What You Need to Know About Safety Knives

Safety knives, sometimes known as box cutters, are hand tools designed to cut materials such as cardboard, plastic, shrink-wrap, ram-board, tape, sheet goods, and much more. With unique designs and safety features such as retractable blades, rounded tips, or blade guards, these tools are most used in industries such as manufacturing, warehousing and shipping, or construction. 

OLFA SK-9 Self-Retracting Safety Knife

In this article, we are going to take a look at the main benefits and misconceptions associated with safety knives and how they can help many professionals and DIYers in a variety of trades.


Benefits of Safety Knives

There are many ways in which safety knives can help at work. Here are the top 3 by OLFA experts:

  1. Foolproof Design

One of the main advantages offered by safety knives is that they are specifically meant to minimize the risk of injury to the user (and materials too). In fact, even seasoned professionals can make mistakes. Having a knife that is designed with safety in mind means that the dangers have already been addressed in the manufacturing stage, so the final design of the tool is the safest one that can be delivered.  

OLFA SK-8 Retracting Safety Knife

  1. Increased Efficiency

Another major benefit of using safety knives is increased productivity and efficiency in the workplace. These tools are meant to be ergonomic and easy to use on a variety of applications. By providing workers with safe and reliable cutting tools, they can complete tasks more quickly and comfortably, without the fear of injuring themselves or damaging the materials.

  1. Compliance with Workplace Regulations

Although it may not be something that it’s top of mind for all levels of employees involved, the majority of workplaces are subject to safety guidelines that involve the use of specific tools. Safety knives are the most common choice, as they can ensure compliance with these requirements. By using these knives, workers and managers are able to prove their commitment to workplace safety while reducing the risks of safety violations.


Misconceptions of Safety Knives

Despite the many benefits that come with safety knives, there are still some common misconceptions about these tools that should be talked about. To bring out the top ones, we talked with OLFA Pro All-Stars Andrew King, Aron Jones and Ryan Smith.

  1. Safety Knives Are Not As Durable As Other Knives

One of the most common misconceptions is that safety knives are less effective than traditional utility knives. In reality, safety knives can be just as durable as traditional utility knives, while also being more secure to use. For example, many of the OLFA safety knives are made of especially strong and reliable materials, which make them ideal for tough jobs (like the OLFA SK-16 Concealed Blade Safety Knife) or applications that need an extra layer of safety and sanitation (like the OLFA SK-14 Stainless Steel Self-Retracting Safety Knife).

OLFA SK-14 Stainless Steel Safety Knife NSF Certified

  1. Safety Knives Are Not Needed In Low-Risk Applications

Another misconception is that safety knives are unnecessary in low-risk environments. This couldn’t be more wrong. Workplace injuries can happen anywhere, anytime and even to the most experienced professionals. Skilled roofer and carpenter Ryan couldn’t have said it better: “Safety knives are great to use even when you’ve been in the trade for many years. They are easy to use and can prevent accidents regardless of the level of risk involved with the task”.

  1. Safety Knives Are More Expensive

A third and important misconception is the cost associated with these knives compared to traditional knives. While it is true that they may have a higher start cost compared to traditional knives, these tools can and will save you many costs in the long run by reducing accidents, injuries, and other related expenses

For more information on injury costs and safety facts, read our Work Safety Guide and register for our FREE Safety Evaluation provided by one of our OLFA Specialists.


Safety knives can be instrumental tools at work. That’s why it’s important to educate workers about the many benefits they can offer, as well as talking about the misconceptions that are linked to them. If you have heard of any other myths about safety knives or have any questions about these tools, contact olfa.marketing@olfa.com or find us on social!

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