Every year, I write up a gift guide that discusses the small items that have made a big difference in my shop. These are items that are ideal for gifts – it’s difficult to ask your toddlers for an Altendorf table saw for Christmas. I hope that these items are useful to you. If you have any complaints about this gift guide, please submit it here.
The first item is a shop knife. I thought I’d rewrite and improve my original thoughts on this knife, but I cannot.
I lost my shop knife while we were unpacking at Handworks this spring, and I have been on a quest since then to find its replacement. (The company that made my now-lost knife no longer exists.)
I am dang picky about knives. I’ve carried one every day since elementary school. So it is no small thing when I say this: I am glad I lost my favorite knife at Handworks because now I have a Kershaw Link drop-point knife in gray aluminum “blackwash,” whatever that is.
Here’s what I need in a knife:
- One-handed operation – I need to be able to quickly close and open the knife with zero fuss.
- The blade has to lock in the open position for safety.
- It has to be lightweight and compact.
- It has to have a belt clip.
- All the components need to be incredibly rugged. I hate flimsy knives.
- Oh, I also dislike flashy materials or things that look like a Klingon’s wet dream.
That is a tall order, and I rejected a lot of knives until I found the Kershaw Link. What makes the knife even more extraordinary is it is made in the U.S. and can be found for about $40 retail. (I bought mine on sale for $31.)
The blade is stainless steel, but it takes a good edge and is plenty durable when cutting wood, wire and whatever shop material is asking for a stabbing or a slashing. Totally recommended.
— Christopher Schwarz
- To read entries from past guides, click here.
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.