LAST UPDATED: November 26, 2020

The Best Box Cutters (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Best Choice FC Folding Heavy Duty Box Cutter FC Folding Heavy Duty Box Cutter
Best Value Wescott Safety Knife Wescott Safety Knife
Premium Pick Slice Auto Retract Box Cutter Slice Auto Retract Box Cutter

A box cutter is a seriously versatile tool. It’s more than a basic utility knife, but it functions well as one. While a box cutter is designed to cut boxes — cutting through tape and packaging materials — it can be used as a versatile cutting instrument anywhere, any time. Whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go, a box cutter can be quite helpful. You can use this compact tool to cut just about anything, from plastic string to cardboard and other materials. It can even be used to strip materials, make precision cuts, and perform plenty of other types of jobs. Available in a vast variety of different sizes and styles, you can find a box cutter that’s perfectly suited for your needs. If you’re looking for the best available, look no further.

The Best Box Cutters

The FC Folding Pocket Utility Knife is an all-around excellent choice if you need a box cutter that’s effective, easy to use, and safe. This box cutter will be a trustworthy companion every time you need to cut into cardboard or other tough materials. It measures 4.5 x 1.8 x 0.8 inches when closed, and it’s constructed from anodized aluminum. This box cutter is lightweight and easy to hold and features an anti-slip grip to ensure you can hang onto the knife while it’s in use. It cuts with a heavy-duty carbon steel blade that’ll stay sharper for longer and a lock-back design locks the blade in place while you work. When it’s time to swap out the blade, you’ll love that this knife includes five replacement blades and a quick-change mechanism that makes blade removal simple.

Key Features
  • Anodized aluminum body with anti-slip grip
  • Carbon steel blades for heavy-duty cutting capability
  • Foldable design makes the knife compact
  • Quick-change blade mechanism
Specification
  • Brand Fancil
  • Model 1B-UK10
  • Weight 4.8 ounces
PROS

Locking blade ensures you can cut safely and without worry

Folds down for easy, compact portability

Backed by a 100 percent money-back guarantee

CONS

Doesn’t fold flush when closed

Button is made out of plastic

Included case is quite small

If you’re looking for a box cutter that cuts easily and doesn’t cost a lot of money, the Wescott Safety Knife is a great option. This full-size retractable utility box cutter can tackle even the largest boxes and toughest tasks, and it’s affordable enough that absolutely anyone will love it. It comes with a retractable blade for safe storage, and it’s small enough that you can carry it in your pocket or tool kit. This box cutter can power through materials with its blade, which is constructed to last up to 11 times longer than a basic metal blade. Whether you’re putting this box cutter to use at home or on the job, it’ll tackle any kind of cutting with ease.

Key Features
  • Retractable blade makes for safe, secure storage
  • Slice blade lasts over 10 times longer than most traditional blades
  • Compact and perfectly pocket-sized
  • Blade changes are easy
Specification
  • Brand Wescott
  • Model 16475
  • Weight 0.16 ounces
PROS

Compact yet offers a full-sized blade

Made with longer-lasting metal blades for great value

Ideal for opening boxes and cutting cardboard

CONS

Must keep your hand on the button so the blade doesn’t retract while in use

Can be awkward to hold and use

If you need a top-tier box cutter that can deliver premium-level results, take a look at the Slice Auto Retract Box Cutter. This box cutter offers more safety, more ease of use, and one seriously tough blade. While it is more expensive than many other box cutters, it’s a handy tool that you won’t want to let go of. It features an automatically retractable blade that slides away when not in use. The blade is made out of zirconium oxide ceramic with a rounded tip and a length of just 1/2 inch when extended for extra safety. It can stay sharp for up to 10 times longer than your average blade, and it can tackle everything from cardboard to foam to vinyl and more.

Key Features
  • Automatically retractable blade
  • Zirconium oxide ceramic blade resists rust, chemicals, and is anti-magnetic
  • Blade protrudes just 0.5 inch
  • Blade lasts 10 times longer than basic blades
Specification
  • Brand Slice Industrial
  • Model 10503
  • Weight 3.52 ounces
PROS

Box cutter features non-slip, easy-hold finish for easy use

A single blade can last as long as 20 blades

Ideal for cutting a wide variety of materials

CONS

Isn’t the most ergonomic

Cuts can be somewhat shallow

Ceramic blade isn’t as sharp as stainless steel blades

One of the biggest concerns you’ll have when working with a box cutter is the exposed blade, but the Cosco Box Cutter Knife will alleviate all of your worries. This box cutter, which measures 6 x 2 x 1 inches, is retractable and hides the blade inside the handle when not in use. However, this box cutter takes safety another step farther: it comes with an attached shielded blade to ensure you never run the risk of cutting yourself while carrying the knife. The blade is rounded for added safety, and the safety holster is tethered to the handle. A safety lock button, which also functions as a blade adjustment button, also helps you secure the blade as needed.

