The Best Box Cutters and Retractable Utility Knives [Updated 2023]

A box cutter is a tool you just can’t live without. In this article, we’ve collected our list of the best box cutters on the market.
best box cutters

Affiliate disclosure: Our reviews are unbiased. We do not accept payment for reviews. In some cases, we are given free product to facilitate our review. Your engagement on this site allows us to bring you this content for free. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more

Box cutters – also known as “cutter blades” or “exacto-knives” – are one of those tools you just can’t live without (among your other EDC knives). Whether you’re slicing open packages, cutting straps, slicing rope, carving drywall, or scoring leather, you’ll be glad you’ve got an ultra-sharp blade on hand. In this article, we’ve collected our list of the best box cutters on the market.

Want more knife options?

Start with our review of the best EDC knives, including high-end favorites and value-packed picks. It has everything you need!

The 8 Best Box Cutters

The best box cutters abandon the chunky blade more common to fixed/folding-blade knives, and instead use a slide-out razor blade that is far more delicate but achieves a sharpness to cut through pretty much anything you’ll need to cut around your house. After extensive testing (with a collection of sliced-up boxes to show for it!), here’s our list of the best box cutters. 

#1 Our Favorite

Fastback II Flip Utility Knife

$25.39

The FASTBACK II features 1-handed press-and-flip operation for 3X faster opening to maximize productivity with one hand. Spare blade storage on a magnetic arm. Quick and efficient blade changes. Slim, lightweight, all-metal body takes up less space but stands up to jobsite abuse. Ergonomic shape gives outstanding control. Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Buy on Amazon
02/18/2024 09:53 am GMT

For anyone who needs a purpose-built tool for DIY jobs or contracting work, Milwaukee is always one of the best brands to consider. Not only are their tools ultra-reliable and sturdy, but they’re typically free of manufacturer’s defects and just tend to last longer.

The Fastback II Flip retractable blade is built according to Milwaukee’s high standards and undergoes stringent quality control testing before being packaged and shipped out. It’s built with a solid all-metal handle that’s contoured for easy gripping, and even features a wire stripper, gut hook, and belt-clip integrated into the design.

The retractable blade itself is beautifully sharp right out of the box, and the foldable design makes it ideal for carrying around in your pocket/on your tool belt but still easily deployed at a moment’s notice. When the blade eventually dulls, you won’t need extra tools to switch it out – just pop open the tab, slide in a new removable razor blade, and you’re good to go!

Best of all, it’s not just insanely well-built and reliable, but it’s also sold at a price tag no one could ever complain about.

best box cutters Fastback II Flip Utility Knife

What we like:

  • Affordable and practical; a workman’s tool
  • Ultra-sharp blades
  • Easy tool-free blade changing
  • All-metal body is sturdy and comfortable to grip
  • Added features: belt clip, gut hook, and wire stripper
  • Milwaukee quality construction and reliability
  • Deployed in an instant, easily folded
  • 3-position hinge lock

What we don’t like:

  • Clip may grind against your hand, can be uncomfortable.
  • If the blade isn’t inserted and secured just right, it may wobble. 
#2 Most Durable

Lenox Tools Utility Knife

$19.67 $16.37

The Lenox Gold Quick Change Fixed Blade Utility Knife has a one-piece stainless steel titanium-coated nose to eliminate spreading, resists wear and for extreme durability. No tools are needed to open the utility knife to access the blades, and up to 10 blades can be stored in the handle. Three Lenox gold titanium edge utility blades come with the knife, as well as a 90-day limited manufacturer's warranty.

Buy on Amazon
02/20/2024 03:35 am GMT

If you’re the kind of guy who (like me) tends to break more delicate tools, this is the Lenox Tools Utility Knife you’ll instantly fall in love with. Sure, it’s chunkier and heavier than the rest on our list, but it’s tough as nails and virtually impossible to break, no matter how roughly you handle it.

The knife blade itself is titanium-coated stainless steel, of average sharpness, but has above-average edge retention. It’s also sturdy enough that it won’t break or crack if you use it for more aggressive tasks.

The knife’s body is a plastic casing that is easy to grip (even when wearing gloves) and will withstand drops and falls without showing any sign of damage. It’s also great for protecting the extra blades stored inside from water (if you’re working out in the rain/in a wet environment).

