Every home needs a good set of tools for those little chores that crop up from time to time. Essentials like hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, and a wrench can help you with plenty of tasks around the house. This includes tightening screws on a piece of furniture, hanging paintings on a wall, removing dangerous nails from old fixtures.
But there’s another important tool that belongs in your kit: a utility knife. This cutting tool is an ideal addition to your set because of its sheer versatility. You might have seen people carrying utility knives at work, particularly electricians or carpenters, but they can come in handy at home, too.
What to Look for In a Utility Knife
There’s a huge variety of utility knives on the market for almost every application, with different functions and safety features. For example, utility knives like these have safety blades designed to cut many types of material effectively while reducing the risk of injuries. Choose between manual, auto-retractable, and smart-retracting utility knives for added safety and convenience. This is vital for any task around the home, particularly if you’ve never handled a utility knife before.
You can get used to cutting fabrics, cardboard, and other materials without worrying about hurting yourself as easily as you might with a traditional blade. Lanyard holes come in handy to keep your utility knife on your keychain or belt for an extra layer of convenience. You don’t want to be in the middle of a project and have to figure out where you last left your knife. And while some utility knives are made for right-handed people, look for an ambidextrous option for the lefties in your home or work team, too.
So, now that we’ve covered safety and ideal features to shop for, let’s look at some of the cutting tasks you can use a utility knife for at home.
Cut Carpets to Size When Decorating
Replacing those worn old carpets you’ve had for years? Moving into a new property and can’t wait to fit clean, fresh carpets to make it feel like your own?
Either way, installing new carpets can be tough. And cutting them down to size is one of the most difficult parts of the process.
Why? Because you have to be precise to keep edges straight and tidy. Fortunately, the best utility knives will let you cut carpets to size neatly. Just make sure the blade is long enough for the job when fitting a thick carpet.
Remove Damaged Window Screens and Trim New Ones
Window screens are exposed to the elements constantly, so they become worn and damaged over time. Rips and holes could create enough space for bugs to crawl in or dust to get inside, making the screens way less effective than they should be.
You can easily cut an old screen away from windows, or trim a new one to size, with a utility knife when the time comes to replace it.
Clear Old Caulk to Create Cleaner Sinks and Bathtubs
Caulk running around your bathtub or sink may become unsightly as it gets dirty or cracked. You might think removing old caulk is a long, arduous task, but you can make it easier with the right tools.
Run a utility knife along the caulk’s seams to loosen it, then pull it away to clear the space. Then, you can clean the sink or bathtub’s edge, and get it ready for a new application of sealant.
Remove Loose Threads and Adjust Clothes
Frustrated with those loose threads that make your clothes look untidy? Use a utility knife to cut them away before they snag on something and get worse. You can make a neater trim with a blade than with a pair of scissors, especially if it’s in an awkward spot.
You can use a knife to adjust your clothes, too. Maybe you want to remove a pocket from a shirt or a pair of jeans. Or you might have a pair of old jeans you want to make into shorts. With a few careful cuts, you can customize your clothes and revitalize old pieces.
Open Thick Packaging Simply and Safely
Sometimes, you receive mail that’s packaged in thick cardboard with heavy-duty tape, and the only way to open it is with a strong cutting tool. You might reach for a pair of scissors or a kitchen knife, but they can be clumsy and imprecise. Use the wrong tool and you could cut the goods inside the package if you’re not careful.
But a utility knife can cut through cardboard and tape smoothly, reducing the danger that you’ll misjudge the depth and damage the contents.
Strip Wires to Make Repairs
If you have training and experience in electronics, you might feel confident investigating problems with devices around your home.
But caution and precision are crucial when dealing with electrics, particularly if you plan to strip wires. A good utility knife makes it easy to cut and remove sections of covering without slicing the wire itself.
You can make this task safer by using a blade made with a non-conducting material such as zirconium oxide. Another benefit of this chemically inert material is that it won’t rust. So, you can wash caulk, dust, and fibers away without worrying about how it’ll affect the blade!
Ready to Get Your Next Utility Knife?
As you can see, a utility knife will make a welcome addition to your tool kit at home and is ideal for many everyday tasks.
You have a wide selection to choose from, though, so take the time to explore your options carefully. When you find the safest, most user-friendly, most effective knife to suit your household routine, you’ll wonder how you lasted so long without it!