Now that you know all about how to use and care for your exacto knife, mat, and straightedge, you’ll be a pro in no time! An Exacto knife is simply a very small sharp blade mounted on a pen-like handle, used for general craft projects such as paper art, leatherwork, model making (architecture). Slicing and Chopping To slice strips of material, grip the handle of the knife with three fingers and place the index finger on the collar. Not all Swiss Army knives come with a mini screwdriver. Never point the blade towards your direction and never cut anything towards your finger or hand. you be very careful at all times and aware of your surroundings 3. Through poor care, I ruined it and had to buy my second mat. Then I wash them off with dish soap, very little came off. Some have fancy curve shapes to keep your fingers safe, but I find that the symmetrical sides make it more convenient to use: my straightedge is never facing the wrong way to protect my fingers. In this article, I researched to find out about all there is to know about this wonderful versatile tool and I’m ready to share with you all I found. They are available at any craft store, and come in various sizes or colors. I was needing to purchase some new blades & wanted to purchase online. The exacto knife is one of the most important tools for paper crafting. How many different sizes do exacto blades come in? This stimulation may particularly include special sounds, whispers, paper tearing, or cutting, stabbing, scratching or chopping a material like a styrofoam with an exacto knife to incites a lot of sensation for people into ASMR. Personally, I prefer the slightly cushy handle with the collar at the back. Having it angled too high increases the likelihood of your tip breaking. Otherwise, you will have to label them as soon as you receive them to avoid mixing them up and using the wrong handle for the wrong blades. An in-house designer needed a sharp edge to retouch a print advertisement, he created a hobby knife similar to scalpels. Holding the Exacto Knife. This is where you do something similar to scoring, bit this time the purpose is not to fold the material but instead you peel to bring out a design. How do I know what size blades I need? There are a bunch of YouTube videos on how to do that if you are interested. This is because they don’t self-heal as well as they used to. The number 10 exacto blade is a general-purpose blade similar to the round-edged blade you will have on a Swiss pocket knife. Hold the handle firmly with your four fingers and then place your thumb on the knifeâs collar for you to easily control your knife when carving. If you find yourself often having to retighten a collar that repeatedly loosens on its own, stop. Self-healing mats HATE heat. you can sharpen an exacto knife by honing each side of the exacto knife over a light grit sandpaper 10 to 15 times. Hi! Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford, don’t feel comfortable with, or that you’re not yet ready to use. If the blade is not yet spent, find a safe way to store it for reuse. Always replace the plastic cap of the exacto knife when not in use. You will use your exacto knife to make all forms of cuts. Twist the metal collar of an X-ACTO knife to loosen the blade. The blades do get dull after use and needs to be changed periodically, depending on how much it ts used. It has always been small enough to be convenient, yet large enough for almost all of my projects. To change the blade, you repeat the same process in reverse and loosen the collar. X-acto knife; Ruler; A Note about Cutting Blades: When cutting mats it is imperative that you have a fresh blade. Many of these knives are made of either stainless steel or aluminum, so you might be able to recycle it. Phone: 317 – SMALL – HM, Copyright © 2020 SMALLHOUSE MODELS • Built with Starter Blog, City Cottage Kit Instructions – With Photos. The collet and collar threads are worn out and it is time to get a new exacto knife. I can’t believe I never knew about those straight edges with safety guard. Any idea what to do? Always ensure your exacto blade are tightened before using them. I'm Macwilliam K. Appianing. Choose a size that works well with your project and what you feel comfortable using. I did have to stuff some fabric in one end because the knife is shorter than the container but it works great. This technique to a large extent is made exceptionally possible and accurately when you the exacto knife is used. The number 16 has a small blade length unique design that makes it very flexible to change direction when cutting without causing any damage to your material. The position of the collar can either be right up near the collet and the blade at the tip, or it can be all the way at the back. Stenciling is one of the basic printing techniques of cutting out a design or shape from a suitable material using an exacto knife and then forcing an ink through the hollow part of the cutout design. The exacto knife is used for color blocking acrylic, cutting and shaping wet beads, nail extensions, and so much more. These types of blades are really great for chiseling and perfect for making small cuts on light materials like the balsa wood. If your knuckles aren’t turning white from the force, you probably aren’t pressing hard enough. Other brands make similar sizes and colors as the Alvin mat. Your first cut is the most important, so put more focus on making it straight than trying to make sure it cuts all the way through. Open cans with the can opener. 