a wire stripper, a nail-puller, an integrated lanyard hole, and a bottle opener — amenities that collectively make for an immensely utilitarian piece of both outdoor and EDC gear alike.  

Body Material: G-10 & Stainless Steel
Blade Deployment: Thumb-Slider
Length: 4.25”

The James Brand The Palmer

The James Brand The Palmer
Photo: The James Brand
  • Sold in 6 anodized color options
  • Ultra-compact size
  • Great fit & finish
  • Tiny size & lack of texture limit grips

Best Everyday Carry Pick: Utilizing the Portland everyday carry gear brand’s first patented mechanism, The James Brands’ The Palmer utility knife is constructed from anodized 6064 aluminum and features a spring-loaded thumb-slider blade deployment and retraction system and a quick-release blade swapping setup. Weighing in at only 2.5oz, this utility knife’s compact 3.5” x 1.5” x 0.4” (closed) dimensions make for an immensely pocketable piece of everyday carry gear that can be slipped in a pocket or bag where it will hardly be noticed until needed. Sold with a TJB-logoed high carbon steel utility blade and a color-contrasting lanyard, The Palmer is also offered in four vibrant anodized color options, as well as black and grey versions.

Body Material: Aluminum
Blade Deployment: Patented Thumb-Slider
Length: 3.5”

FocusWorks Bob the Boxcutter

FocusWorks Bob the Boxcutter
Photo: FocusWorks
  • Fantastic grip despite small size
  • Compact dimensions
  • Has unique bolt-action mechanism & magnetic blade-change system
  • Open bolt-action cutout susceptible to being exposed to dirt & grime

Best Compact Pick: As hardwearing as it is compact, the FocusWorks Bob the Boxcutter is a small 3.25” x 1.0” x 0.5” item with an anodized aluminum frame that boasts a spring-loaded bolt-action deployment mechanism with a brass slide. The use of a bearing-guided bolt handle results in an ultra-smooth bolt-action mechanism that also offers a major fidget factor. Tipping the scales at a featherweight 1.3oz, the Bob the Boxcutter also features a unique magnetic quick-change blade retention system.

Body Material: Aluminum
Blade Deployment: Bolt-Action
Length: 3.25”

Aerocrafted Sideslip Utility Knife Titanium

Aerocrafted Sideslip Utility Knife
Photo: Aerocrafted
  • Features a titanium frame comprised of just 2 interlocking parts
  • Has a bronze slider
  • Great craftsmanship
  • Made in small batches by a boutique brand
  • High-end materials come at fairly high price

Best American-Made Pick: Developed by an aviation-inspired boutique EDC brand headed up by a small team of pilots, fabricators, and aerospace engineers, the Aerocrafted Sideslip Utility Knife Titanium is a minimalistic yet top-shelf take on an everyday carry-able boxcutter. The Sideslip is pieced together around an aerospace-grade grade 5 titanium alloy skeleton chassis that not only consists of only two interlocking parts but is also entirely devoid of any fasteners. Made in America, this utility knife also boasts a tool-less quick-change blade system, an integrated edge-saver guard that protects the blade when not deployed, a key ring, a frame-integrated pocket clip, and a low-friction bronze slider that will develop a patina over time with regular use.

Body Material: Titanium
Blade Deployment: Sideslip Slider
Length: 2.67”


Big Idea Design TI Utility Knife
Photo: Big Idea Design
  • Uses a flipper-style deployment
  • Boasts a frame-locking solid grade 5 titanium handle
  • Features an integrated bottle opener
  • Comes with a reversible titanium deep-carry pocket clip
  • Carries an expensive MSRP
  • Bottle opener only usable with blade removed

Best Premium Pick: The Big Idea Design TI Utility Knife is a high-end folding boxcutter that’s inspired by top-shelf pocket knives. Spanning 3.8” closed and 6.2” with its blade deployed, the TI Utility Knife features a solid grade 5 titanium handle with a frame-lock mechanism and a reversible grade 4 titanium deep-carry pocket clip. Like many of today’s most popular EDC knives, this model’s blade is deployed via a flipper tab. On top of an integrated lanyard hole, this titanium EDC item also features a bottle opener cutout that can be accessed when the blade is removed — a task that’s actually remarkably easy and tool-free thanks to a quick-change mechanism.

Body Material: Titanium
Blade Deployment: Folding Frame-Lock
Length: 6.2”

The Best Keychain Knives For EDC

Photo: The James Brand Elko

Want to check out another list of compact blade options? Then be sure to head over to our guide to best keychain knives for everyday carry for a handpicked selection of tiny blades that punch well over their weight.