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Thread: How makes/made a good electrician's knife

  1. #1

    How makes/made a good electrician's knife


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    Hey guys, for some reason I've been itching to try out an electricians knife, one of those two bladed jacks with a spear point blade and flat head screw driver. I believe they are also referred to as TL-29s. I'm wondering who made or makes a good quality one. Not looking to spend too much on it, but I do want one that is good condition with good snap and no blade wobble. Any suggestions on what to look for? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    GEC makes one now. It's fantastic.

    Brian_T
    American Bushman Blog
    Rat Pack #223

  3. #3
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    I would look at the secondary market; Camillus TL-29s are great knives. I got several, even on german fleabay, so it should be no problem getting them in the US. They can be had for really nice prices.

    Good hunt!!
    You can call me Pappa Andi!
    Nun war dieser brave Lehrer, Von dem Tobak ein Verehrer, Was man ohne alle Frage, Nach des Tages Müh und Plage, Einem guten, alten Mann, Auch von Herzen gönnen kann.
    (Wilhelm Busch, german author, 1832 - 1908)
    WTT for a Queen Dan Burke Small Barlow Two blade

  4. #4
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    I have been using my TL-29 I was issued in the air force in 1966. Mine is by Camillus, the screwdriver blade has a lock to prevent accidental closure. it's 47 years young and still going fine.

  5. #5
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    pretty much everyone has made the, I'd check out the secondary market fr old ones to try out the pattern though, they can be pocket hefty.


    from left to right: Cas inwalnut, rehandled camillus in stag, schrade walden in ebony and a Empire in ebony

    I have not tried the new GEC yet but there is a thread about them here

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    Case 62031 LHR


  7. #7
    Thanks for the replies. I didn't know that they were made by that many different brands. The only ones I'm familiar with is the ones with the black plastic scales. I'm assuming that those were the ones issued to the military, probably made by Camillus.

    That's a cool variation SAK. I wonder what the purpose of that style blade on an electricians knife would be.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdsmith View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I didn't know that they were made by that many different brands. The only ones I'm familiar with is the ones with the black plastic scales. I'm assuming that those were the ones issued to the military, probably made by Camillus.

    That's a cool variation SAK. I wonder what the purpose of that style blade on an electricians knife would be.
    Klien makes one too with a secondary "slitting" blade.....


  9. #9
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    Antique malls/flea markets are good places to look. In fact, you're almost guaranteed to find a TL-29, they're so ubiquitous. Whether you'll find a quality one in good condition for a reasonable price is another matter, but that's the fun of the hunt, and you'll never find one if you don't go looking.
    -Aaron

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    Klein, Robeson, Case, Camillus, Colonial. I have TL's by all and they're very good knives. It's my favorite pattern. However, they're not terribly easy to find since they're out of production, so look around the bay and flea markets and you'll find them.

    My favorite is by Case.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJZ View Post
    Klein, Robeson, Case, Camillus, Colonial. I have TL's by all and they're very good knives. It's my favorite pattern. However, they're not terribly easy to find since they're out of production, so look around the bay and flea markets and you'll find them.

    My favorite is by Case.

    That's a beautiful Case bro.....love the wood!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAK Guy View Post
    That's a beautiful Case bro.....love the wood!
    Thanks! I think it's walnut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian_T View Post
    GEC makes one now. It's fantastic.

    can i ask, what is the function of the teeth? its not a saw (I dont THINK?) and i dont think they are wire strippers, but i could be wrong...

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    The teeth are for using it as a drywall saw. Actual electricians need to be able to cut holes in drywall for outlets and switch boxes. There's actually a very good video of it being used in that manner on STR's web site.

    Here's a link to it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRd_at4ZEWo
    - John

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc57 View Post
    The teeth are for using it as a drywall saw. Actual electricians need to be able to cut holes in drywall for outlets and switch boxes. There's actually a very good video of it being used in that manner on STR's web site.

    AHHh drywall saw, now that makes sense. didnt think they looked like a wood saw teeth but as you pointed out, i am no electrician so what do i know

    thanks for the info!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rsmith_77 View Post

    AHHh drywall saw, now that makes sense. didnt think they looked like a wood saw teeth but as you pointed out, i am no electrician so what do i know

    thanks for the info!
    Me neither, but a few years ago my mother-in-law's house was damaged by a flood and I learned a lot about what is involved in replacing drywall and electrical outlets. Trust me, something like that knife would have been real handy. I used a genuine drywall saw but it's a bit rough for detail work.
    - John

  17. #17
    You can get a Camillus TL-29 for $20 or less by shopping, watch, and waiting. Sooner or later (sooner most likely), you'll find one for that price.

    TL-29 = Tool, Lineman Number 29 on the Set, Kit, Outfit Component List for the Army's Tool Kit, Lineman's. Current kit is LIN: W43974, Component List: 5180-95-N48.

    Last edited by leghog; 12-21-2013 at 02:41 AM.

  18. #18
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    Two of my best friends own a local electric company and I bought them both one of the new GEC's. After using roughly the same pattern from different makers they both said that the GEC is superior. The drywall saw is a feature they really appreciate.

  19. #19
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    This was my first work knife back in the 70's as I helped summers at my Dad's shop....It ended up in my toolbox at home and I still have it..

    Camillus


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