A Conversation on Black Blades with Micah Supanchick

When you think about using a utility knife for a project, you probably reach for a typical retractable, silver blade that is a staple in any tool belt. But my go-to tool is an 18mm L-5 Fiberglass Utility Knife. The knife’s design is very versatile and has a great ergonomic and anti-slip handle which makes it feel comfortable in my hand and provides a steady grip for all of my jobs. It also features a multi-pick and a black snap-off blade, which is noticeably sharper than the standard silver blade.

The black blades undergo a double honing process creating an edge up to 25% sharper than standard silver blades. Each black snap-off blade is constructed with eight segments per blade for plenty of accurate cutting action. Segments are etched with deep grooves for easy, clean breaks. When a segment is dull, a simple snap supplies a fresh, sharp edge. These blades are the perfect choice for most materials, including carpet, flexible plastics, gasket material, laminates, linoleum, nylon, plastic sheeting, tape, turf or sod, and more. If you want to cut both sharper and faster, OLFA’s Speed Blades have an added special non-stick coating that reduces resistance applied to an already sharp black blade, making it cut up to two times faster.

Third-party testing conducted by: Occam Technology Group (https://occamtechgroup.com)

I typically need to snap-off my silver blade several times a week to maintain a sharp blade, however the black blades last much longer and I only need to snap once every 2-3 weeks. This fluctuates depending on the project I am working on and the material I am cutting against; but overall, I find that the black blades stay sharper longer.

I use a black blade for all types of projects. On a day-to-day basis I use them to open packages, cut floor coverings, and even flashing tape. With the extreme sharpness of the blade you do need to be careful with what you cut as it can go through multiple layers of tape, electrical wire, or other materials when you only intend to go through one – it’s just that sharp. A recent project I used my black blade for was a window cutout when I was refinishing the inside of a van.  


The next time you need to use a utility knife for a project, reach for a black blade for a sharper, cleaner, more precise cut.

Micah Supanchick

Micah Supanchick is a remodeler and carpenter in Oregon. Within remodeling, he does a little bit of everything. He loves doing finish work and seeing a project come together when taking it from start to finish. As a kid he was always learning from his woodworking dad. See Micah’s work on his Instagram: @pnwtool.