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Stanley Knife

  • Also known as a utility knife
  • Retractable and fixed blade versions
  • Stanley is a brand name often used for this type of knife, regardless of brand.
  • The toughest of the knives popular for DIY

Wallpaper knife

Plastic wallpaper knives 0130-5.jpg
  • Lightweight disposable plastic knife with snap-off segmented blade
  • 9mm & 18m blades
  • Very cheap, many for £1
  • Widely used for tasks where high strength is not needed
  • Blades easy to replace
  • Durable metal bodied versions also exist.

Pocket Knife

800px-Small lockback damascus antler.jpg

The forerunner of the above knife types, these are no longer popular for DIY use, but are still used by some.

  • Higher initial purchase price, zero ongoing costs
  • The non-replaceable blade(s) must be resharpened
  • Most types can snap shut on fingers in some situations, which is not really a Good Thing.
  • Heavier and bulkier than wallpaper knives
  • Some pocket knives include other small tools, which usually prove to be more useful for inflicting minor self injury than DIY.
  • Toolchest in a pocket knife

Craft knife, X-acto knife

Xacto 11horizontal.jpg

These are small knives sometimes used in DIY, but more popular for craft use. The handles are somewhat like a writing pen, and the blades used are scalpel blades and other blades of a similar size.

  • Many blade shapes are available.
  • X-Acto is another trade mark that has fallen into general usage


309px-Various scalpels.jpg

More used for DIY surgery than house maintenance, the most popular pattern of these is a 1 piece metal handle with no moving parts, into which the scalpel blade snaps into place. Designed for sterilisability.

  • Disposable plastic handles scalpels are also common
  • Useful for removing splinters, and other very fine work

Carving Knife

Kitchen knives aren't much use for DIY, but mean looking serrated ones can be used as a chipboard saw if caught without the right tools.

Electrician's knife

  • Insulated handle
  • Used to cut wire insulation

Lead knife

  • for lead roofing
  • Long hook-nosed blade

Carbide tipped knife


2x wallpaper knife blades 9mm & 18mm. Stanley type
Popular scalpel blade shapes
Blades in bulk

See Also