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


There are probably hundreds of different knives around made, intended or adapted for working wood with and I have made a couple of dozen through the decades that worked just fine. Some of you have noticed that my Stanley Folding Pocket Knife is different than the usual powder coated Stanley I started out espousing as the best knife in the world. Of course knife makers have every right to denounce me as some kind of heretic were I indeed talking about those made by the brilliant makers around the world and so I qualify my statement by saying pound for pound the Stanley knife I use in my daily work is the knife I reach for and I have yet to find one that matches its functionality on my bench.

The original knife with powder coated for grip

The original knife with powder coated for grip

I have used the same knife over many years and in my mind the only way to really review any woodworking tool is longterm over a number of years of daily use. No tool review I have ever read in a magazine has ever done this and that’s the difference between what we try to do.

With the powder coating removed the knife is still fully comfortable and comfortable to use.

With the powder coating removed the knife is still fully comfortable and comfortable to use.

My knife started wearing through the outer powder coat on key wear areas to the point that the unevenness felt less smooth and comfortable in my hand. I removed the thin coating all over and buffed the new surface with a polishing mop on an electric grinder. The end result is an extra special finish that took my knife to new heights. Ten minutes work or less and I have my own treatment. I would like this knife in brass all the more but this works fine. In my view this is about the best joinery knife there is. I have other knives (top) I really like too, all of those shown here have added functionality in my knife collection and so different uses.


In the hand, this knife is the very best. It’s thin blade gets tight in into the corners of dovetail tail and pin recesses yet I have only broken one blade in ten years or so that I can recall. I resharpen them for more than a year and could do so for longer but I like to keep length in my work. For shoulder lines to tenons and housing dadoes up against the square it seems to me invincible.


  1. Andrew Wilkerson on 6 January 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I’ve been using mine for about a year now I think, I bought a spare as well just to use for rough work so I can keep my good one fresh. I had to do a little bit of work on mine to get the to halves of the casting to close neatly.
    I think with the amount of sales you have generated for Stanley they should at least send you a special edition Paul Sellers solid brass version. Or better still a gold version 🙂

  2. geneduckett on 6 January 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I have looked for this knife in the U.S. and can not find it.

    • jmpurser on 6 January 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Amazon has the “Stanley 10-049 Pocket Knife with Rotating Blade” here:

      I found one at my local hardware store and picked up 4 more in one lot on ebay. I really do have a problem keeping track of the darn things.

      • Paul Sellers on 6 January 2015 at 5:56 pm

        Now you do know that this US version is good but a little different than the English model in that it’s a tad heavier and thicker. Without being biased,I find the English version better in the hand with the US model a close second.

        • jmpurser on 6 January 2015 at 6:09 pm

          I really like the way yours looks after you removed the powder coating. I imagine it feels a bit nicer to the hands as well.

    • Philo_Beddoe on 7 January 2015 at 6:51 pm

      I ordered mine from Home Depot and had it delivered to the store. They only do them online, though.

      • Paul Sellers on 7 January 2015 at 7:13 pm

        Thanks for going to the trouble. Just to point out again that this is a similar knife but not the same as the one I use. Amazon in the US is 30cents cheaper with free delivery too, if you choose to go for this one.

    • Pete T on 25 January 2015 at 3:50 pm

  3. jmpurser on 6 January 2015 at 4:11 pm

    I wasn’t too crazy about those knives when I first used them. Then I noticed the profile of Paul’s blade was different than the one that came in my Stanley 10-049. I had the “heavy duty” blade (11-040, aka sheepsfoot) that is substantially thicker and consequently harder to keep right next to the square. The Utility Blade (11-041) is thinner, slices wood easier, and holds to the square much tighter. The lighter blade with it’s long point is also easier for me to precisely locate.

    I also didn’t like how thin the knife handle was until, again, I noticed how Paul holds his. Judging by the grip I was using on mine what I had in mind was slicing all the way through the board with the marking knife. That wasn’t working too well for me.

    Now my only problem is keeping enough of these knives around so I can find one at layout time. Mine tend to migrate as I cannot break the habit of putting a folding knife into my pocket when I’m done with it.

    Still, I’m a bit disappointed in them. I was SURE the difference in Paul’s work and mine came down to the knife but apparently something else is the cause. Does anyone know what brand of pencils he uses because THAT could be the key!


    • Paul Sellers on 6 January 2015 at 5:59 pm

      I use Ticonderoga #2 or #2 1/2 and you could get both at Walmart when I was there.

    • Brian Lowery on 13 January 2015 at 2:26 am

      I never fold my Stanley marking knife. Instead, I put the point into a wine bottle cork and place it in a small drawer beneath my work bench with other layout tools. The cork protects the sharp edge of the knife and also protects me when I reach into the drawer.

