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Tips For Using A Craft Knife Safely

A craft knife (with snap-off blades), a Stanley knife, or a scarpel is a very useful tool for anyone doing hobby work. These tools are great for giving a clean cut through cardboard, balsa wood, polystyrene etc. However be very careful, because they are also very efficient at cutting through flesh. That’s why surgeons use scarpels in operations!
I have found from experience it is best to make several cuts along the same line using light to medium pressure on the knife rather than pressing down hard on the knife to make one deep cut. The knife (or your grip) is more likely to slip under pressure and result in a serious cut to a finger (or damage to the object you are cutting).

So, try using several light cuts – it may take a bit longer, but you’ll be more likely to finish with the same number of fingers.

When cutting a straight line is also a good idea to use with a metal ruler rather than a less sturdy plastic ruler. Some metal rulers come with an integral finger guard.
Always keep your hand and fingers behind the direction you are cutting. It is a simple rule, but not applying the rule it is the reason many people get cut.
Also, apart from keeping the craft knife in a safe/secure place, make sure the blade is safely retracted after use.Many in the hobby prefer using a Stanley knife as they are more sturdy than the snap-off blade types. However, they are a little more bulky so it depends on the type of project you are working on, or what you prefer using. Whatever you choose be careful!
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One Response to Tips For Using A Craft Knife Safely

  • Brod Brown says:

    Only ever use sharp blades. A dull blade is more likely to snag, you apply more pressure and it suddenly gives, ending up cutting something you didn’t want to – like your hand. Ask me how I know (2 scars and seven stitches)

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