The Modern Bait Knife, Continued -- A look at the Shakespeare Utility Fishing Knife

For an overview of the Modern Bait Knife see:   http://iknifecollector.com/profiles/blogs/the-modern-bait-knife-by-...

This related post is a review of  the Shakespeare Utility Knife.  Future bait knife reviews (both modern versions and older utility fish  knives) will follow using the same format.  As the bait knife blog states, these are mostly inexpensive knives designed for the user not the collector.  Still some of them look pretty awesome!

Shakespeare 5” Utility Knife

First impressions: 

At about 10 inches in overall length the Shakespeare Utility is a large bait knife.  It’s ergonomic handle comfortable to hold.  The blade design also differs from other bait knives.   It has a hard plastic scabbard with a molded belt attachment.   I paid $8 for it and at first glance I’m very pleased with the purchase.

The Blade: 

The blade is made of 420 Stainless Steel.   Shakespeare mentions this on the packaging.  The blade is somewhat thin and as such has some flex;  however it is not as flexible as many fillet knives nor is the blade shape or edge designed for filleting..   The spear point design is just one of the out of the ordinary features. 

What really set the knife apart from other bait knives are the finely serrated main cutting edge and the coarsely serrated spine of the knife.  The fine serrations should make easy work of most fish cutting and line cutting chores whereas the course serration should work well for cutting cartilage and fish bones and perhaps scaling fish.    The blade is five inches long so it should be good for larger fishing chores.  As mentioned it is a thin blade, perhaps 1/16 inch, about that of a heavy kitchen steak knife.

The Handle:

The hard rubber two tone (blue/gray) handle is ergonomically designed and quite comfortable, at least when you’re cutting with the finely serrated edge.    However, when you flip the knife over to use the course edge all the ergonomics go out the window.  The problem is Shakespeare opted to use the same handle for this knife that they use on their fillet knives. While this is a great cost saving measure for the company, it is a disservice for the multi-use blade on this knife.  The handle’s lanyard hole has a stainless steel liner which is a nice touch.

The Scabbard:

The scabbard is molded from hard plastic and like the handle is also used for the Shakespeare fillet knife. Because of this, the scabbard is longer than it needs to be.  The belt clip is a molded portion of the scabbard and will work for belts up to about 1/8 in thick and 1.5 inches wide.  If you have a larger belt, you’re out of luck.  I find it hard to snap  the knife into and out of the scabbard.  This may change with practice and over time.   A single drain hole is located at the bottom of the scabbard to allow water to drain.  I am considering drilling in a few more holes and possibly even cutting the scabbard down to size so that it fits the knife better.

End of the day:

If you’re looking for a serrated main edge, then this is the knife.  You will get used to using the coarse serrated edge despite the shape of the handle.  This one is also getting harder and harder to find making it a good candidate for collectors and users alike!



Name:  5 inch Utility Knife
Brand:  Shakespeare
Country of Manufacture:  China
Pattern:  S2UTIL
Blade Steel:  420
Length, overall:  10 inches [25 cm]
Length, blade:  5 in [12.7 cm]
Blade Style:   Multi-function spear point.  Fine serrated main edge course serrated spine
Tang:  Partial
Handle:  Molded Hard Rubber (sure grip)
Lanyard hole:  Yes
Sheath:  Gray injection molded plastic with belt attachment

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Comment by Charles Sample on December 15, 2015 at 10:14

Good review Tobias.

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