How to Choose a Blade

If you were to imagine a utility blade in your mind, odds are you would picture a straight piece of metal with a sharp edge. While that is true to a certain extent, innovation has brought to life a wide variety of different types of utility blades.  But don’t worry; choosing the best blade for the job can be easy when you know what to look for.

Staying Sharp

The first consideration when choosing a blade is its sharpness. Sharp blades mean easier jobs, improved safety and more precise cuts. The invention of the snap-off blade in 1956 truly changed the game in terms of sharpness. A snap-off, retractable blade gives you confidence and peace of mind knowing you will never have to worry about a dull blade ever again. A sharp blade also brings consistency and efficiency because you can make faster cuts and get the job done without wasting time to install a new blade or to sharpen a blade.

Superior Steel

Blades that are made of sub-standard materials are not only prone to breaking, chipping or becoming dull quickly; they are also dangerous. Therefore, it is very important to choose a blade that is constructed of the best materials. Born in the region where Samurai once roamed and traditions of quality run deep, OLFA blades are made of the finest Japanese steel to exacting specifications.

The Right Blades

Having a variety of blades designed for specific purposes within reach can add new levels of accuracy and efficiency to your day. The following are some of OLFA’s different types of blades and their common uses:  

  • Silver Snap-Off Blades: Use for clean cuts on most materials such as paper, cardboard, vinyl, and more; or when working with gritty materials like drywall and asphalt shingles.

  • Black Snap-Off Blades: Made of double-honed carbon tool steel, these heavy-duty, durable and exceptionally sharp blades are perfect for gaining the upper hand against tough materials such as rubber, rope, carpeting, vinyl, expansion board, laminates and so on.

  • Stainless Steel Blades: Use when fine details and precision cuts are called for, such as with the Graphics Snap Blade. Also use when working with wet or corrosive materials.

  • Hook Blades: This blade’s hooked shape cuts material such as linoleum, roofing shingles, or boxes with a pulling action, as opposed to downward force, protecting surfaces underneath your cut.

  • Saw Blades: When you need the extra, more aggressive cutting power of a saw, this solid blade made from carbon tool steel, delivers long-lasting sharpness with teeth that will stand up to plastics and wood.

These are just a few of the blade types OLFA provides. They also come in different sizes, which provides varying degrees of strength; for example, most OLFA Snap-Off Blades come in widths of 9mm, 18mm or 25mm. 18mm is the most commonly used blade size while 9mm is used for more precision work and 25mm is perfect for extra heavy-duty jobs requiring more leverage. Each blade is made of the finest materials and engineered for excellent cuts. See the full collection of blades here.