Bruce Greenlaw

Sometimes tool manufacturers get it right the first time. Stanley’s fixed-blade No. 199 cast-aluminum utility knife — complete with its fleur-de-lis — was introduced in 1936 for cutting fiberboard, and it’s still one of the most popular knives for ripping drywall panels. To rip panels, experienced rockers commonly start by pinching their tape-measure blade at the required dimension on the panel edge, holding their knife against the tape’s blade hook, and pulling both hands along the panel to score the face paper. The knife blade on the Stanley (and on some other fixed-blade knives) extends about 1/4 inch farther than typical retractable blades do, which makes it easier to hold it against the tape’s hook. As a bonus, the extended blade doesn’t wiggle. The classic knife (model 10-209, costs about $6 to $8. — Bruce Greenlaw

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