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Carpet knives are high quality knives that often feature a tough cutting edge that is formulated to cut through padding and carpet without causing fraying or jagged edges. Often referred to as a craft knife or a utility knife, a carpet knife can also be utilized for such tasks a cutting tile, linoleum and thick cardboard for a creative project.
Many versions of the carpet knife feature a solid metal body, with an interior mechanism that allows the blade for the knife to be retracted when not in use. Older models feature a hardwood handle and a blade that is composed of stainless steel. While the blades on older carpet knives are sharpened using conventional methods, the retractable variety simply requires a quick change of the blade. Packets of blades can be purchased at most hardware stores.
Using a carpet knife requires a few simple precautions. Like most tools, it is a good idea to wear safety goggles while using a carpet knife. The goggles not only protect the eyes from any flack that may fly from the carpet fibers, but also will provide a barrier between the knife and the eyes if the knife rebounds during use. Wearing utility gloves is also a good idea, as the gloves will provide some protection if the knife should slip during operation.
Some people make the mistake of using the craft knife at an angle that places the body in the path of the knife. Keeping the body to one side of the intended cut area will help minimize the chances of an accident. If possible, the preferred method is to use the knife to cut away from the body at all times.
A carpet knife should always be used on a smooth flat surface. If the task calls for cutting through cardboard or carpet padding, place thick paper, a towel, or other material between the product to be cut and the tabletop. This will prevent the blade of the knife damaging the cutting surface.