  4. Chris b on 6 January 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Perhaps we could have a little fun completion who has the most unique knife, the prettiest the one the most, the one the lest blade swops etc
    mmmh got me thinking

  5. Steve Massie on 6 January 2015 at 9:56 pm

    I must say so far this knife is a joy to use after I got used to holding it. I have a couple “pricey” ones with beautiful wood handles and spear point tips that I never use anymore since buying the 10 – 049 in a local Mom and Pop Hardware Store. Yes you can buy them from Amazon a little cheaper but unless you are buying a few things all together the saving’s isn’t there.

    Besides I like to Support the Locals when I can, having said that I need to buy another one for a spare and backup. I also like the idea of removing the powdercoat and buffing it out. I usually take the finish off of wood handles and use plain wax which I think feels a lot nicer in the hand.

    Paul did you use any special compound when you buffed your knife out or just let the wheel do it’s thing.


    • Paul Sellers on 6 January 2015 at 10:23 pm

      Remember mine was well worn through so it was well started. I did use buffing compound to polish the metal to its high polished finish.

  6. Mike Starks on 6 January 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Paul, that knife is a telltale sign of someone’s involvement with you. I think Stanley should give you a royalty for helping promote it. I was at Lie-Nielsen’s open house last summer when I met a young man from New York that had a display booth. On his bench I saw your style knife and red handled mallet. So I asked where he had met you, and indeed he had. I pulled my knife out of my pocket to show him I belonged to the same school of thought!

  7. Matt_Rob on 6 January 2015 at 11:22 pm

    I received mine today via Swiss post I purchased it from the UK Amazon.I had read what Paul had written about it here on the blog and thought I might give it a try. At first blush it feels a bit on the small size for my hands,the blade super sharp with a decent lock holding it extended.I will give it a chance before I give it a yea or nay.The price is acceptable considering the build quality.

  8. friscomike on 7 January 2015 at 4:11 am

    I had a very nice and extremely sharp knife which I abandoned after using Paul’s recommendation. It works great and fits nicely in the hand. It is amazing that such a useful knife is so inexpensive. Thanks you again and again, Mr Sellers! Yes, I guess you could say this old man is a fanboy!

  9. Patrick Wright on 7 January 2015 at 6:11 am

    I also bought the Stanley after watching Paul’s videos. Thank you, Mr. Sellers. =)

  10. Max on 7 January 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I noticed just yesterday that this knife is finally available on the german Amazon 🙂

  11. Michael Cieslewicz on 11 January 2015 at 1:49 am

    I live in the U.S. ordered on eBay from Big Red Tool Box, think they are in UK. Now they have not arrived yet, I will report when they do. The product is 010-598. I am thinking Mr. Sellers should, at least get one free from Stanley. Take care.


  12. James on 28 January 2015 at 12:15 am

    I ordered one from the Big Red Tool Box in the UK through Amazon; $12.43 USD and free shipping. It was shipped 6 January and arrived yesterday, 26 January. Do a search in Amazon for “Stanley 010-598 pocket knife” to find it. The replacement blades are $7.99 USD for a 3-pack including shipping. The 10-049 replacement is $3.84 USD for one blade.

  13. Keith on 2 September 2015 at 5:47 pm

    I have used one of the similar none folding ones for the last 35 years. Love it. But rarely see them for sale.

  14. Bill Cowhig on 31 December 2016 at 3:36 pm

    I looked for the layout knife you recommend and use, 10-958, according to your 2012 blog post. Could find a 10-598, to come from UK, but was not absolutely sure it was the correct knife. See, it looks like you exchanged 95 for 58. Could it be that simple and the two numbers are so ntended to associate with the knife you love?

  15. Claudio Romero on 4 July 2017 at 7:15 am

    I was never able to get this knife, so I use a #1 chip carving knife from pfeil. I’m very happy with it, but I don’t have the stanley knife to compare.

    • Paul Sellers on 4 July 2017 at 12:43 pm

      No comparison really. But different strokes for different folks, you do get used to what you use. At one time I used such knives and they also worked for me, but not now. Is there a reason you don’t just order one from

      • Claudio Romero on 5 July 2017 at 11:01 am

        They don’t send to this location, and I’ve been trying for a long time to find a sellers who does, both in and ebay =/

        • Paul Sellers on 5 July 2017 at 5:43 pm

          Where are you?

          • Claudio Romero on 6 July 2017 at 3:55 am

            In Santiago, Chile

  16. Bertil Adania on 17 September 2018 at 3:56 pm

    “Stanley Folding Pocket Knife 0 10 598
    4.5 out of 5 stars 247 customer reviews | 5 answered questions
    Price: £7.19 & FREE UK Delivery on orders dispatched by Amazon over £20. Delivery Details
    In stock.
    This item does not ship to Sweden.”

    My luck… ??

    • Paul Sellers on 17 September 2018 at 4:50 pm

      I wonder what stops it?

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