Great hobby knife - highly recommended

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Great hobby knife - highly recommended

Postby Steve Sawyer » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:07 pm

I've probably bought a half-dozen different hobby (e.g. "Xacto") knives over the years, and they were all disappointments. Either uncomfortable to use, or more commonly, would not hold the blade securely.

I just bought an Olfa Cushion Grip Art Knife that is by far the best hobby knife I've ever used. It has quite a heft to it (the plastic of the handle feels like it may be glass-filled resin) and grips the #11 blade by the edges rather than the sides, so the blade is clamped with absolute rigidity. A real pleasure to use.
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Re: Great hobby knife - highly recommended

Postby Christ Kacoyannakis » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:24 pm

I have foregone the hobby knife/X-Acto blade type knives for scalpel blades and handles. You can get some nice heavy plastic or even steel handles, and the blades are super sharp.
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Re: Great hobby knife - highly recommended

Postby Steve Sawyer » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:25 pm

Christ Kacoyannakis wrote:I have foregone the hobby knife/X-Acto blade type knives for scalpel blades and handles. You can get some nice heavy plastic or even steel handles, and the blades are super sharp.

I've heard of folks doing that, but never seemed to know whether the ones I find online (e.g. Amazon) are any good for the applications for which I'd normally use an Xacto knife, and never bought any just to check them out...
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Re: Great hobby knife - highly recommended

Postby Peter Wilcox » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:55 pm

I use a scalpel and blades too. #3 stainless handle, #11 blades for fine work, #15 blades - still fairly small but stronger if you need to press harder. You need to put the blades on or take off with a hemostat or needle nose pliers. Those 4 jawed hobby knives never seem to hold the blade securely enough, though it seems the one you posted might.

https://www.amazon.com/100-SCALPEL-BLAD ... ndle&psc=1
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Re: Great hobby knife - highly recommended

Postby Randy Roberts » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:07 pm

No comparison between a good quality #11 surgical blade and an Exacto blade.

But I would caution against using the surgical handle. Fine for surgery because you are never forcefully torqueing the blade in soft tissue.
But how most of us use the blades in wood, the blades are subjected to forces they are not designed for and frequently the combination of forces you are exerting on the blade itself end up focused on where it connects to the handle which is also where the blade is inherently the weakest. When the blade snaps off there, there's no telling where it ends up flying.
If you always wear glasses then fine, but otherwise....

I would strongly recommend the hobby or art type holders for use outside of surgery. The 4 jaw exacto handles never seem to hold well, but there are lots of handles out there that do.
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Re: Great hobby knife - highly recommended

Postby Bob Hammond » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:40 am

Bard-Parker makes a #11 blade with a rib back that strengthens it. It's certainly bad technique to pry or scrape with scalpel blades - they are not designed for such forces. Nonetheless, we all do it sometimes, but in my experience these blades have always broken at the eye first, and stayed attached to the handle.

If you wish to use a handle, here's a video, and another about using a blade remover. I use surgical needleholders, but needlenose pliers work well too.

https://youtu.be/yjr9tdvDMD4
https://youtu.be/_oksoBUODsE

The blades can be purchased non-sterile, but I also keep a few sterile ones for removing hard-to-get-at splinters. After washing to clean and soften it, cut the skin directly above the splinter and tease the splinter out with the tip.
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Re: Great hobby knife - highly recommended

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:32 pm

Thanks for the suggestions re scalpels.

Randy - The Olfa handle as mentioned grips the blade by the edges, not the face so it holds the blades rock-solid. The central slot for mounting into a scalpel handle might be an issue for scalpel blades, so it'd have to be a try-and-see.
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Re: Great hobby knife - highly recommended

Postby Matthew Lau » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:40 am

Hey Steve,

If you need some scalpels, feel free to PM me.
I can order it for you through my dental office at my cost + shipping.
http://paulbudzik.com/tools-techniques/ ... ation.html

Personally, I recommend a bard parker red handle and #25 blade.
I'd tried #11, but the #25 is better.

-Matt
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Re: Great hobby knife - highly recommended

Postby Matthew Lau » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:45 am

Oh, and if I'm really, really delayed on checking my PM, please bear with me.

I've got a lot of stuff to catch up on at the office.
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