Klein Electrician’s Pocket Knife With Phillips Screwdriver
The strength of this knife is its ability to be at hand quickly when your tool bag or belt with a utility knife, wire strippers, and screwdriver is not. It might not perform those tasks as well as the dedicated tools, but it sure is convenient.
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You probably know we’re big fans of knives considering every member of our Pro team carries one. It’s the folding flipper in particular that we turn to for an EDC, or Every Day Carry, knife. Most people we talk to find once they start carrying one, they really need it only about twenty times a day (give or take). They do general work for us – opening this, cutting that, scraping whatever – without tailoring to any particular trade. But that isn’t always the case. Consider the Klein Electrician’s Pocket Knife with Phillips Screwdriver, for instance. It’s got some features for everyone but it’s also designed specifically for the electrical trade. Let’s cut to the chase.
The Klein Electrician’s Pocket Knife with Phillips Screwdriver looks exactly like the non-Phillips version but they both are distinguished from Klein’s product offering of knives by the dark bronzed aluminum handle.
The dual thumb stud, 3-3/8-inch drop point blade is 440A steel, which might give knife aficionados pause. On one hand, this grade of steel keeps the price of the knife down but on the other, it really consigns the blade to relatively light duty use since it needs sharpening more frequenlty.
The drop point blade features little belly, leaving an excellent piercing tip. The trade-off is the tip is at greater risk of breaking. That’s not unique to Klein by any means, it’s just the nature of the blade design.
In any event, the back of the blade has three wire stripping sizes: 10 SLD/12 STR, 12 SLD/14 STR and 14 SLD/ 16 STR – quite a handy feature for electricians. It uses a liner lock for securing the blade after deployment.
The opposite end of this tool features a #2 Phillips screwdriver that deploys with a thumbnail notch and is also secured with a liner lock. When deployed, it creates a screwdriver just over 5-inches long – a sufficient length with a common head size to tackle many screws you’ll encounter.
A pocket clip attaches the knife to you or your bag. With it being time for the rubber and the road to meet, I flicked the thumb stud to deploy the blade and look as cool as possible.
Bryan Adams Feels Alright
If you’ve read some of my recent reviews, you know that I’m smack-dab in the middle of a large service installation in a long-neglected building that was completely gutted and is now being refurbished. All new conduit, wires, and panels mean there’s no shortage of places to use a blade, stripper, and screwdriver.
It occurred to me pretty quickly that the Klein Tools Electrician’s Pocket Knife with Phillips Screwdriver is a solid pinch hitter: it’s easy to have it on me at all times, whereas I might not have my tool belt or bag at hand with the dedicated tools that are arguably better-suited to the functions the knife offers.
440A Steel in Action
In order to really put the knife through its paces, I substituted it for my utility knife during the course of this review. I used it like crazy – every day over the course of a couple weeks on heavy gauge wire. You can really sharpen the blade to a fine working edge. I did have to sharpen it once but given the amount of use, I was surprised the 440A steel held its edge as long as it did.
I used the strippers on the smaller gauge stuff and it’s no surprise that it doesn’t strip as a well as an actual pair of wire strippers. But like I mentioned, the tool is a great stand-in if you’re regular tools aren’t within reach.
The #2 Phillips screwdriver is quite handy. I recommend you fold the blade (this should be obvious) before deploying the screwdriver. Once you do that, you’ll be able to loosen and tighten most screws you come across on the job. As a screwdriver handle, it’s not as user-friendly as a classic Klein screwdriver with comfort grip but again, it’s there when you need it.
The handle is quite comfortable. It’s a great size at 4-9/16 inches long and the knife body is substantial enough to feel secure in the hand. The well-designed contours of the handle contribute to that security – Klein really thought this through well.
While knife envy doesn’t typically occur among the low- to mid-range knives around the electrical trade, this is one that my buddies don’t want to give back after borrowing it!
The Bottom Line
Although it looks like a traditional folding pocket knife, the Klein Electrician’s Pocket Knife is technically a multi-tool thanks to the addition of a Phillips head screwdriver and wire strippers. Like most multitools, it doesn’t do any of the functions as well or as comfortably as a dedicated tool, but it’s there when you need it.
The knife is built around 440A steel – easy to put an edge on but tough to retain it long, so you’ll need to sharpen it more frequently than some of the other blends. With the price starting out as low as it has and as much as I’ve found it useful, I’d like to see a mid-grade steel option even though it bumps the price up.
There’s no bearing system or spring assist mechanism, so deployment is fairly underwhelming if you’re comparing it to dedicated knife manufacturers.
Ergonomically, the handle design along with the blade and screwdriver lengths are excellent. It’s really a good fit in my hand. At the end of the day, $24 is a fair price for a tool that I turn to often. This is an excellent, affordable supplementary tool for any electrician.
Klein Electrician’s Pocket Knife With Phillips Screwdriver Features
- Full sized, fine edge drop point blade made of 440A stainless steel
- Three wire stripping notches on the back of the blade (sizes: 10 SLD/12 STR, 12 SLD/14 STR and 14 SLD/ 16 STR)
- No. 2 Phillips driver, the most versatile size
- Liner locking blade secures the blade when open
- Screwdriver is liner locking and folds smartly into the handle
- Rugged aluminum handle
- Pocket clip for easy storage
Klein Electrician’s Pocket Knife With Phillips Screwdriver Specifications
- Item number: Klein Tools 44217
- Blade Material: 440A Stainless Steel
- Blade Length: 3-3/8” (85.7 mm)
- Length Closed: 4-3/4” (120.7 mm)
- Overall Length: 10” (254.0 mm)
- Weight: 0.44 lbs. (0.20 kg)
- Blade Finish: Satin
- Blade Storage: Yes
- Blade Thickness: 1/8” (3.2 mm)
- Blade Type: Drop Point Blade
- Color: Gray
- Handle Length: 4-9/16” (115.9 mm)
- Handle Material: Aluminum
- Handle Type: Ergonomic
- Lockable Blade: Yes
- Retractable Blade: Yes
- Sharpenable: Yes
- Special Features: No. 2 Phillips Screwdriver, 3 Wire Stripping Notches
- Price: $23.99