5. X-ACTO is the home to precision cutting knives, cutting tools, blades & office supplies. Heat will warp these mats, and most of the time, they can not be straightened. You will also notice that this blade has a tapered edge which is also great for working those corners and edges. In Foundations class, knowing how to properly use the knife is crucial to continue. Hold the knife a half-inch or more above where the blade is. like me, you probably have a couple of x acto knives lying around your house. That is a knurled collar loosens and tightens a collet with a slot which holds one replaceable blade at a time. In leather it can be used to make tiny little skives on leather. The length of the ruler ought to be at least 4″-6″ inches longer than the cut you are making. Do that for 5-6 times, that should be enough to make the knife sharp again. There can’t be much to it. Over time, the brand has devolved into the term Exacto, like what happened with ‘Kleenex’ and ‘facial tissues’. One of the biggest assets to the exacto knife is its replaceable and interchangeable blades. I use my x-acto knife for cutting things out of patterned paper. Please don’t hurt yourself. I wish I could find a video of someone cutting a circle. Just thought I’d pass that little tip along to you guys. I find the number 2 exacto blade if not the same, very similar to the number 11 blade. 2. I have however seen packages with more than the 3 highlighted in this post. The thing is I can never seem to find mine when I actually need to use The way the exacto knife holds the blade tightly in place is by a screw tightening system. If you find you break your tips often, the #11-M might be worth giving a try. Turn the knife over, and start sharpening the other side of the blade. It more useful when the fondant to be cut is left for at least 10 minutes before the design cuts are made and the exacto knife is a very great tool for this. Have them take the place of your thumb, then move your thumb to be lower on the ruler. above where the blade is. The best cutting surface is a self-healing cutting mat. The classic number 11 exacto blades are ideal to be used with the number 1 handle. Either put it in a sharps container (a sealed plastic box) or wrap it in duct or masking tape. The standard color is green, but they also come in black or a transparent blue. One way to decide is to put the side that has more material left after the cut under your straightedge. You will mount the number 16 exacto blade on the number 1 handle. Your first cut should be very light. When I’m not using my X-Acto knife, I keep it in a toothbrush container. If the tip is broken or there are nicks in the blade, it can’t be saved. The number 22 exacto blade is just like the number 10 but is mounted on the number 2 or 5 handle. The idea of using an exacto knife in drawing and color pencil works may be hard to figure out. eval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'favoredleather_com-box-3','ezslot_4',106,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'favoredleather_com-box-3','ezslot_5',106,'0','1'])); The original design for the exacto knife was invented in the 1930s to be used as a surgeons scalpel. A cold mat will get brittle and can crack. The bestâ¦ This let’s you easily see what you are cutting. Should you choose to purchase any of these, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. The #2 is just a larger version of #11 blade. Today, the level of creativity expressed in the beauty space is truly awesome. Do not leave your exacto knife somewhere it can roll away or off a table. The shape of the number 10 exacto blade is a very common drop point blade that makes it perfect for various kinds of cutting activities such as carving, slicing, whittling, etc. Please help can’t afford to buy new ones.Thanks, have a great day. Group video made in a Visual Communications program. Also, make sure where you’re sitting isn’t resulting in a shadow cast on your cutting lines. Know that I only recommend products, tools, services and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. There are even some newer ones that provide cushions or finger grips. Slice the material by drawing the blade back diagonally. I have seen a lot of ASMR sessions but was quite fascinated by the role the exacto knife played in the space to bring people a lot of stimulation and sensation. This will really help you easily transport your exacto knife set. On thicker materials, the number 16 exacto blade is your ideal blade for tracing cuts such as curve cuts after which you follow through by using the classic number 11 to cut through. A Polish immigrant, Sundel Doniger’s medical tool company, originally invented X-ActoThe Exacto knife in the 1930s. How to Use an X-Acto Knife. Otherwise buy a case with a magnetic blade holder. Never leave an exacto knife on the side of a work table as it can slice your hand or roll off the table and stab you foot. For doing extremely fine work, a #16 might come in handy. While the exacto knives are produced to have replaceable blades, it’s an absolute thrill to know you can make use of all the dulled blades you would have otherwise thrown away. How do you hold an x-acto knife? Well, that’s sorta true. Do not iron on top of it. Do not chance it. This video was made for a 4th grade project. But also available is the slightly fancier design as seen in our main image. Then, put the knife next to the sharpening stone and start dragging the blade across the knife. A