All in all, it’s a well-priced tool that does exactly what it’s designed to do day after day for years to come. 

LENOX Tools Utility Knife

What we like:

  • Sturdy plastic housing is scratch- and damage-resistant
  • Affordable price tag
  • Solid design
  • Titanium-coated stainless steel blades hold their edge well
  • Includes storage for up to 10 additional blades
  • Compatible with generic blades
  • Ergonomic handle design

What we don’t like:

  • Blade isn’t very easy to change
  • Blade housing suffers from quality control issues; may crack, causing the blade to wobble
#3 Best Value

Gerber Gear Prybrid Utility Knife

$30.00 $24.00

includes pry bar, nail puller, wire stripper, small flat head screwdriver, large flathead driver, bottle opener, standard utility blade, cord cut notch, and lanyard hole. Uses full sized replaceable utility blades. Dual ended design with pry bar and pocket knife to cut through rope or twine. Length 4.25 inches, weight: 4.2 ounces. Included limited lifetime warranty.

Buy on Amazon
02/20/2024 01:12 am GMT

The Gerber Gear Prybrid Utility Knife is so much more than just a box cutter! Don’t get me wrong, it serves perfectly as your standard utility knife. The blade is sharp and sturdy, easily extended to slice through boxes, cables, cords, and string with ease. The slide lock moves smoothly and keeps your blade securely housed when not in use and locked in place when you need to cut.

But, in addition to a cutter blade, you also get a lot of other tools: a pry bar, nail puller, small and large flat screw driver, bottle opener, wire stripper, and cord cutter. It also features a lanyard hole so you can attach it to a lanyard or keychain, perfect for taking it with you everywhere you go.

The G10 glass fiber composite handle is easy to grip even when wet, and it’s contoured just right to stay firmly in your hand for any task.

Best box cutters: Gerber Gear Prybrid Utility Knife

What we like:

  • Ultra-versatile, great for any DIYer
  • Includes 7 extra tools
  • Can be secured to lanyard or keychain
  • Lightweight but very sturdy
  • Solid cutting blades, good sharpness
  • Well-priced
  • Compact and portable

What we don’t like:

  • Doesn’t include pocket clip (that costs extra)
  • Slide-out mechanism is prone to sticking/needs regular lubrication
  • Right-hand operation only
#4 Most Precise

Olfa Craft Kife L size 34B

$9.58 $6.00

An all-purpose craft knife for wood carving and outdoor activities. The blade and handle are made of stainless steel to prevent rust. The blade slides out and can be stopped at any length with the blade locking screw.

Buy on Amazon
02/20/2024 06:02 am GMT

If you want a box cutter that also doubles as a precision craft knife, you’ll love the Olfa Craft Knife. The whole thing is just under seven inches long when the blade is extended, and you have over 2 inches of cutting blade. However, the angle of the blade makes it perfect for more delicate cutting, piercing, and slicing tasks. Any tasks where precision is required, you’ll want this tool handy.

It is made in China, and customers have complained about quality control issues and manufacturer’s defects. The blade is also difficult to find replacements for. However, it’s still a great precision tool that will handle delicate, tiny cuts with an agility that larger box cutters just can’t. 

Olfa Craft Knife L size 34B

What we like:

  • Ultra-sharp with a precise point
  • Great for delicate, precision tasks
  • Lightweight
  • Compact, but comfortable to hold
  • Longer cutting blade than your standard box cutter
  • Affordable

What we don’t like:

  • May suffer from manufacturer’s defects/quality control issues
  • Replacement blades are hard to find, may be expensive
  • Not the sturdiest box cutter on our list
#5 Budget Friendly

CRAFTSMAN Utility Knife Blades, 100 Pack

$11.00 $9.98

Heavy duty utility blade for general cutting, trimming, and scraping of a variety of materials. Precision-honed edge for consistent and long cutting life. Fits most standard utility knives.

Buy on Amazon
02/18/2024 05:18 am GMT

Buy this 100-pack of CRAFTSMAN Box Cutter Blades just once, and you’ll pretty much be set for life! Granted, you’ll need to buy a box cutter separately (I highly recommend the Milwaukee Fastback II Flip Utility Knife at the top of our list), but it’s an investment that will last you for years to come, no matter how often you use the blade.

