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This Epic Utility Knife Sold Out Immediately — But We Know How to Get One Now

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Ship John

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This Epic Utility Knife Sold Out Immediately — But We Know How to Get One Now

Ship John’s homage to the iconic Stanley 299 is back for a limited time (and in two new materials). Here’s everything you need to know.


Editor’s Note: Due to popular demand, Ship John has reopened pre-orders for the SJSN4 through Friday, March 1. Order the copper version here, the aluminum version here and the brass version here.

Especially when compared to their more ornate, made-to-be-beautiful folding knife cousins, utility knives are a bit of an unsung hero when it comes to cutting tools. They’re not held with the same reverence overall and have a much less storied history. That being said, they’re not without their bright spots — namely, the legendary Stanley 299. If ever there was a utility knife that has earned its spot even alongside the most significant pocket knives, it’s the 299.

While a version of the 299 is still available through Stanley retailers, the really great versions — ones you might call vintage, classic and/or iconic — are few and far between. And those who have one (or more) covet them, and rightly so. That means getting your hands on one is damn near impossible (or at least very difficult). But a new opportunity has just arisen, courtesy of Ship John: a limited-edition love letter to the Stanley 299 that might actually, somehow, be both more beautiful and more effective. Seems too good to be true, right? It’s not.

This modern reimagining honors Stanley’s original 299 while also offering some quality-of-life improvements.Ship John

A worthy utility knife tribute that might actually be better than the original

Part of what made Stanley’s 299 so amazing was its simplicity. The Ship John SJSN4 Cutter captures that same simplicity, offering a utility knife that’s lacking in any kind of slider deployment mechanism — meaning the razor housed within (it fits all standard major brand utility knife blades, but Ship John recommends Stanley or Tajima) is fixed. Furthermore, the handle has to be opened via a flathead screwdriver to flip or replace the blade (and the handle can hold another six blades inside of it).

But Ship John’s take on this utility icon is no mere recreation; the brand also took the time to make some changes — one that alters the knife’s appearance (with a hidden benefit) and the other that improves upon its performance. First, this version is made out of solid copper that was precision machined in Japan — giving this knife a gorgeous visage that will acquire a unique patina with use over time and increasing its heft, so the user doesn’t have to exert as much pressure in use. Second, Ship John altered the grip to prevent the knife from rotating in one’s grip during precision cuts.

The alterations (apart from the very clear switch to a copper color) are subtle improvements to a timeless design that help illuminate just how much respect and care was put into this modern reimagining.

The cavity inside the handle can house an additional six utility blades.Ship John

Only 25 have been made — once they’re gone, they’re gone for good

Sadly, not all this news is good news. As mentioned, only 25 examples of this reimagined Stanley 299 are being manufactured. And it’s unclear if there will be another run produced (my gut is telling me no, but we can always hope). That means, if you want one, you’ll need to be ready to shell out $298 to buy one as soon as it drops (it will be available today, February 2, at 3 pm EST/noon PST).

Ship John

Ship John SJSN4 Cutter

A love letter to the Stanley 299, this solid metal reimagining of the aforementioned iconic utility knife is a craftsperson’s dream. The new material and improved grip make precision cutting tasks much simpler, while the overall appearance stays true to its inspiration.


Compatible with

Standard-size utility blades



Handle Material

Solid copper, solid brass or aluminum

Handle Length

7 inches


Absolutely gorgeous

Will age beautifully over time

Compatible with all standard utility blades

Handle can store up to 6 more blades


Extremely limited edition


Non-retracting blade