How to Open Plastic Packaging: Use Slice Safety Tools

Clamshell packaging is notoriously difficult to get into. This video shows how easily the Slice Safety Cutter and Slice Manual Pen Cutter cut through this tough plastic material. The Mini Cutter and Auto-Retractable Pen Cutter are good options, too.

As soon as you’re home from the store with your purchases (ink cartridge, glue gun, lightbulbs, pretty much anything), you’re faced with the ever annoying challenge of how to open plastic packaging. This is especially tough with clamshell packaging and, to a lesser degree, blister packaging. Yes, this protective packaging keeps your items from being damaged, but it can be so frustrating to open!

Traditional Methods of Opening Clamshell Packaging Aren’t Ideal

Opening clamshell packaging is so annoying, the process has been granted its own emotion: wrap rage!

People use everything from ice picks to razor blades to get through the plastic. Both are dangerous options. Another common approach is to use a craft knife or box knife. The latter two options are improvements over a bare blade, but still dangerous. And tough plastic will dull metal blades fast because steel is a relatively soft material.

How about using scissors as a plastic package opener? That’s doable, but it requires quite a bit of force; your hand is likely to tire quickly. If the package is large, you run the risk of your hand coming into contact with the sharp edges of the plastic that’s been cut. Scissor blades are typically made of steel, too, so the blades will get dull in a hurry if you use them as your go-to for how to open plastic packaging.

Some people suggest tin snips as a good tool choice for the job—uh, because we all have a spare pair of those around, right? Or how about the option of using a serrated kitchen knife? Yikes! Not only does this tool leave a dangerously jagged plastic edge, but kitchen knives are not intended to cut through plastic. It’s never wise to use a tool for anything other than what it was made to do.

Cutting Tough Materials Poses Unique Dangers

Whenever you have to apply a lot of pressure to a cutting tool to get through a material, you risk your cutting tool slipping dangerously. The greater the pressure, the greater the risk because if your tool does slip, you won’t be able to maintain control of where it goes.

Opening clamshell packaging requires a good bit of effort. If you’re using a metal blade, it needs to be particularly sharp to cut well. Great force with a razor-sharp tool is a recipe for nasty lacerations.

Using a too-dull blade exacerbates the problem because it requires even more force than a sharp blade.

Slice® to the Clamshell-Package-Opening Rescue

Slice safety blades feature a patent-pending grind that is safe to the touch: they’re finger-friendly®. The proprietary blade design also takes advantage of the hardness of advanced ceramics. All our blades are 100 percent zirconium oxide and have been tested to last up to 11 times longer than metal blades.

This means that our tools are safer, and tough materials like clamshell packaging won’t put them out of commission quickly.

While most Slice tools can get through clamshell packaging, we recommend two styles in particular: Slice micro-ceramic-blade knives and Slice pen cutters.

The Safety Cutter and Precision Cutter both feature micro-ceramic blades. The tiny exposed blade with its specialty grind makes these tools extremely safe.

Our micro-ceramic-blade may be small, but it is capable of easily cutting through rigid plastic, so it’s excellent for use on clamshell packaging and as a blister pack opener. The blade is shallow enough that it will only cut through the plastic, so you don’t have to worry about damaging what’s inside. These tools are ergonomic, which helps reduce hand and forearm fatigue.

If you need to make a deeper cut, the pen cutters will do the job. They feature our unique safer blade grind and an ergonomic handle. You can choose either the Manual Pen Cutter or Auto-Retractable Pen Cutter. The best choice will depend on the tasks you need to complete, how frequently or repetitively you will use the tool, and the level of safety you require.

All of these tools are great for many general cutting needs such as:

  • Cutting packing tape on boxes
  • Cutting paper
  • Cutting off tags
  • Removing loose threads
  • Opening envelopes

Added bonus: you can take the Safety Cutter in your carry-on bag when you travel; it’s that safe. Wherever you go, clamshell packaging is no longer the enemy.

Take the Frustration Out of Opening Plastic Packages

How many times have you struggled to get an item out of its protective plastic? For most of us, it’s too many! And how dangerous have your solutions been?

Fret no longer. Slice’s safer cutting tools, especially our pen cutters and micro-ceramic-blade tools, will make the job easy. You no longer have to worry about how to open plastic packaging.