Scandinavia's Answer to the Utility Knife

Here are all the Hultafors knives I have. From left to right they are: painter’s knife, general purpose knife, heavy-duty knife, electrician’s knife, and plumber’s knife. These are just some of the knives the company makes.

The metal “button” on the leg of a pair of European-style work pants (these are Bjornklader brand pants) is what led me to this kind of knife. I wondered what the button was for so I went looking…

It turns out the button is designed to hold a sheathed work knife. The sheath clips onto the button…

The sheath fits through a loop on the pants—which keeps it from swinging or flopping around. The knife “clicks” into the sheath and should not fall out. As an added measure, these pants include a piece of webbing that snaps around the end of the hilt. This particular knife and sheath are made by Mora.

I use the Chisel Knife (model STK) more than any other European work knife; the end of the blade is a chisel and the side is a knife. It’s a good general purpose chisel and cutter. I frequently use it for scraping caulk, filler or glue out of inside corners. The long back edge of the knife is robust enough to be beat with a hammer so you can quickly notch framing by driving it into the edge of stud and then breaking out the waste.


The Electrician’s Knife (ELK) is designed for stripping wire and cable. The small blade on the top is for slicing the outer casing; the main blade for stripping the wires. I found this knife useful in carpentry as well for carving small reliefs on trim, cleaning up copes, and fine tuning scribes. It’s great for whittling pencils.

Hultafors' Painter’s Knife (MK) is just what it sounds like—a knife for painters. The slotted screw driving tip can be used for removing and installing the occasional cover plate or drywall screw. The edge will cut plastic, packaging, and whatever else a painter might need to cut. The notch just back from the tip is designed for opening paint cans…

To open a can with the painter’s knife, put the bump on the back of the blade under the edge of the lid and twist the grip. It contacts more of the rim than a screwdriver would and is less likely to damage a lid that does not want to come off.

The Plumber’s Knife (VVS) is kind of interesting. The blade can be used for cutting and for scraping the burr off the inside of pipe as small as 1/2-inch in diameter. It’s hard to see in this photo, but the flat of the blade has been cross-hatched just out from the handle. This cross-hatched area functions as a file and can be used to deburr the outside of copper pipes.

This Craftsman’s Knife with a friction grip (RFRGH) is a general purpose carpentry and woodworking tool. I use it for most of the things I might use a utility knife for, plus some a utility knife’s flexible blade won’t do—like whittling or hacking the edge of a piece. The sharp pointed tip will fit all kinds of places and can be used for scoring.

The Heavy Duty Knife (GK) is a beefier version of the general purpose knife and is designed for serious cutting tasks. The back edge of the blade is thicker than that of other knives and can be hit with a hammer to assist in cutting, chopping, and demo. It’s useful when dealing with heavy materials like framing lumber—or even metal studs.

When you’re wearing regular clothes you can snap the sheath over your belt, though it’s really much more convenient to hang it from a metal button on your vest or pant leg. This sheath holds one knife but Hultafors also makes a double with space for one knife next to another.

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