Gear > Everyday Carry

12 Best Box Cutters & Utility Knives

By Andrew Peloquin  |  Updated February 9, 2024

12 Best Box Cutters & Utility Knives
Courtesy of Gerber Gear

Whether you’re slicing boxes, opening mail, breaking down your recycling, or patching drywall, a good utility knife is more than up to the task.

It’s just an all-around practical, workman’s tool that’s always smart to keep close at hand all day long.

If you’re not already carrying a box cutter as part of your EDC gear, you may want to consider it as an alternative to your daily folding knife.


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
  • Box cutters are built tough. While many EDC knives are built to be works of art, utility knives are all about the practical. The cases/grips are usually made with ultra-tough materials—like aircraft grade aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium—so they can handle the rigors of any DIY job or work site.
  • The blades are standard. Most utility knives and box cutters are designed to accept the “universal cutter blades” sold in every Lowe’s, Home Depot, and hardware store around the country. That way, they’re easily replaced.
  • Bigger isn’t always better. Sometimes, a compact, pocket-sized box cutter will be more than enough to handle your daily tasks. Still, it’s smart to have a full-sized utility knife in your tool belt for those days when you’ve got heavier-duty jobs.

Below, I’ve collected a list of the very best utility knives on the market. These bad boys are built to be sturdy, speedily deployed, and available to cut at a moment’s notice.

You’ll be blown away by how practical and tough they are, the perfect compliment to your tool pouch, backpack, or everyday carry.

Best Overall Utility Knife

Gerber Gear EAB Lite

Why did I choose it?

A pocket-sized box cutter that delivers big functionality. Gerber delivers a tough, ultra-versatile tool that sits comfortably in your hand and works hard alongside you all day long. For the on-the-go working man, it’ll be a truly handy addition to your EDC loadout.


Best Utility Knife for Electricians
Milwaukee Fastback Press and Flip Utility Knife

Best Multi-use Utility Knife
Gerber Gear Prybrid

Best Ceramic Blade Utility Knife
Slice Folding Knife

Best Cheap & Solid Box Cutter
STANLEY Classic 99 Utility Knife

Best Keychain Utility Knife
Screwpop Ron's Utility Knife 3.0


Best Overall Utility Knife

Gerber Gear EAB Lite


$11
 

For contractors who are always on the go and moving between job sites, this is the box cutter for you.

It’s built using an ultra-tough stainless steel handle and blade, making it tough enough to handle your daily work tasks. It’s on the shorter side—just 2.3 inches of blade length—but the fact that it’s so short makes it perfect for tucking in your pocket to carry around when you don’t want to be loaded down with too many tools.

The handle works as a belt or pocket clip, but you can use it as a money clip, too, to keep a few bills on hand in case you need them. It’s the perfect durable, practical tool for your busy day.





Best Utility Knife for Electricians

Milwaukee Fastback Press and Flip Utility Knife


$19
 

When it comes to work tools, you won’t find many brands built better or tougher than Milwaukee. So of course their Fastback speedy-deployed box cutter is going to be at the top of our list.

The knife’s all-metal construction is insanely sturdy, built to handle years of regular work on a job site and home improvements without scuffing, scratching, or breaking. The metal is also heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant, shaped in a grip that is comfortable to hold.

The integrated button makes it easy to deploy the blade one-handed, and you can trust it’ll stay securely locked in place while also being wonderfully simple to fold up when you’re done. It also comes with a built-in wire stripper (great for electricians) and a belt clip that’ll keep it close at hand, ready to use in an instant.





Best Multi-use Utility Knife

Gerber Gear Prybrid


$19
 

Gerber’s Prybrid is a truly marvelous combination of a box cutter and prybar, a versatile tool you’ll find use for day after day.

The retractable blade slides out far enough to use for your daily cutting tasks (anything short of carpets, really), but thanks to the notch in the handle, it can also be used as a wire stripper.

On the back end is a sturdy pry bar that can also be used as a nail puller and flathead screwdriver. The side even comes with a bottle opener so you can crack a cold one at the end of a long day. Thanks to its G-10 scale handle, it’ll fit snugly in your hand and just feel right.





Best Ceramic Blade Utility Knife

Slice Folding Knife


$28
 

Never worry about your fingers again with the Slice! This bad boy is made with a ceramic blade and rounded tip that are both finger-friendly, far less likely to cut you while still being sharp enough to cut through any box, cord, rope, or tape.

The heat-treated high-grade steel handle will be more than up to the rigors of any job site or DIY project, and it folds down small enough to fit in your pocket, backpack, or tool pouch. Best of all, it’s designed for both left- and right-handed users, suitable for anyone and any simple job.





Best Cheap & Solid Box Cutter

STANLEY Classic 99 Utility Knife


 

This Stanley knife may not be the prettiest on our list, but the “classic” look is one you know, love, and can rely on to get the job done.

