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Stanley® FatMax® Retractable Knife: Maddening Set-Up But Decent Operation

About.com Rating 2 Star Rating
User Rating 2 Star Rating (9 Reviews)


Stanley® FatMax® Retractable Utility Knife

Stanley® FatMax® Retractable Utility Knife


The Bottom Line

Difficult to "set up" this utility knife. And the instructions are no help. But once you have the Stanley® FatMax® Retractable Utility Knife set up, it's a fairly good, ergonomically-correct utility knife.


  • Good grip, good balance.
  • No screwdriver required.
  • Large blade storage area.


  • Initial blade insertion is difficult to figure out.


  • Stanley® FatMax® Retractable Utility Knife is another product in the popular FatMax line of tools.
  • Angled handle for easier cutting.
  • Storage in handle for blades.
  • Blade loads from front.
  • Uses standard utility knife blades.

Guide Review - Stanley® FatMax® Retractable Knife: Maddening Set-Up But Decent Operation

"Set-up?" you say. "Set-up for a utility knife? What kind of 'set-up' can there be?"

I say: "Putting the blade in the knife. That kind of set-up."

It took me 20 minutes of fiddling and swearing to figure out how to get the blade of this FatMax knife to stay in place.

My first issue with this knife is that you must push the blade into the knife from the front. So, your fingers are dangerously close to the edge of the blade and are exerting force on the blade.

But once you get the blade into the front of this Stanley utility knife, nothing happens. The blade falls out. Or it falls into the handle of the blade. It does everything but lock into place.

This, of course, is after you have determined that the door on the handle that swings open is simply storage for extra blades. It has no bearing on mechanical aspects of the blade.

Drumroll... Here is how to insert a blade into a Stanley® FatMax® Retractable Utility Knife:

  1. Move the brass slider button forward as far as possible.
  2. Verify that the button is at the very end. Think you have it as far forward as possible? No, you don't. Push even a bit farther. A little nib of metal will appear through the blade slot at the end when it's all the way.
  3. Gently slide blade into end of knife.
  4. Miraculously, the blade is now locked in place.
Once you've got the blade in, it's not a bad knife. I like the angled handle. And it's a fairly heavy knife, which feels reassuring in my hand.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
hopeless fatmax, Member faysie

I have had this a year and cant figure it out. no instructions. i don't think it works properly. have checked out Youtube instructions but this does not seem to work. Nothing initially to say where spares were stored - finally saw on Ytube how to find them. I think a help line is needed. i am seriously unimpressed and think i just wasted my money. i wanted to give it zero stars but you cant select less than one...

2 out of 2 people found this helpful.

See all 9 reviews

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