Putty knife has an astoundingly vast area of applications. Apart from the fact that house painters you’ll also find professional oil painters using these. That’s not even where it ended rolled ice cream makers have to use these too.
Being used for all these purposes, there are some specific attributes that make the putty knife more inclined to serve some specific purpose of a profession. Specifics of the best putty knife is indeed a relative factor. With hopes that you find the best we’ve discussed, all there is to it and as usual, we haven’t missed out on reviewing the most popular ones in the market to date.
In this post we'll cover:
- Putty Knife buying guide
- Best Putty Knives reviewed
- What Is a Putty Knife Used For?
- Is a Joint Knife the Same as a Putty Knife?
- What Can I Use Instead of Putty Knife?
- How Do I Use Putty?
- How to Use Wall Putty to Make Your Walls Look Beautiful?
- How Do You Use a Putty Knife?
- How Do You Clean a Putty Knife?
- What Is a Painters Tape Knife?
- Can I Use a Putty Knife to Scrape Paint?
Putty Knife buying guide
As this applying and removing tool comes in different shapes and sizes with individual distinctive features, you may feel pressured and confused about what vital characteristics you should consider while buying. To make your life easier, here is our step by step guide that covers major aspects and features you should take into account to choose the most suitable one for you.
Some putty knives have narrow blades while others have wide blades all suitable for different tasks. With small blades, you will be able to access small places to widow gazing, fill small holes or crack. However, a wider putty knife is required when you need to remove or apply putty on the large surface. So we recommend you to buy a full set where you can get both sizes.
The durability of the putty knives depends on some obvious factors like how much it can bend itself, the rigidity of the handle, what’s the knife made out of, all that. If the material of construction isn’t resistant to corrosion then it’ll do worse than good. As for the handles, ThermoPlastic Rubber is by far the best choice because of its softness and texture.
Flexible or Stiff Putty Knife
In the market, you can find both stiff and flexible putty knives and both have their pros and cons. You should use a stiff or flexible knife solely depending on your job requirement. However, the main purpose of a putty knife can be fulfilled by a flexible knife but if you want a versatile set then you should have both.
A flexible putty knife is not only highly effective for applying or spreading out the putty, but they are also durable and long-lasting. Unfortunately, they are not usable for scraping. On the other hand, stiff knives come handy when you need to apply more pressure because of its firm handle. However, you will face difficulty while applying putty with it.
A putty knife needs to be rust-resistant as rust quickly damages a product. Usually, the blade of a putty knife made of carbon steel rusts way too quickly. Thus you should consider buying a putty knife made of stainless steel and has a mirror coating which is less likely to rust.
Number of Tools in a Set
If you need a tool for personal use then one or two tools will suit you. However, if you are professional and need a tool for a job then it is recommended to buy a set of 4 to 5 tools or more where you will get any tool you need for different tasks.
Putty knives can be pretty uncomfortable to work with as it can strain your muscles. If you are not careful enough, you can hurt yourself. A light rubberized handle with a smooth surface can solve this problem. Normally a plastic putty knife is more lightweight than metal ones although it can break easily. Also having an ergonomic grip provides full control as well as comfort while working.
Best Putty Knives reviewed
In our step by step guide, we have addressed and discussed all the basic features that you need to consider before purchasing. To help you further, below we have highlighted some strengths and downfalls with some technical specifications of few putty knives which we think are finest in both quality and application among all other putty knives available in the current market.
1. Warner 90127A Putty Knife
Warner 90127A Putty Knife is made for maximum stability and flexibility. The putty knife is constructed with a color-coded grip handle. The ergonomic grip handle is sturdy, flatter, wider and designed to give you full control while using. Moreover, it features a large hole which provides easier storage.
The blade as a spreading tool is also highly durable and dependable as it is made of carbon steel. It is thicker at the leading edge and back and narrow in the middle which makes it perfect for finish coating application.
The small width of the blade allows you to reach small spaces to spread putty or other materials and fill small cracks and nail holes. The tool is large and the hang hole size makes it easier to keep in a safe place.
As the blade is composed of carbon steel, it is not rust-resistant. Rust is a sign of damage and if you leave it, it will destroy the blade and make it unusable quickly. Thus the blade requires maintenance and even if it rusts, you need to clean it. Also, some users find the handle too soft and uncomfortable.
2. Red Devil 4718 3-Piece Knife Set
Red Devil 4718 Knife Set is an inexpensive set of three different types of plastic knives created for different purposes so that you don’t have to worry about any kind of job in your project. Despite being made of plastic material, they are extremely durable and won’t snap or break under daily use pressure easily. There’s no question of rust here.
The first knife in the set is a 1-1/2″ putty knife used mostly for puttying small areas. Due to the small width, they are perfect for filling small holes, cracks with precision and ease. The second knife is a 3” spreader and is pretty handy for covering large surfaces with putty in no time. You can use it to repair or fill a hole and spackle walls with putty as well.
