For more information on the woodworker’s knife, see our beginner site Common Woodworking.
This blog is not saying this knife is better than my Stanley 0-10-0598. It is most likely I will never turn loose of mine now as I love it. Someone wrote to me and pointed out the blades of the Swann Morton knife blades looked very similar to the Stanley blade used in the 0-10-0598 so instead of risking buying blades that did not fit I thought I would try out the knives that seemed to go along with the blades and with the woodworking too. The blade key that fits the Stanley is slightly different to the Swann Morton but the Swann Morton fits the Stanley perfectly too. The only difference is at this key area but rest assured I have tried them and they are interchangeable with not compromise. Otherwise the two blades are absolutely identical, made in Sheffield and with the same thickness shape, size everything. The difference too is that you can buy a pack of 50 blades for around £6 when a pack of 3 Stanleys cost about £1 a piece. This does not mean throw away is the way to go just that you can have a supply that should last you about 50 years if you use them at the rate I do sharpening them, which is about a year or so.
The handles Swann Morton make that I bought were the SM00 and the SM0-R (retractable). The SM00 is a fixed blade knife and because I rarely retract the blade because it is always in use and ready for action, my preference was the less expensive SM00. It is rock solid and ready to go. It is not just that though. I like the extra length in the handle. It’s slim but not too slim and skinny for my big hands. My fingers wrap comfortably around the handle and its slim rectangular profile aligns the knife perfectly to task. I think you will see me using this knife a lot if for no other reason than it stands out on the bench more than the Stanley. Difference in price? The Swann Morton comes in from Amazon.co.uk at under £3 whereas the Stanley 0-10-0598 seems to rock steady around £7. So over three times the price.
The SM0-R is much bulkier and this I didn’t care for at all. I can see it being handy for travelling with but then so is my Stanley. As I said, I didn’t care for the SM0-R but I will give it an extended trial period and see how I feel in three months or so.