Key Features
  • Blade self-retracts when you’re finished cutting
  • Curved blade tip adds extra layer of safety
  • Attached safety holster prevents accidental blade exposure
  • Removable stretch tether adds secure safety
Specification
  • Brand Cosco Products
  • Model 091524
  • Weight 0.16 ounces
PROS

Can completely cover the blade opening to prevent accidents

Self-retracting blade ensures knife isn’t exposed

Can customize your level of safety with the removable tether and holster

CONS

Plastic material is slick

Can be difficult to push the blade out

Blade mechanism may stick

The Home Planet Gear Box Cutter offers several handy features that’ll make using this tool both easy and safe. It’s built with quality materials — the handle is made from zinc alloy, and the blade is a heavy-duty high carbon SK5 blade that’s reversible. This box cutter can tackle all kinds of materials, including cardboard, carpet, drywall, rope, vinyl, leather, and more. The body of this box cutter features comfortable, grippy TPR rubber material that’ll prevent slips while you’re using it. With an overall size of 6.75 x 0.75 x 0.75 inches, this box cutter is perfectly light and small to carry anywhere. But most importantly of all, the blade can be locked in a variety of positions. You can lock it when closed or at a 1/8, 1/2, 3/4, or 1-inch length for any cutting need.

Key Features
  • High carbon SK5 blade can handle heavy-duty use
  • Zinc alloy body with TPR rubber grip
  • Blade can be locked closed or in four different positions
  • Lightweight and compact in size
Specification
  • Brand Home Planet Gear
  • Model UK1
  • Weight 9.6 ounces
PROS

Locking blade allows you to perfectly position its length for different materials

Extra grip on the knife body gives better hold

Includes extra replacement blades

CONS

Additional blades can easily fall out of the storage compartment

Can jam easily

No easy way to clear jams or buildup

The Rexbeti Retractable Box Cutter is sharp, strong, and stable. But when you purchase this tool, you won’t get just one box cutter; you’ll get a set of 12. These super-sharp utility knives are constructed with a high-grade carbon steel blade and thickened hard plastic housing with a bit of grip. Each box cutter included in this set is bigger than many competing products — it measures 8.85 x 0.3 x 5.9 inches in overall size. The carbon steel blades are 18 millimeters wide, giving you easy deep cuts in material like cardboard, fabric, plastic, and more. A smooth retraction mechanism allows you to adjust the blade and use this box cutter with just one hand. There are even multiple locking grooves available, which lets you control the length of the blade for any cutting project.

Key Features
  • High-grade carbon steel blade
  • Blades are rust-resistant and feature a safety lock
  • Box cutter is hard and stable to prevent blade breakage
  • Retractable blades can be locked in multiple positions
Specification
  • Brand Rexbeti
  • Model B07DXTP9M9
  • Weight 13.4 ounces
PROS

Get impressive value with a total of 12 box cutters for one price

Wider blade makes easy work of tougher, thicker materials

Can be used on thin items like paper or much thicker materials

CONS

Box cutters may arrive with blades exposed

Handles are a bit flimsy

While full-size box cutters are the norm, sometimes you don’t need something that’s the size of your hand — and that’s where the Slice Mini Box Cutter can come in handy. This petite box cutter is super small — but don’t let that convince you that it isn’t powerful. It’s ideal for opening boxes, and it can be used to cut left- or right-handed. It features a double-sided Slice ceramic blade that can stay sharp up to 11 times longer than a steel blade. It’ll never rust, and it can tackle everything from cardboard to vinyl to foam thanks to a harder edge that can maintain its sharpness better. A patent-pending finger-friendly safety edge helps keep you safe from accidental cuts with every use too.

Key Features
  • Features a Slice ceramic blade that lasts 11 times longer than steel blades
  • Built with an integrated magnet for convenient storage
  • Suitable for cutting a wide variety of materials
  • No tools required to change the blade
Specification
  • Brand Slice Industrial
  • Model 10515
  • Weight 2.39 ounces
PROS

Suitable for both right- and left-handed users

Manual blade stays in place for easy repeated use

Smaller blade may reduce the risk of potential injuries

CONS

Can require more force to cut through tough materials

Not designed for frequent or heavy-duty use

Blade can be a bit dull

The Workpro Self-Retracting Safety Box Cutter is a great option if you want to be able to use your box cutter with just one hand. It’s simple and straightforward, and it makes extending and retracting the blade almost effortless. It features two buttons, one on top and one on the side — the top button extends the blade while the side button allows you to choose from three locking positions. The blade self-retracts when you’re finished cutting. The box cutter’s body features an ergonomic design, with a die-cast curved aluminum body and a helpful grip. You can control all aspects of this box cutter with just a couple of fingers and one hand. A quick change mechanism even makes swapping out blades simple.

