5 Ways to Use Craft Knives in Everyday Life


Craft knives are a common tool among crafters, hobbyists, and artists, regardless of their level of experience. If you dabble in the arts, chances are you’ve used a craft knife for one task or another. 

There are some common and not-so-common uses for the craft knife. The key is to use your imagination, as well as understand each component of your craft knife. You may have heard multiple terms used in reference to these tools. Such craft knives have been called precision knives, hobby knives, and X-Acto knives (this one is a brand name).

Not to be confused with a bushcraft knife, a craft knife is a tool that sports a slender handle with a single blade that’s akin to a pen.

Now that you know all the names they’re called, let’s dive into what craft knives are and five ways to use them in everyday life. 

What Is a Craft Knife?

A craft knife is a tool that sports a slender handle with a single blade that’s akin to a pen. Its body is usually composed of aluminum, wood, or plastic. Sometimes it will boast a textured grip for optimal control. 

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect craft knife, it’s always best to do your research and find the latest in cutting-edge knife technology. 

As for blade materials, some craft knives have blades that are made of steel while others are composed of zirconium oxide, which is an advanced ceramic with a hardness that outmatches steel. Zirconium oxide is safe to the touch and impervious to rusting. 

The craft knife’s small blade is perfect for cutting intricate patterns and cleanly creating delicate details. 

Craft Knife Uses

Rubber Stamping 

Rubber stamping is a popular crafty task in the hobbyist world. Your craft knife is a necessary tool for this. Consider utilizing a rounded-tip blade when rubber stamping. The slender blade is perfect for cutting sophisticated shapes with accuracy and precision. 

In addition, your knife will come in handy when you need to neatly trim the edges and ends of your stamps. Because the craft knife is designed to be held like a pen, it makes contouring rubber material quite seamless and breezy. 

Cake Decorating 

Cut out gorgeous designs in fondants with your craft knife. And if you’ve got an excess of fondant on your hands, this cutting tool will easily trim that away. This tool is also great for creating delicate patterns on your cake. For example, the classic cross-hatch design can be achieved via your craft knife. 

Nail and Metal Art

Craft knives are perfect for cutting and shaping wet beads, nail extensions, and color blocking acrylics. Additionally, your craft knife will come in handy if you’re creating metal art. While not every metallic material can be pierced by the craft knife, it does effectively cut thin sheet metal like the common 36 gauge. 

You can start by lightly tracing the metal with your craft knife, then return and make a few more passes over the traced line. You may want to slightly bend the sheet metal to aid the cutting process. 

Leather Applique 

Applique is an old technique and one that benefits greatly from utilizing a craft knife. It involves cutting a design from a piece of colored leather and pasting said design over a larger piece of leather. Craft knives can be used on both synthetic and natural leather. The craft knife is great for in-lay, on-lay, and cut out styles of applique. 

Paper Crafts and Color Pencil Art

Paper crafts are the most common form of art wherein the craft knife is essential. Whether you’re scrapbooking, cutting shapes out of construction paper, or creating intricate paper art for wall decorations, your craft knife will make the process smooth and fun. 

In addition, craft knives go hand-in-hand with colored pencil art. You can create delicate dents in your paper with your knife prior to using your colored pencils. You’ll get intricate and realistic highlights with the help of your craft knife.

Other Uses

There are a myriad of tasks for which you can use your craft knife. Other usages include sewing, stenciling, woodworking, bookbinding, pumpkin carving, candle making, soapmaking, and scoring boards. 

Safety Tips

When purchasing a craft knife, consider one that has a blade that’s effective while also being safe to touch. Additionally, make sure that said blade does not corrode or rust when it’s exposed to certain substances. 

Also, think about buying a craft knife that has a comfortable grip and sits well in your hand, especially if you’ll be using it for an extended period of time.

While there are only a certain number of craft knife uses covered in this article, you’ll find that the possibilities for it are endless.

Craft knives surely are essential tools that deserve a place in every craftsman’s tool kit. If you want to learn more about different tools and read in-depth product reviews before making a purchase, make sure to check The Tool Scout out!

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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