After spending a year after high school working in a cabinet/window shop, Murray Kruger headed into the field in which he’d eventually start his own company: insurance repair. Kruger moved up through the ranks, from demolition grunt, to drywall and carpentry, to running restoration crews. After becoming a project manager, he decided it was time to get back into the field.
In 2011, Kruger and his wife, Natalie, formed Kruger Construction, based in Saskatoon, Canada, and specializing in floor, fire and insurance repairs. He also does tool reviews for a number of sites and runs a popular Instagram account geared toward tool photos and reviews. An OLFA knife remains his go-to blade on the jobsite.
When and why did you start using OLFA knives?
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was my first day working at a restoration company and I went to a flood repair job. In the event of a basement flood, we take the bottom two feet of drywall in the basement that has been touched by floodwaters or sewer water; dry out the insulation behind it or pull it out; and then repair the drywall by cutting eight-by-four-foot sheets in half with an OLFA knife and screwing them on to close the bottom of the drywall.
At the time, though, I had no clue what was going on as I watched another guy chalk a line on the wall. He handed me an OLFA knife and said, “Just make sure you don’t cut your finger,” and had me cut the line, and that was the first time I used one.
It’s pretty cool to be able to use an OLFA to install drywall – you can just score and snap it, then cut the back.
What do you use OLFA knives for, and what kind do you use?
I use an OLFA for pretty much anything that needs to be cut. My go-to is the 18-mm cushion-grip ratchet-lock utility knife – just about anything I can cut with a utility knife gets it.
I like the rubber grip on it – you can put a lot of pressure on it and it doesn’t dig into your hand. Even when your hands are sweaty, you can still get a good grip on it, and I like the ratcheting wheel – even if you bump it, it won’t open up on you. And the black blades are super sharp.
OLFA is the knife I started with. Whenever I try something new, I’m always looking for that OLFA quality, and I end up going back to the OLFA.
What are some cutting pro tips you’d give to other contractors for specific applications?
It’s, of course, good common sense to keep your finger behind the blade when cutting.
Another good safety habit to get into is whenever you cut with the knife, make sure the blade is put back in. Too often, guys leave their blades out and the knife sitting on the floor or ground, and an open blade is a safety hazard.
The guard or guide (the end where the blade comes out) works really well for putting plug covers back on – it’s almost like a flathead screwdriver.