Each pack contains 100 sturdy, ultra-sharp safety blades, forged in the generic design that makes them compatible with virtually every box cutter on the market. The edge is precision-honed to increase its lifespan and hold its sharpness for longer. Whatever you’re doing around your home, garden, workshop, or job site you’ll be glad you had this 100-pack of replacement blades handy!

Keep in mind that many of the best box cutters offer extra blade storage (sometimes internal blade storage) so you can keep your spare blades with the knife all the time. 

CRAFTSMAN Box Cutter Blades

What we like:

  • 100 long-lasting blades all in one affordable pack
  • Sturdy
  • Great edge retention and sharpness
  • Suitable for every application

What we don’t like:

  • You have to purchase the knife separately
  • Blades may jam
  • Prone to rusting if not well-maintained
#6 Premium

Exceed Designs TIRANT RAZOR V2

$85.00

One of the smallest usable folding pocket knife designs that opens up to a full 6” while utilizing generic utility knife blades. One of the smallest flipper utility knives ever offered in titanium. The true ball-bearing design also allows re-tightening of the blade without binding for perfect smooth flipper blade action! Razor is secured with hardened stainless clasp mechanism. Easily sweitched with the press of the blade holder to the right.

Buy on Amazon
02/18/2024 12:59 pm GMT

You might not want to carry around a full-sized tool, and that’s absolutely okay! With this little box cutter knife by Exceed Designs, you’ve got all the cutting power you need around your house in an ultra-portable tool with a razor-sharp blade that can fit into any pocket, pack, or your EDC pouch.

The handle is just over 3.4 inches long, and when extended, the knife is 6.1 inches long with 1.45 inches of razor blade edge. Given that it weighs less than 3 ounces, it’s the perfect ultra-portable solution you can keep in your briefcase or backpack to carry everywhere you go.

It’s made using CNC-milled precision Titanium 6AI-4V scales, which makes it incredibly durable but also feather-light. The blades have great edge retention and won’t dull quickly, no matter how hard you use them. Best of all, it’™s compatible with most standard/generic razor blades.

best box cutter Exceed Designs TIRANT RAZOR V2

What we like:

  • Titanium body is incredibly sturdy, scratch and rust-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Ball bearings in the hinge makes it very easy to deploy
  • Just the right handle length for larger hands
  • Compact, fits anywhere
  • Includes TORX tool for micro-adjustments of the skeleton frame

What we don’t like:

  • Pricier than average
  • Lock is prone to sticking; may need regular application of lubricant
  • Blade is difficult to change
#7

Screwpop Ron's Utility Knife

$14.95 $9.95

Includes: 4 step utility blade (also uses 2 notch standard utility blades from all brands. Easy one-handed operation (super fast deployment and retraction of blade) plus universal grip design. Magnetically sticks to anything metal. Attaches to keyring, carabiner clip, backpack, bag, etc.

Buy on Amazon
02/21/2024 01:34 pm GMT

Screwpop’s Ron’s Utility Knife is the box cutter you’ll always have on your person because it’s secured to your keychain – the perfect blend of reliability and user-friendliness. The whole thing is beautifully small (less than four inches long) and fits in your pants pocket without being too chunky or bulky, weighing just 0.7 ounces. You’ll pretty much forget you’re carrying it until you need it, then it’s sitting on your keychain ready to deploy. All you have to do is slide out the blade (using your thumb) and it’s ready to cut.

The metal body is even magnetized so it will stick to your car, RV, fridge, tool box, filing cabinet, or workshop machines. That way, you’ll never lose your keys, and you can keep the blade within reach for when you need to cut away.

