What Is a Putty Knife?
While putty knives can have a variety of functions, their initial purpose was to help smooth putty while installing or repairing windows. Typically, these knives come in different sizes, with bigger knives suited for larger surfaces and smaller, thinner knives developed for more detailed tasks.
How To Use a Putty Knife Properly?
As with any sharp object, whenever you use a putty knife you always want to put your safety first. While it might not seem like it, putty knives can be fairly sharp depending on their intended purpose. Avoid placing your fingers or hands too close to the end and never point the knife towards you.
When using a flexible knife to apply putty you have two options. Firstly, you can apply putty to the knife in an even layer across the blade and then smooth it across your intended surface. The second option is to apply the putty straight on the surface, then smooth it with the knife.
No matter your expertise in construction—whether you’re a painter, a carpenter or a do-it-yourselfer—at some point, you’ll need a putty knife. Owing to the fact that putty knives have a distinct, narrow and/or thin design, they typically work for a plethora of construction and repair tasks.
Although the flexible blade initially made putty knives ideal for spreading putty—hence the name—today its uses have evolved. The knife’s additional uses include operating as a scraper knife, which removes tough debris like plaster and paint.
However, even though these knives can occasionally both scrape and apply putty, not all these tools are created equal. The most important thing to note about putty knives is they come in two versions: flexible knives and stiff knives.
Flexible, or flex, knives are the great for applying and spreading putty. They usually feature very thin blades that make them pliable, creating a very smooth finished product.
On the other hand, stiff blades are about twice the thickness of flex knives and are, typically, more effective at scraping. The thickness of these tools makes them sturdy, allowing users to put pressure on the knife without having the blade bend.
Another distinguishing factor of a putty knife is its size, ranging anywhere from 1 inch to 6 inches. Varying lengths and widths can be used to for bigger, general, applications or more detail oriented tasks.
When it comes to finding the right knife, it’s not always clear which option is right for you. With so many options to choose from it can be easy to make a regrettable purchase. This guide relies on putty knife reviews and extensive research to narrow down the wide selection of products on the market.
So if you’re eager to start your next project and need to find the perfect putty knife—or knives—read on to discover the top putty knife available.
Comparison Chart Between The Best Putty Knifes – 2017
#10 Red Devil 4713 3-Inch Plastic Putty Knife
Plastic putty knives are an inexpensive and effective option for one-time use. The Red Devil 4713 is among the best. Despite being a plastic tool, this product is versatile, with the capacity to accommodate different tasks including spackling walls and repairing windows.
You don’t have to struggle against this tool to apply putty. Although the plastic is flexible, it’s also durable. For that reason, the product can manage even more extensive application tasks, saving you both time and energy. Additionally, since it’s plastic, there’s no cleanup or threat of rust.
One issue to keep in mind, however, is that this knife isn’t designed for stripping or scraping. The tip of this knife is simply too blunt to for scraping. In fact, the pressure applied while scraping can actually warp the plastic and render the tool unusable.
#9 TEKTON 69271 1-1/4 –Inch Flex Putty Knife Review
TEKON is a reliable brand that provides users with truly quality tools at a great price, which is why the TEKON 69271 Putty Knife is a great addition to your DIY or professional toolbag.
The blade is lightweight but flexible, allowing you to take on a wide range of tasks from filling in holes to glazing. This product also comes with a wooden handle that’s designed to fit the user’s hand.
Yet, while the handle is specially contoured, both sides of the handle aren’t aligned evenly, which can make it difficult to grasp comfortably.
#8 Goldblatt G24308 6-Inch Flexible DIY Putty Knife Review
The Goldblatt G24308 is a sturdy putty knife made from carbon steel, which makes it affordable and long lasting. It’s also versatile—useful for projects such as spreading, scraping, and even applying Spackle.
Another great feature of this model is the lightweight handle. Despite being made from plastic, this handle is strong and reliable, easing your worries about it snapping or coming loose.
However, there are two major concerns with this knife. The label is ultra adhesive, which can be a huge inconvenience for professional contractors since it takes so much time to clean off. Another problem—which can be expected of many knife blades—is that this product quickly rusts if not dried off properly. Make sure to carefully dry the knife after each use.
#7 Red Devil 4824 1.5 Inch Flex Putty Knife Review
The flexible blade on the Red Devil 4824 is perfect for spreading putty, removing caulk, and scraping. Yet, unlike other blades that suffer from too much flexibility, the blade on this knife is also sturdy, so you always can exert just the right level of control.
This is the bang for your buck putty knife, considering that it’s made of durable carbon steel. Another benefit to using this knife is that it’s rust-resistant—meaning that it’s affordable and long lasting.
Unfortunately, this is another case where the extra sticky label hinders a great product. While the label can be removed using rubbing alcohol, the sticker is an inconvenience that takes time to remove.
#6 Warner 182 DIY Series Flex Putty Knife, 1-1/4 Inch Review
This putty knife is made from carbon steel—a sturdy, dependable material that will remain in good shape for years. Additionally, the blade provides enough flex to apply putty and even make drywall touch ups.
