A box cutter isn’t just for cutting boxes. It’s a very versatile and useful multifunctional tool that has a variety of applications. In fact, many of today’s box cutters have intuitive designs that make them one of the most useful tools in your bag or tool box.
A box cutter, aside from the obvious use of cutting through packing tape and opening or breaking down boxes, can also be used to strip materials, make precise cuts and designs, and more. If you’re in the market for a new box cutter, know that it’s not a one-size-fits-all thing. Here, we’ve pared down the plethora of options to come up with what we feel are the best box cutters on the market today.
The Best Box Cutters
When it comes to the ideal combination of design, ease-of-use, and price point, the Easy Cut Safety Box Cutter is our top pick. This compact utility knife was the number one used box cuttery by Walmart associates multiple years in a row for a reason. It features multiple built-in blade-depth settings that allow you to easily slice through single-, double-, or triple-walled cardboard in seconds with amazing control and precision. The integrated tape cutter and radius-blunt tip blade are nice added touches that improve this knife’s versatility. The blade extends and retracts with a gentle squeeze, making it a great option for people who have a loss of grip strength or arthritis.
We also like the fact that this blade is meant to be used by either right- or left-handed individuals with its two-sided guide and safety holster. This blade also includes a thoughtful lanyard that can extend up to 6 feet, but ensures that you never lose your knife. It stays safe and secure in the included holster. On-board blade storage is great for when you need to switch blades, although the switching process can sometimes be a bit of a pain.
- Auto-retracting blade
- Radius-blunt tip
- Integrated tape cutter
- Attached lanyard and holster
- Brand Easy Cut
- Model 789797997006
- Weight 3.2 ounces
Lanyard ensures you don’t lose the knife
Two-side cutting guide is ideal for left- or right-handed users
Protective holster allows you quick and easy access to the knife
Extendable lanyard can sometimes get in the way
Blades tend to dull quickly
Blade changes can be somewhat difficult at times
If you’re looking for a box cutter that cuts easily and doesn’t cost a lot of money, the Westcott Safety Knife is a great option. This full-size retractable utility box cutter can tackle even the largest boxes and toughest tasks — but it’s affordable enough that absolutely anyone will love the price. It comes with a retractable blade for safe storage, and it’s small enough that you can carry this knife in your pocket or tool kit. This box cutter can power through materials with its Slice blade, a blade that’s constructed to last up to 11 times longer than your 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.
- 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
- Brand Wescott
- Model 16475
- Weight 0.16 ounces
Compact yet offers a full-sized blade
Made with longer-lasting metal blades for great value
Ideal for opening boxes and cutting cardboard
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, you’ll want to take a closer 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 0.5 inches 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.
- 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
- Brand Slice Industrial
- Model 10503
- Weight 3.52 ounces
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
Isn’t the most ergonomic
Cuts can be somewhat shallow
Ceramic blade isn’t as sharp as stainless steel blades
The HART 2-in-1 Safety Utility Knife has plenty of your favorite features in one easy to use and affordable package. This self-retracting utility knife can also adjust to three positions for multiple use options. It features in-handle storage that can hold up to four spare blades. It’s also got a quick-change mechanism that makes switching the blades quick and easy. A handy integrated string cutter can even be used when the blade is fully retracted, minimizing unnecessary blade exposure.
This compact device accepts all standard size utility blades and comes backed by a limited lifetime warranty. The only thing we would add to improve this box cutter would be a handy storage case that you can mount to your tool belt or pants for quick retrieval.
- Self-retracting blade
- Three blade position options
- Integrated string cutter
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Brand HART
- Model N/A
- Weight 0.49 pounds
String cutter can be used while blade is retracted
Self-retracting blade is a nice safety feature
The knife has in-handle storage for extra blades
Bulkier and heavier than some models
Directions on how to replace the blade need to be clearer
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.
