Almost every horizontal surface in our workshop and office has a knife on it. As does every drawer and till. Shop knives are essential tools for opening boxes, cutting rope and 100 other workshop tasks. So we are always on the lookout for inexpensive, quality knives.
This year I heard about Jose Da Cruz knives that are made in Portugal and brought a few of them in for testing and use. They are available in large and small sizes. And with a variety of handle materials. And the price is right: About $20-$23.
I won’t buy a folding knife unless the blade locks firmly. Standard non-locking pocket knives aren’t safe enough for daily and rough use. I like my fingers and still have all of them.
The Jose Da Cruz knives lock a lot like the Opinel knives – via a locking brass ferrule. The knives are made well and, for the most part, well-finished. My favorite handle material was the small “green oak” folder. The wood isn’t flashy, but it is interesting and nicely finished. Plus, it is one of the versions that has a hole for a lanyard – a useful feature.
The steel is great for a shop knife. I suspect it is plain old O1. It takes a good edge easily and stays sharp for a long time.
Good knives are good friends. And this is definitely a good one.
— Christopher Schwarz
To read previous entries in the gift guide, click here.