If you remember OLFA sent me a handful of their knives to test. I want to give you a follow-up and introduce you to one more.
OLFA PRO25mm Extra Heavy Duty Snap-Off Knife.
OLFA sent the PRO25 in the first batch and I didn’t pay much attention to it. It looked like the other knives at first glance. Then around April 15th they sent a pack of blades to go with the knife. I put the extra blades in the drawer along with the other knives I had not gotten around to using.
Well we decided install hardwood floors in April and part of the install was for me to to rip out two rooms of carpet. I grabbed my old Irwin carpet knife and proceeded to cut carpet. After the first 10 feet realized that it was not going to work. The carpet we had was high quality, extra thick carpet and it quickly dulled the Irwin blades. I went through two blade edges in 10 feet! I saw it was going to take a dozen or so blades to cut up one room of carpet so I got ready to go to the hardware store to get them. Hopefully the ACE near me had enough packages hanging on the hook.
As I was getting ready I remembered OLFA had sent that pack of extra blades and I thought, “I wonder if these blades will work? I might as well try them out before I go get more Irwin blades.” I took the blades out of the package, grabbed the LA-X knife that I had in the shop and proceeded to install the blade. To my surprise it didn’t fit! The blade was too big!
So back to the bag of knives. I rooted around in the package they sent and there was one that was bigger than the rest. It was labeled XH-AL PRO25mm. I took it out of the package and compared it to the Irwin Carpet knife. Wow! What a difference! The knife itself weighed about the same but the rubber non-slip grip felt a lot better than the Irwin and there were 6 blade edges instead of the 4 on the Irwin. I looked at the package and it stated, “Cuts Insulation Board, Rope, Rubber and CARPET.”
So off I went to cut more carpet.
The first thing I noticed was the knife felt a lot better in my hand than the Irwin. The rubber grip was very comfortable and I didn’t feel like I was going to slip off the knife with my hand. I started cutting and cut the whole length of the 12 foot room quickly and easily. I started the next pass and made it another 6 feet before I noticed that the edge was getting dull. One edge lasted almost 5 times longer on this tough carpet than the Irwin blade! I broke the dull edge off the blade with a pliers and proceeded to finish cutting out the carpet. One blade cut up the entire 12 X 12 room. It would have taken me a dozen blades using the Irwin Carpet Knife.
The next room went just as quickly. I only needed to blades (12 edges) to cut up two 12×12 extra thick carpets. Again I am quietly impressed and wondering how I missed these knives for so long.
In summary, the XH-AL PRO25mm is a true commercial knife. It’s capable of so much more than the general purpose hardware store snap-blade knives you are used to the HBB 25 mm blades are high quality, extra sharp, long lasting steel blades that will hold up better than anything I have used before.
You can get the knife at Amazon: Utility Knife, Retractable, Ylw/Blk, 25mm
HSS 25mm Blades at Amazon: OLFA 1082209 HBB-20B 25mm UltraSharp Snap-Off Black Blades – 20pk
Follow-up: LA-X and NL-AL Snap Blade Knives
I put the LA-X out in the garage and the NL-AL in the kitchen drawer. We have been intentionally using them to get an idea if they are worth the few extra dollars you will spend.
The snap off blade knife is often viewed as a light duty, almost throw away tool but after using these knives for a month I can really see where spending a few extra dollars gives you so much more.
The LA-X comes standard with the carbon steel blade. Even though I have it in the garage after three months the blade shows no signs of rust. Is it ever sharp! It cuts ty-wraps like butter! The ty-wraps don’t even snap – it cuts right through.
I’ve gotten quite a few items to test so I’ve used it to cut plastic load straps, duct tape and open cardboard boxes. I’ve used it to pry staples out of wood and it’s not brittle.
I’ve cut at least 500 feet of cardboard now and I am just starting to use on my second knife-edge. It always cuts cleanly and never catches in the cardboard like a utility knife will do. Every time I grab this knife I have to say, it is so comfortable to use.
It cuts so well I almost had to learn how to cut cardboard all over again.
The NL-AL is not getting as much use but we really like it because you can adjust the blade so only an eighth inch sticks out. This makes a great package opener. The best part is the lock works! You don’t have to worry about the blade sticking in the tape and the blade pulling out of the handle.
Again, We have been very impressed with these knives.
Next Month – The scissors I never get to use.