Did you know that utility and safety knives are still some of the most-used knives in food processing applications? This is because knives used in the food industry need to serve many different purposes. This knife may be used to open food packages, and also to cut inventory boxes, shrink-wrapped cases, zip-ties and many other packaging materials. This means that the ideal utility or safety knife has to be extremely versatile.
But choosing the right utility knife isn’t always easy, as there are many factors that need to be considered. What are you cutting with your knife? How often is your team using the knife? Are you worried about dull blades?
To help professionals find what they are looking for, we asked our OLFA experts to share their top tips when choosing the ideal knife for food applications.
Since the knife is used on materials that come in contact with food, not all knives can be used in the industry. After careful research, OLFA learned that most tools used in the industry need to be NSF certified. The NSF mark is extremely important (and something you should always look for), because it means the knife complies with strict standards and procedures imposed by NSF. In other words, choosing a knife that bears the NSF certification is a guarantee that the product was impartially reviewed to meet rigorous standards.
Another key element to consider when looking for the right utility or safety knife is the material itself. For our safety knives to be cleaned and sanitized effectively, they had to be made of materials that wouldn’t deteriorate, rust, or get food or packaging materials stuck in them. That’s when we decided to develop some safety knives that are fully-metal detectable (from the blade to each individual component). Having a metal-detectable, stainless-steel design ensures that the knife is paint-free, to avoid flaking and contamination. These knives are ideal for highly sensitive areas, especially near a production area.
When the knife is metal detectable, it can also be easily spotted by metal detectors or X-ray machines. This is key to decrease the risk that any knives or components leave the food processing site, causing serious safety hazards.
If you need specific recommendations on which products to buy, you have come to the right place. Here at OLFA we have a few impressive options of food-appropriate safety knives.
This knife is a must-have in food processing applications. Not only is it NSF Certified, but it is also fully metal-detectable. The design itself was ideated by OLFA with safety in mind. The knife features a spring-activated blade that self-retracts when lifted from the cutting surface. There are also flush vents that make this knife very easy to clean and sanitize, while adding texture to the grip. As an extra bonus, a simple flip of the blade allows this tool to be used by both right and left-handed users.
This is another safety knife that takes both sharpness and safety to the next level. With an ultra-sharp stainless-steel blade housed in a protected blade channel, the OLFA SK-15 requires 25% less pulling force than competing products. Similar to the SK-14, this safety knife is also extremely easy to sanitize before, during and after a shift. In fact, the SK-15 is too NSF rated, which means it is certified as food service equipment.
The OLFA PK-1 Disposable Bag Cutter is one of the newest products released by OLFA. Although not NSF Certified, this compact safety knife can be easily used to cut many types of bagged products. Its simple design makes it easy to use, and the textured ends prevent slips, even in wet conditions. To cut bagged goods (such as bagged food), you simply squeeze the ends together and slide the blade through the bag to open.
Because these safety knives are carefully manufactured to feature an ergonomic design, and are also made with materials that are non-toxic, durable, and resistant to corrosion – like stainless steel blades – they are able to be safely handled in the food service industry.
Still unsure which safety knives are right for you and your team? Register for our FREE Safety Evaluation by our trained specialists.