Utility knives are known for being versatile, multi-purpose tools that have a place in various professional fields and everyday households. Whether a novice DIYer or a professional, these essential knives are a must-have staple in your toolkit.

There are countless reasons why utility knives make our lives easier, but did you know you can do some amazing hacks with them? In fact, the experience becomes more enjoyable when using a high-quality utility knife instead of a cheap and blunt knife, because high-quality utility knives have specific designs to prevent skin cuts but are also sharp enough to cut through any material due to their blade construction. Let’s dive into 10 of those life hacks now.

Utility Knife Life Hacks

Use an Empty Food Container to Dispose of Old Blades

Throwing away your old utility knife blades can be dangerous, especially if you toss them in a trash bag. Not only can they cut up said trash bag, but it can create a mess when you eventually take out the trash. Nobody wants to clean up smelly liquids on trash day!

Instead, dispose of the used blades from your box cutter knives in an empty food or spice container. If you have an empty paprika or pepper shaker, consider safely securing those old blades before pitching them in the trash bin. Your garbage collector will thank you.

Use Your Utility Knife as a Veneer Trimmer

Are you on a veneer-trimming mission? Don’t splurge on a veneer trimmer when you have a box cutter. Lay your veneer on a flat work surface, face down, and slice it to size.

If you’re hunting for that perfect utility knife, consider one with a zirconium oxide blade. It’s a durable ceramic with more longevity than steel.

Use Your Utility Knife as a Rag Cutter

If you’re a regular DIYer or someone who works with tools for a living, chances are you have rags lying around to facilitate clean-up time. Your utility knife can be valuable in the rag department.

You can use old t-shirts and towels to create new shop rags by placing your tool in a bench vise to make a beginner cut before tearing the material into smaller pieces. You can cut up the entire t-shirt or towel with your box cutter as long as you’re careful.

Use It To Remove Staples

Removing staples with your fingers (a no-no) can increase your risk of injury, so why not put that utility knife to good use? While a hook blade works exceptionally well, any blade type will do the trick. Place the tip of your blade underneath each staple and ease it up and out.

Use Your Utility Knife as a First Aid Kit Go-To

Utility knives are must-haves for your first aid kit, whether you’re in a precarious survival situation or dressing a wound in the comfort of your home. You can use the tip of your box cutter blade to remove a bee stinger. Make sure you sanitize it thoroughly afterward.

Additionally, you can use your tool to cut bandages, gauze, and dressings in an emergency. If you’re stuck in the woods and need to immobilize a sprain or fracture, utilize your knife to cut off branches and limbs.

Insert a Key Ring

This life hack is more about keeping your box cutter in a secure place. Some tools come with a small hole in the handle. Consider adding a key ring to hang your knife on a workshop peg. That way, it’s easier to find when it’s time to work.

Use a Ceramic Mug to Sharpen Blades

If you don’t have a knife sharpener, you can get creative with what you use to sharpen your tool. The possibilities are (almost) endless. The unglazed bottom of a ceramic mug is perfect for keeping your utility knife sharp. When your blade is on the dull side, utilize an old coffee mug to get that blade back in shape. Be sure to hold your implement at a 45-degree angle. Work carefully and slowly. We wouldn’t make this a regular practice, but it works in a pinch if you don’t have a sharpener.

Better yet, invest in a utility knife with a blade material that seldom needs sharpening.

The Marker Test for Blade Sharpness

How do you know if a blade is sharp? The marker test, that’s how! Here’s a tip to help you remember which side of a utility knife blade you’ve used. Add a dot with a marker on the side you’re using. When you have a dot on both sides of the blade, you’ll know it’s time to pitch it and opt for a new one.

Use Your Utility Knife as a Marking Tool

Newsflash: you don’t need a pencil to mark your projects anymore. You can utilize your box cutter to draw a cut line on wood. A shallow score mark done by a utility knife might be harder to see, but it’s usually more precise and accurate. You can always sand over it or make it part of your excess pile.

Use Your Utility Knife to Slice Food

We always talk about what you can do with a utility knife on the industrial, household renovation, or DIY front, but what about in the kitchen? What if you don’t have a kitchen knife on hand? You can use your box cutter to slice mid-sized fruits, veggies, cheese, citrus, sandwiches, and even meat. Just make sure to wash it thoroughly and don’t cross-contaminate.

Ayush Bhansin

Ayush Bhansin has a degree in General Studies focusing on Interdisciplinary Sciences from Harvard University and has been a versatile contributor and analyst for 12 years. He offers a broad perspective on topics ranging from technology to lifestyle. His previous experience includes roles in market research and as a freelance journalist. He has brought his broad knowledge to various general content, providing insightful analysis and commentary. He is an emerging technology enthusiast and actively participates in various intellectual forums. He is also a classical music aficionado and enjoys exploring different culinary traditions.

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