7 Unusual Household Uses for a Utility Knife

If you’re like most people, you probably have a handful of utility knives stashed around the house somewhere—in junk drawers, garage cabinets, or tool boxes. These handy hand tools are inexpensive and indispensable for making razor sharp cuts just about anywhere. While you probably always reach for a utility knife to slice open a box, you might not know just how versatile a professional-quality retractable utility knife from Hyde Tools can actually be! Click through to see some unusual, but very innovative ways to put this multipurpose wonder to work around your house. (Soon, all of the extra responsibility will leave you needing some more blades.)
This post has been brought to you by Hyde Tools. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

  1. Cutting Through Carpet

    Cutting Through Carpet

    It's pretty easy to patch faded, stained, or worn-out carpet yourself—provided you have a blade strong and sharp enough to slice through the stiff carpet backing. Equip yourself properly with a HYDE 25mm Snap-Off Knife with Screw Lock, which resists up to 100 pounds of force without the blade retracting thanks to its sturdy screw lock (sturdy enough to handle cuts through linoleum, too!). Cut a rectangle out of the old carpet using a straightedge and exerting firm pressure on the knife, then use that section as a template for the replacement piece. Cutting carpet dulls blades quickly, but because the HYDE 25mm knife features seven tough snap-off points per blade, sharpening the blade is literally a snap! Available from HydeStore.com; $18.99.


  2. Removing Old Caulk

    Removing Old Caulk

    Whether you’re performing annual winter weatherproofing or you’re replacing the caulking around a sink or shower, you’ll need to slice away the old caulking before you can apply a fresh bead to a joint or seam. A sharp knife like Hyde’s 25mm Snap-Off Knife with Screw Lock can make cuts along the edges of the existing caulking to loosen it, and the rest is easy: If you pry even just a corner of the loosened caulking out of the seam, you can often grasp it between your fingers and just pull the rest of it off in long strips! Available from HydeStore.com; $18.99.


  3. Ensuring Clean Lines on a Paint Job

    Ensuring Clean Lines on a Paint Job

    While painter’s tape helps create clean lines and protect molding from slip-ups when you’re painting a wall, when you peel it back—particularly if you've painted over the tape—you can end up taking off some of the fresh paint with it. To achieve sharp, professional-looking edges, don’t even think about the big reveal before first lightly running the 30-degree angled blade of Hyde’s 9mm Snap-Off Knife along the edge of the tape. Take your time and use light pressure; you want to cut the tape, not the wall or trim. Available from HydeStore.com; $3.98.


  4. Making Clean Cuts on Laminated Plywood

    Making Clean Cuts on Laminated Plywood

    Veneer-laminated plywood offers frugal do-it-yourselfers the chance to work with and enjoy expensive hardwoods and exotic wood species on a budget, but sawing these boards can leave a splintered edge that mars their good looks. The trick to clean cuts every time? Score the cutline first using Hyde’s heavy-duty 25mm Snap-Off Knife with Screw Lock and a straightedge. The knife's rubber safety grip will keep your hand from slipping as you firmly cut all the way through the veneer. Then, using a power saw, cut on the outside of the scored line for smooth edge. Available from HydeStore.com; $18.99.


  5. Trimming Wood Shims

    Trimming Wood Shims

    Thin, lightweight wood shims are a must when you're squaring up a newly installed door to make sure that the jamb is plumb and the door will open and close smoothly. But once the jamb is square, you're stuck with the ends of the shims extending out from both sides of the door framing, between the jamb and the wall. A robust utility knife, such as Hyde’s 25mm Snap-Off Knife with Screw Lock, can make quick work of removing the protruding ends: Firmly score the side of a shim at the seam where it meets the framing, then grab the shim and bend it quickly toward the score line, causing it to snap off. Available from HydeStore.com; $18.99.


  6. Replacing a Portion of a Shingle

    Replacing a Portion of a Shingle

    If just a small part of a roof shingle is cracked or missing, there's no need to replace more than you have to—simply swap out the damaged section. To do so, use a flat bar to gently pry up the shingle that overlaps the problem piece to reveal the nails holding it in place Then, use the claw end of the tool to pull the nails out. Grab a rugged utility knife—such as Hyde's 25mm Snap-Off Knife with Screw Lock—that can cut through the asphalt to free and remove the damaged area. Cut a matching section from a new shingle, slip it into place, and secure it with 1 1/2-inch roofing nails and a little roofing tar on the underside of the shingle above. Available from HydeStore.com; $18.99.


  7. Repairing a Window Screen

    Repairing a Window Screen

    Replacing a worn and ragged nylon window screen is a fairly painless chore thanks to the comprehensive kits on the market today. But once you’ve stretched the new screen and worked it and a new spline into the channel on the metal frame, you're left with the inevitable excess mesh. You can cut off the fringe easily if you reach for the versatile tool not included in the kit: Hyde’s 18mm Snap-Off Knife with Screw Lock. Position a straightedge over the new spline so that only the excess mesh sticks out, then slice the screening carefully along the straightedge to reveal a screen that looks (and works) as good as new! Available from HydeStore.com; $5.19.


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