Industrial knives and blades are commonly found in warehouse settings, and in homes for craft and utility. It's important to know about blade materials and which cutting tools are suited for the task at hand so you can accomplish your cuts safely and efficiently.

Ceramic vs. Steel Industrial Knives and Blades

Blade material is a key consideration when choosing your cutting tool. When comparing ceramic blade industrial knives with steel, consider cost-effectiveness, durability, and the risk of harm.

Steel rates a 4.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, which means it’s relatively soft. Consequently, metal blades need to be sharpened or changed frequently. This blade maintenance is important because dull blades are dangerous. A dull edge requires you to apply greater pressure to make your cut, increasing the chances of an accident.

Blade changes are another time when chances for injury are high. Also, because metal dulls so quickly, blades arrive overly sharpened, which is yet another time when they are particularly hazardous.

Steel is a common choice, but consider a ceramic blade. Slice uses 100 percent zirconium oxide. This material will not rust, is non-sparking, and can withstand extreme temperatures: up to 1600 degrees Celsius (2912 degrees Fahrenheit). Advanced ceramics are also extremely hard: 8.2 Mohs.

Note that not all ceramic blades are alike, and there is a lot of misinformation about industrial ceramics out there.

Only Slice tools feature blades with the company’s proprietary grind, which makes them finger-friendly®. They’re safe to the touch. Slice blades are also thicker than most ceramic blades for greater durability; they last 11.2 times longer than steel.

Essential for the Warehouse

Most warehouses have a selection of utility knives and box cutters. These tools are necessary for opening packages and cutting through a wide variety of materials, and they're sized for tool belts and pockets. Additionally, some feature a lanyard hole, making them convenient to hang for storage and accessibility.

A warehouse knife

All new employees should participate in a hands-on demonstration of cutting tools, and reviews should take place in regular knife safety toolbox talks. This ensures that employees know how to use these potentially dangerous tools properly and improves their familiarity with each implement.

With the prevalence of industrial knives and blades at construction sites, in warehouses, and in manufacturing and processing plants, be sure to have plenty of protective gear available, including gloves and eyewear. Frequently inspect all PPE to ensure it’s in good working order.

A Handy Home Cutter

Utility knives at home aren't only for keeping with your moving supplies or opening shipping boxes. “Utility” is in the name because they’re useful. These are some of the many ways a utility knife will make your life easier:

  • Opening bags of potting soil, road salt, and pet food
  • Trimming vinyl flooring
  • Getting through thick plastic packaging
  • Stripping cables or wiring

What other ways can you think of where a utility knife would come in handy?

Industrial Knives for Arts and Crafts

For some crafts, precision blades are needed for detailed work or intricate cuts. Scalpels work well to create expressive details in scratchboard art and cut out RC and scale models.

You can use a craft knife for projects that involve paper, such as scrapbooking or card-making. Such tools are excellent for getting through a wide variety of materials, and because you hold them like you would a pencil, the movement is familiar.

Cutting Tools for School

At the top of many classroom supply lists is children's scissors. These vary in quality and effectiveness depending on the material used to create the cutting edge: plastic, metal, or ceramic. Many people complain that the dull edges found on the metal and plastic models don’t cut materials cleanly.

A pair of children’s scissors.

Schools may also allow utility knives and box cutters in classrooms with older children. These tools are excellent for cutting through paper, as well as thicker materials like cardboard and cardstock.

However, diligent adult supervision is necessary as these tools can be very dangerous in the hands of inexperienced youngsters, whose dexterity and cutting skills are not fully developed. And just like for workers in a work setting, proper instruction on how to use utility knives and other cutters for children in the classroom is critical.

Always a Use for an Industrial Knife

The more familiar you are with the many different knives available for industrial, utility, and creative purposes, the more adept you'll become at handling them and knowing which one to use for which job.

There are a number of situations where a cutting tool can be useful, and it’s always important to use the right tool for the job. With an assortment of industrial knives and blades close at hand, you can efficiently complete your desired task.