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Stanley Knife

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

  • 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

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 too often a recipe for minor injury.

Craft knife, X-acto knife

Xacto craft 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 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

Rotary Knife

  • scores 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.

Carving Knife

Kitchen knives are not much used for DIY, but can be used as an effective chipboard saw if caught without the right tools.

Electrician's knife

  • Insulated handle
  • Used to cut wire insulation

See Also

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