A great putty knife is an essential piece of the tool-kit for any serious DIY enthusiast or seasoned professional. Purchasing and using the best putty knife available will make your jobs easier and ensure the finished job is of a high standard. This is obviously critical for the professional worker but also something the amateur DIY aficionado should seriously think about.
There’s lots of different putty knives (sometimes called a scraper knife) out there and it can be hard to know which is the best putty knife for the money. They each have their own particular features and designs that make them stand out from the crowd.
Having said that, there are basically two types of putty knife – flexible and stiff-blade ones. Flexible knives are best for spreading the putty onto the surface while stiff-blade types are better for scraping old material from the surface or working the putty in. You can also buy disposable knives but they are normally just for one off jobs with hazardous materials where you would throw it away afterwards.
Sizes of putty knives can vary and the size you will want depends on the job you are doing. Obviously smaller knives such as a 1 or 2 inch are ideal for working putty into smaller spaces while wider bladed knives for jobs like sheet rocking can be bought up to about 12 inches in diameter.
A couple of things to bear in mind when choosing your putty knife is the handle and material it’s made of. You really need the blade to be made of stainless steel so it won’t rust after being used for a while. In terms of the handle, you need to choose one that feels comfortable and will still feel good to use at the end of a hard days work. You would ideally be after a longer handle made of a material like rubber as they tend to be most comfortable.
To help you sort the wheat from the chaff we have put together a putty knife review of the best ones available to buy today:
10 Best Putty Knives To Buy and Use in 2017
10.TEKON 6927 Putty Knife
The TEKON 6927 is a fantastic 1 -1/4 inch putty knife with a flexible coated tempered steel blade. This makes it durable to wear and easy to clean at the end of your job. The steel of the blade is light gauge giving the product its flexibility and ease of use. The handle is made out of hardwood and contoured making it nice to hold and use to spread putty with. The tanged and double riveted design means the knife is very solid and strong. It also comes in at just under $10 which is very reasonable for what you get. You also get a TEKON guarantee to cover you if there are any problems post purchase.
It is unfortunate but judging from user reviews on DIY websites there area couple of drawbacks with this knife. Firstly, don’t buy the one with the painted plastic handle by mistake as this contains lead. There have also been reports on user reviews of the blade rusting if wet and not dried off properly. This is not a top quality professional tool so if that is what you need this won’t be the tool for you.
9.Hyde Professional Putty Knife
The Hyde Professional Putty Knife is a black and silver, 2 inch putty knife with a flexible blade. It comes with a high-impact nylon handle which makes it rugged and sturdy. The blade is made of carbon steel which is hardened for longevity. It has also been double-ground to give a longer life and perfect flex point. Hyde have fully tanged the blade to the handle as well which makes it ideal for scraping jobs and gives the knife a solid feel. Hyde also guarantee this knife forever which is an added bonus.
The main drawback with this product is the price – at $23 it is the most expensive on our list by far. This may be a concern to the buyer who is looking for something a little cheaper.
8.Regent Windows Putty Knife
The Regent Windows Putty Knife is a well-designed tool made from steel with a non-slip handle. The stiffness of the blade is high and allows it to be used for it’s primary purpose.
It can however also be used as a chisel knife due to its stiffness and lends itself to chiselling out old putty before applying the new layer. This makes it a very versatile tool that would come in handy for many workers. The colour of the products handle is red which is different from other knifes on sale and makes it stand out. It is priced at under $10 which is comparable to similar products on the shelf when I put together this putty knife review.
The main criticism of this knife is that the blade doesn’t extend far enough into the handle, causing a weak point in the knife. In addition, it weighs in at 300 grams which makes it one of the heavier knives on the list.
7.Warner 182 DIY Series Flex Putty Knife
The Warner 182 DIY Series is a sturdy, flexible putty knife with a blade made from carbon steel. This makes it rust resistant and means the product will last longer if looked after. The edges of the knife are square which makes it easy to get the putty into the places you need too on a job. It also has a flexible blade making it suitable for jobs that need extra control. In addition, it’s quite light to hold which means your hand doesn’t get tired if you have been using it all day. There is also a hang hole in the handle so you can store it away easily – to be fair most knives have this but it’s worth noting.
The major downside to this knife is that price which at $17 makes it one of the dearest on the market. The other criticism from user reviews is that the plastic handle is not that comfortable and could be nicer to use.
6.Red Devil 4206 2 inch flexible putty knife (amazon.com)
The Red Devil 4206 is a very popular putty knife that is well made and easy to use. It has a high carbon steel blade along with a solvent resistant, shatterproof polypropylene handle. The precision ground blade is designed to give a superb finish and to be resistant to rust. This putty knife is very solid and built to stand up to regular use, whatever the job. It also has a solid steel nail setting head which comes in very handy for jobs such as setting drywall nails.
The blade on the Red Devil is not the sharpest however and this could be annoying if you are wanting to use it to scrape with as well. The handle is also not the comfiest to hold according to user reviews due to the material it’s made of and the ergonomics of the design.
5.Stanley 28-140 Nylon Handle Stiff Putty Blade
The Stanley 28-140 Nylon Handle Stiff Putty Blade is a fabulous knife which is no surprise when you know Black and Decker are the parent company. The blade is hardened, polished and tempered steel which makes it very hard wearing. In fact, the company claim it will outlast other putty knives which is quite some claim! To back this up it comes with a lifetime guarantee to cover you in case of any problems. It has a shatter resistant nylon handle in case of any droppage and the blade is tanged to the handle for full strength. The price is very attractive also coming in at around $8.
