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


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 break down boxes.

How does a box cutter work? This depends on the handle design you choose. A number of different designs exist, each with their own benefits and drawbacks, 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.

And of course, you’ll need to consider safety. 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 turned to redesigning their handles to reduce blade exposure in an effort to make the box cutter knife safer. Changing box cutter handles addresses some safety concerns, but redesigning box cutter blades addresses far more risks.

Traditional metal blades come dangerously sharp, and most ceramic blades mimic this design. Slice® blades feature our patent-pending finger-friendly® grind: it’s safe enough to touch, making it much less likely to cause lacerations.

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

Independent testing shows Slice safety blades have superior wear resistance compared with steel.
Independent study results illustrate Slice’s superior wear resistance. Our blades start at a safe, effective sharpness, and stay there much longer than steel.

Slice safety blades last up to 11 times longer than dangerous metal blades because of their design and their material. Zirconium oxide, the advanced ceramic in Slice blades, is much harder than steel and therefore holds its edge much longer.

With Slice, home users find they rarely have to look up how to change a box cutter blade because we make it easy, and industrial users save money over time with fewer blade changes. When it is finally time to change the blade, our safety blade edge greatly reduces the risk of injury.

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
  • Free of oils and lubricants
  • Safe up to 1600 degrees Celsius
  • Non-magnetic
  • Non-sparking
  • Maintenance free
  • Non-conductive

These 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 proprietary safety grind, each model offers different features that benefit different applications.

The Original Slice Box Cutter Knife

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.

Slice Utility and Industrial Knives

For triple-walled corrugated, or materials that require more blade depth than our box cutters, Slice offers utility knives and industrial knives. There are four versions of the utility knife, all of them ambidextrous: the Slice 10550 Manual Utility Knife, the Slice 10554 Auto-Retractable Utility Knife, the Slice 10558 Smart-Retracting Utility Knife, and the 10562 Slice Folding Utility Knife. Their elongated handle shape makes them maneuverable and able to handle corner cuts.

All Slice utility knives offer more cutting depth along with our finger-friendly blade design: 22-millimeter depth with the retractable models, and 30-millimeter depth with the 10562 folding model.

Smart retraction, offered in the 10558 Utility Knife, gives an additional layer of protection. It’s designed to retract automatically when the blade loses contact with its cutting material, even if the user’s thumb is still on the slider button.


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

Slice makes two industrial knives, the 10559 Manual Industrial Knife and the 10560 Auto-Retractable Industrial Knife. These tools offer our greatest blade depth: up to 76 millimeters, or 3 inches. This makes these tools especially suited for thicker materials like foam and insulation.

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 packaging while their slimmer design offers greater maneuverability and the ability to get at hard-to-reach areas. Two models exist: the Slice 10512 Auto-Retractable Pen Cutter and the Slice 10513 Manual Pen Cutter.

This video introduces the 10513 Pen Cutter and demonstrates various cutting applications where it shines.

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. They also uses the same blades as our larger box cutters.

The 10514 Auto-Retractable Mini 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.

This video demonstrates the versatility of the Slice Mini Cutter and lists the different types of materials this general-purpose tool can cut.

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, cardstock, and even clamshell packaging.

This is another versatile tool that, like the Mini Cutter, opens most household packaging and has an onboard magnet. 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 tool’s micro-ceramic blade is approved for travel in carry-on luggage in aircraft

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. If boxboard is your main cutting material, the carton cutter moves through it like butter. When you need a deep cut, we recommend the Slice utility or industrial 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.

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