Most guys had pocket knives since they were kids. At least I know I did. Locking pocket knives are great because they keep the blade locked open so it doesn't accidentally close on your fingers. But you don't use utility knives like you do pocket knives.
When I first saw them I thought they looked cool too and bought one but it's not the first utility knife I grab when I have a choice.
Just think of how you normally use a utility knife. You're working on a project, maybe hanging or repairing drywall, trimming edge banding, cutting boxes for recycling, etc. In the middle of doing that, you need to cut something so you reach in your pocket or tool belt, pull out your utility knife, slide the blade up, make your cut, slide the blade back then put the knife away where you got it from. The whole thing happens very quickly using only one hand. Leaving your other hand free to hold the drywall square or measuring tape in place for example.
With a lock back utility knife you need to stop what you're doing, use two hands to open up the knife (some knives and some users can manage to open the knife with one hand) make the cut and then stop again to use two hands to close the knife before you put it away. What happens when your other hand isn't free to close the knife. Well, you probably just put the knife down somewhere safer than your pocket while it's still open or risk cutting yourself when you move around or use the knife again.
A utility knife is a tool that's supposed to make your job easier, not harder. Lock back utility knives do the opposite but look cool. You know what's really cool? Not having to stop working so you can open and close your shiny knife!
The lock back knife isn't even the coolest type of knife out there. Why not a butterfly utility knife? At least with some practice you can open and close it with one hand. Although if you hang Sheetrock for a living you'll probably give yourself carpel tunnel opening and closing it like that all the time. Or how about making a switchblade style utility knife with a retracting blade? Oh wait! That's what we had and it works great!
If you want to make a utility knife better and safer it should:
- Open and close easy with one hand
- Fast and easy blade changes
- Store extra blades so you don't have to worry about poor cuts
- Have space to safely store used blades for proper disposal