Excel vs Exacto

Discussion in 'General Card Modeling' started by cgutzmer, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    I did a little test and here are my results.

    I got my dad whitewash city for christmas and it came with a game called Gold City.

    I have to cut out all the pieces (almost done now thankfully) - thats why you havent heard much from me lately build wise!

    I cut out all the money as a test with two different blades one xacto one excel. both brand new. the shapes do differ a bit the tip of the xacto ends with a slight downward angle and the excel a very straight tip. I like the excel tip better personally.

    Cutting out the money: I cut off about one inch around the edge of each page then cut whats left into 10 eqaul pages. I had 25 pages to cut out. I counted the number of pages befire the blade felt like it needed changing too me. I cut out about 12 pages with the excel before it needed to be replaced. I only got through about 7 with the xacto. Also the xacto didnt feel nearly as smooth right off the bat at the excel.
    Just my two thoughts!
  2. paper warrior

    paper warrior Member

    Same here, I can't even remember how many blades I wen't through with x-acto.
  3. sakrison

    sakrison Member

    I recently bought two packages of surgical scalpel blades--#11 and #12 which is a hooked blade. I've been using them for about a week now.

    The scalpels seem to be sharper than the X-Acto #11s, straight out of the box. They appear to hold their edge about as long as the X-Actos, though at the price I paid (about $12.50/100, shipped), I can afford to go through more blades and still come out ahead. But they have some disadvantages.

    In heavier stock (formers, bulkheads, and other laminated parts), the scalpel blades tend to flex a bit, and then snap, even when I try to cut thick stock with several light passes. As the blade gets deeper into the card, it gets harder to control, even on straight-line cuts. The X-Acto blade is made of thicker steel and holds a line better in thick stock.

    On thin stock (up to 110#), I'm finding that I prefer the #11 scalpel. I'm still experimenting with the hooked #12. Someone commented on this forum that the hooked scalpel is good for cutting in tight corners. Probably so, but I need more practice to get it right. I'll keep my X-Acto blades handy for thicker stock.

    One other comment about scalpel blades: These rascals are SHARP!!! You could take the tip off your finger and hardly know it until it's too late. If you're the kind of modeler who goes through bandaids almost as fast as you go through X-Acto Blades (we've all been there once or twice), or if you frequently find yourself retrieving your hobby knife from your lap, scalpel blades might not be for you. (My legal department asks me to remind you not to eat them.) Just remember that I warned you....

    I bought my scalpel blades on E-Bay, from "Surgicaldepot" for $7.99/100. Shipping cost was a bit high ($8.99 for two packs of blades), but the delivery was quick and the blades are good quality.
  4. paper warrior

    paper warrior Member

    Ahh, quit worrying, most of us only get cut once a week. Oh wait.:p
  5. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    One of the reasons I ditched my old exacto was the round handle, which would roll of my work table at the slightest provocation! I use Swann Morton handles which, being flat, don't roll off anything. Just don't use them as book-marks, forget they are there and pick up the book. They might not roll well, but boy can they slide! Ouch.......

  6. sakrison

    sakrison Member

    Office supply stores sell little rubber wedges that slide onto a pen to keep it from rolliing away. If you have already have a collection of X-Acto handles (as I do), that might help keep them out of your lap.

    No worries, (well, okay, a few...)
  7. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

    I too have noticed that Excel blades tend to bend and break right at the tip if you put the least bit of lateral pressure or bending one them - then they are just about useless. Like David said, this happens most often on thick stuff like former stock.

  8. paper warrior

    paper warrior Member

    Mine rolled off once too. It was standing upright in my right foot, guess the excel blades really are sharper.
  9. blueeyedbear

    blueeyedbear Member

    Rolling knives

    After I got back from the ER, getting stitches in my leg from a rolling Exacto knife, I taped a match stick to my only round knife handle that didn't have one of those "anti-roll" triangular gizmos!

    That is cheaper and doesn't call for a trip to the craft store!!:roll:

    Both are cheaper than a trip to the ER to stop the bleeding!!:-D

  10. Mike G.

    Mike G. New Member

    After a number of close calls with my Xacto piercing my lap, feet and toes in addition to the fact that I'm not crazy about the round handle, I recently switched to the Fiskars handle. It is ergonomically designed, cushioned and cannot roll. It accepts all the standard blades and even comes in a few colors for the fashion minded modelers. I have been using it for several weeks and like it much better that the round units. I found that I can cut for longer periods of time with a lot less hand or finger "fatigue". And, with it available at Walmart, it's a pocket change investment.

  11. paper warrior

    paper warrior Member

    The utility box I designed has a knife holder, it's in the parts bin under tools.
  12. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Interesting experiment. Your narrative indicates that the Excel type is of a higher carbon content steel and/or is heat treated (quenched) to achieve a finer edge consistency than the X-acto. I prefer #11 scalpel blades for cutting card stock up to 110#. I agree that control on thicker stock becomes an issue with the thin surgical steel scalpel blades and that a thicker blade be used. For straight cuts I recommend the snap off blade craft knife which has a blade stiff enough to reduce the "flex" cutting error to a minimum when using a ruler as a guide.

    The following source is recommended:


    Best regards, -Gil
  13. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    I have never snapped a tip off any blade. I must be doing something different (or maybe I just havent been doing it long enough yet!)
  14. paper warrior

    paper warrior Member

  15. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    hey pw - didnt you design a sharps disposal box? Where is that thing?
  16. paper warrior

    paper warrior Member

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