Question of the Day: What is your perfect work knife?

What is your perfect work knife?

Does such a thing exist?

In short, no, but there are a few that come damn close. Obviously depending on your line of work this knife will vary. For my day job I am an estimator/project manager for a pest control/construction company. My day consists of inspecting attics, crawlspaces, basements, roofs and any other cramped, dark, damp and uncomfortable places that you can think of. I constantly have to cut fiberglass insulation, tips off of caulk tubes and pop cut “peek” holes into sheetrock.

I need a knife that is long enough to do all of these things, slim enough that it doesn’t get in my way while maneuvering through cramped tight places, and non threatening enough not to scare any customer when I take it out.

I work in an area that New York City folks love to buy their second homes, and have to keep them in mind when picking my work knife. Even though it might be legal and perfectly fine, they can still get a little squirrely around anything seemingly “dangerous”.

Previously I have used a Buck model 110 to fill this niche but the tip is too thin, and it has a tendency to snap on me.



Next up was a Case knives large stockman which gave me great versatility in the three blades, but didn’t lock which severely limited how much pressure I could put on it, but other than that was a perfect knife for the job. The clip point blade was long enough to slice insulation effectively, while the sheepsfoot blade was perfect for cutting cordage on the job site. While I love this large stockman, it wasn’t the right work knife for me(I do tend to carry it as a backup knife though while working). 


I then went to an ESEE Izula I. While definitely stout enough to be up to the task of any job, it just isn’t long enough to perform the tasks I needed. As well, I had more than a few clients comment on why I was wearing a “weapon”.


So far my search for the “perfect” work knife had been unsuccessful up to that point.

However, about a year ago I finally found what seems to be the perfect work knife for my situation;

The Smith & Sons Mudbug lockback pocket knife. The Mudbug is a large sodbuster designed lockback knife made by Great Eastern Cutlery with a few Smith & Sons touches added to it. Made of American 1095 High Carbon steel and paper micarta handles, this knife has been my go to work knife for almost a year now.


It is large enough to do the job, opens slowly with two hands(although you can do it one handed as well), and is tough enough to stab into sheetrock, or cut hardened foam out of a corner post.


As well as being a workhorse that sharpens easily and retains it’s edge well, it’s a very nonthreatening looking knife. It’s not particularly pointy, it doesn’t open with a flick of the wrist, and while on the larger side for a folding knife it looks very non tactical.

Since I purchased the Mudbug I haven’t had any desire to search for a new work knife, and for me, a guy that is constantly upgrading my tools, that is saying something.

What type of knife do you carry at work? a slipjoint? folder? fixed blade? or does your work not allow knives at all?





  1. Sam L. says:

    Being retired, I don’t work, so carry whatever I like. I do help out cooking with Scouts; for that i carry an 8″ Pur Komachi chef knife, a Dexter 6″ utility, and an old Gerber 3″ paring knife. Haven’t used the Dexter, but have cut myself with the others.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Mora makes knives exactly for this for 11 dollars.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Currently I work from home as a tech support and call center agent so my “need” to carry a knife at work has ended. In the past however I have done everything from make cowhide rugs to backstage theatrical work. Though I have bought many fine knives and used everyone of them I must confess that my go to work knife is a Byrd Cara Cara II with full stainless handles. It may have only cost $30 but I have used it as a hammer, a pry bar, a construction adhesive scraper, a cooking tool, and from time to time as a chisel when the shop was too far to walk to. In over five years it has never closed unexpectedly, slipped from my hand, developed blade play in any direction or been damaged by anything I’ve done to it. I’m currently using it as a canvas to try customization methods on. The blade has been shortened so as to be less tactical and the spine has been file worked. I plan on stippling the scales soon for more traction. For the money, I’ve never had a knife that can stack up and frankly it’s making it hard to move on. How does one throw down $125+ for a paramilitary2 when the Byrd can do all that and more?

  4. sagebrushracer says:

    when I had lend a knife for horrible dirty work, it was my Mercator K55K, and it was used to cut out carpet from a home that was being demolished. Did great, nearly as sharp as a utility knife, but much better reach.

    My personal knife is a spyderco Endura 4 light weight. Gray scales, cause low key is better, and was cheaper.

  5. Mark says:

    I work in an office-I’ve found SAK’s to be very useful and people friendly. I prefer a Spartain or Camper. Have yet to have anyone make a weapon comment-not sure if it’s the cork screw, red handle or both! Then again, I do live in Texas!
    On weekends around the yard I carry my Camper(the saw blade is useful) or an Opinel 9 in stainless steel.
    I carry stainless because some of the meds I take combined with peresperation will destroy/corrode high carbon while it sits in my pocket.

  6. Spencer B says:

    The cheapest one that will do the job so if it breaks I’m not pissed I broke or destroyed a nice knife…. Also I work in NYC so bringing a nice knife to work is silly thankfully most police officers I run into understand the need for a “work knife” and only a few will actually take the knife! So hardware store specials $19.99 or less work for me!

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Question of the Day: What is your perfect work knife?

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