Every day on the job, there’s one tool that – without question – gets used and abused more than anything else: the utility knife.
The kind of utility knife one uses can often come down to personal preference, but for contractors and professionals looking to get more bang for their buck, a snap-off blade offers the greatest economic benefit in three main ways.
Cost Per Blade
An OLFA 18-mm utility knife – the most popular of OLFA’S utility knives – has eight edges per blade, meaning it lasts three times longer than a trapezoid blade.
Because each snap-off blade has eight edges to a trapezoid’s two, users get more edges per each pack purchased; a 50-pack of trapezoid blades and 50-pack of snap-off blades are not equal.
The average trapezoid blade costs $16.49 per 50-pack at Home Depot. With two edges per trapezoid blade, that equates roughly $0.16 per edge.
Similar 18-mm OLFA blades MSRP for $32.39 for a 50-pack, or $0.65 a blade. Yet while each blade is 32 cents more, each OLFA edge costs just $0.08 – half the price of trapezoid blades.
Plus, a pack of 50 blades yields 400 snap-off edges, while a pack of 50 standard blades yields only 100 trapezoid edges. That still gives users of snap-off blades more than double the value of trapezoid blades.
|Edges Per Blade||Price Per 50 Pack||Edges Per Pack||Price Per Blade||Price Per Sharp Edge|
|OLFA Snap-Off Blades||8||$32.39||400||$0.65||$0.08|
Better Longevity, Fewer Errors
When users cut on rough, uneven surfaces like concrete floors or the ground, it dulls the blade faster. With a snap-off blade, users have fast access to fresh, always-sharp blades.
Because each blade can be renewed up to eight times, you effectively get blades that last longer. And, because they stay sharper, with more cutting edges on each snap-off blade (13 on 9-mm, 8 on 18-mm and 7 on 25-mm blades), you’ll make fewer job site errors: Sharp blades stay on their cutting path, require less downward force, and won’t tear or damage your materials.
Snap-off blades are a better value not just in dollars, but also in time saved.
When the blades need changing, snap-off knives don’t require a long process to do so; it’s a one- to two-second technique involving a pair of pliers or blade snapper, which yields an instant sharp edge the second the dual-edge segment of the dull blade is snapped.
Loosen the ratchet lock, or release the auto lock advancement, and reverse to remove spent blades from the back. Slip a new blade into the stainless steel channel, secure to the single pin on the locking system, and advance or tighten the ratchet lock, and you’re back in the game.
Changing out a trapezoid blade knife requires a user to remove the housing – sometimes with a screwdriver – flip the blade, and reattach the housing. It takes minimally about 15 seconds, and more if someone has to run to the truck for more blades or the right tool. This is not ideal for a busy jobsite or operations center, or on scaffolding – meaning snap-off blades save time in the form of recovered productivity.