Top positive review
Nice set of blades and handles in an equally nice box with a magnetic top.
April 10, 2018
1st, they come wrapped inside the box with tight cellophane that is a bit of a task to remove. But that's good as it keeps all the blades and handles in place during shipping.
The background the tools and blades fit into are made of thin, breakable plastic. The tool handles are somewhat difficult to remove from this backing, especially the larger handle. The blade box backing is of the same material. But a long strip of magnetic material is embedded in the top background. The blades are easy to remove from the background and just sit in place. The magnetic material keeps them affixed to the top of the case. Now if you were to drop this case, you would still likely have the blades scattered about inside. But this magnetic material keeps the average bump or thump from dislodging them.
The pressed wood case itself is actually quite nice looking. And amazingly, its got mitered corners. I can't quite tell if they are real miters or just very carefully made to look like they are. But the box is a welcome part of this kit. And if you prefer to have your blades and handles sitting in a pencil cup or something rather than put away in a case, you could always remove the plastic backgrounds and use this little box for other things. This box has a metal clip that holds it closed. That's far better than the plastic ones I've got with other kits that break off after a few openings and closings. It would no doubt shatter or break the wood if dropped hard. But it serves as a nice box for keeping the blades and handles in one place and out of the surrounding air and moisture. Also as you break or dull the blades, you can buy replacements which can take their place in the box just as the originals did. Another thing great about this box is for loaning to other family members or friends. If they lose or don't return part of the kit, the box inserts will show you right away an empty spot where a blade or handle is missing.
The blades are of moderate quality and thickness. I have bought some cheap exacto kits here on Amazon that were useless due to the thinness of the blades. These will do fine when used with the 3D plastics I intend them for. They are primarily to be used as part clean up knives to make my 3D prints look better. They should not be used to cut thick material, or to whittle or chop thick hard wood or metal. They should be used for fine detailing of soft and semi-hard parts or objects, not heavy duty cutting. You get one blade in each of the 3 handles as well as 10 in the top holder. They are all different sizes and shapes to fit different uses. Some of the blades are made to fit into the two larger diameter handles and some into the smaller diameter handle. They are not interchangeable between the different handle sizes.
The 3/4" diameter handle has a hard maroon plastic grip for more heavy duty kind of work. But with only 3.5" long grip surface, it's also the shortest of the handles. It's a little difficult to get a good grip on it. It is the only handle of the three with any grip surface on the handle itself. The 2-part barrel and sleeve are metal. But the screw threads and slot on this handle leave a bit to be desired and could wear out or damage easily. If either part is damaged, you would have to throw the entire handle away and buy another. But it's still a cut above some other brands I've got that actually used plastic parts here. This one is an all metal blade slot collar and tightening collar. This collar mechanism is a little different than the other two handles in that it just screws the split collar against the blade until tight. The blades are a bit more difficult to insert into this mechanism as it is isn't beveled.
Both the middle and smaller diameter handles have a 3 piece design. The handles of both are smooth metal so you won't be able to get much grip on them. Unless they get wet with oil or grease, for fine detailed work they should be fine. The blade tightening in the smaller two handles are all metal round collars that are beveled for easy blade insertion and removal. The outer screw on collar actually presses on the beveled blade collar to achieve the squeeze on the blade. If you either break the blade or the collar or the screw on collar or the handle, they could be replaced with the small parts without having to throw the whole handle away. This is a better way of doing the collars and means you can just go online or to your local hardware store and buy a few extra parts. Be carful with using either of these handles though. Both the smaller handles have just under 4" of handle holding area. There is only a small less than 1" area with texture between the blade itself and the handle. If you are applying force, your hand could slip on the smooth metal and slide up to the blade, cutting yourself.
These blades are quite sharp and will cut you quite easily and deeply. Don't have them out where a kid or pet could find them. These are initially sharp enough to remove flesh and skin. Some people buy these and put them in medical kits. They would be great for opening snake bites or cleaning up small wounds by slicing away dead skin. Just use the utmost caution as these are actually sharp little knife blades although they are not quite scalpel sharp. These are not tools you would want your kid or an irresponsible teen to have access to. You should put them away in their box when done or (as I do) put them blade down in a heavy pencil cup on a work bench.
I removed one star from the 5 in this review because these aren't great quality like a precision knife set or scalpel. The metal used isn't really the best. But I think for the average hobbiest, they will do fine. I use them mostly with hard plastic 3D printed parts and figurines to clean up nubs and extrusions that weren't intended or will be difficult to sand down. They should also work for cleanup of soft woods as well. I found this kit well worth the cost and would buy it again. I recommend this for anyone who needs to clean up plastic or soft wood parts or art work.