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

DSC_0056This 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. DSC_0065The 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.


Top line pack of 50 blades, second line SM00 knife handle, third line SM0-R knife handle, fourth line shipping and handling (hard to believe I know) and last line VAT at 20% (Even harder to believe when back in 1983 it was 3-5%) That’s taxes for you. Benjamin Franklin said that there are only two certainties in life, death and taxes.

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. DSC_0060My 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 at under £3 whereas the Stanley 0-10-0598 seems to rock steady around £7. So over three times the price.


Here is the URL. I’m cutting down on direct links these days as too many people include them in comments and it cuts against my endeavour to keep a clean site. If you are interested you will not mind typing in the URL I am sure.

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.


  1. Ken Haygarth on 28 November 2015 at 11:56 am

    I have been using The Swann Morton SM00 for a while now, along with the Stanley 0-10-0598. Both great marking knifes, hard to choose between them

  2. Hilton on 28 November 2015 at 12:24 pm

    There goes all the stock on Amazon 🙂

  3. Kevin Wilkinson on 28 November 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks Paul.

  4. Steve Massie on 28 November 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Nice to know there options if you can’t fine the Stanley knife, sounds like a great price also.

    Thanks for sharing Paul.


  5. James Waldron on 28 November 2015 at 5:38 pm

    In the US, Swann Morton is carried by cincinnatisurgical(dot)com and avoids the delays of shipping and customs buying from the UK. Prices are still great. I’m ordering both handles to try them out. And I’ve got a traveling box that definitely needs the retractable handle.

  6. David on 28 November 2015 at 6:20 pm

    I couldn’t find the 01 blades and holders on the Cincy site listed above. They didn’t carry the hobby line.

  7. Kenny on 28 November 2015 at 6:48 pm

    An Ebay Seller by the name/handle of ‘echoengineer’ sells the blades in packs of 50 for about $17 including shipping from the UK, and he/she sells the Handle as well. I haven’t bought either one yet as I have to wait for my pension to arrive on the First of December. He has 24 packs of blades left so far. Hope there’s still one left on the First 😉
    Thanks for posting about this, Paul. It appears to be a very nice deal, especially with the high price Stanley charges for their replacement blades. Thanks again, and always a pleasure to read your fine posts.

  8. Scott Chensoda on 28 November 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Know that feeling only too well Kenny. Glad to have repaid just a smidgin of what you have given me Paul.

  9. James Waldron on 29 November 2015 at 3:08 am

    Try under the Arts and Crafts Knives and you’ll find ’em. The 50 CS01 blades are US $10.90 and I forget the handle prices. Look again.

  10. Kenny on 29 November 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for the info, James. I easily found the blades and knife, as you said, under the Arts and Crafts tab. Now I don’t have the long wait for shipping from overseas, and I don’t have to worry about them being sold out. Thanks again for providing the information.

  11. Paddy on 29 November 2015 at 9:01 pm

    just to let you know 50 of the stanley blades costs £20.

    Still a lot more than the swann morton ones.

  12. Jeff S on 30 November 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Ditto, thanks James! Just exchanged emails with Karen at CS, and they’ve already received several orders.

  13. Kelly Kramer on 1 December 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you for the positive feedback about the Swann Morton craft blades. I’m with Cincinnati Surgical and we are Swann Morton’s master distributor for the United States. The craft blades are sold under our arts and crafts division and can be found at the following website.

    I’m happy assist any of the followers in the United States with this product or answer any questions you may have. I can be reached at [email protected]

  14. Swann-Morton on 2 December 2015 at 8:55 am

    Thanks for an excllent review Paul, it’s always great to see reviews from users of our products. We will put a link to your blog post on our craftknives(dot)co(dot)uk website in the News section.

  15. Keith Clark on 13 December 2015 at 10:26 am

    I should have read your article more closely. The blades may well fit the 10-0598 but they do not fit the 10-049 which has a slightly larger hole.

  16. Ron Jones on 20 December 2015 at 8:25 am

    My order will be in in the morning! My number one issue with the Stanley is that it is not rigid. This will make me happy indeed.

  17. Ivan Asbury on 1 April 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I tighten the loose blade of my Stanley knife. I to did not like the loose feel of the Stanley (USA or UK) so I modified them by filing the inside center support where the screw goes through the case of the knife so it would clamp down a little more on the blade to keep it more rigid in the open position. Be carful not to take to much metal off. Just take one file stroke at a time reassembling the knife each time. I love the way it feels in my hand now and it will still close.

  18. Christopher Hodgkin on 6 September 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Swann-Morton, according to their website, no longer makes the 01 blade. Is there some other blade that you, Paul, or others are using that also works with these knives?

    Also, the website mentioned above does not seem to be active any longer. Is there a source for these blades in the US?

  19. Bill Cowhig on 2 January 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Was getting ready to purchase the ‘Stanley’ when I saw a RED handled layout knife in Paul’s hand in the last of a tremendous number of mesmerizing Paul Sellers videos I warched this holliday, having just discovered him. My curiosity, and near term need led me to this page.

    It is true that the website mentioned in the lattest comment no longer exists, however the Swann-Martin RED handles and blades are still being sold. Go to the website:


    Select the ‘Arts & Crafrs’ tab. There you can select ‘Handles’ and/or ‘Blades’ to find the products Paul bought. The handles are: 07SM4302 ($5.90) and 07SM4303 ($8.00). The blade is SM4211 ($10.90 for box of 50). These are cast metal handles.

    There is another handle shown (07SM4307 at $6.90) that accepts the same blade. It is retractible, and comes with 2 of the SM4211 blades. The color is blue and pruduces ‘audible clicks’ midway and fully retracted. Although fairly straight, like the two RED ones, this handle seems to offer up something more like a hand grip. This one does not claim to be cast metal, so I suspect it may be hard plastic.

    BTW: all three handles can utilize 4 different blades sold by Cincinnati Surgical, in the same price range, so these knives can serve more than one purpose.

    • Joe Bonelli on 26 May 2019 at 1:37 am

      Cincinnati Surgical doubles the price of blades and a handle by charging $17.00 to ship to residential. So its a waste of time to think this is a good product at a fair price. Now I wouldn’t buy it if they had free shipping. Jamming the consumer !! Let them sit on the inventory. Gouging….

  20. John Devereux on 22 December 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Four of these and some reshaping of the blades would make a nice set of whittling knives. I bet Paul would find a way of bending the blades too.

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