The Stanley knife I use

For more information on the woodworker’s knife, see our beginner site Common Woodworking.

Someone posted on Youtube to ask me to talk about the Stanley knife I am using in my videos on making the European workbench used by joiners, carpenters and furniture makers through the centuries. I guarantee one thing, at least I think, they would have loved to own the Stanley knife I have been using for years. It has become the only knife I use for 99.99% of my work and every students that discovers it demands to know where they can get it. I walk in my local Richard Williams in Deganwy and buy them there, but I have bought them in bulk. It’s not the US Stanley 10-049 folding pocket knife, not quite, but they look almost exactly the same. The UK is slightly more lightweight and more refined and the blades are a different shape, that said, they are both excellent knives for fine woodworking and the 10-049 blade could easily be reshaped if preferred. The Stanley 0-10-958 is exactly the tool I want for all my daily work no matter the wood. Though the blades are typically replaceable, I sharpen mine in the tool as I would any fixed blade knife. A blade usually lasts me a couple of years and I sharpen up most days and often several times per day. For fine or rough work this knife cuts it, no matter how you slice it, and it will be the best £9.50 you ever spent on a knife. Many people are searching for a good, quality dovetail knife to reach into the inside corners of the different types of dovetails. If you buy one of these knives for cutting shoulder lines for any joint type you will discover a close and true friend second to none.


Both knives have a comfortable and attractive epoxy coated die-cast metal body folding pocket knife. They close with a simple spring mechanism that enables the blade to be locked securely in the extended position or stored safely within the body. The knife comes with 2 x 5901 (Stanley 0-10-958). Spare blades are contained in the handle as per other Stanley utility knives.

As I said, I resharpen my blade over and over a thousand times or more in its lifetime, but replacement blades are only £3.50 for three. On the other hand, I discovered that Stanley makes a disposable knife that actually has the same 5901 (for the Stanley 0-10-958) blade in the plastic holder and these fit their Stanley 0-10-958. You can buy these in packs of three for under £1.50.


As you can see, I advocate diamond plates for sharpening and I have 3×8 plates, but smaller ones will do the same for knives. This is simply a matter of eyeballing the same angles on a fine plate and rubbing back and forth until the new cutting edge emerges. Any burr quickly falls of as soon as you use it.


    1. James, if you go to and put “Stanley-STA010598-Folding-Pocket-Knife” in the search box a knife shows up that appears to be the very same one that Mr. Seller’s uses. Note however that the part number in the URL has the 9 and the 5 reversed (there is no part number on the advertisement).

      It’s sold by a British outfit called The Big Red Toolbox and the price is $11.77 with free shipping— and no tax!

      1. thanks for the link. i just purchased mine. can’t wait until mid january.

  1. I opted for the Stanley 10-049 as that is what is available to us in the States, While it may not be quite the same, I’ve found it to be the best marking knife I’ve used and I thank you for bringing to my attention (your book and videos). I sharpen the blade per your instruction which works well. I have an extra package of blades of which the count is 20. Being 52 years old, it’s odd to think that they will most likely outlive my use for them.

  2. is the knife a double bevel edge? and if so, does that case issues? I have stuck with single bevel edge blades because they ride flush to my marking equipment, plus the single bevel edge helps wedge the blade tight as it goes along the cut.

    1. It is double bevel on the same edge and I get equal results to single bevel by altering to the 10-degree bevel of the knife. I am about to enter the realms of controversy again on this issue and will be posting shortly on knives.
      Thanks, Bill

  3. Thanks Paul. Indeed a great knife, mine is on Its way.
    Thanks for all that you do buddy, great job.

  4. I bought the 10-049 and love it so much that I bought another to carry in my pocket. They are slim so it is unobtrusive in my pocket and works great for breaking down boxes at work. (Restaurant)

    Needless to say, i don’t use my “shop only” 10-049 for mundane task, it is strictly for marking my wood and knife walls. OK, I do sharpen my pencils with it.
    Ace is where I found the knife in the US but they only sell single replacement blades, there are two styles to choose from, so I’d like to find a multi pack somewhere.

    Another great tool tip from Paul!

  5. I reshaped my U.S.-model Stanley knife today. Compared to that rounded sheep’s-foot shape or whatever Stanley calls it on the original blade, this pointy version is a little easier to use when you visually compensate for the bevel by tilting. I actually printed out a side-view image of the U.K. blade off the internet and measured the angle of the tip 🙂 . It turned out to be the ol’ familiar value of 30 degrees (+/- a couple degrees). Also the UK blade is 5 mm shorter so I included that change too. I like it ^_^ .

  6. I use the OLFA SVR-2, wit 10mm ultra sharp snap off blades. I like the ability to extend the blade as far as needed, a plus they are avalible in USA.

  7. I bought one from RS as it was the only place I could find it in Australia and was going to be $54 shipping from the UK in the link above. I paid $23 free delivery. I’ve been using Olfa for years and although I can see how the Stanley will be better and has a thicker blade I wasn’t too impressed with the quality. The screw head (Phillips) was burred which I hate. Especially for a brand new knife that will be used in the hand. Then I noticed a big gap of light through the two halves of the handle and had to open it up and file down the screw mounts a little just to get the two halves to meet nicley. I took photos to explain but can’t upload here I don’t think. For a product made in the UK I expected better quality control. This is like buying something from China. You shouldn’t have to spend 30mins fixing up a brand new knife straight out of the packet. I also had to deburr the plastic parts inside to get to to open and close nicely. I think mine must have been made with old worn out moulds, perhaps it was made on a Friday as they were about to head down the local pub.

    1. You are right, what you got is far from typical. I have probably bought fifty of these knives through the years for different reasons and never had anything but top quality.

  8. I watch Mr Sellers videos and have seen the pocket Stanley knife being used allot. I liked the look of it and how well it seemed to handled the tasks. I had been looking for a good woodworkers marking knife and had watched endless videos on you tube on all the different knives available, but could not make my mind up. Then I read this blog post by Mr Sellers with his recommendation for the Stanley knife which finally motivated me to buying one from Amazon. And… Nope, I’ve not regretted it at all, in fact I love it. It is ideal for the workshop and is used on other tasks besides woodwork. It’s strong and robust for a small knife and easier to handle then it’s bigger brother the well known Stanley utility knife. Thank you Mr Sellers, another recommendation of yours that has been a big help.

  9. Is it possible to buy this knife in Australia? I looked into buying one from the Tool Stop website in UK: AU$12.60 for the knife, and AU$64.40 for postage! What a cheek!

    1. I bought one in Australia from rs components. I think I then found it cheaper somewhere and bought another. Look into rs and if you still think the price is too high or can’t find them let me know and I’ll look up where I got mine. They are great litle knives.

  10. For anyone buying the UK version “Stanley Folding Pocket Knife 0-10-598″… the knife comes with two Stanley blades. Spare blades (STA011221) come in packs of 3 for £1.95 from Amazon UK. But you can buy a box of 50 Swann-Morton SM-01 blades for £5.89, also from Amazon UK. These fit perfectly and are definitely sharper out of the box than the Stanley blades – will pop hairs off your arm – which isn’t surprising as Swann-Morton are world renowned for their surgeons scalpels!

    1. Thanks, good to know. It’s probably time I replaced mine. I was going to sharpen it but for that price I don’t think I’ll bother. I have enough other tools that need sharpening.

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