The ultimate maker tool?
Review by James Whomsley
It’s clear that the Maker Knife is a premium product, what with its high-quality materials and unique blade locking mechanism that works like magic, but is it worthy of that premium price tag? I think so.
Last year, in 2018, Flite Tester David Windestål teamed up with YouTuber Giaco Whatever to launch a new tool for the crafter, foam board builder, and all-around maker of things. Pleasingly, it was backed over 8,500 backers and raised a huge €573,800. I talked to David about the Maker Knife in a recent Flite Test Podcast episode that you can listen to here:
So, how does the knife function, would it be useful for you, and should you order one?
Price for 1x Maker Knife: €39.00
Overall Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
- Beautiful design
- Unique and practical blade locking mechanism
- Can be ordered with special ceramic blades for cutting foam (that are extremely slow to dull)
- Includes helpful clip for carrying
- Can be difficult to hold for long periods of time
In The Box
Clearly, a lot of love and thought has gone into this product. The white box has a nice Apple type feel to it with the addition of some humorous elements.
When you first pick up the Maker Knife, it feels light, solid and superbly engineered - suffice to say it lived up to expectations. The harsh edges, black anodized metal and non-rattling construction reassured me that it will take what gets thrown at it over the coming years.
There are a few other things that come in the box including a small plaster, which is comedic genius.
Not included in the box are the knife blades themselves. I just attached some standard utility blades I had lying around, but you order some special ceramic blades for cutting foam.
I absolutely love the look and feel of this knife. As advertised, there are practical perpendicular flat faces that look and feel tough. They’re bold and define the style of the knife as an object. It makes it stand out and, in a literal sense, stand up.
I really like opposing diagonal angles of the bade holder.
The knife is clearly small enough to fit in your pocket. It's actually very small when the blade is retracted. If you’re used to carrying a phone about, you won’t even notice it’s there. You can also hold it on the outside of your clothes thanks to that handy clip that really doesn’t spoil the look.
The clip makes you want to carry it. You don't have to reach your whole hand into a pocket to pull it out - simply grab and go. It's so, so practical.
Blade Locking Mechanism
You can’t talk about the Maker Knife without mentioning its main USP: the blade locking mechanism. As shown in the video, the blade only really moves when you have your finger touching the central ring. How does this work you ask? Magic - or at least it feels this way.
It’s obvious there’s some careful mechanical wizardry going on under the shell here. I’m sure you could work out what’s going on, but as Giaco and David have both been rather secretive about the whole thing I won’t cover it here.
What I will mention, however, is that you can adjust the sensitivity of the mechanism by tightening or loosening the set screws with the included screwdriver tool. This is nice for getting it to your preferred feel.
You can loosen it until the blade doesn’t really lock in the retracted position. Effectively, therefore, you can open the knife one-handed with just a flick of the wrist. This might be helpful in some scenarios, but it might also be a little dangerous if you inadvertently try to put it back in your pocket.
The Maker knife certainly isn’t a tool intended to be held for hours on end - but that’s by design. It’s a utility tool, something that is useful to be carried around the house or workshop, something to be whipped out whenever needed. It could be considered on-par with a Swiss Army knife, conceptually speaking.
This isn’t to say it wouldn’t be useful for the budding aircraft designer in the Flite Test community. When combined with the foam cutting ceramic blades on makerknife.com, the tool would be a formidable accessory to any Flite Test speed build kit.
In all, this little gadget is a rugged must-have tool for the everyday maker. With a focus on practical utility, this knife becomes as essential in the workshop as a pencil, ruler or coffee cup. Make sure to find out more about the Maker Knife on makerknife.com where you can also order your own.
Article by James Whomsley
Editor of FliteTest.com
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/projectairaviation