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When to Use a Utility Knife

A utility knife may not seem like an extremely important tool, but the truth is that there are a lot of things you can do with that knife. Once you’ve had a chance to go through this list you may think again about getting that knife for your toolbox.

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1. Drywall

Drywall is actually a relatively thin piece of material and it’s super easy to cut into. Using a utility knife you can easily score both sides of the board enough that you can simply snap it into pieces. There’s no need for a larger tool because you’re just going to be spending a lot of time and effort on something you could have done a whole lot faster.

2. Shingles

If you’re going to be putting up shingles you know how difficult it can be to get them just the right size. Sometimes you need to break them down a little and there’s nothing that seems to get through that material, right? Well a utility knife is actually the one, strange tool that’s able to cut right through that shingle with very little problems. That means you can get back to your work in no time.

3. Insulation

If you have fiberglass insulation it can be difficult to get through the insulation itself as well as the paper that’s used on the outside. But a utility knife has absolutely no problem with this either. You just lay it down and cut straight through. All you need is something to use as your cutting surface and you’re good to go.

4. Vinyl Floor

If you’re putting in new flooring you can use a utility knife to cut out the pieces just the way you need them in no time at all. You’ll be able to simply pull straight through the sheet and have no problem at all with nicks, scratches or miscut sections.

5. Nail Heads

Did you know that a utility knife is actually strong enough to help you fix an exposed nail? Not many people do but it definitely can take care of these problems for you with ease. You can simply scrape away material around the nail so that the head is able to reach back to the wall. Then drive the nail in as far as you can with a hammer.

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6. Plastic Sheeting

This is used for just about any construction project but sometimes you need to cut pieces either to hang up or to get a doorway in the middle. You can easily do that with a utility knife as it can get through the material a whole lot easier and faster than you might think. You’ll be able to get to your construction project right away.

7. Shims

If you find yourself needing a small shim then you’re definitely going to appreciate having a utility knife. Because these pieces of wood are small and relatively thin, you can easily scrape them down to the right size using just the blade of your utility knife rather than a more extensive saw.

8. Caulk

As you start your construction projects you’re likely going to come across caulk that’s in and around a number of different materials including windows and doors. You can easily cut through this material with a utility knife and you won’t have to worry about cutting your window or damaging other parts of your house.

9. Carpeting

If you’re cutting a piece of carpet to lay or if you’re cutting out old carpeting you can easily do it with just a utility knife. This type of knife is strong enough and sharp enough to get all the way through the carpet and pull it out in pieces. You can even slice it up to throw out easier with just this knife.

10. Foam Board

You may need foam board for a number of different projects but you won’t have any problem cutting it if you have a utility knife. You’ll be able to get rid of a lot of the dust that a regular saw will create by cutting these materials as well. That’s definitely going to be a bonus for you and for the area that you’re going to be cutting in.

11. Cable Insulation

Wire strippers are usually the tool used for this type of process but you don’t necessarily need to use them for cable insulation. A utility knife will help you get through the sheathing without a lot of difficulty or hassle, which makes them a favorite tool among electricians too.

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12. Veneer

If you’re going to be cutting plywood or other types of veneer covered material you can use a utility knife to create a score line through the material that you can use as your guide when you’re using an actual saw.

13. Pry Bar

Now you’re not going to use it technically as a pry bar because you’re only prying smaller items and only slightly, but you definitely can use this tool as a way to pry out baseboards and other painted pieces of wood that may be stuck together. These simple prying jobs are going to be far too light for a standard pry bar and you could end up hurting yourself or whatever you’re taking apart a whole lot more by using a real pry bar than by gently pushing apart both sides with your utility knife blade.

There are a number of different ways that you can use your utility knife and more materials that you can cut with it than you could probably imagine. If you don’t have one of these knives in your tool belt or box right now you’re definitely going to want to head out and get one because it’s going to more than pay for itself in the long run when you realize what you can do with it and just how long it’s actually going to last as well. So why not run out and pick one up for yourself? At the cost and versatility, there’s no reason not to have one. You’re definitely going to be glad the next time you do a project.