X-Acto Brand CRAP!

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade' started by Bowdenja, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Knife Blades


    Did you ever try to sharpen the dull blades? I always keep the dull and used Swann & Morton scalpel blades and when I am in short supply I sharpen them on a very fine-grained sharpening stone (called a "Pocket Hone").
    If I do it right and keep the angle of the blade constant, they sometimes turn out as good as new. They perhaps don´t last as long as a brand new blade but I have LOTS of replacements . . .
    I suppose I don´t have to tell you that I seldom buy new blades?

    All the best,
    Bengt :smile:
  2. MOS95B

    MOS95B Member

    I sharpen my Xacto blades. Even though they are cheap enough, and I have plenty of them, I refuse to change blades in the middle of a model. I'm kind of a skinflint when it comes to my tools (my wife wonders why I clean the toothpicks instead of just grabbing as new. So do I, now that I think about it)

    I've been sharpening edged tools/weapons for as long as I can remember, and I got the scars to prove it. I can put a pretty nice edge on an exacto blade, but I still think the metal they use isn't very consistant. The edges never seem to last for a set time. Some will last forever, some dull just by getting looked at....
  3. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    An item of note - if you ever get a good deal on xacto's where they seem just tooooo cheap, I am fairly sure these are refurbished blades. Could it be possible that however they are getting refurbished (if indeed they are) be causing the metal to lose some of its quality? (thinking temper)
  4. jparenti

    jparenti Member

    I may have to look into that, Bengt. I keep most of my old blades in the containers they come in, just in case. (When the tip breaks off, sometimes they become useless for the model I'm working on, but are adequate for future projects.) I need to try to refurbish them and use them as long as possible, lest the archaeologists of the future excavate my house and wonder why there are so many tiny metal blades everywhere. It wouldn't be very safe for them, either. :)
  5. rmks2000

    rmks2000 Member

    I've always used X-acto #11 blades, but they seem to be very inconsistent in staying sharp. Also, I only get a few good cuts after sharpening them (perhaps I need a harder stone).

    Based upon all the comments, I ordered 15 Excel #11, 5 #11 stainless steel, and 5 #16 blades from Widget Supply to see which works best for me. I also ordered some punches and a caliper. When I placed the order, I inadvertently set the delivery date to next day, which added about $40 dollars in shipping. I freaked out and sent an email to Widget Supply. Thankfully, Widget Supply saw my plight and changed the shipping to UPS ground as requested.Not only are there prices good, but they have great customer service.

    if you are wondering how I screwed up the shipping, it was a drop-down selection. I selected what I wanted, and then clicked elsewhere on the page so that I could use my mouse's thumbwheel to scroll down the page to submit the order. Unfortunately, the thumbwheel changed the shipping selection. The only way around this is to not use the thumbwheel. Live and learn.
  6. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    I've done the exact same thing..............but I love my wheel!

    Hope you find the right blade!

  7. Chthulhu

    Chthulhu Member

    My only real complaint about X-acto brand blades vs. other brands is the price. I generally buy blades from either McMaster-Carr ( http://www.mcmaster.com/nav/enter.asp?pagenum=2278 ) or Dick Blick Art Supply ( http://www.dickblick.com/zz574/57/ ). Blick sells the Excel blades; the blades I buy from McMaster-Carr can be any of several industrial brands, but I've yet to get a 100-pack of X-acto or Excel from them.

    Those who are annoyed by tip breakage on #11 blades might want to try the #16 Excel blades instead. Personally I just consider that when the tip breaks off I get a new section of unused edge to work with. :)
  8. blueeyedbear

    blueeyedbear Member

    Hey, Darwin,

    Check MicroMark (paper catalog or online) for the little stencil-cutting blades (and others).

  9. popala

    popala Member

    So many people here hate X-acto blades that I'm almost affraid to say something good about those ;)

    Here are my 2 cents: in my experience I noticed that the excel blades hold up to abuse a lot better, but their tips are not as fine as X-acto. As far as tips breaking off, there is a lot to be said about the force used for cutting. X-acto blades seem to be more delicate but at the same time their tips are much finer than Excel blades. When cutting out very small details in 67lb cardstock, I always use #11 X-acto blades and cut with virtually no pressure, pretty much using the weight of the handle to cut. I can honestly say that with that technique I never broke off a tip.

