How Do I Know Slice Tools Are More Ergonomic?
The answer to this FAQ is simple: because it’s been proven. In September 2016, Slice® hired United States Ergonomics to compare the ergonomic profiles of our 10400 Manual Box Cutter and our 10558 Utility Knife against comparable standard utility knives.
- Muscle effort (using electromyography measurement)
- Dynamic wrist postures (using electrogoniometry)
- Hand anthropometric measurements and grip strength
- Subjective ratings of user comfort and product performance
Comparisons were controlled for:
- Cutting length
- Material being cut
- Cutting postures
- Blade sharpness (both new and dulled tested)
Handle Shape: The 10400 Manual Box Cutter Results
The 10400 Manual Box Cutter features a distinctive curved handle that wraps around the user’s hand to protect it from obstacles like staples. This unique shape also guides the cut, both in terms of the angle, or depth, of the cut, and in terms of the direction and straightness of the cut.
US Ergonomics tested the box cutter from three different cutting positions (or configurations) and found that, “Overall, the Slice Manual had lower average muscle effort than the standard utility knife in all three configurations.” For example, the report continues, “compared to the standard tools used horizontally, the Slice resulted in 13.6 percent lower forearm muscle effort and 12.9 percent lower upper arm muscle effort.”
Along with lower muscle effort, the 10400 box cutter’s handle reduced the total wrist movement required by the user, which protects delicate wrist muscles and tendons from overexertion.
“In all three configurations, the Slice Manual resulted in less flexion/extension and ulnar/radial wrist movement than the standard tool. The lower degree of movement suggests that the arching Slice grip does aid in stabilizing the tool and prevents excess wrist movement.”
US Ergonomics also looked at more subjective user evaluations of our tools, including their fit, effort, balance, and ease of cutting. The report states, “The Slice Manual rated well, receiving ratings above 7.5 for all characteristics. [It also] received higher ratings than the standard tool for lower effort, balance, and ease of cutting.“
Ergo Pull: The 10558 Smart-Retracting Utility Knife Results
In the case of the 10558 Smart-Retracting Utility Knife, US Ergonomics specifically looked at the Slice Ergo-Pull slider. Most utility knives with sliders require the user to push the slider forward while pulling the tool backwards to make a cut. Slice’s Ergo-Pull introduces a slider that works with a pulling motion, which complements the pull of the cutting action. The results?
“The Slice [Ergo Pull] resulted in lower forearm and hand muscle effort than the standard push blade lever utility knife.”
If ergonomics are a consideration in your safety evaluations (and really, they should be) look for a company that considers the ergonomic implications of every design choice they make. And don’t take their word for it; demand scientific proof like this: “Overall, the design of the Slice products demonstrated a reduction in muscle effort and wrist movement in light force cutting tasks.“