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Utility Blades

What Are Utility Blades?

Utility blades have been around since the first time someone realized they could use a rock edge to cut their meat and set about breaking rocks to fashion cutting tools. The key to understanding these blades is that they’re prized for their utility: their ability to reliably cut a wide variety of materials. These blades are generalists, not specialists.

How Are Slice® Utility Replacement Blades Safer?

For centuries, various metals have been the preferred material for utility knives and their blades, always with a focus on increased sharpness. Safety improvements to knives have, until very recently, been modifications of their handles to reduce blade exposure. Slice looked at the standard utility blade design and asked how it could be improved from a safety standpoint without losing any of its effectiveness as an all-purpose tool.

The result is a blade made from 100 percent zirconium oxide, an extremely hard material that dulls much slower than metal. It turns out that the sharpness we’re used to in steel blades far exceeds what’s necessary to cut materials. The only reason manufacturers sharpen metal blades to this degree is that metal dulls quite quickly. Most ceramic blade manufacturers have copied this overly sharp design.

Slice recognized that advanced ceramics have superior wear resistance, and therefore can be sharpened to a level that’s effective without being extremely dangerous. We also developed a patent-pending grind that disperses cutting force in such a way as to displace skin and shorten the initial cutting zone. The result is a finger-friendly® blade edge that cuts your materials but is much safer to touch than standard blades, and lasts up to 11 times longer.

The ceramic material we use is also non-conductive, non-magnetic, non-sparking, chemically inert and never rusts. All these qualities add to the safety of Slice blades.

Does a Slice Utility Blade Need Maintenance?

If you’re considering switching to Slice, know that you’ll spend less time looking up, “How to dispose of utility blades” and “How to sharpen utility blades”. Firstly, our advanced ceramics are hand-sharpened on a diamond grinding wheel to very specific angles in order to create our finger-friendly edge. We don’t recommend sharpening our blades yourself, as this will ruin the proprietary edge. That said, our blades last up to 11 times longer than standard steel blades, so you won’t need to replace them nearly as often. Where possible, our knives are designed so that once you’ve worn down the edge, you can flip the blade over in its housing to start with a fresh edge (that’s 11 times longer, times two!).

When you’ve finally worn out both sides, Slice blades can be disposed of without a special utility blade holder or sharps box, due to their safer edge. And zirconium oxide is 100 percent recyclable, so look for a ceramics recycling facility or send your used blades to our headquarters in San Jose for recycling.

What Kinds of Utility Replacement Blades Does Slice Make?

Slice makes the 10523, 10524, and 10525 blades, which are all a familiar trapezoidal shape, with the same measurements (59.5 x 19 x 0.8 mm), but different edge and tip options. The 10523/10524/10525 blades work in our Mini Scraper, metal-handle utility knives, and EDC Pocket Knife.

All Slice blades feature our patent-pending finger-friendly edge. In general, we recommend starting with rounded-tip blades, as they reduce the danger of puncture wounds and are therefore considered safer. Rounded-tip blades work fine for most cutting jobs. For some applications, however, pointed tips are needed to initiate the cut.

What Are the Best Utility Blades For my Application?

The best utility blade for you will, of course, be determined by your applications, but also your preferences. Generally, it’s best to start by looking at different handles: will they fit in the space you need them to? Do they feel comfortable in your hand? From there, look at your materials. Most materials are easily cut by a safer rounded-tip blade, but some require a pointed-tip blade to initiate the cut.

What Handles Are Compatible?

Slice’s utility replacement blades fit the following handles:

10523/10524/10525 - Trapezoidal Blades

  • Metal-Handle Utility Knives 10490, 10491, 10492
  • EDC Pocket Knife: 10496
  • Mini Scraper: 10594

Do Slice Blades Break Easily?

Many people worry that ceramic blades will break, especially if the only ceramic cutters they’ve used were designed as kitchen tools. It’s important to note that Slice uses 100 percent zirconium oxide, and extremely hard advanced ceramic. We also design our blades to be thicker and more durable than typical kitchen ceramics. While some microscopic chips can occur, these do not affect the performance of the cutter. No knife is designed to be subjected to a side load, so we recommend only using our tools for their intended use. Slice tools are in use in facilities around the world and favored by over half the Fortune 1000. Our experience tells us that, when used properly, our utility blades will last longer than standard blades.

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