Exacto Knives- Good or Evil?

I realize that Exacto knives (and similar ones) are very useful, but I have been cut-badly mind you- with them on my thumbs about counting scars14 times. No I am not clumsy- I own (and use daily)more knives and/or swords than most people see in their lives and virtually never get cut. Personally I think they are evil- I am not the only one who sees them this way. I am looking for opinions on the matter.

[[I own (and use daily)more knives and/or swords than most people see in their lives]] One wonders, but hesitates to ask.
I happen to really like exacto knives, but I also realize it’s easy to go overboard with them because they work so damn well. Stay away from your cuticles, though, I learned that the hard way.

I’ll bet I’m not the only guy out there who joined Team X because of the less-than-helpful “safety tip” that so easily slips out of the hand.

But then again, the worst cut I ever gave myself came from trying to disable the safety on a disposable cigarette lighter with a steak knife, so I might just be the only guy out there.

I live for danger!

You’ve been cut (badly, mind you) about 14 times (on your thumbs alone?) yet you say you “virtually never get cut”?

Something’s wrong with that picture.

Caution! Xacto knives contain razor sharp blades. They will cut you if you screw up!

I’d like to clear that up: I have been cut 1 time on my sword, 1 time by 1 of my other knives, but 14 by Exacto- and I only use them 5 or 6 times a year.

I’m sorry, counter - I’m picturing your house as the cartoon kitchen scene at the beginning of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.

Seriously, I’ve been using Xacto knives in model-building since I was about 10 years old. I may have cut myself once or twice, but one very quickly learns the capability of a razor-sharp piece of steel vis-a-vis flesh slicing. You say you’re not “clumsy” but I wonder…

It’s like using a hack saw vs. a radial-arm saw. You just have to be more careful when a single slip or careless moment can result in loss of blood or or digit or limb.

Exacto Knives don’t cut people.
People cut people.

Exacto knives have a handle that screams I dare you to hold me! Tiny and round. No grips, no blade guard. Recipe for disaster. It’s as safe as using a bare, flat, double-sided shaving blade.


lol - If exacto knives are outlawed, only outlaws will have exacto knives! I support RKBEK!

On what, pray tell, do you use your sword daily. Are you a samurai tailor?

Yeah, my brother was once using an Exacto knife in conjunction with a ruler in order to cut a straight line. Well, problem was that his thumb that he was using to hold the ruler in place was hanging over the cutting edge just a bit. You can imagine the rest of the story when he did a quick cut along the rulers edge.

My personal finger cutting nightmare was with one of those all-purpose rectangular shaped razors that you’re supposed to put in widgets and such. Well, like most people, I was just using the blade alone, without a holder. I was scraping a piece of heavy-duty velcro off the side of a monitor with a downward motion. The razor got caught up in the plastic of the monitor and the downward pushing motion caused the razor to flip over and subsequently get shoved into the space between the velcro and the monitor. Needless to say, this all happened in a fraction of a second while I was still applying significant downforce to the razor. That down-force was absorbed by the tip of my finger as it came down straight on the blade with enough strength to cleave the tip of my finger and cut straight through a significant portion of my fingernail. Luckily, it missed hitting a previous wound that was incurred when shutting a folding lockback knife by a couple millimeters. That previous wound required plastic surgery, but didn’t hurt nearly as much as the razor incident. I sometimes cringe when using razors to this day.

A sword?!?!?

Remind me to NEVER get into a flame war with you, pal…

Yer pal,

The OXO brand of cutlery is exceptionally sharp too.

After receiving a bunch of them as wedding gifts, I was using the potato peeler. I found out it also serves as an index finger peeler.

One more use: after returning from Kaiser to patch up my finger, I went to bed and my wife continued fixing the potatoes. She removed a piece of potato peel from the peeler, only to figure out that it was the missing slice of my finger! So its third function is a wife-grosser-outer. :slight_smile:

X-Acto’s are both boon and bane. They are a vicious mistress and every graphic artist wears their scars proudly.

Back in college we were warned about this on Day One of Graphic Design 101. Nevertheless, you could tell the G.D. folk from the rest of the folk by the circular healing patches on all our thumb tips.

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

Gee, What a fun topic. Everyone likes talking about their own battle scars. One day many years ago, I decide I was going to learn to whittle. No sooner than my wife saying “Be careful”, did my pocketknife hit a knothole, flip over and slam shut on my knuckle. Blood everywhere. I still can’t bend that finger.


Rule One of using a sharp object is to cut away from yourself. Let me repeat that for the slow learners: cut away from yourself.

A lot of people cut their thumbs when making a whittling-type cut to a solid object. The common impulse is to rest your right thumb on the object, wrap the other four fingers around the knife handle, and move the blade toward the thumb by contracting your hand. This is unsafe, because as soon as the blade slips, it will slice straight into the flesh of your thumb.

A safer way to use an Exacto for this is to grip it in a medium-tight fist, with your thumb just behind and below the unsharpened edge of the blade. Aim the sharp edge away from your body, and cut using the motion of your wrist. Hold the object in place with a clamp or vise, or stick it to the table with Fun-Tak.

If a right-hander cuts his left thumb, it’s often done when cutting paper on a flat surface. The common mistake here is to cut “southward”, straight toward the body. Because of your arm’s angle, you have less control over the blade as it gets closer to your pelvis; since the left hand is usually holding the “south-west” corner of the paper, it can easily get in the way of the blade.

The safer way to cut on a flat surface is to do it from left to right, assuming you’re right-handed. Not only is this less likely to slice your left hand, but it also prevents you from stabbing yourself in the belly if the blade slips. (This is a pretty rare occurrence, but any puncture wound to the abdomen can be very nasty.)

When used properly, Exacto knives are neither evil nor particularly dangerous. I use one a few times per week, and have done so since I was in junior high school; the last time I accidentally cut myself was over three years ago.

Of course I don’t fit in; I’m part of a better puzzle.

BWT, counter, what were you doing with the sword when you managed to cut yourself? I own a fully live broadsword, plus several daggers of assorted sizes, and I have never accidentally cut myself on any of them.

I agree with moriah; those Exactos have a slippery, round, gripless handle and an awkward weight. It’s like handling a live snake.
In high school art class, we used Exactos all the time for cutting matboard and such. On the first day of class, Mr. Tobin demonstrated how to use the knife correctly and very neatly sliced off two of his fingers. He was able to have them reattached, but that image has haunted me during the intervening years. I’ve never cut myself with an Exacto knife.

Safety tip from Strainger:

Store your Exacto knife with the pointy end inside the handle.

I’ve cut myself on a few occasions with various knives (never an Exacto, though. Hmmm…). I have no one or thing to blame for these events except myself.