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Stanley Knife

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

Wallpaper knife

  • Lightweight plastic knife with snapoff segmented blade
  • 9mm & 18m blades
  • Very cheap, many for £1
  • Widely used for tasks where high strength is not needed
  • Durable metal bodied versions also exist.

Pocket Knife

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 generally a good thing.
  • Heavier and bulkier than wallpaper knives
  • Some pocket knives include some other small tools, which are usually far from ideal, and often a recipe for minor injury.

Craft knife, X-acto knife

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


More used for DIY surgery than house maintance, 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

Rotary Knife

  • score or cut into soft materials such as lino & vinyl tiles
  • Not much use for other DIY tasks, due to little cutting power, as the blade rolls over the workpiece, it does not scrape it.

Kitchen Meat Knife

Not often used for DIY, but can be used as a wood saw if caught without tools.

See Also

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