Easily the most frequently used cutting tool in the grocery and retail industries, box cutters can be dangerous because they seem so innocuous. It is easy to get so comfortable using this common tool that you forget just how sharp the blade is and ignore important and simple safety precautions. Keep yourself and your coworkers safe by making a conscious effort to follow safe use guidelines for box cutters even if they feel awkward at first -- soon they will become second nature.

Car wrapping specialist cutting foils with box cutter
credit: Ikonoklast_Fotografie/iStock/Getty Images
Box cutter slicing through red plastic

Step 1

Understand the design of the box cutter tool you will be using. Point the blade end away from yourself and maneuver the blade out from the handle - usually with a thumb slide or other such mechanism. Get a feel for how this works before you use the tool, and always open it away from your body.

Step 2

Assume that the blade could slip shut at any time. When you attempt to cut an object, you should make sure that none of your body parts are in the way. Do not place your fingers near the intended path of the blade, because they may slip at the last minute and cross the path of the blade during use.

Step 3

Hold the object being cut firmly with one hand and the box cutter in the other. Never use two hands on the tool, and be sure the material being cut does not slip or twist, causing the blade to strike your fingers.

Step 4

Remember to take your time and avoid distraction. When you start on your project you should make sure other people will not be in close proximity to the tool during use. Repetitive tasks often make your attention wane, so periodically recheck your working environment and keep people clear of the materials being cut.

Step 5

Use a sharp blade. Dull blades require more pressure on the cutter to perform, which means any accidental motion or cutting stroke will go farther than intended.

Step 6

Keep the blade completely covered when not in direct use. Close it when maneuvering boxes or performing other tasks related to the cutting operation. Always leave the tool with the blade closed in a conspicuous place.