Milwaukee Fastback Compact Flip Utility Knife

Recently the folks at Milwaukee sent us the brand new Fastback Compact Flip Utility Knife. It was designed to keep all the core features that people have come to love about the Fastback but in a smaller, lighter form factor. It still tucks into the pocket, still deploys quickly, and it is still easy to change out the blade.

Fastback Compact 3

Fastback Compact Features

  • Press and Flip Opening
  • Compact size
  • Quick Blade Change
  • Belt Clip
  • Lanyard Hole
  • Limited lifetime warranty


Some of the changes for the new Fastback Compact verses other Fastback utility knives include plastic scales (the red sides of the knife), a lanyard hole, and a flat steel belt clip. Additionally, the wire stripper and gut hook have been deleted from this version. The plastic scales not only make the knife lighter that the previous cast aluminum but it also makes it thinner. A slightly slimmer profile is always welcome for knives designed to be carried in the pocket.Fastback Compact 7

Still the Same

Features kept in this new version verses previous models include the press and flip opening mechanism. This is why the knife is befitting of the name Fastback. The all metal blade holder with quick blade change mechanism is also kept albeit with a slightly different shape to allow chocking up on the blade.

Belt Clip Modification

With this new version, Milwaukee changed the belt clip on the Fastback Compact from the wire clip to a flat steel one. Personally I always liked the wire clip because it was very accommodating of clipping onto various thickness of materials. It works fine clipping onto jeans as well as the thickened, reinforced portions of my tool bags. Some users have had issues with the wire though and Milwaukee listened by adding a flat steel clip instead. In addition, the plastic scale below the clip has a raised portion to help keep tension on the clip. I found the new clip to be a bit tenacious in holding so I removed the clip and sanded down the raised portion of the scale so that I can pull out and deploy the knife faster. I recommend anyone with this knife to try it in its stock form for a few days and then slowly sand down the nub and reinstall the clip until you find the sweet spot for you.Fastback Compact 5

Where to Buy

Overall the new Milwaukee Fastback Compact Flip Utility Knife is a great addition to the Fastback line that keeps all of the core features but in a smaller, lighter, and more compact form factor. This knife can be found at The Home Depot as well as other independent Milwaukee Tool dealers.

Milwaukee Fastback Compact Flip Utility Knife

Milwaukee Fastback Compact Flip Utility Knife Review


About the author

Jeff Williams

Contributing Editor Jeff Williams is a carpenter for a commercial General Contractor specializing in concrete, steel, and wood buildings. Jeff comes from a long line of contractors. His parents started a commercial General Contracting firm many years ago and it has afforded him life-long, hands-on learning opportunities from rough and fine carpentry all the way to structural steel and concrete. Jeff has a Construction Management degree and loves the thrill of coordinating and successfully managing large jobs from start to finish. Inspired by the difficulties sometimes encountered to complete punch lists his motto is, "Work hard until the job is done."


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  1. I use this one at work everyday, my partner liked it so much he went and got one as well. It is a great knife. Fits in your hole hand, and the blade hardly comes out when using 2 hands. The other flip ones like husky always break, the lock pin comes out, so the top flip part flops around and stops locking. Totally worth the purchase.

  2. charlie merulla

    Unfortunately, the smaller fastback has no place to store additional blades

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