- 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
- Brand Home Planet Gear
- Model UK1
- Weight 9.6 ounces
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
Additional blades can easily fall out of the storage compartment
Can jam easily
No easy way to clear jams or buildup
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.
- 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
- Brand Slice Industrial
- Model 10515
- Weight 2.39 ounces
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
Can require more force to cut through tough materials
Not designed for frequent or heavy-duty use
Blade can be a bit dull
One of our favorite multi-use utility knives on the market is the Stanley QuickSlide 4-5/8″ Sliding Utility Knife. It’s equipped with a rugged and sharp 3-inch folding sport blade that features both straight and serrated edges for heavy-duty cutting. You also get a standard retractable utility blade for box and package cutting. A special interior locking mechanism prevents both blades being open simultaneously.
The handle is a strong, all-metal construction with a zinc blade slider. The serrated knife is constructed from rust-resistant stainless steel that will stay sharp through multiple uses. The drawback is that this blade is heavier and not as quick and easy to use as some other options. It’s also significantly pricier than other straight box cutters on our list.
- All-metal handle
- 3-inch serrated folding stainless steel blade
- Retractable utility blade
- Interior locking mechanism for safety
- Brand Stanley
- Model 10-813
- Weight N/A
Ergonomic handle is easy to hold
Locking mechanism prevents both knives from opening at the same time
Heavy and bulky
Folding blade is not as quick to open as some other models
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.
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.
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 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 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.
Best Utility Knife Brands
SliceSlice is a California based company that was founded in 2008 by TJ Scimone as a way to fund long-term care for his autistic son. The company has reimagined everyday cutting products in order to make them safer and more user-friendly. It boasts such innovative products as the Auto-Retractable Pen Cutter and the Super-Safe Carton Opener.
WestcottWestcott was founded in 1872 in Seneca, N.Y. by Henry Westcott. Since its inception, the company has pioneered advancements and new designs in cutting and measuring tools. The Westcott 8” Titanium Bonded Scissors with Anti-Microbial Handles and the Westcott Compact Fixed Ceramic Box Opener are two of the company’s most highly rated products.
Easy CutThe Easy Cut utility knife was invented in the USA in order to prevent accidental injury to workers who kept cutting tools in their pockets in order to frequently open boxes and packages. It was quickly recognized as the top cutting tool in the industry and adopted by many Fortune 500 companies as the top choice for their employees. Today, the Easy Cut Box Cutter 4500 Elite and the Easy Cut HD Disposable Pocket Box Cutter are two of the company’s top contenders.
How Do I Intend To Use The Box Cutter?If you’re still questioning which box cutter is the best one for you, consider what your primary use for the box cutter will be. If you’re just slicing open Amazon deliveries day after day, then a straight up box cutter will be sufficient. Look for something with easily replaceable blades that’s lightweight. Also consider getting one that offers different blade lengths to slice through various cardboard thicknesses. If you’re looking for a more versatile option that can cut cords, plastic, rope, and more while also being able to quickly open boxes and plastic wrapping, consider a more versatile utility knife that offers different or multiple blades. They’re ideal for people who do varied tasks around the farm, warehouse, job site, or workshop.
Best Box Cutter FAQ:Still having some questions about your perfect box cutter? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions and included our most comprehensive answers to provide you further insight.
Q: What is the difference between a box cutter and a utility knife?
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?
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?
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 PickWhen it comes to our top pick for the best box cutter, it’s hard to beat the Easy Cut Safety Box Cutter. It’s the ideal combination of design, ease-of-use, and price point. It’s been the number one used box cutter by Walmart associates and other Fortune 500 companies for multiple years in a row.
Final ThoughtsWhether you go with the Easy Cut Safety Box Cutter, the Wescott Safety Knife, or one of the other stellar options on our list, the ideal box cutter can be a game changer when it comes to completing small cutting jobs around the home, office, workshop, or job site quickly, efficiently, and safely. Sources:
- Box Cutter – Wikipedia