    It is an entirely different story when cutting out formers, I don't use #11s because they don't last, break off etc. I guess it all depends on the job at hand... :)
  10. MOS95B

    MOS95B Member

    Speaking of "job at hand". The Missus has gone through three of my blades in the last two days knicking her gourd and pumpkin seeds.... Can't blame Xacto for that I guess.
  11. Shin_kazama

    Shin_kazama Member

    i use sullivan brand of medical scalpels.

    other brands are crap though, as even i try to push them into the handle some break apart.

    besides the sterile state of the med blades, they are damn cheap.

    for our currency, its PhP 7.23 which is less that 10 us cents...they often last several models before they act up.

    my problem is when i drop the handle with the blade on...(accidentally) the blade breaks apart and disappears, since the handle is not aluminum alloyish made, but heavy flat stainless steel.

    and why limit yourselve to just the part of the cutting area?

    what i do when the blade tip snaps, i just get out my grinder and grind from the upper part of the blade down.

    and voila, factory sharp, albeit shorter blade...
  12. Major Walter Schmidt

    Major Walter Schmidt Newbie Designer

    I use the one in the middle.
  13. Flame3230

    Flame3230 The Chuck Norris of Tuba

    I use Exacto #11 baldes, they work just fine for me. I am using 24lb paper, and I don't even have to press to get it to cut, and I got 10 for $10. I got them over two months ago, and the first blade hasn't even dulled noticeably.
  14. BARX2

    BARX2 Member

    Wow, what an old thread! But still relevant. I use Excel blades with an X-Acto X-2000 handle. I was using a Fiskars cutting mat, but after using my sister's Olfa mat, I immediate bought an Olfa mat of my own. The Olfa mat seems softer and is much easier on the blades. The tips hardly ever break off now. I will never go back to a Fiskars mat!
  15. Flame3230

    Flame3230 The Chuck Norris of Tuba

    i havent gotten around to getting a mat, im just using a solid plastic cutting board, and i bet the blades dont's like it
  16. Jim Nunn

    Jim Nunn Member

    It's a real bummer when the little tip breaks off.

    I buy my #11 blades in bulk you can purchase 100 for around $13 to $15 at your local hobby shop they have no indication of who manufactured them but they are stamped USA. These blades have given me good service and generally do not break of the tip. Even at 0.15 each I will still sharpen the blade when it gets a little dull you can also re-point the blade by using a course stone on the flat backside of the blade.

    No need to discuss stones here there is a ton of good information on the web just Google “Arkansas stone”. I will say that good stones are not cheap and you should buff the edge after sharpening the blade.

    Jim Nunn
  17. ZenithMkII

    ZenithMkII New Member

    This is relevant to my interest i would like to hear more.
  18. Harlique

    Harlique New Member

    I've continualy had the same issues with X-acto brand products in general. Their knife bodies are cheaply made with loose threading. Ive had much better luck with Fiskars brand knife bodies and blades. Excel is a good brand also, but I can only seem to find that brand at local hobby shops, and they are usually expensive for tools and blades.
  19. john wagenseil

    john wagenseil New Member

    I recently bought a 100 pack of No. 11 blades made by the American Safetey Razor Company. They are very very sharp, and so far their blades appear to hold upnder use. Subjectively they seem to be as sharp as surgical scapel blades.

    I had purchased a handle and blade set (for the handle) that was made in China at the same time. The Chinese made No. 11 blades are not as sharp, do not have the same honed finish that the ASR blades do.

    http://www.personnablades.com/ProductCatalog.aspx?brand=American Line
    Go to bottom of this page for the No 11 blades. Enter your zip code to find a local dealer.
  20. jappert

    jappert New Member

    The X-acto handle is perfect and i use it with swann & morton size 3 scalps (11 and 15). For cutting i use fiskars sciccors. Works perfect and no broken tips :mrgreen:

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