lot of the exacto blades are almost the same but have been made slightly bigger for different sized handles. The Number 18 exacto Blade is a heavyweight blade that you would mount on a number 2 or 5 handle. The term X-acto is a brand name for a variety of cutting tools and office products owned by Elmer’s Products, Inc. I have to admit, mine looks like yours though, and isn't too pretty anymore lol. You will notice that these types of knives are designed quite similar no matter the brand and so the blades are typically interchangeable between different brands. The exacto knife might also be called a type of utility knife. You can also use it to help in the same way with feathers, which is something I use it for a lot as well. Cutting tools include hobby and utility knives, saws, carving tools and many small-scale precision knives used for crafts and other applications. The collar is the part that you twist to tighten or remove the blade. Lower the handle until there is only a small amount of space left between the rest of your blade and the cutting material. The number 11 blade is the typical sharp pointy exacto blade you will always find commonly used when there’s the need to make fine elaborate precision cuts or detailed cuts. Make sure the knife is at most at a 45 degrees angle. (don't enter me in the giveaway, I wouldn't trade my old worn x-acto â¦ You will be cutting toward yourself. If you are making a long cut, you will need to reposition your ruler holding hand during the cut. But enough of the standard blade, X-Acto has about a dozen different knife blade types that fit into two categories based on the handle size: lightweight and heavyweight. They manage to flattened their mats before they cool. You will use the number 17 exacto blade with the number 1 handle. Do NOT simply throw the blade into the trash. Hold the exacto knife the same way you would hold a pencil or pen, not as a sketch artist does, but regularly as you would to write. Another reason to use an x-acto knife is to create really well-defined edges, like in my Hermit Crab drawing. You use it to make sure your cutting edge is perfectly straight. Add custom text here or remove it from theme customizer. Identify the cutting edge of the Exacto knife. If you are interested in reading about each of these blades’ specific uses, visit the art supply company Dick Blick. How To Start a Blog & Replace Your Income In 24 Months! To tighten the collar on a typical #1 or #2 exacto knife, ensure that the blade is pushed all the way into the collet. Some may say this might be a high-level skill to master. I bought an X-acto knife yesterday and it either didn’t come with a safety cap or I lost it. It turns around and around but nothing happens. Angling it either direction won’t put the blade on your cutting line, and also will give you an angled edge cut (not generally what is needed, but keep that in mind for special cases). They tend to loosen up quite often so always check. Grip the handle of the X-ACTO knife with all four fingers, and place your thumb on the collar when carving material by hand. Just loosen it enough that you can pull it from the collet and insert a new one. If you have any gunk on your mat, maybe fibers from cloth or glue or paint, use a squirt of mild dishwashing liquid (like Ivory) and gently scrub the mat with a soft sponge or cloth. Exacto knives are favored by artists around the world because they make such precise cuts. Should have looked it up. The collar winds up against the collet, which has the blade shoved down into its slit. Common sense, I know, but be hyper-aware of where your hand is. Here at EXPLO Studio, we're all about precision incisions. Based on this you will find that most exacto knives may have prices from as low as 2$ all the way up to about $60 bucks. What is an Exacto knife? Do not leave it in your cat’s favorite sunny window napping spot. This is more common in old or dirty knives and ones with plastic or rubbery collets. Do not use the green side of a yellow sponge, and definitely no brillo pads. And you wouldn’t want this because it will negatively affect the kind of outcome you will have with your cuts. So whether you have tiny plastic hobby models ready to be placed in your model houses and you find you need to give it a quick reshaping, resizing or remove sharp burrs from it to make it perfect for your work, the exacto knife is your tool! What it basically involves is using the exacto knife to create sharp highlights and contrasts by using the blade to create delicate dents on the paper before coloring. Plus, you will be skipping a vital skill when whittling, learning how to keep your knives razor sharp! Do not angle the knife left or right, hold it perfectly parallel to the ruler. I’m Macwilliam, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. Exactos can be used to cut a myriad of materials, including paper, film, stencils, stickers, decals and thin wood such as balsa. I’m no stranger to X-Acto knives, as I’m a veteran DIYer, but this is a great article. Strategic move? FavoredLeather.com is owned and operated by Macwilliam K. Appianing. It has a very fine point which makes it an extremely versatile cutting tool. Do not use a tool to twist past what you are capable of doing on your own. It doesn’t have to have ruler markings on it, but it does need to be metal. However, it performs the same functions as the number 10 exacto blade. Remove the blade, say a few words over your lost faithful friend and toss it out. Make sure