Milwaukee Fastback Serrated Spring Assisted Knife

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Milwaukee Fastback Spring Assisted Knife Review 48-22-1995

Milwaukee Fastback 48-22-1995

Manufacturer: Milwaukee Fastback
Model number: 48-22-1995
Price: 25.00
Power source: Spring-Assisted
Weight: 0.5 lbs

The Milwaukee Fastback Spring Assisted Serrated Knife features a 1-handed assisted open, a black oxide-coated stainless steel semi serrated blade and is selling at approximately $25.00 like hotcakes. Being a self admitted knife snob I’m not easily swayed by any knife that sells for under $75.oo and that’s because they’re usually, cheap, knock off pieces or crap. I needed to see what all the hype was about.

First Impression:

The Milwaukee Fastback spring assisted serrated knife is all red with a black blade and to be honest I first approached it with an attitude that it was a “junk knife.” It looked clunky and the all red turned me off, for an every day carry knife. [EDC]

The knife handle is Milwaukee red in color and the blade is black oxide-coated stainless steel serrated blade with a Tanto tip and secures open with a liner lock.  I was not impressed at first because I prefer my EDC knives not to blend in and attract attention when clipped in my pocket.

After carrying this knife for two weeks on and off the job site I now have a very different opinion.

Milwaukee Fastback Serrated Spring Assisted Knife

Additional Features:

  • Assembled Depth (in.) 0.75 in
  • Assembled Height (in.) 10 in
  • Assembled Width (in.) 4.5 in
  • Blade Length (In.) 3
  • Hand Tool Type Knife Handle length (in.) 4.75
  • Can Be Sharpened
  • Folding, lockable Blade
  • Product Weight (lb.) .5

Using The Fastback Serrated Knife:

A thumb stud opens the knife blade and a spring-assist mechanism easily flips the blade open – fast! Although it appears clunky its actually light and well balanced, weighing only 0.5 lbs.

On the job-site, I always carry a “work” pocket knife in addition to two utility-blade knives in my tool-bags.  My work pocket knife usually does not see too much action but in the Fastback’s case I wanted to put it through the ringer so I overused it and used it on things that I knew would easily dull it.

In the matter of days I used the knife to cut and install rigid insulation, fiberglass insulation, rubber roofing, Tyvek, open boxes, cut rope, cut up a drop cloth and trim an asphalt shingle. I know you’re cringing right now. The Fastback knife performed extremely well on all cutting applications and turned out to be a heck of a cutting tool.   The blade stayed sharp and did not flex while piercing or cutting, it is also easy to sharpen and holds a nice edge.

The knife has a slim, compact body and the spring assist opens the knife amazingly fast and smooth, but what I liked and appreciated the most was the reversible belt hook.   While working with this knife I found myself in an attic crawlspace crawling on my belly and never lost the knife, which was clipped in my side-pants pocket.  My tape measure and another knife, also clipped in a pocket, fell off my body but not the Fastback.

Remember earlier I commented on the bright color?  Well while in the attic crawlspace I put my knife down for a minute and was able to quickly find it and quickly appreciated the Milwaukee brand color will allow the user to quickly and easily locate the knife if it drops in the grass, bushes or construction debris.

Knife Video Review:

Knife Blade:

The Milwaukee Fastback spring assisted serrated knife has what is called a combination plain/serrated edge.  Approximately 60% of the blade nearest the Tanto tip is a plain edge, while the 40% of back edge closets the knife handle is serrated.

The Tanto blade tip is very popular with combat and rescue personnel, as the angle of the tip is less acute, and therefore has more cross-sectional area and more metal to support the point. This is also one of the strongest knife points and is less prone to breakage – perfect for contractors.

Over the years I’ve found that using a knife edge combination, like the Fastback knife edge, gives me the best job-site cutting options for a multitude of cutting applications.  It allows piercing with the Tanto tip, precise push cuts from the plain edge and the advantage of the serrated edge for tougher materials.

A quick note on knife edge combinations: keep in mind that on a 3-inch blade, there’s maybe 1.25″ of serrations. Detractors of this blade edge format feel that 1.25″ is too short a length for the serrations to be really be useful, and the length of the plain edge is being sacrificed for no good gain.

Belt Clip:

The Milwaukee Fastback has a long, wire-form belt clip which is by far one of the BEST attributes on this knife. The clip is also reversible which allows you to set up the knife the way you prefer to handle and deploy it. I was truly amazed at how secure the clip keeps the knife in position, even when inadvertently rubbing up against materials or in horizontal positions like the attic eve project I was on.

The belt clip is also round and smooth allowing it to secure in a pocket or a tool belt quickly without having to look. Because of the clips unique shape it can be deployed or holstered fast, easy and without looking – a huge plus when your in awkward positions.

The belt clips unique shape also does not catch on or damaging clothing fabric. The clip is also longer than most knife clips which I feels allows it to tension and grip better than other knives  – well done Milwaukee!

Spring Assist:

Smooth, fast and effortless is how I would describe the spring-assist mechanism on this knife.  It also seems to have become smoother with use – a plus.

If I were to give VP of Milwaukee Hand Tools any advice I’d tell him to ask his team to consider a forefinger flipper to open.  This flipper is basically a small blade protrusion that sticks out of the handle when the blade is closed.   These types of finger assists are becoming more and more common on knives and I’m a big fan.  The addition to one on this knife would only make this already solid knife perform better and open faster.

Overall Impression:

After abusing this knife for a few days I started thinking that I approached it all wrong.  It turned out to be a work horse of a knife that is cool enough to be an EDC knife.  Like many things Milwaukee does this knife kicks ass and does it on beer budget.  I’m still amazed that Milwaukee was able to produce a rugged, spring assisted, quality knife at such an affordable price.

Everyone in my crew is now carrying, using and loves these knives. Two out of three guys also carry this knife everyday, one and off the job-site. For me I’m more interested in a small, slick knife for EDC and a rugged work horse on the job site. If you’re looking for a compact, durable EDC or work knife with a solid cutting blade and fantastic clip on capabilities take a peek at the Milwaukee Fastback spring assisted serrated knife, model 48-22-1995.

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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1 Comment

  1. […] Knife, Model 48-22-1995. If you’d like to read our complete review you can find it here: Milwaukee FASTBACK Serrated Knife. Here’s what Rob has to say about this cool new […]

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