Tool Shelf vs Hot Key

Beginner - When I want to get the knife tool, I select it from the tool shelf, but it does not seem to work. If I use “K” it works. What am I doing wrong. I do not like Hot keys.

What’s your platform and version of Blender?

You should be able to still click and drag at the very least, after selecting the knife tool from the menu. That or select the knife, click near the point you want to start, then move the mouse, you should see a (red) line with the green end points appear.

If not, could be a bug. You could try an older version of 2.8 blender, see if you get the same results if you can’t get it to do anything. If you have a second computer per chance, try blender on that, see if it persists. Just kinda thinking out loud here!