A box cutter, also known as a utility knife, is a common tool found in the modern workplace. While it's primary function is to cut and open boxes, it's also used for other applications, such as cutting plastic string, stripping materials, creating precision cuts, and more. Like all cutting instruments, however, caution is needed when using a box cutter to prevent injury.
Use a Sharp Blade
Don't use a box cutter if the blade is dull, broken or otherwise not sharp. Doing so may increase the risk of an injury, as dull blades have a tendency to "catch" rather than cut. Thankfully, box cutter blades are easy and inexpensive to replace.
Retract Blade When Not in Use
When you aren't using the box cutter, retract the blade back into the casing so it's no longer exposed. There's no point in leaving the blade exposed if you aren't using the box cutter, as this increases the risk of an injury. So, retract the blade before storing the box cutter.
Angle Away from Your Body
When using a box cutter, angle the blade away from your body. If someone accidentally bumps you, it could result in serious injury -- unless the box cutter is angled away from your body.
Don't Put Your Thumb Over the Box Cutter
Some people have a tendency to hold a box cutter with their thumb over the main surface. While it provides greater leverage, this is poor etiquette that may result in injury. Instead, hold the box cutter by "gripping" it, wrapping your thumb around it instead of over it.
Of course, you can also reduce the risk of injury when using a box cutter by wearing gloves. Don't just wear any gloves, but instead choose a pair of high-strength, cut-proof gloves that are designed to withstand blades.
Shorten the Blade
Most box cutters allow you to change the amount of blade that's exposed. By keeping it short, you'll reduce the risk of injury. Rather than using a box cutter with the full blade exposed, shorten the blade to the length needed for your application.
These are just a few safety tips to follow when using a box cutter. Above all else, though, make sure the material which you are cutting is okay to use with a box cutter. If it's too hard or otherwise not cutting well, stop and choose a different tool.