Screwpop Ron's Utility Knife

What we like:

  • Easily attached to keyring, carabiner, or clip
  • Magnetic body sticks to any metallic surface
  • One-handed deployment
  • Compatible with 2- and 4-notch utility blades
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Affordable

What we don’t like:

  • Too small for heavy-duty cutting tasks
  • Bottle opener is unnecessary/awkward
  • Dangerous for left-handed opening
#8

Slice 10495 Every Day Carry (EDC) Folding Knife

$28.49

Slice's unique cutting edge cuts right through your material while keeping you safe! Slice blades are finger-friendly and safe to the touch. Constructed from heat-treated, high-grade steel with a heavy-duty black oxide coating, this knife is durable and built to last. Designed for comfortable, effective use by either left- or right-handed users without any need to reorient the blade or convert the handle.

Buy on Amazon
02/18/2024 01:54 pm GMT

If you’re the kind of person who tends to accidentally cut themselves (due to absent-mindedness or just plain clumsiness), you’re going to LOVE what the Slice 10495 Box Cutter has to offer! The blade is actually designed using a material (ceramic) and shape (rounded tip) that stops it from cutting your skin without sacrificing a shred of box, paper, plastic, or vinyl-cutting power.

The blades are finger-friendly and won’t cut you even if you graze them (the same can’t be said for stainless steel blades!). The design also increases safety, utilizing a rotating wheel that folds up the blade rather than a standard metal hinge or a sliding mechanism that you would find in a retractable knife.

The knife is insanely durable, pairing a heat-treated high-grade steel body with a ceramic blade that can hold its edge for up to 10x longer than a stainless steel blade. It’s also designed for ambidextrous one-handed use, so anyone will be safe deploying this blade around their home

Best box cutters: Slice 10495 Box Cutter

What we like:

  • Ambidextrous one-handed deployment
  • Ceramic blade and rounded tip won’t easily cut your skin
  • Durable construction
  • Can be attached to keychain, lanyard, or carabiner
  • Comfortable to grip

What we don’t like:

  • On the pricier side for an EDC tool
  • Rounded tip has no piercing power – you’ll need to buy/insert the sharp-tipped blades
  • Blade is thin and has a short cutting length

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Box Cutters

Now that you’ve read our list of the best utility knives, let’s go through some common questions people ask about the best box cutters. 

Can a box cutter hurt you?

While box cutters may seem harmless because of their small size, using one improperly can still result in serious injury. They are made from tough materials and the cutting edges are incredibly sharp. It’s important to handle even the best box cutters carefully.  

What is the difference between a box cutter and a utility knife?

The words box cutter and utility knife are used interchangeably. That said, many standard utility blades come with additional key features that are designed for more than just cardboard and boxes. They have multiple blade types and are made from a variety of materials.

What are box cutters called?

Box cutters are also called a utility knife, a razor blade knife, a carpet knife, or a stationery knife. They are a convenient tool with a single blade and a sharp edge used for a variety of purposes, usually with one-handed opertion (ambidexterous design). They are used for rough and precise cutting of cardboard and boxes and other materials. They typically have a replaceable blade. 

What does a box cutter do?

Box cutters are compact types of utility knives used to cut thin materials, such as cardboard and boxes, packaging, packing tape, plastic, or sometimes tougher materials. They offer lightweight design, one-handed opening, and two blade positions (open and closed) with a blade lock. Some retractable utility knives offer onboard blade storage for spare blades

Can a box cutter blade break?

Yes, a box cutter blade can break. It’s smart to have extra blades on hand. Some retractable knives come with breakaway blades (also called a snap-off blade) so you can snap off the dull blades. To intentionally break a blade, get a firm grip near the blade edge with a plier and apply downward force. If you have a secure grip, the blade should break easy without becoming a safety hazard.

Why do ceramic blades not cut skin?

Ceramic blades are less likely to cut your skin (compared to other types of blades) because they require much more force to cut, moreso than you normally apply in everyday use.  

Find the Best Box Cutters for Your Needs

A box cutter is the sort of tool you always want to have lying around yo ur house, garden, or workshop. They’re insanely handy and serve as the perfect solution for all sorts of daily tasks, from opening packages to breaking down boxes for the garbage to stripping cable to slicing rope. The list above will help you find the absolute best box cutters on the market for your everyday needs.  

Dennis Hammer
Dennis has been a part of EDC since he was young - before he even knew what it was! As an artist, he loves beautifully designed products that function well. He also likes to be ready for any situation, which makes EDC perfect for his lifestyle.

latest guides

gear reviews

how to guides