No matter what kind of art you create, a precision knife can make life in the studio a whole lot easier. Also known as hobby knives, precision knives tend to have thinner blades and smaller handles than utility knives, making them well suited for a range of specialized tasks: cutting mat boards, trimming paper, making stencils, and much more. The challenge is finding one that starts out sharp and stays sharp while providing comfort and safety. Keeping all that in mind, we’ve found the best ones for creative users. Check out our top picks below.
Blick E-Z Grip Knife
Sharp, safe, and comfortable to hold, Blick’s red-handled knife is a tried-and-true favorite. The triangular blade keeps a keen edge for a long time and has a precise tip that excels at detailed slicing; the blade is also firmly anchored and won’t loosen as you work. The cylindrical barrel is slightly cushioned so you can feel comfortable while maintaining control over the tool, and a square nut at the base prevents the knife from rolling off a table. The knife comes with one blade and a protective cover.
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X-Acto Basic Knife Set with Case
If you need blades of different sizes, you’d be hard pressed to find a better set than this one from X-Acto, a brand famous for its cutting tools. It comes with three handles of different sizes for detail work and more demanding jobs. You also get 13 super-sharp blades with both curved and straight edges to suit a wide range of projects. Swapping the blades in and out is incredibly easy, and when not in use, they sit neatly in their durable nylon case, firmly affixed via a magnetic back.
ALSO A GOOD CHOICE
Excel Blades FitGrip Knife
If you often experience hand fatigue when cutting, you’ll likely benefit from owning an ergonomic knife like this one. Its black handle is curved to conform to the natural grip of the hand, and the rubber cover is flexible yet sturdy to provide control. This design also prevents the knife from rolling off your work surface. As for the blade, it is precise, sharp enough to slice effortlessly through materials such as foam and wood, and is set securely in the handle.
A GREAT ALTERNATIVE
Stanley Tools Titan FB Knife
If you are looking for a heavier knife, this classic tool is a worthy investment. Its full-metal body and heavy-duty blades can handle substantial force, and it will last you a long time even if you use it every day. The curve of the handle feels natural in the hand, and a solid brass notched wheel set into the handle smoothly deploys and retracts the blade. Three blades are included, and replacements can conveniently be stored in the handle.
Olfa Snap-Off Blade Cutter
This knife is equipped with a 9-millimeter blade made of top-quality Japanese steel that achieves clean and precise slices. Unlike the other knives on our list, it does not use separate, individual blades but is instead loaded with one long blade divided into 13 sections that you can snap away easily. This makes it ideal for artists who need fresh edges quickly and don’t want to spend time fishing around in their tool box for a replacement blade. Note that this knife does not have a safety lock, but the blade retracts fully into the protective shaft.