Use of a Box Cutter in the Office

Karolina Grabowska Pexels

When thinking of box cutters in the office, you conjure up images of workers in an industrial or construction setting. Seldom one thinks about a traditional office personal’s needs but there are times when office workers might need access to a box cutter.

Having a box cutter is an excellent way to manage simple manual tasks. This compact cutting utility is commonly used to open and separate bulky or large items. Let’s elaborate on how to use and what types of box cutters are available, and how to use this utensil safely.

Uses for Box Cutters in the Office

Incoming and outgoing packages are in constant rotation in a mailroom. When opening packages sent to the office, having a box cutter handy will make opening them more manageable. They are also suitable for cutting zip ties and plastic shrink wrap. Scissors are commonly used, however, box cutters tend to be safer, and easier to hold and keep on hand for use.

Types of Box Cutters for Office Use

Box cutters come with different blade types that work well in office conditions. While some are more common than others, having options can ensure you have the right tool at the right time.

Pointed Tip Blades

Pointed tip blades are the most common blade found on a box cutter. The tip allows you to puncture the item before making the cut. This type of knife works well on plastic, fabric, and drywall.

Rounded Tip Blades

Rounded tip blades are marginally safer than pointed tipped edges. As there is no sharp tip to puncture the material before cutting, these edges are for softer materials such as cardboard or foam.

Serrated Edge Blades

Serrated edge blades are designed for cutting through items that are hard on the outside and soft on the side (ex. bread, fruits, and vegetables). They also come in handy for ropes and fabric. Cutting in a sawing motion helps to build up momentum to make it easier to cut.

Hook Blades

A box cutter with a hooked blade is ideal for cutting through heavy-duty materials. They are used by roofers or flooring experts for cutting through linoleum, shingles, and carpet.

Snap-Off Blades

Snap-off blades have pointed tips and can be used similar to pointed-edged blades. Once the edge dulls, break off a piece for a new sharp edge.

Scallop Edge Blades

Scallop edge blades are often used in the kitchen because they are perfect for cutting fruits and vegetables. They are also suitable for cutting memory foam because it gives you a smooth edge.



Auto-Retracting Blades

Auto-retracting blades have a straight edge and can be either pointy or have a round tip. These utility knives pull the blade back in if you release the button or the edge loses contact with the cutting surface.

Manual Retracting Blades

A manual retracting blade also brings the edge into the housing. However, unlike auto-retracting knives, you have to manually pull or push the button on the side to close it.


Karolina Grabowska Pexels

Safety Precautions

One of the most common work injuries is lacerations made by box cutters. To use a box knife safely, you should follow OSHA guidelines. Avoid leaving blades unattended, cutting toward your body, and/or using dull blades.

Keep the Blade Short

Retractable blades don’t have to be extended all the way. The design allows you to adjust the length. Keep it only to the size needed for the cutting task. A shorter blade helps to reduce the risk of injury. Wear gloves when you use the box cutter.

Keep Fingers Out of the Way

Keeping your fingers out of the way might seem like a given. However, it is common for some to hold the box cutter with their fingers wrapped close to the blade. You should make sure the hand holding the knife doesn’t have fingers resting on or near the cutting edge. When cutting, put your free hand away from the cutting area to reduce the risk of accidental lacerations.

Cut Away From You

Try not to pull the box cutter toward you because it may slip and cause injuries. Whenever you cut, angle the blade away from you. If someone bumps into you while working, the angle of the blade will keep accidental lacerations from occurring.

Box cutters have many different uses in office and home settings. By having the correct type of blade and adhering to proper safety measures, you can ensure the task is complete without incident.