A utility knife is a sharp cutting tool used for various purposes such as trade and crafts. It is easy to carry and use and it is commonly used in factories, warehouses or any place where the tool is frequently used to open boxes, packages or to cut through cords and thin ropes. A utility knife usually consists of a simple flat holder and is usually made out of plastic or metal.
Utility knives are used all over the world, and are oftentimes called different names, such as “Stanley knife” (named after Stanley Works, a manufacturer of such knives), “blade knife,” “carpet knife” and “box cutter.”
Utility knife blades. A utility knife enables the user to adjust and extend the blade from the handle. So if a person is cutting through a box that contains fragile items, the user can adjust the blade length and choose to extend just a small part of the blade so that it will not go deep through the box and damage the items inside.
On the other hand, one can adjust the blade to its largest size when handling rough boxes that are difficult to open. Most utility knives have a mechanism to lock the blade in place, so when the user needs to use the knife, the blade will not move in or out while in a cutting motion.
Different types of utility knives. One should choose the right utility knife for the job. There are utility knives with a quick-change mechanism, which allows the blade to be replaced without the need for any tools. There are blades especially used for cutting stings and linoleum, and a snap-off knife which consists of a long blade that slides out.
There is also a fixed blade version, shaped like a pencil with a sharp blade at one end. This type of utility knife, usually called an X-acto knife, calls for delicate and precision cutting. So when one needs to cut small delicate and exact shapes or lines, one should use this type of blade, as it is best suited for crafts and light materials.
Other usage. Unfortunately, utility knives are sometimes used as weapons. Such knives have been known to be used for terrorism attacks and for minor crimes, such as in robberies or in schools. As a weapon, utility knives can hurt or kill. Therefore, safety precautions must be made. Airlines, for instance, have totally banned utility knives, and even plastic knives from flights.
Safety. Be careful when using utility knives. Make sure not to use it in front of young children, or leave a utility knife in an area where it can be easily reached by small kids. Also one should be careful to remember to draw in the blade before storing a knife away. Even an adult should be careful when using a utility knife. Some people would absentmindedly put these in their pockets or aprons, and end up forgetting about it and hurting themselves.
Utility knives come in different colors and brands. They can be found in most common hardware shops and very useful to use in both craft-making and do-it-yourself projects. These have various uses, but the important thing to remember is that safety comes first.