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.
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.
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.