Benchmark Shark utility knife

A utility knife that won't lurk at the bottom of your toolbox

By Steve Maxwell

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Every few months, a manufacturer sends me a new design of utility knife to test.

So far, none have been able to sway my allegiance for my favourite models made by Olfa. After unsuccessfully attempting to usurp the throne, I usually pass the challengers to family and friends. To be honest, as I was unwrapping the new BENCHMARK SHARK KNIFE, I found myself wondering who I might give it to. It didn’t look like anything special, then I noticed a feature that made me want to keep it after all.

The Shark looks like a multi-purpose, do-just-about anything knife, but I don’t think that’s where its strength lies. It’s really a surprisingly good tool for electrical work, thanks to the wire-stripping jaws that extend below the bottom edge of the tool. Before the Shark, I had to keep both a knife and a pair of strippers in my pouch. Now, the one tool serves both purposes. A small, red toggle at the end of the handle releases the jaws for cutting electrical wire, stripping insulation and pinching crimp-on connectors. While there’s no shortage of astonishingly poor wire strippers on the market, the Shark cuts and strips well enough to gain a permanent place in the tool belt that I reserve for electrical work. It’s not as good as a pair of pro-grade strippers, but close. Despite the wide handle, the Shark is a pretty fair utility knife and a very good electrical tool for the modest $20 price tag. For more information, visit www.rapidtools.net or call 905-336-0553.


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