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Safe Use of Stanley Knives

Updated February 21, 2017

When handling a Stanley craft knife, or any other Stanley knife, it's imperative that working with these hazardous tools be done safely. Practicing knife safety at all times will help avoid potential accidents and establish a good knife handling routine.

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Safety Procedures

There are many different types of Stanley knives, depending on the work being done. Most Stanley knives come with blade shields or are self-retracting with spring-loaded blades. After using a knife, always be sure to stow away the blade properly--either by using a blade shield or retracting the blade itself.


Keep all Stanley knives in a secure place away from inappropriate persons. It is never a good practice to allow use of a sharp knife without strict assistance and observation. Any type of Stanley knife should be handled only by trained professionals.

Sharp Blades

A Stanley knife may be used on many different materials. Therefore, it will operate better when in good shape. Slippage often happens with dull knives or more force is required to accomplish the task. It is very helpful and actually safer to use a sharp blade. If a blade tears the material instead of cutting, it is time to replace it.

Pulling Motion

When cutting on a flat surface, a pulling-toward-you motion as opposed to a pushing-away-from-you motion is more positive and stronger. Slippage with a Stanley knife is less likely to occur with the pulling motion.

Straight Edge Guide

Sometimes, there is a need to use a straight edge to guide the Stanley knife along a cutting line. A knife may "ride up" over the edge of the guide and cut you. Make sure it is thick enough to avoid this and keep your free hand away from the cutting path or clamp down the straight edge guide.

Common Sense

Good common sense goes a long way when using Stanley knives. Knives are not bottle or can openers nor should you bend them, as brittle blades can easily snap. Also, always use protective eye wear such as safety goggles when working with knives or any other tool.

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About the Author

Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.

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