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Stanley Quick Change Retractable Utility Knife

A utility knife is one of the staples of almost any complete home tool box, and for many people, it’s used every day at work. There’s nothing wrong with a “standard” metal utility knife, but if you want something a little bit better and don’t mind paying a few bucks more, check out Stanley’s InstantChange retractable knife (model 10788).

The InstantChange retractable knife is similar to other utility knives; it holds a razor blade that can be extended or retracted with a flick of the thumb.  But this knife has many more features that may make it desirable.

Rather than just being a long piece of hard metal, this knife has a plastic handle on the bottom side, a rubber grip on the top side, and a rubber thumb rest near the blade. These features make the Stanley knife more comfortable both to hold and to use.  The thumb rest in particular is nice when you do a lot of cutting, or when you have to cut through something tough.

The blade can be removed easily — just extend the blade, hold down the yellow button, and remove it. A new blade (or the other side of the same blade) can be installed just as simply — hold down the yellow button and push the blade all the way in. Both the yellow release button and the slider on top of the knife can stick occasionally, but this doesn’t happen often and it doesn’t significantly affect performance.

This knife also has room to store extra blades, about three or for extras, so you’ll always have a spare on hand.  The extra blades can be stowed in the base of the knife, and they can be accessed quickly and easily, without having to use any tools.  There is a hole at the bottom of the handle, so the knife can be hung from a hook, peg, or nail.

There is a slit cut into the base of the knife, exposing a tiny portion of the razor blade, which allows this knife to be used for cutting string. If you do a lot of string cutting, this could be a useful feature. The blade is recessed enough that there’s not a lot of risk of injury from the exposed edge.

Aside from being practical, the Stanley InstantChange knife looks a lot more appealing than other utility knives. The gray metal and black plastic and rubber pieces fit well together, and the knife curves slightly, which makes it stand out from many other knives. This knife would be a great addition to any tool box, and it would make a good gift for anyone who needs a durable utility knife.