Lastly comes a 6” taping knife especially used for applying taping compound or mud on drywall or large surfaces in a short period. On top of all, the plastic spatula does not leave any mark after using and that makes it different from metal putty knives which may leave a dark metalmark.
The red Devil Knife Set is not suitable for scraping as it can bend or warp easily. Also, the red colorant comes off on wherever you are using. Not to mention, it is not as effective as metal while scratching and wears out way too quickly.
3. WORKPRO Putty Knife Set
Another great addition to this list is WORKPRO Putty Knife Set. The set consisted of 4 different putty knives with 3 flexible blades and 1 stiff blade all made with comfort and versatility in mind. Many homeowners or DIYers prefer this kit for its convenient use and long-lasting performance.
The 4 blades come in 4 different widths suitable to withstand from heavy-duty work to regular house fixes. Flexible sturdy blades come handy to apply putty or other materials on drywall. At the same time, a stiff 3” knife allows us to scrape away grime, remove paint edges with its sharp edge. What’s more amazing, the blades are all mirror- polished which provides maximum durability and rust resistance.
On the other hand, the high-quality handle provides a soft grip with finger guide rail also holds the blades perfectly in place and is comfortable to work with for long periods. Not to mention, you can hold the handle three different ways according to your comfort and need.
The most technical downfall of this WORKPRO Putty Knife Set is it is missing a metal tip on the handle. Also, some users find the knives a little less flexible. On top of all, this kit isn’t highly suitable for professionals.
4. Purdy 144900315 Putty Knife
Purdy 144900315 Putty Knife is a professional’s top choice for sturdiness and comfort all in one package. Hardened carbide steel blade makes it durable and flexible for a wide range of hard or regular jobs. The size of the blade makes it perfect for filling cracks and small nail holes. Moreover, you can use it in hard to reach places with ease.
Not to mention, the stiff and thick blade makes removing loose or peeling paint off easy along with the provision of flexibility. Unlike other putty knives, the label can be removed easily without any inconvenience.
At the same time, the user-friendly and ergonomic design of the handle provides a comfortable cushion grip and prevents slippage with utter precision. A lifetime guarantee ensures you that you will never gonna face any big problem using the tool
The Purdy Putty Knife is not constructed by stainless steel and the cheap metal can easily bend or warp. The blade made of low quality steel is not fully rust-resistant so any exposure to moisture can make it unusable after some time.
Other than these, the product is useless to scrape windows, floors, and paint from flat surfaces. Also, among all the other putty knives we have talked about so far, it is the most expensive.
5. 4″ Putty Knife
The 4″ Putty Knife is another top-notch putty knife composed of sturdy high-quality carbon steel blades with rubberized handles. The wider width makes it ideal for removing paint or applying putty, spackle, and other materials on a large surface in the lowest time possible. Not to mention, the shiny mirror finish adds more elegance to outer appearance.
Whether you are a professional, DIYer or homeowner, you won’t feel any difficulty working with it. The ergonomic and lightweight handle feels silky in your hand providing utter comfort by removing weariness of your muscle.
At the same time, due to being made from carbon steel, the thin blade provides durability and reliability, increasing precision and ease of spreading or applying putty evenly. The manufacturers are so confident about the product that they announce a 100% manufacturer money-back guarantee in case of any fault.
Although carbon steel provides maximum durability, the product rusts quickly with exposure to moisture. Thus care should be taken all the time. Also, the label is ultra-adhesive and glued to the metal, which takes a lot of time and chemicals to clean off.
Other than these, some users find it unsuitable for heavy-duty jobs because of the too thin and flexible blade.
6. Bates- Paint Scraper and Putty Knife Set
If you are looking for something exceptional, versatile and suitable for both professional and regular jobs then this Bates scraper and putty knife set may be the best fitting for you. The premium quality set comes as four putty knives and one painter scraper.
4 putty knives all come in different sizes which makes them suitable for a different range of works. The 1″ blade can access hard to reach small places while the 6″ blade can cover a large area in no time. Each blade is made of carbon steel, providing maximum durability as well as sturdiness. Also, any exposure to moisture will not affect its functionality or shelf life.
On the other hand, the kit contains a 2.5” painter’s tool which is mostly used as a scraper, paint can opener, crown molding remover. It can also be used to remove caulk from a caulk gun. Having an ergonomic, flexible handle makes it fit in your palm while preventing slippage.
Although the set is supposed to be rust-resistant, some users complain that it is not fully rust-resistant. Other than that, the wood handle feels cheaper and uncomfortable than the rubber handle and also disintegrates after cleaning the joint compound.