Key Features
  • Self-retracting blade helps prevent accidents
  • Three different blade locking positions
  • Precision die-cast aluminum body
  • Two extra blades are stored inside the handle
Specification
  • Brand Workpro
  • Model W013009A
  • Weight 6.4 ounces
PROS

Comfortable and controllable with just one hand

Buttons allow easy blade extension and locking

Curved body offers an easy grip

CONS

Blade can detach from the handle

Extra blades stored in handle can pose problems during use

Safety blade can present challenges

If you’re someone who relies on box cutters a lot, you’ll love the DIYSelf Retractable Box Cutter. You won’t get caught without a box cutter on hand thanks to this 14-piece set. In addition to offering a wealth of the same box cutters, you’ll also like how tough these utility knives are. Built with a heavy-duty blade that’s 18 millimeters wider than a typical blade, you’ll be able to make deeper cuts and cut through thicker materials. It’ll make easy work of cutting cardboard, balsa wood and basswood, foam board, and more. A safety lock tab keeps the blade in place and prevents slippage. Adjusting the blade for the perfect cutting length is also easy thanks to a smooth retractable mechanism, which allows you to lock the blade at different lengths with just one hand.

Key Features
  • 14 box cutters for one price
  • Blade offers an extra 18 millimeters of width
  • Retractable blade can be adjusted with one hand
  • Multiple locking grooves for custom blade length
Specification
  • Brand DIYSelf
  • Model 16
  • Weight 7 ounces
PROS

Tough enough to cut even thick materials, like wood

Easy to cut and lock or extend with just one hand

Gives you a box cutter for every place you might need one

CONS

Handle is made with thin material

Blades are thin

Blade locking mechanism may fail

The Canopus Box Cutter is one versatile box cutter. It’s more than a basic box cutter — it’s both a utility knife and a scraping tool in one. You’ll enjoy a full metal box cutter that’s simplified, with no fancy accessories or add-ons. It’s easy to open and close, and the blade is completely secure once it’s been retracted. Made out of stainless steel, you’ll enjoy hardness and durability from both the body and the blade itself. When you’re ready to cut, all you have to do is tap to expose the blade. Done cutting? Another tap can retract the blade securely. Oh, and you’ll enjoy the quantity too; you’ll get 12 box cutters for one price. When it comes to scraping, you can use this tool and its blade to remove paint, stickers, and other stuck-on substances from glass, metal, granite, tile, and more.

Key Features
  • Blade and cover are made out of first-class stainless steel
  • 12 box cutters for one price
  • Each box cutter is 4 inches long
  • Blades have high hardness and durability
Specification
  • Brand Canopus
  • Model Canopus-BoxCutter-12pcs
  • Weight 11.2 ounces
PROS

Works to cut materials and scrape off sticky items and paint

A retractable cover keeps the blade and your hands safe

Works with any standard razor blade, which made replacing blades easy

CONS

Takes effort to open and close the blade

Blade may wiggle during use

Construction may not be top-quality

Best Box Cutters Buying Guide & FAQ

Box cutters are pretty simple tools with a clear-cut purpose. But just because a box cutter doesn’t come with advanced features and details doesn’t mean all of these utility knives are the same. Every box cutter can offer different advantages and disadvantages, functionality, and safety features, and more. And there are a ton of different box cutters available to choose from, which doesn’t exactly make the decision easy.

To find the right box cutter for your needs, you’ll want to compare different styles with different options. From lightweight to heavy-duty, one-handed to left- and right-handed, today’s box cutters offer something unique for every cutting need. If you’re searching for the perfect box cutter, let our buying guide lead you to the perfect pick.

The Advantages of Owning a Box Cutter

What makes a box cutter better than your basic knife? You likely chose your other knives with care, picking products that are very versatile, very sharp, and suited for very different jobs. When you need something basic that can cut through more than paper and fabric, a box cutter can do the trick. 

A box cutter is a tool you’ll want to keep throughout your home or workspace. You can keep one in your junk drawer, on your desk, or in your tool kit. With a removable razor blade that can be changed as it dulls, a box cutter is great for all different types of cutting. When a task is too difficult for your scissors and too damaging or dulling for your favorite pocket knife, a box cutter is the perfect tool for the job. And it’ll come in handy whether you’re ripping into cardboard boxes or tearing into drywall.

  • Convenient cutting power that can be used for many different materials.
  • Sharp enough to make cuts in cardboard, corrugated, and even tougher materials like wood.
  • Extendable and retractable blades allow you to choose how much blade you’re cutting with.
  • Can include safety benefits to prevent accidental cuts and knicks.
  • Lightweight and compact enough to carry in a pocket or clip to a belt.
Cutting Box With Box Cutter
Box Cutter

Types of Box Cutters

Box cutters come in many shapes, styles, and sizes. From their blade movement to their construction and design, the type of utility knife you choose will determine how effective it is at everything from the act of cutting to ease of use to comfort and control while you cut. With varied blade types and different suitability for all kinds of materials, box cutters can offer more than a basic blade that’ll cut quickly. However, it all depends on the type you select. You can choose from a few different types of box cutters — check out some of the most common varieties below.

