I call myself the “Jake” of All Trades because I have experience doing work in many trades, both for my day job and as side hobbies. I am a full-time systems engineer, so first and foremost I spend a lot of my time with computers, wires, and network closets. But I also spend time remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, creating home theatres, doing landscaping, and even do 3D printing.
Through all these projects I have been able to try my hand at a lot of different trades including plumbing, electric, flooring, carpentry, and more – and I find that OLFA’s knives and other hand tools come in handy on every job I am working on, no matter the trade. Let’s walk through some of the most used OLFA tools and how they come in handy for each job.
This is my favorite and most used tool. I find it extremely helpful in a lot of different jobs I am doing across almost every trade. There are several features on this knife that make it the ultimate tool to have on your belt. First, the black snap-off blade featured on this knife is very convenient. You always have a fresh, sharp, blade on you and it is easily accessible because no tools are needed to swap out the blade. Just snap off the dull piece and your knife is ready to go. This model also features a pick on the end opposite of the blade. This is extremely handy as it turns a single knife into a multi-use tool. The lanyard hole on the tool also makes it easy to keep it on hand. Keep your tool clipped close for when you are crawling around installing insulation in an attic or running around a busy jobsite.
I have used this knife on more projects than I can count. Some examples are cleaning out grout in a bathroom remodel, cutting tarp and other materials during landscaping, cutting vinyl plank flooring, and scribing the profile of a hinge or a lock when installing doors.
Aside from your typical “extreme handyman” projects that I listed above; I also work a lot with 3D printing. When doing so, you need a small, yet strong tool to remove excess filament from 3D prints by making close cuts. This 9mm utility knife features OLFA’s signature sharp stainless-steel blade, making precision cuts effortless.
For my day job as a systems engineer, I am always working with wires. OLFA’s scissors are my go-to tool to easily cut through the wire sheathing and the fine coil rope when installing systems. These scissors are designed with a stainless-steel blade that is sharpened all the way to the tip for accuracy. The serrated edge blade prevents slips while cutting, which can be a worry when working with wires.
There are two scrapers I use for different jobs. The 25mm SCR-S 1" Multi-Purpose Scraper is a very narrow scraper, ideal for tight spaces and precision work like fixing calk, cracks, and coatings. This makes it a very helpful tool when re-doing backsplash, bathtub surrounds, and tile.
Another lesser-known use for a scraper is removing window stickers after new windows are installed in a home. I use the XSR-300 12” Extra Heavy-Duty Scraper to remove those stickers with no mess. It has a non-slip rubber grip which makes it easy to control. You never have to worry about slipping or damaging your glass. The scraper also has a durable steel strike plate and dual-edge scraper blade. The sharp edge easily takes on sticker residue. A quick tip is if the sticker doesn’t come off on the first try and leaves some adhesive behind: spray it with WD-40. Then go back over it with the fine edge of the scraper and all the adhesive will come off the window with ease.
When installing insulation in a building, I always make sure to have OLFA’s serrated Insulation Blades on hand. This blade is 18mm and can fit in most 18mm snap handles, providing another use for my go-to LA-X tool. It is perfect for slicing through thick or porous materials because the blade can be fully extended. This makes for clean and accurate cuts through rigid (foam board) insulation.
I also use these serrated blades to cut “smurf tube” which is used for electrical or low-voltage projects. I am currently wiring a network closet at my house and want to provide a path for future use to be able to pull wires through.