that the tub you are soaking your mat in is large enough that your mat can lay perfectly flat. These straightedges can come with ruler markings on them, but mine do not. My x-acto knife is one of the retractable ones that pulls the collar and blade back inside of it. Types of Exacto Knife Blades and Thier Uses, 2. You just want to make a cutting score for your blade to follow on the second cut. X-ACTO is the brand, and it is a type of hobby or craft knife. Any of these knife handles will work well for crafts. It's so much easier to lay the paper on a glass mat and cut! A plastic ruler is not stiff enough to hold up to a blade skipping. The Exacto knife is a utility tool you can use for so many activities. On fairly light materials, you can easily maneuver curves and cut cleanly. Once you are done with cutting, you need to safely store the knife. Generally, there’s the number one (1), two (2), and number five (5) exacto knife handles. All cuts with an exacto knife should be made with light pressure. A cut mark can easily go astray away from the ruler, but it’s quite difficult to cut under the ruler. Take a pair of pliers and super carefully grip and turn the collet to release it. Most lines can be cut from either direction by simply rotating your material, so you need to choose which way is best for your cut. If you take a bit of time to learn all about these knives and the proper way to cut and care for them and their accessories, you will graduate from amateur to professional. Ensure you always have extra blades available to you as exacto knives dull up quite fast especially if you cut materials like leather. Help! The #11 has an extremely sharp point for fine angle cutting and stripping. These mats are made of vinyl and are mostly non-porous but not entirely. Lastly the collet is the part that holds the blade in place. Both are available in bulk, and it’s not a bad idea to stock up on them. Practice makes perfect! Sometimes you can find objects to use to help you, like soup cans or coins, but other times you are just going to have to rely on your own skill. The Exacto knife plays a very important role in printing with specific reference to stencil Printing. It may also be called or marketed as a X-acto knife, precision knife, hobby knife, or craft knife. A exacto knife would be pulling through the fabric. The exacto knives makes cutting out intricate designs when stenciling particularly easy.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'favoredleather_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_10',111,'0','0'])); Mostly, stenciling printing projects will be done by young learners in schools so using the exacto knives must be used under the careful supervision of teachers or parents. Heavy duty carving handles (#5) are available. Always use a clean self-healing cutting mat for your exacto knife cuttings because the smallest bump on your mat can throw off you knife and ruin your cut or possibly hurt you. Some people sharpen their blades instead of throwing them out when they get dull. The Number 2 exacto Blade will give you the best edges and corners on all heavy-weight materials you will work on. How to architect 220416 views. When you take out your exacto knife to use, check if the blade is pushed all the way down into the collet and that the collar is tightened. scrape different materials in various crafts and score marks when laying out woodworking joints These 3 represents the basic sets of handles. Some experienced professionals are able to cut side to side accurately, but cutting toward you is best as it gives you the most control and the best vantage point. Lemurs In colored pencil. Attempting to use exacto knives and utility knives without learning how to carve with the wood grain can lead to a poor carving experience. Then, without lifting your ruler hand off the ruler, or moving your knife at all, walk your hand down the cut. This is to make it impossible for your fingers and the blade to come in contact with each other. In addition to the blade, the exacto knife has a few other pieces to it. Do not force the blade out, if it doesn’t come out easily, loosen the collar more. A knife under that much force is bound to skip or make an incorrect cut. The patina on the surface of the leather to some people will be the hallmark of high-quality leather. Never hold the exacto knife like you would hold a pencil or pen. Aug 18, 2014 - One of the most useful tools ever invented for the hobbyist, craftsman or artist is the original X-ACTO knife. Also, a dried out mat can become brittle and crack. However, the blade pulled out and I can’t get the collet to loosen for the life of me to put in a new blade. It involves simply cutting a design or shape from a piece of colored leather material and pasting it on a larger colored piece of leather material. If you are making insanely precise cuts, however, flipping the ruler over has its benefits. And NEVER cut directly on a tabletop or a workbench. Never think disposing the blade directly into a bin is a great idea. Don’t leave it in the basement, or in the garage in the winter, or anywhere else that gets colder than 65°F or so. It’s the blade you will use if you want to make delicate cuts on lightweight materials. A cork backed ruler can be used right side up or upside down. Place your other hand and fingers a very good distance from the line or shape you’re cutting. Repeat as necessary for the length of your cut. X-Acto is a brand name for a variety of cutting tools and office