Fixed Blade

A fixed blade box cutter features a non-movable blade that stays securely locked in place as you cut. These box cutters can accept a wide range of different types of blades made from different materials, giving you great versatility. And they’re available with all kinds of handles, in different sizes and widths. This type of box cutter comes with no frills and no extra mechanisms.

Fixed blade box cutters are a fantastic choice for heavy-duty cutting jobs and extra-tough materials. Because the blade is more stable and immovable, it won’t bend or snap out of place when you’re working with thicker, tougher items. You’ll get more stability with a fixed blade.

Retractable

Retractable box cutters add a bit more safety and functionality to a basic box cutter. They feature blades that can be fully retracted into the knife handle when not in use. With a thumb-operated sliding mechanism, you can slide the blade out as needed. This is a great feature that prevents you from accidentally touching the blade or getting injured. Some retractable box cutters allow you to lock the blade at different lengths so you can customize the length you need. 

A retractable box cutter is a great option for general, everyday use. It’s one to keep on hand for opening boxes, cutting down cardboard, and tackling all kinds of various cutting needs. Simple to operate yet available in more advanced styles with more features, there are many different perks you can get with a retractable box cutter.

Breakaway Blade

Breakaway blade box cutters are a completely different spin on a traditional box cutter. They feature segmented blades — and those blades can be broken off. As you break the blade, you’ll get a fresh, sharp edge to cut with. A basic breakaway blade box cutter has between eight and 13 segments, meaning you can snap off blade pieces quite a few times before you ever need to buy a replacement blade.

These box cutters are a great choice if you find yourself frequently needing a sharp blade. Don’t want to deal with dullness? A breakaway blade box cutter can be used for light- to medium-duty cutting, and you can get rid of dullness in just seconds. However, keep in mind that these box cutters don’t work with different types of blades, so the blade cannot be swapped out for more specialized cutting.

Features to Look for in a Box Cutter

Box cutters all have one pretty important feature in common: a single blade that can cut smoothly. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming all box cutters are identical. Certain features can make a box cutter better than others. And the blade is at the heart of what makes these tools different. Make sure to consider the type of blade that’s used in a box cutter. From steel to carbon steel to ceramic, there are many different options, and each has its benefits and disadvantages.

You’ll also want to look for locking features. Can you retract and lock the blade when it’s not in use for safe storage? Can you lock the blade while it’s extended for stable cutting? If you can lock a box cutter blade, you’ll get extra safety as well as extra versatility. You’ll even be able to adjust the box cutter as needed to suit different materials and cutting needs. 

Box Cutter On The Box
Box Cutter

Best Box Cutter FAQ:

Which box cutter is the best? Well, you’ll want to ask a few questions before you make a final decision. From blade type to handle construction to blade replacement, picking out a box cutter can bring on plenty of questions and concerns. If you’ve got questions about choosing a box cutter, we’ve got answers to some of the most commonly asked questions right here. 

Q. What is the difference between a box cutter and a utility knife?

A. A utility knife and a box cutter are the same tool. They can go by a few different names, including X-Acto knife, Stanley knife, retractable knife — but box cutters and utility knives are interchangeable.

Q. How dangerous are box cutters?

A. Box cutters can pose some danger, as their sharp blades can cause lacerations on the hands or fingers. However, if you choose a retractable blade box cutter or one with a safety shield, you can reduce the risk of cuts and potential injuries.

Q. What can I use instead of a box cutter?

A. It depends on what you’re cutting. For some tasks, like cutting paper and tape, scissors can be used instead of a box cutter. A pocket knife might also work for tasks like cutting rope or boxes. However, a box cutter is a multipurpose tool that can do it all.

Our Top Pick

The FC Folding Heavy Duty Box Cutter is our pick for the best box cutter because it’s both easy to use and highly effective. If you want a box cutter that you can rely on, this tool offers exactly what you need. A heavy-duty carbon steel blade stays sharp for a long time, even after many cuts. And a lock-back design offers a bit of safety and sturdiness, locking the blade in place while you cut. This box cutter even includes five replacement blades stored right in its handle, which means you’ll be prepared to tackle anything without having to spend more.

Final Thoughts

The FC Folding Heavy Duty Box Cutter is one tough box cutter, and it’ll slice through many materials to make cutting easy work. However, if you’re looking for a more cost-conscious option, the Wescott Safety Knife is a long-lasting box cutter that’ll provide great bang for your buck.

Sources:

  1. Box Cutter – Wikipedia