Whether you consider the CardSharp 2 Utility Knife from Iain Sinclair a worthy pocket tool or just a novelty, you do have to admit that it’s one of the most unusual knife designs to come along in a very long time. Maybe the most unique ever. Let’s take a closer look.
Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.
The CardSharp has the same footprint as a typical plastic credit card. Make that 3 credit cards stacked on top of each other.
The one piece case / handle of the CardSharp is made of a light weight flexible polymer called Polypropylene and the knife blade is made of surgical stainless steel. The design is pretty clever. The blade is protected (as are your fingers) by the surrounding plastic case and the bevel on the blade itself. No matter how you rub your fingers across the blade area, you won’t be cut while it’s in this folded state. To turn it into a knife, you have to do a bit of origami. First you have to open the lock, which is the ridged button in the lower corner shown above. When you can see the Green stripe, you know the CardSharp is safe to put in your wallet. You can open the lock by pinching the button between your thumb and index finger and rotating it until the blade is free.
Then you pivot the Blade up and the sides fold around it to create the handle. You’re probably thinking that after many times of folding and unfolding, that the plastic hinge will eventually break. According to Iain Sinclair, they are living hinges that are guaranteed for life.
5 plastic studs on one side of the handle, snap into the other side to keep the handle securely formed.
The result is a 5.5 inch long knife (from blade tip to handle end). The blade itself is about 2.25 inch long.
You’ll notice that the blade has my name laser engraved on it. This is an option from Iain Sinclair that can be added when you order the knife, for an additional $8.
The handle has been designed for safety, with a finger guard and a thumb grip. Even though the CardSharp is thin, it is surprisingly comfortable to hold and use. It doesn’t feel awkward at all. It feels as natural to hold as traditional knife.
Is the CardSharp sharp? You betcha! It’s razor sharp and has been designed to stay that way by keeping the blade edge protected from rubbing against anything while it’s in the folded / stored state. I used it to cut through some cardboard boxes, slice through packing tape and cut string. It performed well on all these tasks.
Is the CardSharp a worthy pocket (wallet) knife or are there better alternatives. I think you probably already know my answer to that question. Although the CardSharp 2 is sharp and compact, it suffers from one main flaw that prevents it from being an indispensable everyday tool. That’s the fact that you have to put it together before you can use it. You can’t just take it out of your wallet and start cutting right away. You have to unlock the blade, unfold it and snap the handle together. That’s too many steps for a useful tool in my opinion. That said, the CardSharp is definitely clever and a perfect addition to any avid knife collector’s collection.