Blade Handle Large / Small Review
The range of modeling products by AMMO is incredibly vast, and continues to grow. A look at their website reveals just about anything and everything under the sun that a model builder would ever need!
This review is on a pair of new products; blade handles (one large, one small) for your go-to hobby cutting blades. We modelers use these blades constantly, in various mediums and with differing methods, and sometimes for purposes they weren’t expressly made for, like scraping seams and the like. I’m sure that most of we modelers have all had our share of misadventures with our hobby knives, a good cutting blade handle is something that we all can appreciate!
If you’ve been building models for any length of time, you likely have an entire battery of hobby knives, some of which you use for specialized purposes. The above are a few that I use frequently, a mix of Xacto and Excel handled blades. My being a bit of slow learner, you’ll notice that there are many of the old school round handled types, the kind that never fail to roll off the work surface and are a definite threat to your legs and feet!
However, even slow learners can get fed up with rolling knives, and years ago a friend gave me a flatter profile British Swann-Morton scalpel handle and a 5 pack of blades. Fast forward a few years, and I now have enough Swann-Morton blades to equip a hospital.
Above are the two AMMO blade handles, small on the top, large on the bottom. Both have the slot and key type blade retention lug, on the left ends of the handles in the above image. This is the same way that Swann-Morton blades attach to their handles.
Above - the AMMO handle with #11 Swann-Morton blade installed on top, my ancient Swann-Morton handle with the same blade mounted on the bottom. The blades mount exactly the same way, by sliding the slot in the blade over the lug on handle, with a slot in the handle engaging the blade securely. Please note that standard #11 X-acto blade will NOT mount to these handles. Knife blades sold on the AMMO website are Swann-Morton products, by the way.
Both blade handles have the number 3 stamped onto them. Note the slight difference in gripping surface texture in the two handles.
Above - a side view of how the blades mount to the handles. Both blades appear to have a very, very slight angle to how they set into the handle, something I’ve never noticed before while using this style blade / handle. At any rate, the blade mounted quite securely to the AMMO blade.
Note the side profiles of the blade handles, the AMMO is more squared off at the edges, the Swann-Morton is slightly rounded, and slightly thicker.
Okay, so this tool is designed to cut, so I test drove it.The handle is comfortable enough, with the blade held securely in place. To be completely honest, I prefer the slightly thicker, slightly rounded Swann-Morton blade handle, although in this case it may only be due to the many years of use that I’ve had with the Swann-Morton blade handle. The AMMO blade handle works just fine!
The large blade handle ( with the number 4 stamped on it ) has the same Swann-Morton slot and key lug style blade attachment method, but the lug is quite a bit larger. This handle is designed for larger blades than the Number #11 blades. This handle is both longer and slightly thicker than the handle examined above. It does have a similar squared off profile as the small handle, although the gripping surface is different. I have no blades that will fit this handle, I hope to rectify that situation very soon at Scale Model World in Telford, England.
These blade handles will perform as expected, and should give many years of service. They will outlast you and me. Please note that you’ll need blades that use the slot and key/ lug style of mounting to the handle, not X-acto blades. These Swann-Morton blades can be obtained via the AMMO website, among other places.
While there’s still a place for the older round blade handles, these flat blade handles are certainly less likely to wander around on your work surface, and getting used to them takes no time at all.
Thanks to AMMO for the review sample
Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland
AMPS 2nd Vice President, Midwest Region
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