A Self-Retracting Knife Is a Safer Knife

Traditional knives with fixed-position blades are dangerous, because the blade remains exposed after the cut is made. As your arm follows through with the cutting motion, you’re in danger of cutting yourself, or anyone standing nearby, with the exposed blade. The Slice® 10558 Smart-Retracting Utility Knife eliminates this danger, as its blade instantly retracts into the housing the moment the blade loses contact with the material you are cutting.

A self-retracting knife is a better choice for many cutting tasks. Why? Enhanced safety, pure and simple. Any time you can keep the blade covered when it’s not being used— which is exactly what a self-retracting mechanism does—you’re mitigating the risk of laceration or puncture injuries from an exposed blade.

A Word About Retraction Mechanisms

A quick review of retraction mechanisms will help you understand the type of retraction that balances effectiveness with worker safety and will work best for your cutting task.

With manual retraction, the user decides when to expose or hide the blade. Manual retraction tools generally have several blade positions that can be used to give you different cutting depths, and are a good choice for jobs that require a blade to be locked into position.

Auto-retraction, or self-retraction, uses an automatic spring mechanism built into the handle. The user pushes a slider to expose the blade, which remains exposed until the slider is released, instantly retracting the blade. When operated as intended, this type of retraction keeps you safer from the accidental punctures and lacerations. They’re an effective and safer choice for most cutting tasks.

Self-Retracting Knife Safety

Self-retracting knives have been on the market for many years. While some workers have embraced the retraction features, others have not.

Ask any safety manager, and you’ll hear tales about workers taping the slider mechanism open on their self-retracting utility knife or self-retracting box cutter. Some of these tales do not have happy endings, as injuries often result.

At Slice® we’re always striving to improve our tools, making them safer and more ergonomic. This led to the development of our own version of a “smart-retracting” tool mechanism.

Smart-Retraction: An Improved Self-Retracting Knife

The re-imagining of our current self-retracting utility knife started from the ground up. How were workers using these knives? Could they be safer? More ergonomic? How did they compare to traditional utility knives?

The resulting Slice 10558 Smart-Retracting Utility Knife enhanced ergonomics with a groundbreaking feature, while keeping the strongest safety feature of all of our tools, together with the convenience of at-a-glance retraction mechanism identification:

  • Smart-Retraction self-retracting blade mechanism
  • Ergo-Pull™ slider to engage the blade
  • Color-coding for easy retraction mechanism identification
  • Our finger-friendly® safety blades

A Safer Self-Retracting Knife

As seen in the video, the Slice 10558 Smart-Retracting Utility Knife adds another safety level to self-retracting tools. Slice calls its self-retracting tools “Smart-Retracting” because it’s almost as if the tools have brains of their own. These tools take control of blade exposure out of the hands of your workers, giving that control to the tool itself. Now that’s smart!

Smart retraction works in a manner that’ll be familiar to your workers, with one critical safety improvement. The user still engages the blade with a slider prior to executing the cut, but now the blade only remains exposed due to its pressure on the material you’re cutting.

When the blade loses contact with that surface, it instantly retracts into the handle, even if the slider is still being held in the engaged position. This self-retracting blade mitigates the risk of injury. The 10558 uses Utility Knife Blades that have the same finger-friendly blade edges that keep you safer in case the tool slips during a cut.

When you compare the price of smart-retracting tools to the cost of a laceration injury incurred from an unsafe utility knife, you’ll see that the investment in worker safety is cost effective. Not even to mention the pain, suffering, and potentially life-altering effects a worker experiences as a result of a laceration injury.

A More Ergonomic Self-Retracting Knife

The 10558 introduces a significant ergonomic advancement, called Ergo-Pull™, that’s very likely to result in fewer repetitive strain injuries. The problem with a traditional slider on the traditional utility knife is that the user pushes it forward with their thumb, holding it there to keep the blade exposed. In making the cut, the knife is pulled backwards.

This pushing-while-pulling motion can become painful over time, causing muscle and ligament strain due to the excessive inward rotation of the wrist and an awkward grip angle on the tool. Eventually, repetitive strain injuries can result. This pain contributes to the tendency of workers to tape open the slider on their self-retracting tools.

With our Ergo-Pull slider, the slider mechanism is pulled backward to engage the blade. This allows the wrist to maintain a more natural alignment during the cutting action, reducing the likelihood of repetitive strain injuries. Independent tests comparing our 10558 to standard utility knives clearly demonstrated that pulling our Ergo-Pull™ slider reduced muscle tension while cutting.

As a safety manager, you have a responsibility to your workers to keep them as safe as possible. One way to do this is to provide them with safer tools. A self-retracting knife, such as the Slice 10558 Smart-Retracting Utility Knife, is a worthwhile investment in safety.