While this is a durable product, it’s also the top putty knife for the money. As one of the most inexpensive kinds of putty knives you’ll find on the market, both professionals and DIY users can afford to purchase multiple sets of these knives—perhaps even saving money in the long run.
The only real issue with this knife is the polypropylene handle, which can cause some discomfort after holding it for a stretch of time.
#5 Red Devil 4105 2-Inch Stiff Putty Knife Review
The Red Devil 4105 Putty knife has a range of purposes, function both as a putty knife and a scraper knife. The wooden handle and lacquer finish set this piece apart, drawing attention to the detailed craftsmanship of this high-quality knife.
Also, it comes with a gold colored nail set, which enables users to set nails without a hammer. While this is a high-quality knife, it is considerably more expensive than other models.
Additionally, its versatility can make this knife a poor fit for some projects. In general, although it is designed for putty, it works best as a scraper knife.
#4 HydeTools 06108 Pro 1-1/2 Inch Flexible Putty Knife Review
There are a lot of benefits to using the HydeTools 06108 Pro Putty Knife. Like the extensive line of HydeTools drywall products, this stainless steel 1-1/2 inch knife is worth every penny. Rust-resistant, this knife won’t suffer the same considerable staining that many other tools become susceptible to—ultimately saving your putty from contamination.
Also, the unique design makes the knife user-friendly, with a handle that’s specifically crafted to cause as little fatigue as possible, even in the process of scraping. The end of the handle features a tip that functions as a hammerhead, allowing you to quickly place nails without having to juggle more than one tool.
Unfortunately, some putty knife reviews cite that this isn’t the best putty knife for professionals since it can often provide too much flexibility when it comes to scraping.
#3 Stanley 28-140 1-1 ¼ Inch Nylon Handle Stiff Blade Putty Knife Review
With a shatterproof handle and a blade that will never come loose, the Stanley 29-140 knife is built for tough work environments. Made from tempered polished steel, the blade resists rust far longer than other non-stainless steel products.
This is a great option for scraping, spreading, and even doing some detail joint work. Great for professional and DIY users, this product provides just the right amount of flexibility and stiffness.
The major flaw with this particular tool is its label, which is nearly impossible to get off. While it’s not especially detrimental if you plan on using the knife for scraping, it poses a significant problem if you decide to spread putty because it can actually leave residue in the compound.
#2 Titan Tools 1700 Scraper and Putty Knife Set Review
If you’re looking to start, or expand, your set of tool knives, the Titan Tools 1700 Scraper and Putty Knife set is a great option for beginners, hobbyists and DIY users, and professionals. The set comes with one 1-1/4 inch Scraper knife, plus two putty knives, giving users the range of versatility they need for tasks around the house or even on a job site.
Although made from stainless steel, the set is moderately priced—a great investment for individuals who use these tools on a frequent basis. The blades are flexible, but also dependable and sturdy, allowing users to apply putty, add spackle, or scrape paint.
As some putty knife reviews point out, the only real flaw to these products is that they’re more expensive than some other knives. Yet, each knife provides a great value, making it the best putty knife for the money in terms of quality. In the long run, this set is worth every penny.
#1 Warner 183 DIY Series Flex Putty Knife 3-Inch Review
The warner 183 DIY Putty Knife is affordable, built to last, and lightweight. This product is thin enough that you can use it to glaze windows but also big enough that you can fix gaps in drywalls or even apply Spackle.
The knife is flexible, which is perfect for getting a smooth finish when spreading putty or joint compound. However, the blade is also sturdy, which gives you more control while using it.
This is one of the best knives for the money, costing fewer than six dollars for a product that’s of exceptional quality and produced by a dependable manufacturer.
Type of Jobs You Use a Putty Knife For
The best putty knife is versatile and completes a number of different tasks successfully. Such jobs can include everything from spreading plaster, Spackle, and tar to scraping things like dry paint or plaster off a surface.
You can also use a putty knife to apply wood filler to repair holes or cracks. Finally, since these tools are smaller in sizes, they provide users with more precision, which can come in handy in some aspects of jointing, especially when it comes to joints between the walls and ceiling or corners.
What are common local places you can buy a good quality putty knife?
In light of their wide range of uses, putty knives are relativity popular in many hardware stores. Places like ACE Hardware, Lowell’s, and Home Depot usually have a selection of putty knives available in store ranging in price range and quality.
However, some of the best deals can be found online. Online websites like Amazon typically sell the best putty knives at a cheaper rate than department stores. Sometimes, even after adding shipping to the total cost of the purchase price, you’ll still find that online stores typically give you the better deal.
What kind of uses would a putty knife be good for?
A putty knife can come in handy on just about any construction related job. Whether you’re specialized in drywall installation, painting, or even flooring, a putty knife can be a useful tool. Not only are these blades flexible enough to spread material like joint compound and putty, but they also feature sharp edges that remove everything from popcorn ceilings to caulk.
Depending on the thickness of the blade, some constructors can also use these products to help remove objects like cabinets, counters, and countertops since the thin, durable blade can provide them with the leverage they need. Additionally, disposable scraping knives can be used to scraping without damaging or scratching wooden surfaces.