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The Box Cutter: Here Are the Safest, Most Effective Models


The Box Cutter: Find Your New Fave

What is a box cutter? There’s a wide variety of knives that fit the bill. Rather than relying on a specific design style, the box cutter definition simply comes down to whether or not a given tool can cut boxes.

How does a box cutter work? This depends, of course, on the handle design you choose. A number of different designs exist, each with their own benefits and challenges and your choice will depend on your needs. It’s important to consider where and how often you’ll be using your box cutter, for what kind of boxes, and whether you’ll want to use your tool on other materials as well.

Another area to think about is safety, which should be an important consideration for everyone. Box cutters are notorious for causing injuries, which can be painful, expensive, and life-altering.

Safety First

Knowing the high rate of injuries from box cutters, manufacturers have, for years, redesigned their handles to reduce blade exposure in an effort to make box cutters safer. Changing box cutter handles addresses some safety concerns, but redesigning box cutter blades, as Slice has, addresses far more risks. After all, what cuts you, the handle or the blade?

Table lists risks associated with knives and which risks can be prevented with better handle design or a safer blade
Notice how many more safety issues are addressed by a safer blade. Slice redesigned the handles and the blades for safer versions of everyday tools like the box cutter.

Aside from safety, Slice® blades have some definite advantages for industrial use, not the least of which is longevity.

Slice Blades Are Around for the Long Haul

The Mohs scale of hardness shows that zirconium oxide, the material used in Slice blades, is much harder than steel.
The Mohs scale shows the relative hardness of various materials. As you can see, Slice ceramics are much harder than steel.

Slice safety blades last an average of 11.2 times longer than dangerous metal blades because of their thicker design and their material: zirconium oxide. This advanced ceramic material is much harder than steel and therefore holds its edge much longer. The thicker blade is much less likely to chip or shatter than other ceramic blades, and it remains effective even when microscopic chips do occur.

With Slice, home users find they rarely have to look up how to change a box cutter blade, while industrial users save money over time with fewer blade changes. When it’s finally time to change the blade, our patented finger-friendly® grind is safe to the touch and much less likely to cause a laceration.

Many industries prefer Slice blades for the inherent properties of our ceramics because they overcome industry-specific challenges. These benefits include blades that are:

  • Rust free
  • Chemically inert
  • Safe up to 1600 degrees Celsius
  • Non-magnetic
  • Non-sparking
  • Maintenance free
  • Non-conductive

These special properties allow many facilities to find safer versions of the dangerous traditional box cutters they’ve been using, thus reducing their injuries and costs. And while all Slice box cutters benefit from the properties of advanced ceramics and our patented finger-friendly grind, each model offers different features that benefit different applications.

The Original Slice Box Cutter

Slice’s original box cutter was designed specifically for single- and double-walled corrugated material. The handle provides the correct blade depth for double-walled cardboard with no extra blade exposed, which protects the contents of the package. The distinctive J-hook handle is ergonomic and protective, keeping fingers away from staples and other hazards. This Red Dot Design Award winner comes in two styles: the 10400 Manual Box Cutter and the 10503 Auto-Retractable Box Cutter. The following video gives an overview of the 10503’s main features.

Slice Utility Knives

For triple-walled corrugated, or materials that require more blade depth than our box cutters, Slice offers three styles of utility knife: the Slice 10550 Manual Utility Knife, the Slice 10554 Auto-Retractable Utility Knife and the Slice 10558 Smart-Retracting Utility Knife.

All Slice utility knives offer a longer, 24 millimeter, version of our finger-friendly blade. Their elongated handle shape makes them maneuverable and able to handle corner cuts. And the new Smart-Retract™ feature offered in the 10558 model gives an additional layer of protection. It’s designed to retract automatically when the blade loses contact with the cutting material, even if the user’s thumb is still on the slider button.


Slice CEO TJ Scimone demonstrates how the new Smart-Retracting Utility Knife gives users an added layer of protection while cutting.

Pen Cutters

Slice pen cutters have a smaller profile than the utility knives and use the same replacement blades as the box cutters. The pen cutters’ 11-millimeter cutting depth handles most household packaging while their slimmer design offers more versatility for hard-to-reach areas. Two models exist: the Slice 10512 Auto-Retractable Pen Cutter and the Slice 10513 Manual Pen Cutter.

The Slice Manual Carton Cutter: A Sleek Tool for Thin Boxes

With its sturdy metal housing and smaller silhouette, the Slice 10585 Manual Carton Cutter is a sleek addition to any tool kit. Its minimal blade exposure creates the ideal cutting depth (5 millimeters) for boxboard and single corrugated (which is typically 4 millimeters thick). This tool fits easily into your hand or pocket.

The Slice Mini-Cutters: Ultimate Versatility

The Slice Mini-Cutters may be our most versatile box cutters because of their convenient size and on-board magnet, which makes them easy to store on a fridge or tool box. The 10514 retractable-blade cutter handles most household packaging, including single- and double-walled corrugated, clamshell packaging, plastic film, and onion bags. The 10515 Manual Mini Cutter has all the same features as the 10514 auto-retractable model, but allows the user to expose the blade in a fixed position without having to keep the slider engaged.

And a Bonus: The Safety Cutter

In the strictest sense, the Slice 00200 Safety Cutter isn’t a box cutter because its micro-ceramic blade isn’t deep enough to cut corrugated. However, most cardboard boxes come with a packing tape seam, and the mouse-shaped Slice Safety Cutter can easily handle tape, paper, and cardstock.

This is another versatile tool that, like the Mini Cutter, opens most household packaging and has an onboard magnet. Its micro-ceramic blade is approved for travel in carry-on luggage in aircraft and we’re always learning of new industrial applications that our customers have found for the Slice Safety Cutter, such as cutting lab liner in medical settings.

This video demonstrates the proper technique for using the Slice Safety Cutter. Holding this tool correctly gives you more control, and provides the proper cutting depth to get through your materials.

Which Box Cutter Will Work For You?

The best box cutter for you will depend on your needs. If versatility is most important to you, consider the pen cutters, mini cutters, or Safety Cutter. When you need a deep cut, we recommend the Slice utility knives. In a shipping and receiving or retail environment where workers open a lot of boxes over the course of a shift, a Slice box cutter will reduce ergonomic strain and provide a protective handle that also acts as a guide for corrugated material. If boxboard is your main cutting material, the carton cutter moves through it like butter.

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