Since the Stone Age, humans have been infatuated with the next great invention. It is in our nature to take ideas and continuously improve on them. This goes for virtually everything we make and use. Thirty years ago, open blade razors were essentially the only option for box cutters. After years of innovation and invention, there are now knives featuring recessed blades, vanishing blades, thumb guards, tape splitters, blade depth settings, hooded blades and more. With these types of innovations, there is little trouble finding one to fit any cutting application.

Innovative features

Recessed blade knives have rapidly increased in popularity in manufacturing and retail sectors. They feature built-in blades with no exposed edges. These knives work best for opening boxes, splitting tape, and cutting bands. The recessed blade prevents the sharp edge from coming into contact with the user or the contents of the package which greatly eliminates injuries and product damage.

Vanishing blade technology is becoming increasingly popular in all industries and is another example of advancements in cutting tools. This technology features a blade that will automatically retract back into the knife the instant it loses contact with the cutting surface — without the need to release a trigger. These “smart knives” are taking the place of the standard utility knife in manufacturing plants and construction sites.

Additional features such as tape splitters, thumb guards and hooded blades can now be found on a wide variety of knives. Some of the best safety knives on the market have three or four of these features in one tool.

Blade depth settings are a unique feature that has grown in popularity as well. They involve a dial or knob that will set the depth of the blade to cut single wall cardboard, double wall cardboard and even thicker material when fully extended. Some also feature a locking position which prevents the knife from operating when not in use.

Added accessories

In addition to the features of the knives themselves, many companies have included items such as holsters and lanyards. Holsters attach to an employee’s belt or pocket to ensure their cutter is always ready to use when needed. Holsters help prevent workers from putting the knife in their pocket which is an all too common mistake…OUCH!! Lanyards help prevent loss of the knife when you forget where you placed it.

Making the switch makes “cents”

With the help of companies who specialize in safety knives and who have experts on staff to assist, businesses are banning the use of standard box cutters and implementing safety knife policies. These specialized companies make on-site visits to understand the cutting needs of each business and provide cost-benefit analyses, safety knife recommendations and employee training for any application.

Soaring healthcare and liability costs make it both a necessity and a smart business decision to switch from a standard, open-blade box cutter to a safer, more advanced knife. While there are upfront costs associated with making the switch, savings are quickly realized in reduced employee injuries and product damage.

Reducing employee injury is a significant benefit of switching to safer knives. OSHA estimates each serious laceration can cost a business $38,000 in direct and indirect costs. If a company operates at a 3-percent profit margin, it would require an additional $1,000,000 in sales to cover the cost of one injury. With many safety knives costing under $2.00 each, it makes business sense to switch to safer knives.

Similarly, product damage from open-blade box cutters has long been an issue for businesses. The Food Marketing Institute estimates that the grocery industry sustains nearly $6 billion annually in damaged merchandise from box cutters alone! Most companies assume damaged merchandise is simply the cost of doing business — but this is just not true. By using a knife that protects carton contents, those costs can become profit quickly and easily.

Regardless of what you cut, how many employees you have or the size of your company, there is a new and improved safety knife on the market that can help save you money and keep your employees safe. With the variety of innovative safety knives on the market today, it doesn’t make business sense to use a tool that belongs in the Stone Age!