Ever have a blister-pack accident? [Edited thread title]

You know, those (in my case, headphones) theft-preventative measures which cause you to have to take a knife or scissors to open a package?

Does the prevention of theft really outweigh the cost of a law suit if someone bleeds to death from trying to open one of these things?

I just opened a package containing a set of headphones bought at Wal-Mart.

There were no instructions on how to open it and that thing looks like a great white got a hold of it.



Shrink wrap is a very thin material, like cellophane, and can be torn apart by hand. Bubble wrap is for inside the box to provide a cushion. What you’re referring to is blister packaging.

I’ve no idea about the lawsuit angle, but I’ve never had a problem with blister packaging–a solid pair of kitchen shears has proven adequate for all the packaging I’ve ever run across. Knives, razor blades, etc. are the wrong tool for the job.

If you trust wikipeida

Yeah, blister wrap. The kind that gives you blisters if you decide to rip it open bare-handed. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the correction, Dr. Strangelove!


Shrink wrap” is similar to the very thin cellophane used to cover many food packages.

Bubble wrap” is used inside packages to prevent the contents from moving around.

I think the term you’re looking for is “clamshell” or “blister pack”.

Sounds like you need one of these.

He didn’t yell at me, talk really fast, or use black and white. How do I know this product is worth anything?

a jumbo letter opener with the blade in a V groove can safely open much of that type of packaging.

  1. If they bleed to death, they aren’t going to be suing anyone.

  2. If they are so dumb as to bleed to death from a minor cut on an extremity, the world is better off without them.

  3. It would be pretty tough to win a lawsuit against the store selling it, or the manufacturer who made it, by claiming you are too stupid to open the package without cutting yourself, and that they should be punished for your stupidity.

I’ve cracked several CD jewel cases getting that darn shrink wrap off. Twist the knife blade too much and it’ll crack the plastic every time.

I’d really, really like to be able to say without lying that no one has ever won a suit on a similarly pathetic, but I doubt I can.

Yes. I hate those clam shell/blister pack things too. Way too much work to get the thing I just bought out.

I’m with you Quasi!

Sorry, the word “basis” kind of fell out of that post of mine, somehow.

I see the OP as more of a shared experience thread rather than a real GQ.

MOved to IMHO from GQ.

samclem Moderator

It is not a question of stupidity. The packaging is really hard to open by design. It is not simple to open some of these packages even with good kitchen shears. You have to cut all the way around a complicated shape made of tough plastic. I have found that ordinary scissors don’t work. I would not be surprised to find out that 30% of people don’t have easy access to the tools needed to gain access safely to the flash card they bought at best buy. There is something messed up about that.

Although Quasi got the name of the offending packaging wrong, I bet this thread will get a lot of views because people are going to wonder how one manages to have a shrink-wrap or bubble-wrap accident.

I know I was curious! :smiley:

I’m having trouble picturing this. Where was the blade before you started twisting it? I only cut the cellophane - my knife never goes into the jewel case. Are you wedging your knife into the crack between the front of the case and the back of the case? All I do it make a small cut anywhere on the cellophane, and then it becomes easy to tear with my fingers.

I used to slide the knife with the blade flat between the plastic wrap and the top or bottom panel of the case. I didn’t want to risk scratching the case by scoring the plastic wrap. Then by twisting the blade it would burst the plastic wrap and it could be peeled off.

Unfortunately, the jewel case is so cheaply made that sometimes the plastic case would crack. It couldn’t take that tiny bit of leverage from the knife blade twisting in that thin space between the wrap and case. That plastic wrap is tougher than it looks. :wink:

Live and learn. Now I score the plastic wrap along the back edge of the case. Any scratches there don’t matter.

Yeah, I screwed up the title, didn’t I? I asked that it be fixed, although now I reckon the horse has left the barn, so to speak.

Stupid thread to begin with, though, right?

Next time I’ll think it through.


Same here. Though I was more imagining April fools tricks or people wrapping themselves in bubble-wrap and chucking themselves down a flight of stairs.

Anyways, to answer the spirit of the OP, I have yet to injure myself when opening blisters but whilst cutting open a cardboard box (I was selling stuff on eBay and needed something to protect the contents) the scissors managed to cut a 2cm hole in the knuckle of my thumb. You know when you can look at the injury for a second or two and think, ‘hmm, where’s the blood?’ That’s when you know it’s gonna hurt later as well.

So yes, I can see injuries whilst opening blister packs happening but 60,000 a year in the UK sounds like a lot.