Safety Box Cutters: Design Features That Make Box Cutters Safe

Close up of Slice 10503 Auto-Retractable Box Cutter hanging from a man’s jeans pocket.

What goes into making top-of-the-line safety box cutters that can be considered truly safe in all applications? At Slice®, answering that question resulted in the development of an entire line of safe box cutters, employing various design innovations that optimize performance and safety.

These design features make Slice box cutters the premiere safety box cutters on the market today. Each unique tool has been adapted for its own particular purpose, with safety designed in, right from the start.

Better Blades: The Key to Safety With Box Cutters

While handle type, size, and retractability features may differ, each Slice box cutter is manufactured using a patent-pending, double-angle grinding process. This unique process results in a finger-friendly® blade that is safe to the touch.

Additionally, all Slice blades are:

  • Non-rusting
  • Non-conductive
  • Non-magnetic
  • Chemically inert
  • Safe from -40 to 1600 degrees, Celsius
  • Non-reactive; impervious to acids and salts
  • Oil-, lubricant- and maintenance-free
  • 100% recyclable

Handles Optimize Safe and Easy Use

Whatever your specific safety box cutter needs, Slice’s distinct handles have been ergonomically-designed to ensure a balance between ease-of-use and protection from injury. Each handle features an ambidextrous design, which is especially convenient if more than one person is going to be using the tool. By choosing the tool with the best handle design for your application, you can ensure safety with box cutters.

The J-Hook Handle: Innovation in Comfort and Safety

This box cutter’s award-winning design wraps around your hand to keep it away from the cutting action. The ergonomic handle allows you to execute repetitive cutting movements without undue strain on hand, wrist, and forearm ligaments, joints, or muscles.

Apart from its distinctive look, when used correctly, the J-Hook safety box cutter offers an improvement in cutting efficiency and comfort.

How to properly use a J-Hook safety box cutter.

Versatile Options in Familiar Handles

All of the following safety box cutter models offer more portability than the J-Hook, while maintaining safety with box cutters, due to their compact handle designs and lightweight construction:

The Pen Cutter’s longer, thinner design supports a natural hold and fits easily in your pocket. It’s ideal for reaching through tricky, narrow spaces, while maintaining safety, in case of slips, with our finger-friendly blade.

The slender-handled Manual Carton Cutter has an angled, easy-to-hold handle that minimizes the blade’s exposure by design, so you can easily cut through packaging materials without damaging products. This style of cutter is a favorite in retail operations looking to minimize damage to box contents.

As for the Mini Cutter, this ultra-durable option includes an integrated magnet, which allows for convenient storage. While it may be small, this handy tool uses the same long-lasting, specially-ground safety blades found in larger models, minimizing the risk of injury.

If you aren’t sure exactly which handle style you prefer, or if you have cutting tasks that require more than one type of cutter, Slice thoughtfully designed box cutter blades that work with several of our handle types, such as the 10503 and 10400 box cutters, the 10512 and 10513 pen cutters, and the 10514 and 10515 mini cutters.

In a similar manner, our utility blades were designed to be used in several tools, including our 10490 and 10491 metal-handled utility knives and our mini scrapers. Slice helps you maintain a safe workplace and keep an eye on your bottom line.

The Traditional Utility Knife Handle, Only Safer

Our utility knives offer the industry-leading version of the “traditional box cutter” handle. While the handle shape isn’t an innovation, our finger-friendly utility knife blades and various retraction options offer definite safety boosts.

Blade Retraction: A Core Feature of Safety Box Cutters

The risk of injury in handling any type of box cutter comes from exposure to the blade. Slice blades are specifically engineered to be safe, both in the ceramic materials used and in the patent-pending, double-angle grind that results in their finger-friendly edge.

When all is said and done though, a blade that is not present cannot cut you. That’s where retraction mechanisms become a core safety feature. All Slice safety box cutters offer at least the following two retraction choices, which are color-coded on the handle for easy identification.

Manual Retraction

Clearly identified with orange detailing on the handle, Slice manual-retraction safety box cutters put the responsibility for safety with box cutters on the user.

Slice manual-retraction tools—depending on the model—offer up to four cutting depths to suit your cutting task. Once you slide your blade to one of these positions, it will remain in place until you manually retract the blade.


Slice safe box cutters featuring auto-retraction—which are clearly identified with green-colored handle details—have an added safety feature: their blades are spring loaded so that the user must engage the slider and hold it in place throughout the cutting action. Once the user releases the slider, the blade automatically retracts into the handle.

By choosing a safety box cutter with auto-retraction, you’re no longer relying on employees to remember to retract the blade after use. This limits their potential accidental blade exposure. Auto-retraction is available with every handle type mentioned in this article, including the original box cutter.

Smart Retraction

The types of retraction mechanisms discussed above rely, to varying degrees, on the user controlling the retraction of the blade. What if there was a way for the safety box cutter, itself, to sense when it needed to retract?

Slice has created a safe box cutter that takes responsibility for behavioral safety with box cutters out of the hands of the users. The Slice 10558 Smart-Retracting Utility Knife has a finger-friendly blade that retracts as soon as it loses contact with the cutting surface.

In order to expose the blade, the user must pull and hold the easily-identifiable blue-colored Ergo-Pull™ slider while the cutting task is being performed. The smart-retracting blade will automatically retract into the handle as soon as the blade loses contact with the surface being cut, even if the user is still holding the slider.You can see this amazing feature in action here:

Available exclusively on the Smart-Retracting Utility Knife, Ergo-Pull™ requires the user to pull the slider to activate the safety blade, instead of using a more traditional pushing motion. Independent tests have confirmed that pulling a slider reduces the muscular tension while cutting.

The traditional blade-engaging mechanism requires the user to push with their thumb while pulling with their arm across the material. This strains ligaments and muscles in the hand, increasing the likelihood of a strain injury due to excessive rotational force on the wrist and an awkward grip angle. Thus, Ergo-Pull™ is an improvement in both efficiency and safety.

What Else Goes Into Ensuring Safety With Box Cutters?

At Slice, we look beyond blade exposure to identify the root causes of safety risks. We approach each aspect of tool design with an eye for innovation. From blade shape through handle construction, and to our smart-retraction feature, we’ve dissected, examined, and ultimately optimized our safety box cutters for both performance and safety cutting in your workplace.

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