Difference between Box Cutter and Utility Knife?

Since both box cutters and utility knives are specific cutting tools, it is vital to understand the distinctions between the two. Box cutters are valuable equipment for anyone who opens boxes regularly.

A utility knife, on the other side, is a versatile cutting tool that can use for several tasks. The utility knife and the box cutter are two different sorts of similar cutting equipment but not identical.

However, the type of work you do with each of them will determine which of them is most suitable for you to use.

These two tools are dissimilar in many aspects and similar in others. Here are the explanations of these two blades in the following.

What is a Box Cutter?

What is a Box Cutter

Box cutters come in a wide range of sizes for cutting boxes, and it is widely recognized as a utility knife. This machine can cut corrugated packaging or plastic film.

Keeping a steady supply of box cutters on hand is particularly beneficial for those who work in retail and transportation. Although utility knives have more blade exposure, box cutters are more versatile.

Moreover, it is possible to use a box cutter with either auto-retractable or manual blade control options. Like utility knives, both manual and automatic retracting box cutters have sliders that provide various control options.

What is a Utility Knife?

What is a Utility Knife

The utility knife’s usefulness extends to both the home and the workplace. This hand tool is capable of slicing a wide range of materials. It can cut fabric, metal, wood, saw, slice, and file. 

Again, the utility knife can use for various activities, including removing skins and cleaning fish scales

Utility knives come with three different ways to control the blade. It is possible to keep the edge exposed if you are utilizing the auto-retractable option and the user is gripping the slider.

The manual retraction provides the two locking settings for the blade. 

Finally, the smart-retracting blade option automatically retracts when the cutting edge is no longer in contact with the cut material.

The main differences between Box Cutter and Utility Knife

Box Cutter and Utility Knife

There are numerous distinguishing aspects between these two knives. Some instances are in the following.

Blade shape

The form of the blade is the main thing that differentiates these utility knives and box cutters from one another. The shape of the blade is a crucial feature to consider in deciding between these two choices.

Most of the box cutter blades are rectangular and have rounded corners. Another type of box cutter has a triangular shape. All utility knives have a triangular design with sharp points on four corners.

The cutting ability

These two blades have different shape-cutting capabilities. The box cutter is suitable for cutting plastic, hardboard, and other materials that are neither excessively tough nor excessively heavy.

On the other hand, the utility knife can cut various materials, including fabric, metal, and wood. Even you can also use this blade to cut solid materials, including foam, glass, and rubber.


Box cutter is excellent for cutting thinner materials, but it must use with extra care. You cannot cut any fruits with this box cutter; instead, you must ensure that the material you are cutting is straight.

On the other hand, the utility knife does not require precision because it can use in various scenarios. Even this multipurpose knife will be able to cut the skin of your apple.


Both blades are great portability, but a utility knife is more portable than a box cutter. As for the blades of the box, the cutter is too long, so it doesn’t fold up, and as a result, it can’t fit your wear pocket.

So, if you want more portable blades and can go with this anywhere, you can pick the utility knife. 


A box cutter has a one-year lifespan before it needs to be sharpened. It’s worth the extra money to get a utility knife, as it will serve you well for years to come. In addition, it is more convenient to use than a box cutter. It is not necessary to frequently sharpen the blades of a utility knife because they are long-lasting.

Which one is the best for you? Box cutter VS Utility knife

Consider a few factors when making the best pick for you between a box cutter and utility knife. The following is an example:

  • For cutting both light and heavy materials, a box cutter is suitable. A utility knife is an excellent tool for slicing through thin materials.
  • Utility knives are a far superior alternative to box cutters regarding portability. A utility knife is more convenient to carry than a box cutter because it folds up compact and can be handled when not in use.
  • The box cutter is the most effective tool for cutting through thick paper or cardboard. When it comes to cutting plastic and tape, the utility knife is the finest option.

Therefore, it is essential to select the appropriate one for you by first deciding the purpose for which you will be using your knife.

Is a utility knife the same as a box cutter?

Box cutter and utility knife are often used similarly. Utility knives designed for professional use can perform wider tasks than simply slicing through packaging tape and cardboard.

Cutting with a box cutter is a simple and cost-effective method of completing tasks.

What can I use instead of a box cutter?

Scissors can use in place of a box cutter. Scissors can cut a wide range of materials such as cloth, paper, rope, cardboard, and thin pieces of plastic; therefore, it’s OK to use them instead of a box cutter.

Scissors can also straighten edges quickly and easily, making them more worthwhile to use instead of a box cutter.

Final Verdict

Both are useful in various instances, whether you use a utility knife or a box cutter.

The box cutter is a utility knife, but its design serves a specific purpose: to cut cardboard or boxes. Utility knives are more practical for regular use.

However, both types of blades are not limited as they can utilize in various ways. So, choosing the right one for your needs will be quite difficult.

Hence, in this article, I’ve explained the distinctions between a utility knife and an ox cutter so that you can make an informed choice for your next task.

Also, after reading this article, these two blades will no longer be a concern for you.

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