Review Utility Tool Knife Review... enjoy. (pic heavy, 56K death!)

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Jarhead Greasemonkey, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. Ever since I raffled off my G.E.Chen Duty knife I wanted a fixed blade that I could carry in my EDC bag to be used for general utility purposes.

    I desired a USA made blade with good steel, full tang, micarta scales, no coating, 4 to 6 inches (TNWSS), a good sheath (preferably leather), and a decently thick spine with a 90 degree edge.

    After some amount of research I found the Utility Tool Knife company

    What a perfectly synchronous name for what I was looking for!

    Little known maker from Oregon but they do sell through BladeHQ so I figured they had to be somewhat vetted as being a decent brand.

    I purchased this specimen from BHQ for $165.

    This specific model is currently not in stock, but several other models are.

    Specs from BladeHQ:

    • Overall Length:8.75"
    • Blade Length:4.00"
    • Cutting Edge:3.75"
    • Blade Thickness:0.20"
    • Blade Material:A2
    • Hardness:58-59 RC
    • Blade Style: Drop Point
    • Blade Grind:Flat
    • Finish:Stonewash
    • Edge Type: Plain
    • Handle Length:4.75"
    • Handle Thickness:0.91"
    • Handle Material:Micarta
    • Color:Brown
    • Weight:7.14 oz.
    • Sheath:Leather
    • Knife Type:Fixed Blade
    • Brand:Utility Tool Knives
    • Model:Wilderness Knife
    • Country of Origin:USA
    • Best Use:Camp/Hike, Everyday Carry, Hunting

    The format for this review will be commentary followed by the relevant pic; I'll try to keep this as fluid as possible but if something isn't clear just let me know and I'll make the adjustments necessary.

    First impressions were great; even the box had a "tough-use, utility" theme.

    I thought their logo was clever as well; Utility Tool Cutlery but logo says CUT.

    Inside packaging (the knife was in the white sleeve, then plastic, then butcher paper, more plastic)

    Logo on both knife and sheath when brand new. Was instantly pleased with fit, finish, and overall visual build quality. Also this is a decent shot of the side profile of the handle/scale which is available in 4 different patterns (some with more palm swell, no choil, etc) that are supposed to be swappable across their entire knife line.
    This is the #4 pattern.

    Got my wife a fancy tree for CHRISTmas and they were going to be running around town one day so I decided I'd see how much use I could get out of my new blade.

    First task, slice away the decently thick plastic container the tree came in.
    No issue, took some good effort as the dirt was fairly settled, but the blade sliced through the plastic.

    Next task, fashion a handle on a random piece of lumber to use as a tamp for the potting soil I placed around the tree's root ball.
    No issue there, large chunks came off with ease.

    Shot of the resulting finish and edge wear after slicing through thick plastic, dirt, and wood. No visible chips, edge deformations, etc.

    Done with the tree planting and had several hours at home by myself...

    That's when I decided to go all out and see how much crap I could dish out on this Utility tool.

    All of these "tests" are in no way scientific in nature and were used because they're similar to what all the YouToob knife master reviewers do; so it's got to be the right way to test a knife right?!?!?

    First up; paper curls. This was after all the cutting on the tree planting project.
    One was more of a tear than a slice, but may have just been the angle I was holding the blade; you be the judge.

    So then I headed out into the deep wilderness (the backyard) for some more "realistic survival scenario" type tests.

    Next test: BATONNING!!! (with a 3.75" blade, cause I'm awesome like that)

    To be fair, I'm sure whatever the hell Oak/Hickory that grows in my yard has nothing on desert Ironwood; but it's some seriously tough stuff when dried out. The logs used in this test are of unknown species, but I've only got Oak and Hickory on my property so it's one or the other. Both woods KILL my chainsaw blades when I've got to take down a tree.

    Here's the test subject. This one has been sitting for over a year and was completely dried out. I cut them into 10 to 12 inch lengths to fit in our chiminea.

    One good smack with my baton; impressive! good bite and fairly deep.

    Now, here begins the "welcome to reality" moment... Brand new knife that while full tang, is also hidden tang. The scale wraps up and over the top and bottom. (also a halfway decent top down profile of the swell of the scale, very nice in hand (TWSS). Do I beat on the Micarta to continue tesing? Uh, nope. Lets see what a few more good smacks on what little bit of tip is exposed will do.

    Here's a shot of the baton at this point

    So at this point I really had nothing else that I wanted to smack on so I figured I'd just pull the knife out and attack from a different angle...

    That thing was thoroughly wedged in place; given that I'm not Hercules, but not a weak man by any stretch of the imagination... I couldn't even budge it.

    Lightbulb! I'll use my old standby (Becker BK7) to help extract the UTK and then turn a simple review into a review and comparison!

    Mainly wanted to prove to myself that there was a place in my collection of gear for another fixed blade and that it would serve as a companion, not just another tool that can't do anything more or less than the BK7.

    This pic shows about how far down the UTK made it before I ran out of material to beat on.

    BK7 to the rescue!
    Also in this pic, the other reason that I think the UTK got stuck; not one, but TWO knots on the same plane that I was splitting...

    Close up of the knots

    This shot also shows how tightly grained this wood is... tough stuff...

    Took this pic to show the top down profiles of both blades... again, really like the overall shape of the scales.

