Every trade seems to have its own standard toolbox items that professionals within the industry likely wouldn’t want to leave home without. While some are very job-specific, others are more common and are used by a variety of professionals.
The most versatile tools even manage to find their way into the garages or tool kits of the average handy homeowner. One such tool is the extremely practical box cutter. As simple as it may sound, it can be used not only for opening boxes but also for home improvement projects, landscaping, in the kitchen, farm, etc.
What Is a Box Cutter?
Box cutters are small, handheld tools that utilize a razor blade style knife element to assist with tasks where straight and relatively shallow cuts need to be made.
They are generally retractable or foldable, allowing the blade to be safely concealed within the casing of the cutter when not in use. Some also allow the blade to be adjusted to accommodate different cutting depths, so that only the proper amount of blade needed is exposed. This can make a box cutter a safer choice than some other cutting tools.
Everyday Uses of a Box Cutter
While many people might think of a hammer, screwdriver, or tape measure as the most common household tool, the box cutter really has many uses, making it a must-have for homeowners as well as tradespeople. Here are a few everyday uses to consider:
- Opening Boxes: As the name suggests, the box cutter is the perfect tool for slicing cardboard, making it useful when opening mailed packages or breaking down boxes to easily fit in your trash container or recycling bin. It also comes quite in handy when moving boxes need to be reopened and unpacked!
- Opening Plastic Packaging: Another situation where a box cutter works wonders is when you’re trying to open hard plastic packaging for a toy, tool, electronic, or other encased item. Many times, the manufacturer’s plastic is strong and extremely difficult to break into. With the help of a box cutter, it’s easy to cut exactly where you need to without damaging the contents or ruining the packaging, in case a return is needed at a later date.
- Home Improvement Projects: If you are a do-it-yourself enthusiast around the house, then the possibilities for using a box cutter really are almost limitless. Some of the more common applications include things like cutting foam underlayment or insulation board, scoring sheetrock or vinyl flooring, trimming linoleum or carpeting, wire or rubber cutting, and breaking a caulked seal.
- Landscaping: Outdoor projects also create many great opportunities to use a box cutter. When installing sod or landscape fabric, use a box cutter to trim it for the space. Making a quick cut to the bottom section of a tightly bound root ball in a potted plant before install is another practical use. This helps the roots spread and grow better in your landscaping. You may even find this tool useful when wiring up low voltage landscape lighting or opening bags containing mulch, grass seed or granular fertilizer products!
- In the Kitchen: While most people don’t immediately think of a box cutter as an essential cooking tool, it really can come in quite handy in the kitchen space. From opening shrink-wrap-style meat packages or freezer bags to neatly scoring cookie, cereal, or cracker boxes, you might be surprised at how many uses the family chef can find for a box cutter.
- Outdoor Adventures: Anyone spending time outdoors chasing adventure or enjoying activities likely has been in a situation where they could have used a box cutter. Similar to a pocket knife, a box cutter makes a great addition to a hiker’s backpack, a fisherman’s tackle box, a camper’s car, or a hunter’s pocket. Whether you are cutting a tangled fishing line, trimming a rope to proper use length, or making a repair to a torn tarp or tent, the box cutter might be just the tool for the job.
- Car Emergency Kits: Keeping a few “just in case” items in your car for emergencies is always a good idea, and adding a box cutter to this stash can be too. Just as you never know when you might need a flashlight, a blanket, or a first aid kit when out on the road, box cutters can be extremely handy in certain scenarios. They can greatly assist if you have to make a repair to a car’s hose or cut a faulty seatbelt, just to name a few.
- Farm or Ranch Uses: For the homeowner who lives in a more rural setting, operating a homestead, mini farm, or micro ranch, box cutters can be used for things like cutting hay bale strings, easily removing pallet wrapping or straps, and cutting garden twine. Animal feed bags can often be pesky to open without mess, and a box cutter makes this job quick and easy as well.
With so many possibilities for useful applications all throughout the home, the box cutter really earns its reputation as a great everyday tool.
There are many styles, colors, and sizes to choose from, and the reasonable price point for this tool makes owning one extremely affordable. Grab one for your home today!