Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife

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Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife Review

FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife

Manufacturer: Milwaukee
Model number: 48-22-1540
I like all of the Milwaukee FastBack knives so when I first saw the Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife I felt it looked gimmicky. I’ll admit when you add a bottle opener to a tool you get me thinking you’re appealing to a DIYer on a weekend and not a PRO. Plus I drink cans – SMILE!

Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife

Ok so here is What I Like About this Knife. There are five things, I REALLY like about the Knife… let’s do this:

Tanto Tip Blade

There are quite a few styles of blades out there from Drop Point, Recurve, Hawksbill, and Reverse Tanto.

Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife

Each blade shape excels at a certain task. The Milwaukee knife has a stainless steel Tanto tipped blade that is also partially serrated. The tip is sharp and reinforced by the design placement being in front of the thickest part of the blade.

The Tanto tip is perfect for box-busting, or piercing Tyvek, drywall or fiberglass insulation

Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife

Partial Serrated Edge

The serrated edge is intended to be used much like a small saw with a back-and-forth motion. It’s great for cutting through belts and ropes, fabric and various other textured materials.

Finger Notch

All good working knives have a finger notch to prevent hand slippage toward the blade when piercing and from losing your grip when pulling, cutting or slicing.

Sturdy Liner Lock

While NOT exciting I admit, the liner lock secures the blade while open, but still lets you easily close it one-handed, when done.

When you look for a folding blade knife, always ensure that it has a reliable locking mechanism. Otherwise, your knife will be more a hazard than a tool when you try to use it.  The last thing you want is to have a knife that easily closes.

Many knives that have pushbuttons can be accidentally activated by non-intended hand placement causing the blade to collapse during cutting. …
This can be dangerous!Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife


Folding 1/4″ Bit Holder

The folding pocket knife also includes a fold-out 1/4″ bit holder along with a..

  • reversible Phillips #2
  • slotted 1/4″ bit

This feature has proven useful more times than I thought it would and is a great feature add-on.

Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife

I still use a fixed blade utility knife and now I don’t have to use my impact to change the blade. The fold-out bit feature to me helps justify to cost of the knife.

Durable Belt Clip

The Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife has a durable belt clip that reduces pocket tearing. Personally, I always liked the wire clip because it was very accommodating of clipping onto various thicknesses of materials. It works fine clipping onto jeans as well as the thickened, reinforced portions of my tool bags.

Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife

Bottle Opener and Lanyard Hole

My two least favorite features are the tether-ready lanyard hole and the bottle opener.

I’ve never in my life attached a lanyard to a pocket knife, maybe I’d consider it if I were an ironworker. As far as the bottle opener goes, ..well… you know!

Press And Flip Opening

The Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife features a press and flip mechanism and is advertised to be able to open one-handed.

This is an area that I think needs improvement. I’ve tested two of these knives. My knife does not open one-handed and I’m never going to contort my fingers to open a knife. A one-handed knife should open one-handed easily, and intuitively and this one doesn’t.

It’s possible that the knife is still stiff – so to facilitate break-in I oiled the blade shaft, worked it back and forth repeatedly and even loosened the blade shaft nut a little.

Maybe it will take some more time to break in- but I’m not seeing it. They shouldn’t call this a FASTBACK if it’s not going to flip open. Look … In my opinion, that’s OK! I don’t want a knife that “flips” open that easy, to me that’s dangerous for a work knife.

Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife

Improvements to the Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife

I’d rather keep the blade movement stiffer and use 2-hands, or add a spring assist and a finger flipper tab to make it a one-handed opening knife. But then again, I’m sure someone, somewhere will complain that the flipper catches on your pocket. Just can’t win.

Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife COST

The Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife costs approximately $24.99. To me, this knife hits a sweet spot between cost, durability, and functionality.

Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife

Overall Impression

Overall the new Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife is a great addition to the Fastback line, as a work knife, it provides a durable, reliable, multi-functional “beater knife with benefits.”

Milwaukee FASTBACK 5-in-1 Folding Knife Video Review

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob Robillard

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