The utility knife is a must-have for any household because, as its name suggests, it’s a very useful, multi-functional accessory. Most utility knives come with a self-retracting feature, incorporating safety into their design, a quality rarely found in other sharp tools. The self-retracting feature also makes it easy for you to know how to change utility knife blade.
Utility knives have a safe design that works to prevent cuts and consequently, minimize your risk of getting hurt. The blade itself is spring-activated, which means it will automatically self-retract when you’re not cutting something.
Most utility blades are designed to be lightweight and retractable, so they are easy to carry in bags or pockets. Apart from the household, it’s even utilized in the workplace. Whether it’s for cutting boxes or class projects, the utility knife is handy to have around.
How to Use a Utility Knife?
There are many ways you can use a utility knife. Utility knives are generally better suited for cutting soft or flexible materials such as foam, cardboard, harder plastics like strapping tapes and wrap, and even drywall.
Although, even with the retractable feature, you need to take certain precautions to use the knife safely. If you’re trying to cut a hard material, experts recommend that you use a cutting board and safety goggles.
The Steps To Follow
Here are a few simple steps to follow.
- Place the material on the cutting board
The cutting board is an important tool to have as using a cutting board prevents the blade from getting dull. If the blade makes direct contact with harder surfaces like your workbench, it is more likely to erode over time.
Moreover, using the knife without a cutting board will undoubtedly cause damage to your workbench.
- Determine the length of the blade
You can extract and retract the blade by pushing the clicker on the side. To determine the right blade length, you need to compare the length of the blade to the thickness of the material. If the material is more than an inch thick, extract your blade to a longer length.
However, don’t extract the blade more than a few inches. A long blade length will not work as efficiently as a short one. If you’re unsure, ask an advisor if the knife is okay to cut the material you’ve chosen.
- Make sure you are cutting evenly
In most cases, you probably don’t need to worry about this step. For example, if you are cutting open cardboard boxes or scraping off paint, it won’t matter how even your cuts are.
However, if you’re using the knife for a project, you probably need more precise cuts. For this, you should use a pencil and a scale to measure where you need to cut and trace the knife in line with the pencil markings.
Why Change the Blade in a Utility Knife?
After a while, even with proper precautions, the utility knife blade dulls down. This is why you need to have a set of extra blades, packed safely away in your toolbox. If you don’t do this, your knife will not be as efficient in performing tasks.
Dull knives can become a nuisance, but they can also be dangerous. They’re more prone to rust, which can cause infection if it comes in direct contact with skin. Additionally, people handle dulled knives less carefully and consequently, become injured.
Replacing the dull blade with a fresh one makes the utility knife more ergonomic. It’ll cut through thicker materials more easily and more quickly. Replacing the blade also allows you to clean the knife from the inside.
If you’re having trouble extracting and retracting the blade, it’s probably because there is some debris blocking the knife. By taking out the blade, you can easily clean out the debris before inserting a new one.
How to Change Utility Knife Blade?
Learning how to change a utility knife blade isn’t complicated at all. You just need to have some knowledge about the anatomy of a utility knife. To replace the blade, you’ll need to open the knife and remove the blade from its body.
Utility knives generally have rigid or folding bodies, but the body type doesn’t matter as you’ll need to unscrew the knife anyway.
Before you learn how to change a utility knife blade, you’ll need:
- Utility knife
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Fresh blade
Once you have these, just follow a few simple steps:
- Find the screw on the knife’s body. It’s usually in the center or the center-left of the knife.
- Use the screwdriver to turn the screw clockwise until it comes out. Make sure to keep the screw safe as you’ll need it later on.
- Lift the body of the utility knife to separate it into two halves. Make sure to leave the end with the blade on the table.
- Carefully take out the blade from the sliding mechanism. We recommend you wear safety gloves during this step as even dull blades can cause injury.
- Now, you can either inspect the blade or insert a new one. If the old blade is sharp on one end and dull on the other, simply invert it, with the sharp end facing the front of the knife. If both ends are dull, simply take a fresh blade and insert it face-up on the sliding mechanism.
- Line up the two halves as they were before.
- Take the screw and insert it back in the knife.
- Lastly, tighten the screw again using the screwdriver. Before finishing, test out the sliding mechanism on the knife to make sure everything is secure.
Some utility knives have a ‘fast-change’ option, which makes changing the blade more efficient. For these knives, you only need to click on a ‘Release’ button, and the old blade will pop out. Then you can reinsert a new blade by re-pressing the ‘Release’ button.
In sum, utility knives are some of the most versatile and sturdy home and work tools. You just need to make sure you’re maintaining the blade, and the knife will last you a long time. How long the blade takes to wear depends strongly on how much you use it and what you use it for.
Therefore, if you need a cutting tool for constant use, the utility knife isn’t for you. However, the utility knife is perfect if you need a moderate yet highly efficient cutting tool. We hope you found this article helpful and that you know how to change utility knife blade.