If you’re an industrial worker or a hobbyist, chances are you’ve used a box cutter at some point in your life. It’s an incredibly common tool that can last a lifetime, depending upon its durability. Don’t be fooled by its name though. Box cutters can be utilized to cut more than just cardboard boxes. The unique features that are often attached to some of them too often go ignored, but you’ve got a much more flexible tool on your hands than you may think.
Obviously if you just want to cut up boxes, there’s nothing wrong with that. Shop for the kind of cutting tool that fits your needs. Maybe you’ve seen box cutters, but you aren’t quite sure what else they can do. Let’s take a dive into what box cutters are, important box cutter features to look for, and crucial safety tips. It’s worth noting that it’s always good to conduct your own research when searching for the perfect box cutter.
What Is a Box Cutter?
A box cutter is a tool often used to cut cardboard boxes among a wide array of other items. Whether manual or retractable, it sports a thin blade with very little exposure in comparison to other knives. The handle is typically composed of plastic or metal, and is usually wider for optimal gripping.
Besides cardboard, box cutters like these are great for slicing plastic string, making precision cuts, leather, paper, drywall, foam insulation, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl flooring, carpet, and more.
Important Box Cutter Features
You want a handle that’s constructed with efficiency and comfort in mind. Enter the ergonomic handle. When looking for the perfect box cutter, consider purchasing one with a handle that’s designed for the worker. If you’re someone who cuts tools for a living, then you need a box cutter that won’t be uncomfortable to hold.
Did you know that overusing a tool and repetitive movements can lead to muscle strain over an extended period of time? Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a result of that overuse. Now, if you invest in a box cutter with an ergonomic handle, you’ll minimize your chances of muscle strain and injury.
Blade That’s Safe to the Touch
You’d think that a safer blade is a duller one, right? Believe it or not, you can find a box cutter blade that’s safe to the touch and equally effective. Instead of purchasing a box cutter with a steel blade, look into one that’s made of zirconium oxide.
Zirconium oxide is an advanced ceramic with a hardness that exceeds steel. Its longevity also exceeds that of steel. Zirconium oxide is strong and undeniably tough on your cutting material, but it’s also safe to touch.
Box Cutter That’s Compatible With Multiple Blades
Sometimes you need a variety of blade types for a variety of tasks. Rounded-tip blades may fare better with certain materials over their pointed-tip counterparts. Think about getting a box cutter that’s suited for versatility and compatible with multiple blades. One size doesn’t always fit all when it comes to slicing.
Durable Nylon Handle
Glass-filled nylon isn’t a common material for box cutter handles, but it does stand head and shoulders above the rest. It’s durable yet lightweight. You’ll feel like you’re wearing a second skin when you hold a glass-filled nylon handle. It’s easy to wield, and it sits comfortably in your hand. Expect your box cutter handle to stand the test of time if you purchase one that’s made of glass-filled nylon.
Hey, lefties, you deserve to use a box cutter that works for you. Consider investing in a tool with an ambidextrous design. That way, if you’re left-handed, you’ll have a box cutter that feels good to hold and isn’t awkward to utilize. It’s one of the many ways you can avoid accidents—by making sure that you have a tool that’s both left- and right-hand oriented.
No-Tool Blade Change
Who wants to add on extra work for themselves? While some box cutters may need a tool to change the blades, there are products out there that don’t require an implement to change out said blades. Purchase a box cutter that boasts a quick, painless blade change and doesn’t interrupt workflow.
Important Safety Tips
Always cut away from your body. Your safety is vital here. Make sure that you retract the blade when your box cutter isn’t in use. Even if it’s just sitting solo on a flat surface, you never know when someone might inadvertently hurt themselves with your box cutter.
If you can, wear gloves to protect your hands and fingers. Always change out rusty and dull blades to prevent injuries.
Investing in a quality box cutter is an investment in yourself. You’ll find that box cutters are immensely versatile tools that should be in every toolkit. Use them correctly and follow maintenance guidelines, and they’ll serve you well.