7. Titan Tools 17000 Scraper and Putty Knife Set
Titan Tools 17000 Scraper and Putty Knife Set is a well-known option product with the ability to accommodate a wide range of tasks including applying putty, scrape paint and add paint. This toolset is composed of two putty knives and one scraper, providing maximum versatility for both beginners and professionals.
Being made of stainless steel makes it rust-resistant ensuring long time use. The wide width and angled edge of the scraper knife allow you to work in small or tight places. At the same time, you can choose the suitable putty knife to use for a particular job as there are two putty knives of different sizes. Also, the blades are full tang which enhances the sturdiness and application of the knife.
On the other hand, the handle fits perfectly on your hand providing a soft grip which also holds the blade in place preventing slippage. Not to mention, the most prominent feature of this set is the metal cap at the end of the handle which permits you to hammer it at the required force with ease.
Comparing other putty knife sets on this list, this Titan Tools knife set seems a bit pricey. The sticker on the handle is not easily removable. Thus you need quite an amount of time with some additional liquid to clean the sticker off.
Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers.
What Is a Putty Knife Used For?
A putty knife is a specialized tool used when glazing single glazed windows, to work putty around the edges of each pane of glass. An experienced glazer will apply the putty by hand, and then smooth it with the knife.
Is a Joint Knife the Same as a Putty Knife?
Most joint knives can scrape off drywall mud and simple spackle or putty but harder materials can be more of a problem. The joint knife can even buckle when applied too hard, potentially resulting in an injury. Additionally, most joint knives have a flat edge and are more flexible than a rigid putty knife.
What Can I Use Instead of Putty Knife?
If you don’t have a putty knife, just about anything with a flat edge and at least one smooth side will work—a butter knife, a paint stirrer, or even a ruler. You’re also going to create a fair amount of dust while patching holes, so it’s worth considering how you’ll handle it.
How Do I Use Putty?
How to Use Wall Putty to Make Your Walls Look Beautiful?
Wear gloves and masks before applying putty for safety purposes.
Before you apply wall putty, apply a layer of primer for smooth finishing. …
It’s best if you apply the wall putty twice. …
After successfully coating the wall putty, use sandpaper to make the surface smooth.
Make sure the surface is dust and dirt free.
How Do You Use a Putty Knife?
Touch the edge of the putty knife firmly against the wall. Make sure the putty-covered side is on the bottom. Bring the handle down toward you so the coated edge is easy to move down the wall. If you’re working on a gap larger than a nail hole, spread putty around its edges first.
How Do You Clean a Putty Knife?
Step 1 – Scrape and soak. Start by scraping off the mud with your putty knife (or your taping knife). …
Step 2 – Dump and refill. Remove the tools from the bucket and dump out the dirty water. …
Step 3 – Scrub. …
Step 4 – Rinse and dry. …
Step 5 – Apply rust inhibitor.
How do you use a putty knife video?
What Is a Painters Tape Knife?
A taping knife or joint knife is a drywall tool with a wide blade for spreading joint compound, also known as “mud”. It can be used to spread mud over nail and screw indents in new drywall applications and is also used when using paper or fiberglass drywall tape to cover seams.
Can I Use a Putty Knife to Scrape Paint?
Putty knife: While a putty knife is designed for using wood filler or joint compound, its blunt end makes it ideal for scraping paint while reducing the chance of gouging the surface.
Q: How to properly use a putty knife?
Ans: You can apply putty in two ways. One- apply putty evenly to your knife and then spread it across your intended surface. The second one is you can apply putty straight on the intended surface, then smooth it out with a putty knife later. Try to avoid placing your fingers too close to the end and knife towards you.
Q: What is a hollow ground blade?
Ans: A blade narrow at the center and thick at leading-edge or back is a hollow ground blade. This is made of steel and provides flexibility while applying putty.
Q: How do you clean a putty knife?
Ans: Putty knives are generally cleaned with stainless steel cleaner. Apply the cleaner to a clean washcloth or sponge and wipe your putty knife with it.
Q: How to save a putty knife from rusting?
Ans: It is highly important to buy a rust-resistant stainless steel putty knife. However, if you buy a putty knife that is not rust-resistant, try to keep it away as dry as possible. Also, you need to clean it with water, dry it then spray it with WD-40 to save from rusting.
Assumably our step by step guide with reviews has assisted you thoroughly and you have managed to choose the best putty knife for you. However, if you are still unsure and confused then you can choose from our personal favorite among all the other putty knives we have mentioned so far.
If you intend to buy a flexible, lightweight, plastic-made yet durable putty knife then you should go for Red Devil 4718 3-Piece Knife Set. Also, it is rust-resistant and maintenance-free. With three types of knives, it comes handy, especially for small jobs.
On the other hand, Titan Tools 1700 putty knife can be a versatile choice if you are looking for full tang blades with handles made of TPR grips. The set is designed from high-quality materials like stainless steel for better performance.
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.