What Is A Utility Knife Used For (And Do You Need It)

The term utility knife is widely used today. For many, this term can be incomprehensible since it’s used to describe many different types of knives.

There are many different applications for utility knives as well, making it even more confusing. So, what are utility knives?

In this article, we will answer the question of what are utility knives and what are they used for today.

What Are Utility Knives

As we previously mentioned, there are probably thousands of knives sold under the universal name of the utility knives. It almost seems that when the manufacturers can’t specify what is the knife best suited for, they name it a utility knife.

If we had to create a definition for a utility knife, it would probably be a versatile knife. A knife that can do many different things and is always useful to have around.

A utility knife sort of an alternative for the knife that is suited for a particular job. In the kitchen, it’s a knife you would use to cut small vegetables or cheese. In camping and outdoor adventures, it’s a knife that you use to cut fruit, plants, or wood.

You can think of a utility knife as a substitute teacher. It can’t do anything as good as the usual teacher but will do just fine for the moment.

It’s a knife that is supposed to be carried around at all times and used when you just need to get the job done.

What Is Considered A Utility Knife

knives resting on a table

There are way too many knives that are called utility knives on the market. What we most usually see are the main three types of utility knives today.

The three types include hunting or outdoor utility knives, kitchen utility knives, and construction or worksite utility knives.

Outdoor utility knives

The outdoor or hunting utility knives are usually the most robust, sturdy, and generally, the biggest knives of all the utility knives.

They can have up to 6 inches long blades and are usually high-grade and expensive. These knives have forged blades and must be reliable and strong because of the outdoor use.

One of the most common outdoor utility knives is a bird and trout knife. They are light, compact, sturdy, with 3 to 3.5 inches long blades.

Kitchen Utility Knives

Kitchen utility knives are much more “basic” than outdoor utility knives. They are a bit shorter, with a length of the blade around 4 inches.

They are meant to be used for most of the lightweight kitchen tasks such as cutting and chopping small vegetables, opening the packaging, and cutting small pieces of meat.

These knives are usually affordable and are many times included in the budget knife sets, although they can be bought separately as well.

Construction Utility Knife

utility knife

The last “type” of utility knife we will discuss in this article is the construction utility knife or replaceable segmented blade utility knives.

These types of knives are very common today and are used in both household and professional environments. They come with segmented or razor blades that can be easily replaced and obtained.

They are used for a wide variety of applications such as opening boxes and packaging, scratching and removing materials, and basically any lightweight cutting task.

They are often used in construction for their lightweight, portability, and versatility. They are very affordable and don’t require sharpening because of the replaceable blades that come razor sharp out of the box.

Do I Need A Utility Knife

Everyone can benefit from a utility knife, no matter the profession or workplace. There are utility knives for both domestic and professional applications that can be extremely useful.

If you don’t see yourself needing a utility knife at work, a utility knife for home or outdoors can be a solid choice. If you regularly go camping or hiking, a solid Scandinavian utility knife can be a great choice.

If you want a high-grade reliable knife that doesn’t break the bank, go for a Morakniv Craftline Basic 511 Utility Knife. It’s a terrific little utility knife with a 3.6-inch high-quality Swedish carbon steel blade. It’s extra sharp, sturdy, and super affordable.

It is available on Amazon, and you can check it out here!

Morakniv Craftline Basic 511 Fixed-Blade Knife with High Carbon Steel Blade and Combi-Sheath, 3.6 Inch
  • CRAFTSMEN'S KNIFE: Designed for craftsmen, this versatile knife with sheath is an excellent choice when you need a solid tool close at hand

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you, however, spend most of your time indoors at your residence, you can benefit from a kitchen knife for cooking purposes or a utility knife with a segmented blade.

The segmented blade knife is a must-have for any household for its affordability, ease-of-use, and versatility. You can especially benefit from this knife if you frequently do DIY projects. The one model that we recommend is the NT Cutter Lock Utility Knife.

It’s super easy to use, very affordable, and super sharp, making it great for a wide variety of household and professional applications. Check it out on Amazon here!

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For a durable and solid kitchen knife, we recommend Home Hero Kitchen Utility Knife.

It’s an excellent utility knife through and through. It has a 5-inch rust-free stainless steel blade that is razor-sharp out of the box. You will have no trouble cutting fish, meat, and vegetables with this handy little kitchen utility knife!

You can check it out on Amazon here!

Home Hero 2 Pcs Vegetable Knife with Sheath - High Carbon Stainless Steel Chopping Knife with Ergonomic Handle - Razor-Sharp Multi-Purpose Kitchen Knife for Chopping Vegetable and Cooking (Black)
  • 5" Ultra-Sharp Blade with Protective Sheath - The Home Hero utility knife with a 5-inch blade is specially designed for dicing all types of fruits and veggies, and effortlessly removing fat or sinew from meat. The included sheath helps keep it in mint condition!

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a utility knife used for in cooking?

A cooking utility knife is called a kitchen utility knife. It’s used for small, lightweight tasks such as cutting fish, thin slices of meat or preparing vegetables.

What can you cut with a utility knife?

What can you cut with a utility knife hugely depends on the type of utility knife you have. An outdoors utility knife will be able to do much more than a segmented blade replaceable knife.

A kitchen knife can cut most vegetables, fish, and slice thin small pieces of meat.

Can a utility knife cut wood?

A proper, high-grade outdoor utility knife like a Scandinavian knife can cut through wood easily.


A utility knife can be a lot of things. The main characteristic of a true utility knife is versatility.

You should be able to do a myriad of tasks with this type of knife without issues.

A true utility knife is a great alternative for almost any type of knife and can be used daily on numerous occasions.