You’ve heard of X-Acto, right? They’re well known by hobbyists, crafters, artists, and professionals for their pen-sized precision knives. X-Acto knife blades are ultra-sharp, and if you’re not careful you might learn that the hard way.
As much as I prefer genuine X-Acto knives and blades, there’s one gripe I have about them – the lack of a good cap design. Some X-Acto knives are sold with caps, some aren’t.
My X-Acto knife did come with a cap, but I lost it a few years ago. Since then I’ve been jamming the knife into a piece of styrofoam for safe storage and between uses.
One potential way to store X-Acto knives is to insert them into hard plastic tubing that fits snugly around the handle. I’ve been wanting to do that for a while, but haven’t.
Even though my precision knives spend most of their time sitting in a drawer, I am utterly pleased to find that X-Acto is coming out with a desktop knife holder. This should at least make it safer to dock an X-Acto knife in a safe place during projects where I use it back and forth. A loose knife sitting (or rolling around) on the table isn’t exactly ideal.
The knife holder has a large open compartment that can fit one or more knives, and a smaller compartment that can fit spare blades. It also features a weighted bottom and skid-resistant feet to prevent it from moving and sliding around.
Obviously this won’t help anyone who wants to store their X-Acto knife in a drawer, but it could be useful during projects and for those users that want to keep their knives out on a table or worksurface all the time.
It’s hard to tell from photos what the holding material is and whether it’s prone to wearing, but I’m hoping it’s similar in style to the plastic rods Kapoosh uses in their kitchen knife holders (examples via Amazon).
The price varies from $7 to $12, and the holder does not come with a knife.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
Buy Now(via Blick)
P.S. If anyone knows of a convenient way to cap off a hobby knife for safer drawer storage, please share!
Stuart, what is the coo of this product, as that sounds to be a good idea to be honest.
I’m not certain, and have no contacts at X-Acto or Elmers to ask. I really don’t think that something like this will be made in the USA. If I pick one up (possibly not since my desktop is already so cluttered) I’ll updated the post with a definitive answer.
Stuart–As I’m sure you’ve done, in between uses I simply unscrew the head of the knife, reverse the blade in the holder and lightly tighten. The disadvantage, of course, is that you have to reverse that process the next time you need to use the knife. I store my X-Acto knife in this manner in a pencil holder (1-3/4″ x 6-1/2″, laser cut from walnut, a gift) between uses. I suspect this one is used to keep the knife close at hand during a work session and is not for long-term storage. I’m of the opinion that sharp (thin) precision blades aren’t meant to bear the weight of the knife handle for long-term storage; the blade might develop a curvature and/or snap if stored in this manner.
A short piece of tubing (clear) or black rubber (automotive vacuum line), slit down the midde, would protect the blade and keep the knife from rolling around. Obviously, styrofoam works, as would a piece of cork. You could also check with X-Acto; they might send you a replacement cap for your knife, gratis.
If I were designing this, I would incorporate an angled support to keep the knife body at 45 degrees; that would support the handle, taking the stress off the blade itself. It could be designed to support one, two or three knives.
It’s hard to tell what material they’re using in the photo of the stand. It has the appearance of dark cork, although it might be a rubber-like compound. If you used it a lot, either of those materials would eventually loosen and stop holding the knife securely.
For as much as I use mine, I’ll probably just keep doing what I have been. Perhaps some graphic artists or hobbyists will weigh in to tell you what they have used over time. A trip to an art-supply house/hobby store for ideas might be in order, too. Check art-supply catalogs (Dick Blick, etc.) for more ideas.
Great tip, I actually hadn’t considered reversing the knife blade in the holder. I tried it just now, and while it conceals the point, there’s still a part of the sharp edge exposed.
I like the idea of a custom DIY 45° desktop holder. It could feature a shielded blade-tip area, a rounded support that the front of the knife body/blade slot is supported against, and an elevated handle rest that supports the rest of the knife’s weight at an angle of the user’s choosing.
As for drawer storage, when my next chunk of styrofoam wears out from too many slices, I’ll find a piece of 0.315″ (or 8.0mm) ID tubing or block to serve as a shield. Maybe even a spacer should work, especially if its clearance is just slightly smaller to better grip the knurled part of my knife handle.