How to Use a Box Cutter Safely

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When safely using a box cutter, only expose as much of the blade that is necessary, keep the blade clean and sharp, and store the tool properly. Cut away from the body when using a box cutter with help from a custom furniture maker in this free video on woodworking tools.

Part of the Video Series: Woodworking Tools
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Dave Trull with The Trull Gallery, a custom furniture shop in St. Petersburg, Florida and I'm going to talk to you today about how to use a box cutter safely. In the shop I use the more common utility knife and with these you'll see a couple of different versions. This is the more, I hate the say the more modern version because they really haven't changed in years and years but it's a retractable blade, some of the older versions or the less expensive versions you have to physically put the blade in, put the body back together, use it, when you are done go ahead and reverse that and bury the blade again. The nice thing about these when you need to use it the blade comes out, it is locked in place, when you are done you pull it back in. Today I have just got a simple piece of cardboard although these can be used for lots of things but again very simple tool like most tools that I talk about you only want to expose as much of the blade as possible and that way if you do slip you are not going to get a huge cut. Would you rather be cut by this or by that, this can remove a finger this is just going to give you a really bad cut and on that note it's important to keep your blade sharp. Utility blades are notorious for building up gunk on them because we use them for everything and they get dull. If you get cut by a blade that's dull it is a jagged cut, it's going to take forever to heal. If it's got gunk on it and it's dull you have just introduced a great deal of bacteria into your cut so keep your blades clean and sharp and everything will run smoothly. You want to keep your hand, your, you know in this case I am actually going to hold my rule in place so I'm going to keep that to the far side and I keep my thumb between my hand and the blade and that makes it harder for me to just kind of slide across incorrectly because my hand, my right thumb is going to hit my left hand before the blade will. The other thing is don't try to make your cut in one pass. A couple of light scoring passes so you're not fighting the blade, three simple passes. We have got a nice clean cut on both sides, a fairly simple tool to operate, think about what you are doing, don't use any more blade than necessary and don't use any more force than you should. That's how to operate a box cutter safely. I'm Dave Trull with The Trull Gallery, the fine art of furniture making.


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