By Mike Garrison
Whether it's wheel nuts, wings, tools, tracks, trinkets and/or anything in between, the LiveRC staff gives their testimonial and review of each every Thursday morning!
There are some people who are naturally gifted with the ability to paint incredible designs and artwork on an R/C car body, and there are some people, like myself, who struggle not to screw up a one-color paint job. Over the years I have tried time and time again to learn the art of R/C body painting, and while I have gotten “better” in time, I am still lightyears away from being anywhere close to the industry professionals.
I’ve tried a variety of methods, but I have found that my personal favorite is using the Bittydesign liquid mask, drawing my design on the outside, cutting it out on the inside, peeling the mask, and painting. One aspect of painting that I struggle with the most, primarily on smaller bodies, is cutting the design inside the body. I am a big guy at 6’5” tall, and my hands are not exactly sized to fit inside an R/C car body, let alone precisely cut out tiny shapes and lines using a hobby knife inside of one.
In an effort to make the tedious task a little less daunting, I purchased and have tested the Integy Billet Machined Type K2 Precision Hobby Knife Set – designed for decal and masking works.
Integy Billet Machined Type K2 Precision Hobby Knife Set (Black)
The Integy Billet Machined Type K2 Hobby Knife puts a bit of a twist on the traditional hobby knife design, and is intended for precision masking before painting, and/or cutting and installing decals. The knife handle is a hollow carbon fiber design with aluminum grip, twist tightening end, and protection cap. Included with the knife set is a #16 stencil edge cutting blade.
The knife can be used in two different configurations. The first is the traditional configuration which operates and is held like a tradition full-length hobby knife. The optional short configuration is achieved by removing the carbon fiber handle, which is removed the same way as the blade cap by simply pulling it.
Upon opening the package, immediately I was a fan of the carbon fiber handle and the overall appearance. I chose the black handle and cap version; however, the Type K2 Hobby Knife is also available in silver, gun metal, purple, red, blue, green, and orange anodized finishes.
The two-piece design with a removable handle is brilliant, and very helpful when trying to fit in the nooks and crannies of today’s R/C body shapes. The handle is a pull-off/push-on design, however, it fits a bit loose and can be knocked off somewhat easy. It also takes a bit of getting used to, as you can’t hold the handle to remove the blade cap since they both pull off.
The blade cap is quite the opposite, and fits very securely thanks to the rubber O-ring built into the blade holder. My biggest nightmare is reaching into my toolbox and grabbing an uncovered hobby knife blade (or putting one under my fingernail as I watched Matt Chambers once do by accident). I feel very safe and confident in the cap on this knife, and applaud Integy for providing such a secure setup.
Normally I use a traditional #11 blade, however, the K2 hobby knife includes a #16 stencil edge blade instead. I really liked the overall feel and use of the stencil edge blade. Since I didn’t own any more #16 blades to swap out when the original became dull, I switched to the more familiar #11 blades to finish cutting the mask. Both #16 and #11 blades fit the Type K2 knife, and I would assume nearly all other standard size hobby knife blades will fit as well.
The price of the Integy Billet Machined Type K2 Hobby Knife is a few dollars more than most standard hobby knives, which usually range from $6-12, however the two-piece design is worth skipping a McDonald’s value meal breakfast to buy this instead.
- Two-piece design allows you to use as a full-length hobby knife, or as a shortened knife to fit in small areas – such as when cutting paint mask inside a car body.
- Very snug and secure blade cap for protection against unexpected “blind toolbox reach” stabs.
- Available in eight different colors.
- Very light-weight and stylish carbon fiber handle.
- Includes one #16 blade, and will accept standard #11 blades as well.
- Removable handle does not fit as tight as the blade cap, and can be mistakenly knocked/pulled off rather easy.
By no means did the Integy Billet Machined Type K2 Hobby Knife improve my painting skills, but it did improve my ability to be more precise when cutting out my design scheme in the paint mask. I used the full-length knife whenever possible for maximum stability, and converted to the short-knife configuration when wedging my ogre hands into the cramped crevices to continue cutting clean straight lines. I am very happy with my purchase, and would recommend this hobby knife to anyone who struggles with a full-length knife while masking bodies.