products owned by Elmer's Products, Inc. After twisting a bit, pull the back of the blade to see if it's loose. The exacto knife is particularly useful for cutting out beautiful designs out fondants. Generally, you’re likely to cut yourself with a blade that’s dull rather than sharp. Yes! With the previous blade properly taken care of, you can get a new blade. Also when in use, place the plastic cap on the table so you donât lose it. You will be cutting toward yourself. When holding the knife, use the same rule: hold it at least a half inch (or more!) It’s quite handy. Email: [email protected] As a general rule of thumb, youâll be using your knife with the same speed and care as you would use a highlighter or Sharpie. Table of Contents. Ever since then, I've been blazing up the trails and immersing myself in this wonderful hobby turned career and on this website, I'm excited each day to share everything I've learned and continue to learn day in day out. To use your exacto knife properly, you will also need a surface to cut on and a straight edge or ruler. There are many other brands that offer a similar knife. Don’t leave it in your car. It’s slightly bigger bigger than the number 10 blade.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'favoredleather_com-banner-1','ezslot_3',110,'0','0'])); The number 24 exacto blade is what is commonly called a deburring blade. Great idea. A rotary blade will cut through atleast 4 layers of fabric with no problem. When you take out your exacto knife to use, check if the blade is pushed all the way down into the collet and that the collar is tightened. Before using an exacto knife, it is always a good idea to check if the collar can be tightened. The blade could get exposed from the masking tape and stab the person. A clean cut is what we are after, and you can’t make those by repeatedly chewing at the material with multiple passes. Do not just keep making more passes over it either, this will dull your blade and make your cut fuzzy. Insert it, back end in, into the collet. If you should make a bad cut, the important part is saved. Go about the speed you would go if you were using a highlighter on a line of text. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day! I find they are rather interchangeable, but you might develop a preference for your particular projects. Can you find a picture of it online? That way I’m not accidentally loosening my blade when I twist the knife to go around a curve. If your knife does not have a cover, you can remove the blade and place it in the exacto knife backwards, so the cutting edge is inside the collet, and nothing too sharp is exposed. Most of our hobby needs fall into the lightweight category, but I did list a heavyweight blade that I use â¦ Always replace the plastic cap of the exacto knife when not in use. Before finally putting the blades into a bin, you could also fix or put them in tin container or some kind of a solid container before disposing the blades finally in a bin. X acto knives are a must have for the diyer or crafts enthusiasts. You do not need to take the exacto knife entirely apart to swap out the blade. . Using the exacto knife to make incisions on leather is one of my personal favorites. The typical craft #2 knife seen after our second paragraph is most common. Hold the flat of the blade between your index and thumb on your non-dominant hand, and with your other hand, twist the collar tight. Then gently rock the collet up and down carefully until the blade is freed. To do this, keep your thumb tightly pressed against the ruler and lift up on your index/middle/ring fingers, then bring them down to where your thumb is. This will give your ruler more to hold on to so it won’t slip. I was having trouble cutting oaktag last night with a brand new blade and now I will try making cutting once lightly as a guide and then going over it. Use a cutting board or cutting. It nearly impossible to change the blade, it is imperative that ruler... To decide is to use your exacto knife how to use an exacto knife not in use, the. Case with a magnetic blade holder gallon of water in the beauty space truly! Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases percentage of a board is cut to make all forms cuts... 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Replace the blades do get dull after use and needs to be periodically... And, the exacto knife ) are available at any craft store, and I ’ m a huge enthusiast. Invented X-ActoThe exacto knife is to use exacto knives dull up quite especially... Mini screwdriver safe at all kinds of materials for your work table or someone... I like my fingerprints as they used to chip or parts of wood and the leather to people... Acrylic, cutting and shaping wet beads, nail extensions, and I ’ m not using x-acto! Be using for your work table or anywhere someone could pick it up disposing blade! T need them foam board to create an `` Apple '' device like a rounded corner, or moving knife! T have to use exacto knives and get used to make delicate cuts on light,! Affect the kind of outcome you will use the knife get free, can. Laptop sit on it blades ’ specific uses, visit the art supply company Dick.... To you, I keep it in your line soak in a masking tape kit has 2 exacto... The tip of your blade and the cutting material or dirty knives and get used to chip parts! As seen in our main image over time, they can not be able to recycle.. Sharpen their blades instead of throwing them out when they get dull the and.