The interlocking nose holds the extended blade securely in place, keeping it from breaking even when cutting through thicker materials (like carpet or wire), and the internal mechanisms let you choose just how far you want to extend the blade for more precision or heavy-duty cutting.

Its chunky design makes it easy to grip even if you’re wearing gloves or your hands are wet, and it’s got a good heft that makes it feel like a real tool. Best of all, the box cutter comes with three replacement 11-921 Heavy Duty utility blades, made from tough carbon alloy steel that are a step above the “standard” utility blade.





Best Keychain Utility Knife

Screwpop Ron's Utility Knife 3.0


$10
 

Secure this little box cutter to your keychain, and you’ll be ready for anything. The knife is just under 4 inches long and weighs less than one ounce, making it the perfect travel companion.

It can attach to any key ring, lanyard, or carabiner clip, and it’s even magnetized so you can stick it to the fridge in your RV or the side of your boat. It’s easily deployed one-handed with four positions to choose from, giving you a surprisingly versatile tool despite its small size.






Kobalt Utility Knife


$12
 

This little box cutter is a practical tool, while also being one of the most affordable options on our list.

It’s built with an aviation-grade aluminum handle that’s lightweight but sturdy, and a stainless steel blade guard that won’t rust or wear down with regular use. The lockback mechanism keeps it securely in place when cutting and working, but is easy to fold up when you’re ready to stow the tool.

As a bonus, the budget-friendly knife comes with 11 replacement blades, so you’ll always have a backup when (not if) the current utility blade dulls.






Outdoor Edge SlideWinder


$10
 

If you need a compact utility knife to carry around in your backpack or pocket, you’ll find the SlideWinder is just the tool for you.

The sliding mechanism set into the side of the handle makes it easy to deploy, but keeps the blade housed safely inside the body. The glass-and-nylon polymer textured handle will fit perfectly in the palm of your hand and give you excellent grip on the blade while working.

But this is more than just a knife—it’s also a versatile multi-tool with an integrated flathead screwdriver, bottle opener, Philips screwdriver, and prybar. Everything you need for a productive day sitting right in your pocket.






BIG IDEA DESIGN TPT Slide


$85
 

You’ve never seen a utility knife like this one, I guarantee it. It’s a truly versatile tool yet insanely compact—small enough to nestle in the palm of your hand.

The titanium alloy handle houses a standard utility blade and extends it just far enough that you can use it for precision tasks (not heavy-duty cutting) without risking your fingers or the blade snapping.

In addition, the tool comes loaded with a ¼” hex bit driver, a mini pry bar, a flat head screwdriver, a wide head screwdriver, a 1 and 2-inch measurement cue, a universal wrench, camping fork, scraper edge, and bottle opener. It’s the most versatile box cutter you’ll find, and one of the toughest, too, as it’s made of titanium.






OLFA 9mm Stainless Steel Utility Knife


 

Looking for something that can handle more precision work? This lovely little box cutter is built with a thinner blade and handle that is easy to grip for accurate cutting, but uses Japanese tool-grade steel that is wonderfully tough, sharp, and durable, too.

The built-in blade snapper makes it easy to break off any dulled or chipped edges, giving you a fresh edge to work with in seconds. Thanks to the stainless steel blade channel, your blade will be protected and held securely in place to ensure maximum precision while cutting.






The Palmer


$59
 

Beautiful, compact, and ultra-portable—that’s the Palmer promise. This little knife is built using an anodized aluminum handle that is tough enough to shrug off rain, mud, and worksite fluids, and it sits perfectly in the palm of your hand for a solid grip while cutting.

It’ll slide perfectly into the (rarely-used) coin pocket of your jeans or work pants, and the lanyard makes it easy to pull out and deploy in seconds. You’ll find few mechanisms as buttery smooth as the Palmer’s, and the blade slides in and out of its housing with so little effort it’ll be a joy to work with.

Best of all, it’s TSA-friendly—just remove the standard utility blade, travel with the device packed in your backpack, and you’ve got a tool ready to re-use when you arrive at your destination.






WORKPRO 3-Piece Quick Change Folding Pocket Utility Knife Set


$15
 

Looking for lightweight and practical? This is definitely the utility knife you need. The WorkPro knife weighs just 1.66 ounces, and folds down to just 3 inches, small enough to fit into your pocket or tool pouch. But when it’s unfolded, you’ll find the tool feels solid and does an amazing job of slicing through anything you’ve got to cut.

The uniformly shaped body ensures it fits snugly in your hand and feels good while you’re working with it, even if your hands are gloved, muddy, or covered in paint or caulk. With the pocket clip, you can keep it within easy reach and ready to flip open to get to work.





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