When in a Pinch: Reach for the 18mm Heavy-Duty Utility Knife

Courtesy of OLFA®

When is a utility knife not just a utility knife? When it gets you out of a jam by doubling as another tool. Take a look at these creative ways to use your OLFA 18mm Heavy-Duty Utility Knife with Snap-Off Blade to get you out of a jam!


A carpenter’s pencil is flat so it won’t roll off the work area. But that doesn’t stop them from disappearing in the middle of a job. Or worse yet, breaking just when you’re ready to make that critical cut. No worries. Just score the cutting line with your OLFA 18mm Heavy-Duty Utility Knife with Snap-Off Blade. Marking with a utility knife gets you a thinner cut line for more accurate cuts. And, when you’re finished cutting, you can also uses this utility knife to sharpen your carpenter’s pencil.


A plastic tubing cutter is the best tool for cutting PVC or PEX tubing. When a tubing cutter goes AWOL, some people use a chop saw. That’s quick, but the saw blade leaves a pretty rough edge that requires extra time for de-burring. Don’t have either? Just pull out your 18mm Heavy-Duty Utility Knife with Snap-Off Blade. To cut PVC, place it at the cutting mark, apply pressure and roll the tubing while holding the knife in place. Continue cutting into the PVC until you’re about halfway through. Then bend the tubing until it snaps. Clean up the inside edge and you’re ready to prime and glue.

To cut PEX, apply knife pressure straight down at the cut line until it’s halfway through. Then roll the tubing 90 degrees and cut the rest of the way.


Rubber radiator and heater hoses tend to bond to radiator, engine and heater core spouts. Technicians use a hook-shaped removal tool to slip between the hose and spout and break the bond before they remove and replace the hose. But if you’re replacing an automotive hose and don’t have the special removal tool, just slice through the hose lengthwise to the end on the spot with your 18mm Heavy-Duty Utility Knife. Twist the hose. It’ll come right off.


A wire strippers is the best way to remove wire insulation because it doesn’t nick the copper conductor. But if you don’t have a wire strippers handy, you can still get the job done with your 18mm Heavy-Duty Utility Knife. Lay the wire flat on a table and apply gentle pressure as you roll the wire under the blade. Don’t cut all the way through to the copper—just enough to score the insulation. If the insulation doesn’t easily slip off, make a scoring cut lengthwise from the rolled cut to the end of the wire. Apply more pressure near the end of the lengthwise cut to cut all the way through to the copper. Pry the insulation open at the end and tear it open along the scored lines. Once you’ve removed the insulation, snip off the nicked end of the copper and you’ll have a stripped wire with no nicks.


- Pros don’t misplace their utility knife because they always return it to the same pocket or pouch in their tool belt. If you’re using a tool belt, dedicate one pouch to utility knife storage and return it there after every use. Once you get used to it, you’ll never misplace your knife again. If you don’t use a tool belt, a leather or fabric belt loop knife holder is just as handy.

- Avoid injuries by changing blades often. The 18mm Heavy-Duty Utility Knife with Snap-Off Blade makes this super easy. Just grab a pliers and snap the blade at the next perforation for a fresh, sharp blade. Why are dull blades dangerous? A dull blade skates across the surface and right into legs, hands and fingers. No matter what project you’re working on, always keep a sharp blade in your utility knife. It’s cheaper and saves time…especially if you have to visit the ER.