Hand Tool Reviews - Irwin Hobby Knife and Utility Knife Blades
Product Review Summary: In this series of DIY tool reviews we review Irwin knife blades and examine the statement that there are different blades for different applications when using a hobby knife. We needed an explanation for the number of different types and shapes of blade and assurance that they all have a use for the DIY enthusiast rather than just being a sales gimmick.
A Tool Review and Explanation of the Different Types of Irwin Hobby knife blade, Folding knife blade and Utility Knife Blade
During our initial investigation into the products available we found that Irwin essentially produce two types of replaceable knife blade.
The standard carbon steel blade which, although extremely strong, if not used properly can snap off and hold a potential danger depending on it's trajectory. Then there is the revolutionary Bi-Metal blade which simply bends under pressure and will not snap. We snapped a carbon blade in this demonstration video and it frightened the DIY Doctor dog, Bhodi, half to death!
The carbon blade has been around for years and is the standard blade for almost all makes of utility and hobby knife. Used properly it is cheap, effective and does the job perfectly. If you are simply cutting in straight lines then the carbon blade is perfect in all it's shapes. Two great ideas utilised in the carbon range by Irwin are the carbon 4-point blade and the 4 notches used for extending the blade when the end has been snapped off.
Based on the old hobby knife blade idea of snapping off the end of the blade when it has gone blunt, the 4-point blade allows the last 5mm or so to be snapped off, at either end of the blade, to get 4 blades out of one. The additional 2 notches in the top of the blade allow the user to extend the blade out of the knife when the tip has been snapped off. What a great idea!.
The Bi Metal blade is a revolution. It is virtually unbreakable and stays sharp (on the same type of work) up to 3-times longer than a standard carbon blade.
A further feature on Irwin blades that we found really useful is the introduction of a snub-nosed blade. This is a great safety feature in that it makes injuries caused by the point of the blade a thing of the past.
Scroll down to see the DIY Doctor's final verdict on the range of Irwin Utility Knife blades.
Special Features of Irwin Hobby and Utility Knife Blades
Depending on your chosen blade from the Irwin range, it can include the following
Traditional utility knife blade with snap-off feature giving you twice as much usage as a standard blade
Hooked-edge blade for easy cutting of carpets
High speed steel cutting edge
Shatter proof bi-metal blade
Snub-nosed blade for injury prevention
In our tool reviews we found great uses for all Irwin blades, as we had done with their utility and folding knives and our conclusion was that, with the range or Irwin blades, no leaf has been left unturned even with their standard blades that provide a break-off edge. The bi-metal blue blade was our favorite by far. The fact that it is shatter proof can only be a good thing, especially when it comes to safety.