What makes a knife a 'safety' knife?
Many knives on the market today are promoted as ‘safety’ knives but lack the necessary features that make them safe to use in the workplace.
So, what exactly is a 'safety' knife and do you know the difference between a utility knife and a safety knife?
What is a Safety Knife?
Simply put a safety knife has been designed with features that will reduce the risk of the user cutting themselves and even reduce the risk of damage to product inside goods being opened. These safety features are either a concealed blade, a fully automatic blade retraction system or an automatic blade retraction system.
What is the difference between a Utility Knife and a Safety Knife?
Utility knives are cutting tools that either have a fixed blade or are manually retractable. Box cutters, boot knives, snap off bladed knives, non-self-retracting knives, and folding knives are just some examples of utility knives. Unlike utility knives, safety knives have been designed with safety, function, and ergonomics in mind along with the ability to still be a high performing cutting tool.
What features should you look for in a Safety Knife?
The main features to look for in a Safety Knife are:
1) Safety Technology
Look for a knife that features one of the three safety technologies listed below.
Concealed Blade Knives - These cutting tools all feature a blade that is not open but concealed within the knife and therefore the cutting edge is shielded from the user. Concealed blade knives give you a maximum degree of safety from cut injuries whilst cleverly protecting your goods. In the MARTOR range we call these products SECUMAX knives. View the range here
Fully Automatic Blade Retraction - These Safety Knives all feature a blade retraction system where as soon as the blade leaves the material being cut, it withdraws automatically into the handle even when you keep on pressing the slider or the lever. In the MARTOR range we call these products SECUPRO knives. View the range here
Automatic Blade Retraction - These Safety Knives all feature an automatic blade retraction system where as soon as you start cutting, you must remove your thumb from the slider or release the lever so that the blade, when contact is lost with the material being cut, it will disappear back into the handle safely. In the MARTOR range we call these products SECUNORM Knives. View the range here
2) Blade Length
When combined with one of the above safety technologies a shorter blade length will help to eliminate stabbing or piercing injuries. The longest bladed Safety Knife in the MARTOR range is the SECUNORM 380 that features a blade extension of 8cm. The blade on this knife is automatic and cannot be locked out.
3) Safe Blade Change
Does the knife have a “safe” blade change system? At safe blade change system is one that minimises contact with the blade and requires not additional tools to complete the task. At MARTOR we have made blade changing as easy, safe, and as comfortable as possible, so that you will not hurt yourself while doing so. Full blade change instructions are included with each safety knife and can viewed in our training videos.
4) Safety Lock
Whilst not all safety knives feature locks, they are a good idea to prevent the blade from being pushed out of the handle unintentionally when not in use. For example, when put in your pocket - not recommended! Our SECUNORM MIZAR for features a 3-in-1 blade lock where you not only lock and unlock the blade with it, but also use the lock to initiate safe blade change.
Your cutting tool should be comfortable to hold. When choosing a Safety Knife, the ergonomics of the handle should be taken into consideration, especially for users who are holding the safety knife for extended periods of time. At MARTOR our products are continually being reviewed to see how the design can be improved for better handling and comfort. Take the new SECUMAX 320 for example, the successor to the very popular SECUMAX Combi, it features improved handle ergonomics, optimised blade cutting channel and the completely overhauled blade change system.
6) Tried & Tested
The safest knives on the market are the ones that have safety technologies that have been designed and then rigorously and fully tested prior to release onto the market. At
MARTOR our products are tested for quality and performance by MARTOR as well as tested to quality and safety requirements set out by the German Safety Board. Our safety knives feature the GS/TÜV safety mark. The product certifications can be found here
Training is one of the most important considerations when using any type of knife in the workplace. It is essential and goes hand in hand with safe cutting. With safety knives the cutting technique used can vary from a utility knife and this is where training is important. With MARTOR Safety Knives, we show you exactly how to use the knife so that you will experience fully all the benefits and functions the safety knife provides. Each MARTOR cutter comes with a user manual that features instructions on safe knife handling, safe blade change, general application instructions, injury avoidance, replacement of parts and, maintenance instructions. Also, in conjunction with the user manual we also provide training videos and product training posters.
If you are unsure if the knife you or your staff are currently using is consider “safe” enough to be using in your workplace, contact us today to discuss how we can assist you in creating a safer working environment using the MARTOR range of Safety Knives.
Phone: +61 3 5940 4476