How to Choose the Right Blade for the Job
Courtesy of OLFA®
While there is a plethora of blades out there, each one has
specific characteristics and uses, so users always know exactly
what they’re going to get with each type or size.
Here’s a quick round-up of OLFA’s offerings:
finest-edged blade size is ideal for users who require extreme precision
when cutting thin materials like wallpaper, films, plastic molding or vinyl.
This heavy-duty multipurpose blade
size is useful for tradesmen or contractors who may be cutting multiple
different materials – roofing, drywall, carpet, textile, linoleum, felts –
over the course of a day, week or job.
Ideal for thick or dense materials like rope, foam, conduit, rubber or rigid
insulation boards, this extra heavy-duty blade size adds leverage and width,
giving a user a tool they can hold on to. This size is also helpful during
extended cutting applications.
Most OLFA blades are either
silver or black. Silver is the go-to, everyday option, made of high-quality
carbon that cuts through most material easily and flawlessly.
Double-honed black blades were developed for users who wanted a sharper edge
– they’re 25 percent sharper than silver blades.
The extra sharpness
can be a trade-off in some industries, however, as silver blades offer
longer durability when cutting rough, abrasive, rugged materials like
drywall, sheet rock and gypsum board. To get a sharper edge requires a finer
edge, so a black blade wears out more quickly.
Black blades are
recommended for users who need a sharper cut every time and don’t mind
trading longevity for sharpness, while silver blades give a user more cuts
without getting dull quickly, even with rough materials, making for the
perfect combination of sharpness and durability.
blades are commonly used for materials that typically come on rolls, like
carpet, plastic sheeting, roofing felt, foundation membranes and
waterproofing material. These users need a blade that can cut an edge
quickly without the point of the blade cutting into the roll below them.
Because the blade is a hook, it “holds” the material the way a person would
as it cuts. Hook blades are available in 18-mm and 25-mm sizes in silver.
Just as it sounds, this blade is
specifically for cutting insulation. It is a solid blade that has very small
teeth on its serrated edge that allows it to cut through materials like
Styrofoam, insulation board or fiberglass with a clean cut. This silver
serrated blade is available in 18 mm.
Coated with fluorine to provide a fast cut, this blade takes the sharpness
of the black blade to the next level. It enhances productivity, allowing a
user to cut twice as fast. It is a black blade available in 18-mm.
This is not a snap-off blade. Intended for
users who need more cutting depth for thick materials, the solid blade
extends to its full length to reach into tight cutting spaces, making it
perfect for either general use or for cutting construction materials. This
silver blade is available in 9-mm and 18-mm.
How to choose
Choosing the right blade requires an understanding of what materials you
will be cutting and how thick the materials are. It also requires
consideration of the medium behind the material being cut. For example,
carpet padding doesn’t task a blade much, but if a user is cutting it on a
jobsite while the padding is laid out on a concrete floor, the blade edge
will come through the carpet padding and scrape the concrete underneath,
which will affect the blade’s longevity.
While there are always
outliers who prefer a size or blade type not intended for what they’re
cutting, some basic guidance will steer users to the right blade for the job
– and if you’re ever lost, we’re happy to help you find your perfect blade.