    Detail of spine thickness of both. Also, note that where the laser etched area is on the UTK... this area does NOT have a sharpened 90 degree spine and serves as a thumb rest that doesn't cut into your thumb. Someone had their thinking cap on! Nice touch.

    Not sure why I took this pic... size comparison and side profiles maybe? Of note though, see how the screws are a bit rusty on my BK7? That's because I generally abuse and neglect this knife, and it just keeps coming back for more!

    Did a bit more batonning with the UTK after this, but didn't take pix... I don't remember anything noteworthy.

    On to the next test... the TIP TEST!!!

    Our test medium will be a very solid pallet that was used to ship some very heavy industrial equipment to a factory that my FIL worked at. There's one stacked on the other and I use it as a walkway from the back patio to the smaller fenced-off portion of the backyard that's used when I need to keep the doggies separated so the birds and the bees don't occur.

    Hammer stabs!

    ... continued next post.
  2. Here's some of the damage from the UTK. No pix of the BK7 because I could actually feel the metal starting to flex; no bueno amigo!
    UTK killed it though; super tough tip.

    Up next...CHOPPING!

    First chop, not bad. Good bite from both knives. Granted, the UTK isn't really long enough or heavy enough for this, but whatever...

    BK7 closeup

    UTK closeup

    10 chops BK7 (Cotton watching me act like an idiot; something usually reserved for her)

    10 chops UTK

    Results side by side (UTK on left; as if you couldn't figure that out)

    Next test... stab a tree as hard as I can! (I'm sure this proves something noteworthy)

    Result of tree stab depth (note the line formed by the sap)

    The Sweetgum Ball slice!
    (kinda running out of daylight and ideas at this point)

    Moar PIX!!!

    Mostly edge closeups after all testing done and knife given a quick cleaning.

    Not much to say here other than after all I could do; no evidence of any damage to the edge whatsoever.

    EDIT: In these first two pics if you open the full size view, you can see a tiny bit of deformation in the edge. I've already sharpened it since then and I just looked for the deformation; gone. Mustn't have been too bad.

    ALSO; I think I just used the word MUSTN'T for the first time in my life, awesome.







    Overall, couldn't be happier with this purchase.


    Thanx for checking out my review...

    Stay sharp!
    Tigerfan, Pilsner, unklfranco and 7 others like this.
  3. Random pic for size comparison:


    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  4. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Excellent review. That sounds like a winner.:thumbsup:
    Jarhead Greasemonkey likes this.
  5. Thanx.

    I keep expecting to see them around, but still seems to be a bit of a sleeper brand...

    Tough competition in that market though.
  6. Angus McGunnigle

    Angus McGunnigle

    Jan 1, 2013
    Great review. That looks like a heckuva good knife.
    Jarhead Greasemonkey likes this.
  7. Thanx!

    It's been great.

    Loved it so much I gave another one away in a raffle, a Kephart pattern that I think I'll get for myself eventually.

    unklfranco, jfk1110 and d762nato like this.
  8. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    Great review and good looking knife!! I think all knives should be dressed in micarta, preferably green canvas but to each his own!!! Thanks for the excellent review!!
    Jarhead Greasemonkey likes this.
  9. 100% agree!

    Micarta is the best handle material; prove me wrong...

    Not that I dislike a sexy burl on a nice fixed blade, but micarta reigns supreme for use.

    Thanx for the comment.
    jfk1110 likes this.
  10. Pomsbz


    Jul 31, 2015
    Just out of interest, why did you move on the Chen Duty?
    Jarhead Greasemonkey likes this.
  11. Looking for a US made option and a little bigger.

    But that Duty was one sweet knife!

    Still have it?
  12. Still going strong!

    You know, for all the UTILITY type tasks in my daily life...

    Pilsner likes this.
  13. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    :cool::thumbsup::thumbsup: Great review , beautiful / strong knife ...but way too small for me for chopping wood or baton use .
    Jarhead Greasemonkey likes this.
  14. Definitely not a first, or second, choice for either of those tasks.
    DocJD likes this.
  15. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    Jarhead Greasemonkey likes this.
  16. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Good review. Looks tough, I still like a knife with a 1/8 or close to that thickness. Thanks for taking the time, and fun, doing the testing.
    Jarhead Greasemonkey likes this.
  17. Mikel_24


    Sep 19, 2007
    Beware, that might very well be considered as too hard use...

    Don't forget to put on your safety squints.


    PD: Good looking knife. Proves that some things don't need to be overcomplicated to perform well.
    jfk1110 and Jarhead Greasemonkey like this.
  18. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    How's that knife doing a year in now?? Reread the review and again hell of a job n good pics too!
    Jarhead Greasemonkey likes this.
  19. Hey thanx!

    Yeah, it's doing just great...

    I have recently started carrying it everyday, because why not, and so it's getting a bit more use.

    Over the last year I've basically carried it on weekends doing yardwork and such so it's been keeping the dust off it for sure.

    Used the spine to spark a few fires and there is a bit of wear there.

    I'll try to get some updated pix soon and post them up.
    jfk1110 likes this.
  20. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    Thanks. Glad to hear its serving you well. Always thought it was a good looking knife. Look forward to seeing your future endeavors with it!
    Jarhead Greasemonkey likes this.

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