I think I need a new knife

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade' started by BARX2, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. BARX2

    BARX2 Member

    It occurred to me that I'm wasting a lot of good steel. I use an X-Acto knife with #2 blade. I basically use the blade until the tip is worn, then replace it. 90% of the blade is still like new. I have tried a #11 blade, but the handle is too small for my hand and I've even bent the blade because it's thinner. What is your favorite knife? I'd like to see what others are using so I can make a decision about what to get. Thanks.

  2. rickstef

    rickstef Guest

    Most people here use a #11 style blade and knife handle(those vary)

  3. blades

    i use the cheap through away ones .....

    the ones that have a long blade when you buy them and you snap the tip off when its worn out ......over here they are VERY cheap
  4. paper warrior

    paper warrior Member

    Box cutters are very handy, dull the blade, snap the tip off. Theres plenty more useable surface that way, and they're still cheaper.
  5. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

    I found some just like this at AutoZone, a local car parts dealer. They were 3 for a dollar.
    I did grab a handful but I don't like the handle at all. It would be nice to have a refillable handle like the Xacto one.

    My favorite cutting instrument right now, is a handle made by Excel and their no. 11 blade.
    The handle has a comfortable rubber covering and a hex nut on the end keeps it from rolling.
    Another feature I really like is that you have to loosen or tighten the blade from the opposite end from the blade.
    When I was using Exacto standard handle the blade kept coming loose from normal handling.

  6. the ones i use

    the ones i get are from local "Poundland" dunno if you have them in other countries every item is just £1 .....i get a pack with six knives 3 large handle and 3 small you also get 10 of each size replacement blades ....so for a £1 thats bloody good value and they can last a while
  7. smyfe

    smyfe Member

    I've bought enough of the throw away (snap off) knives from my local poundland to last me for the next 5 years:twisted: I use these for long straight cuts dut use a swann morton with a blade very similar to an x-acto #11 for smaller cuts
  8. I use the snap off blade type of knife for 98% of my work. The knives themselves are cheap, and sets of replacement blades are even cheaper. For more intricate cutting, I use a #11 x-acto.
  9. sneaker

    sneaker Member

    I primarily use a #11 or #10 disposable surgical blade (I work in the medical field) These suckers are extremly sharp, but very precise. And with the proper care, they last a long time. Once dulled, they make pretty good scoring tools. Otherwise I use the x-acto blades for my big cuts.
  10. blueeyedbear

    blueeyedbear Member

    Although I use a #11 blade in an old Testors handle for a lot of work, my basic tool now is a #2 in an Exacto "Woodcarving Knife" handle. For plastics, I prefer the #11 for small precision work, but use the #2 for everything else.

    My hands are not nearly as strong as they used to be (in a couple of months I'll be 75), so the big fat smooth handle is best for me, and it has a nice flat side to help steady it with your finger-tips, and to keep it from rolling. I also find the #2 blade lasts a lot longer than the #11.

    I use both sizes of snap-off utility knives, both indoors and outside, but not for anything precise.

    Check the MicroMark catalog for the Woodcarving knife and other handles.


    (I've had my woodcarver knife since I was building "solid models" in the early 1940's! The aluminum #1 and #2 handles are still around somewhere!)
  11. Kaz

    Kaz Member

    Swann Morten Scalpel blades (No. 10a) in an Olfa handle
  12. These are my favourites..

    Attached Files:

  13. BARX2

    BARX2 Member

    Thanks for all the good info. I have seen those snap off blade box cutters, but never thought of using them for card modeling. I'll pick some up next time I see them to see how they work for me. I may have a problem with them, though, because I have a pretty heavy hand.
  14. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

    You won't have to worry about that heavy hand with these. It takes a pair of pliers to snap them off, they are pretty sturdy.
    The main reasons I was not satisfied is that the blade is not completely stable but you can fix that with a small piece of cardstock shoved in the end of the handle.
    Also the handle is just not very comfortable for long useage. It's main purpose is as a box cutter which you hold with a fist, unlike a writing instrument.

  15. jparenti

    jparenti Member

    I use #11s a lot, but I also use an Olfa SVR-2. It has several good points. It's retractable like a box cutter, but locks in place automatically so it won't slip. It has the snap-off blades like any boxcutter. The blade is stainless steel and won't darken or discolor like a Xacto. I use it interchangeably with my #11.

    Attached Files:

  16. WonderWheeler

    WonderWheeler New Member

    Personally, I like the Exacto #16 blade. I used to use the more standard Exacto blade when I was quite young but would get little shallow cuts on the side of my middle finger when I held my fingers too close to the end. The #16, whose bottom has a kind of dog-legged outline, is much safer, and has much less exposed blade. I always figured that the last 1/4" (6mm) of the blade does the paper or cardboard cutting, the excess, just cuts flesh! Why have a blade length that is as wide as your finger?

    I remember one of the young architectural interns cut his finger quite badly on one of the long triangular ones when cutting matt board. Had to go to the emergency room. Its not that unusual.

    Being a cheapskate, I use a little stone to sharpen or keep them sharp sometimes. Sometimes a bit of fine wet/dry sandpaper on a hard surface will do the job also.

    I have used the snap-off blades, they used to be made by Olgfa or Olga Oglfa or something, before the patent expired. Then China started making them, using the typical cheap plastic in the end of the handle. They work well enough, but wobble a little when changing direction. The handle can also block your view a little, depending on how far the blade is extended. They are otherwise quite good.

    Durring my struggling artist years, I used to get packs of single edge razer blades, like used in box cutters. By mail order bought a special shaving handle to trim my beard and then use them for modelmaking!
  17. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

    I use a Fiskars Softgrip Craft Knife-Coastal. I think I bought it at a WalMart some years back. It has a nice large soft handle so my fingers don't get as fatigued. #11 blades

    Here is some more info from the Fiskars site.Fiskars Softgrip Craft Knife-Coastal
  18. loafandjug

    loafandjug Member

    i started out with a snap off box cutter knife and then moved to an x-acto. I figure for as long as the knife lasts its a good investment for the accuracy.
  19. shrike

    shrike Guest

    Well, I've used double edged razors artfully broken, movie film dissolved in acetone for cement and banana oil instead of dope.

    No, I'm not that old, i just got this wild hair to try some serious "Old School" stick and tissue modeling. After some blood loss, really iffy adhesion and a workbench that smelled like a fruit stand I gained a great appreciation for modern conveniences.<G>

    I stick to #11 blades and second the fact that Excel blades are sharper and cheaper. I avoid Hobbico carbon steel blades as their edges are inconsistent and they seem to rust quicker. I've used #11's pretty much my entire life including a decade spent in signs and graphics, so I'm as comfortable with them as I am with a pen. Probably moreso if you've seen my penmanship<G>

    I've tried the Olfa handle, but I don't like the way it fit my hand. I use the Xacto 2000 handle. Fountain pen shaped and rubber coated.

    When the tip of the blade gets too dull for paper modeling, it goes into the family open-stock for other uses - everything from crafts to box opening to radish carving.

    I figure that the price of a box of 100 blades is about the same as crappy CD bought for the one good track, or a really good lunch and lasts longer than either of them.
  20. BARX2

    BARX2 Member

    I picked up the Xacto 2000 handle and I love it. Now I can use #11 blades without having to use the thin aluminum Xacto handle which is too small for my hand. Thanks for all the great advice.

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