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#408 - Moving Experiences

Featured Tool - Utility Knife

A utility knife is a very basic, versatile, cutting tool that is an essential part of any toolbox. Its main purpose is to cut through thin, lightweight material or score tougher material, such as drywall, floor tile, etc.

While this week's show is about moving, the utility knife is probably the most used tool when one first arrives at a new place. Just think about all of those boxes that need to be opened!

There are two main types of utility knives: retractable-blade or fixed blade. In a retractable blade knife the blade slides in and out of the handle, and can be locked in different positions. This is the type of utility knife that we recommend since they usually have a locking safety device on them.

In a fixed blade knife the blade is locked into one position; you can't retract it back into the handle when you're finished making a cut. For storage, you can store the blade inside the handle by unscrewing the handle, inserting the blade and reattaching.

There are a few different types of blades available for utility knifes. Breakaway blades have up to ten fresh points on one single long blade. That way when one point dulls, you can just snap it off and a fresh new blade is already in place for use. This is the type we used most often.

A standard blade is just that. It's the most common - the blade is reversible, so there are actually two cutting surfaces. When the end you are using gets dull, open up the handle and turn the blade around for a fresh point.

There are job specific knifes: for instance, for linoleum and shingles.

The most important tip when working with a utility knife is to make sure you use sharp blades. Dull blades make poor cuts and can cause you to slip. Also, don't use too much pressure, you could snap the blade. Many times it takes several passes to make a good, clean cut.

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