The major downside to this tool appears to be the stickers that cover it when purchased. They are hard to remove and leave sticky residue behind which is not ideal when you are using it to give a smooth finish. There have also been reported issues with rusting after use even when dried off so that is something to bear in mind. Even so for what is costs it is one of the best putty knives for the money.
4.Purdy 900015 Flexible Putty Knife
The Purdy 900015 Flexible Putty Knife is a very versatile tool that can be used as a filing knife or paint scraper also. This would make it an ideal choice for the amateur DIY enthusiast who wants to get more for his money or the professional who wants to cut down on clutter in his toolbox.
The Purdy has a flexible carbon steel blade as the name suggests and a non-slip rubberised cushion grip to hold it with. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee which is a great selling point. Purdy have been in business for over 80 years and have a reputation for quality so you know you are getting a well-built tool when you buy this.
It’s not the cheapest putty knife on our list and more expensive than other knifes you can pick up but still comes in at just under $10. Some putty knife reviews do mention a problem with the blade rusting after getting wet so you may have to replace it sooner than you would expect.
3. Clauss 18738 Titanium Putty Knife
The Clauss 18738 Titanium Putty Knife is one of the best putty knives and at around $7 is a good price. As the name suggests this tool has a superior, titanium bounded non-stick blade which is made of stainless steel. This makes it very strong and ensures the blade won’t rust if exposed to water. The handle is a 5 position, ergonomic comfort grip making it fantastic to use. It can be used to scrape and spread due to the flexible yet durable blade. Armed with the Clauss lifetime guarantee and fully tanged blade, this is one quality knife.
The main drawback to this knife is that it may not ne as flexible as some users will need and the stiffness may make it more suited to scraping than spreading. Some users have reported that the titanium bonding can wear away over time leaving a sticky, uncoated blade underneath.
2.Silverline 228559 Putty Knife
This putty knife is a brilliant product at an absolute bargain price, coming in at under $10 which makes it one of the best putty knives for the money.
It has a two-tone soft grip handle which fits comfortably in the hand and doesn’t rub against the skin when in use. Anyone who has done a long day decorating will appreciate how essential this is! The knife comes with either a 35 or 40mm blade width to suit your specific needs. It would last you a long time and save money on having to buy any replacements regularly. As above, the price is another huge bonus as it is one of the cheapest on the market compared to others. The blade itself is nice and smooth which makes spreading the putty onto your surface a breeze.
The only potential drawbacks are the flexibility of the blade and aversion to water. It is quite flexible compared to some other putty knives so you might want to bear that in mind if you prefer a stiffer one. Some users have reported that it can rust if water is left on it so make sure you dry it thoroughly at the end of the day.
1.Faithfull Professional Putty Knife
The Faithfull Professional Putty Knife is a heavy-duty tool that really lives up to its name. The look of the knife is such that it gives an air of solidness and quality instantly. The smooth finish it gives along with the comfortable handle make it very easy to use.
The handle of this tool is made of rosewood which is brass riveted to the handle for toughness. Riveting the handle to the blade like this gives it increased longevity and will avoid having to replace it quickly. The blade itself is made from stainless steel which, as with other putty knifes who employ this method, stops it corroding. Faithfull have also tanged the blade through to make it hard wearing. The blade is described as very stiff in putty knife reviews which may be ideal for work where that is required.
There is not much to say on the negative side of this tool which is why it makes the top spot in our list. Granted some people may want more flexibility in their knife but this is a minor quibble to what is a superb product. The main area of concern may be the price which is $19 and makes it more expensive than other putty knives out there.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a putty knife?
A putty knife is a versatile, specialised bladed tool that you would use to work putty into a small surface, hole or around the edge of a single glazed window when installing it. Also known as a scraper knife it comes in two types – flexible of stiff-blade.
How to use a putty knife properly?
The best way to use your putty knife is as below:
- Prepare your surface first – the first step to a successful job is preparation. Mix up your putty, make sure your surface is smooth but clean and grab your putty knife ready to go.
- Apply putty to the knife – the first thing to do before applying the putty to your surface is apply it to the knife. Be sure not to put too much putty on the blade and spread it evenly.
- Apply putty to the surface/hole/window edge – hold the knife comfortably in your hand and use the knife to spread the putty in an even stroke onto the surface you’re working on. Be careful not to put too much putty on as this will only mean you having to sand it off later on.
What type of jobs do you use a putty knife for?
The putty knife is a very versatile tool that can be used for a variety of DIY and household jobs. Traditionally it was used by glazers to work putty around the edges of each pane of glass when fitting single glazed windows.
It can also be used for more standard jobs around the home such as filling holes in a wall or floor tiles. If used as a scraper knife it can help tidy up or prepare surfaces for further work.
What are common local places you can buy a good quality putty knife?
Putty knives are pretty easy to pick up as are common, widely used tools. Big name DIY stores such as The Home Depot or Lowes will stock them as will supermarkets such as Walmart. If you prefer to shop online than a site like Amazon would be perfect.
So there we have it, a comprehensive putty knife review along with what the product is and how we can use it. It really is a handy tool to have around even if you only do the odd bit of DIY so is worth picking one up if you haven’t already. My advice is to buy the best you can as it will last you a long time and give many years of great service.