In the late 1800s, mail was transported on the railways. As the great engines barrelled in and out of bustling stations letters needed to be collected, sorted, and bundled at breakneck speed. If you were a clerk aboard one of those trains, you may have found yourself fumbling as the cars lurched and swayed, trying to cut loose a bundle of correspondence or slice a length of twine with your pocketknife — assuming that you hadn’t already misplaced it somewhere along the line. One such clerk named James R. Caldwell, who rode the route between Chicago and Pittsburgh, decided to take matters into his own hands. Working evenings, he came up with the prototype for a small, simple tool that would change his life. Bending a piece of copper around his finger, he affixed the blade of his pocketknife to the band using a small screw and nut. Slipping this contraption onto his finger, he could now carry a cutting tool with him at all times, speeding up his work and vastly improving his efficiency. Once his co-workers caught on and began requesting “handys” of their own, Caldwell formed his own company and started producing the knives full-time. His first recorded sale was in 1904 and, with the exception of the war years when the aluminum now used to manufacture the bands was in short supply, the materials that go into these knives have not changed since. Today, this small, lightweight utility knife remains an indispensable tool with a seemingly infinite variety of uses. While the steel blade is extremely sharp and strong, its curved design makes it virtually impossible to harm either yourself or others with its edge. Already used daily by mailmen, delivery men, industrial workers and sportsmen, this tiny powerhouse will fill an essential niche in your own busy routine.
This smart little knife is ideal for a multitude of uses, and is approved by the USDA for contact with food products. The manufacturer suggests trimming mop heads, cutting the netting that ham and turkeys come wrapped in, stripping the wires in automotive electrical systems, storing one in a survival bag or your car's change dish, cutting Christmas tree netting, twine, ribbon, plastic strapping, pallet wrap, tape, cardboard, light gauge wire, trimming wallpaper, photographs, foamboard, cloth, and smaller trees and bushes in the garden, and tying up grapevines (and then harvesting the grapes) but we're sure you'll come up with one-hundred-and-one of your own. The blade of this knife is coated in Titanium nitride, an extremely hard ceramic material. This coating will not chip, peel or flake. It is self-lubricating, and non stick, as well as wear, chemical and corrosion resistant.
Now under the direction of the fourth generation of the Caldwell family, this utility knife is made entirely in America, using American labor and American materials that have not changed since the end of WWII. The modern steel blade is hardened by heat treating and then coated in Titanium nitride, a hard ceramic material, applied as a thin coating on steel and other materials to improve the surface properties. This blade is then fastened by nickel-plated brass rivets to an aluminum band.
Utility knife that rests comfortably on the finger for easy use. Titanium nitride coated steel blade is affixed to a durable aluminum band. For a vast variety of uses, especially cutting twine. Available in standard ring sizes. Made in U.S.A.
Available in standard ring sizes 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18
Steel & titanium nitride blade
Kaufmann Mercantile is committed to help you live a conscious and inspired life.
Many of the items you discover here are exclusive to Kaufmann Mercantile, which is what makes our community of designers and artisans so special.
If you find one of our products anywhere else for less than it's being sold on our site, we will match it. No questions asked.
Our dedicated Concierge Team is here to help. Reach out any time at: