The Different Parts of a Utility Knife Explained

A utility knife can be handy for a number of different household situations, whether for opening boxes or cutting vinyl tiles. However, in order to use the tool safely, it is important to be aware of all the components parts and understand their purpose.


The blade is the most important aspect of a utility knife as its strength and size will dictate what the knife can be used for. The variety of utility knives available means that there are also several different types of blade that you could encounter in trying to find an ideal knife. The blade of a craft knife will be the smallest one available and will be fixed in place by bolting it to the metal or plastic handle. Like most other utility blades, it will only comprise a single sharp edge. Though the blade of a box cutter utility knife will be the size of a standard razor blade, it will appear small because only enough of the blade will be on display outside of the protective sleeve as that is all that is required for the task it is required for.  

A segmented blade is created to allow sections of it to be disposable when necessary. The single slim length of metal that makes up the blade is scored at regular intervals to allow the free blade edge to be broken off when it becomes dull.

The blade of a Stanley knife will be more sturdy than its counterparts and will often be two-sided, this will provide a spare blade where one side dulls. The spare blade can be stored in the handle so that it is quickly and easily accessible when needed.


The handle of the utility knife will differ in style and material depending on the type of knife that you are using. The basic varieties such as the small utility knife and the breakaway blade will often have a plastic handle or casing. The size of these handles tend to be slim enough to allow you to hold them as you would a writing implement. This grip will be sufficient for the light uses that they are put to. The handle of a Stanley knife is usually made of metal and is thicker and heavier than those of other handles. It is usually require the entire hand to grip it properly. The sturdy rectangular handle of a box cutter is designed to ensure a safe grip while it is being used.


Having the ability to change the blade on a Stanley knife means that it requires a fastener to take the handle apart when necessary. There is usually a single screw that holds the handle together that will need to be removed to change the blade. The blade of a box cutter will often be held in place with a tightly fitting sleeve that can slide out of place in order to replace the blade. Though a breakaway blade does not require a fastener of this type, the blade is attached to a lever which allows it to be raised and lowered as required.