A utility knife is a knife used for general or utility purposes. The utility knife was originally a fixed blade knife with a cutting edge suitable for general work such as cutting hides and cordage, scraping hides, butchering animals, cleaning fish, and other tasks. Craft knives are tools mostly used for crafts. Today, the term "utility knife" also includes small folding or retractable-blade knives suited for use in the modern workplace or in the construction industry.
The fixed-blade utility knife was developed some 500,000 years ago, when human ancestors began to make knives made of stone. These knives were general-purpose tools, designed for cutting and shaping wooden implements, scraping hides, preparing food, and for other utilitarian purposes.
By the 19th century the fixed-blade utility knife had evolved into a steel-bladed outdoors field knife capable of butchering game, cutting wood, and preparing campfires and meals. With the invention of the backspring, pocket-size utility knives were introduced with folding blades and other folding tools designed to increase the utility of the overall design. The folding pocketknife and utility tool is typified by the Camper or Boy Scout pocketknife, the U.S. folding utility knife, the Swiss Army Knife, and by multi-tools fitted with knife blades. The development of stronger locking blade mechanisms for folding knives—as with the Spanish navaja, the Opinel, and the Buck 110 Folding Hunter—significantly increased the utility of such knives when employed for heavy-duty tasks such as preparing game or cutting through dense or tough materials.
Source: Utility knife from Wikipedia
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