People who don’t craft just don’t understand. They’d say… “Just use scissors”, or “use a kitchen knife”, and you wouldn’t be a bad person for feeling the urge to punch them square on the nose.
Crafting takes patience, precision, skill, and most of all, really, really sharp and specialized knives.
You can spend days penciling a stencil, or months working on that incredibly intricate paper cutting, and it can be destroyed in a split second by a blade that isn’t fit to cut through warm butter let alone your painstakingly conceptualized artwork.
Your art isn’t just made up of time, effort, skill, and passion, it’s a rendering of the soul, and the only way to translate your soul with any justice is to use the best possible equipment.
This is why in this article we’re going to be reviewing the five best crafting knives for cutting paper. We’ll look at the sharp, the ergonomic, the bold, the resilient, everything you need for that crisp and perfect cut.
After the reviews, we’ll be carving out an in-depth buyer’s guide and a brief FAQ section to help you on your way to the peak of crafty splendiferousness. So, without further ado, let’s bring out the knives!
Need an Edge Now?
No problem you crafty cat. Here’s our top pick way up here to save you some time.
Top 5 Best Craft Knives for Paper Cutting
OUR TOP PICK
The Vihir Adult Water Sports Helmet sets the standard extremely high when it comes to water-sports helmets.
With a hybrid design that is composed of both cold-molding EVA foam and a hard ABS outside shell, we cannot fault the protective quality of this model.
This particular helmet is known for its universal adaptability. Suitable for all sorts of outdoor sports such as biking, skating, skiing, and surfboarding, this multifunctional helmet is brilliant value for money.
As a surfer with safety being your main priority, you will be glad to know that this helmet complies with the helmet standard safety standards and has passed the CPSC test.
The intricately placed ventilation system which consists of 11 vents in total works to draw in cool air whilst pushing sweat and moisture out.
The low-profile fit, adjustable straps and quick release buckle makes this helmet one of the sleekest and most practical models on the market.
With removable ear protectors, you can tailor your helmet to function exactly how you like, whether that’s keeping them for a snug, warm fit, or taking them off for a cooler, light feel. During the summer months, such an option can be a lifesaver when the temperature rises.
Another highly useful attribute of this helmet is that the outer shell is projected slightly further forward than most models. In direct sunlight, this is incredibly beneficial to protect not only your face and head from burning but your eyes from the direct sunlight.
Overall, this helmet is very hard to fault. In terms of price, quality, and practicality, this model ticks all of the boxes and is highly deserving of its impressive ratings.
- Impressive ventilation system
- Warm, waterproof earflaps
- Two-way adjustable straps
- True to size
- Limited color options
Here at our number two spot, we have a mega popular crafting knife with an awesome blade. This knife might appeal to you if you liked the idea of our number one choice but want a more traditional scalpel shape.
The first thing your eyes are drawn to when you see this knife is the gorgeous golden hue of the blade’s edge. This coloring is generated by the zirconium nitride coating.
Zirconium nitride is an incredibly hard ceramic substance used to reinforce drills and laboratory crucibles. It’s such a durable material it was even considered for use as a fuel tank liner for rockets.
X-Acto apply the zirconium nitride coating after mechanically sharpening the blade. It protects the blade from wear and heat and keeps it sharp for a really long time.
It also means that this knife is tough enough to handle far more than paper. X-Acto claim it’s more than capable of cutting thin metal.
This knife features a lightweight and durable aluminum casing, so you can expect reduced fatigue and a crafting partner for life. It also comes with a nifty looking gold colored textured metal grip that’s both practical and pleasing to the eye.
They’re basically the crafting equivalent of Legolas’ twin blades in The Lord of the Rings.
- Zirconium coated edge keeps the blade sharp for longer
- Lightweight design reduces fatigue
- Durable casing means it will last a lifetime
- Very stylish and aesthetically pleasing
- Sharpest blade in the crafting market
- Designed for use on paper and other soft materials but can even cut thin metal
- Textured metal grip will keep your fingers firmly in place
- Highest rated paper crafting knife online
- A rubber grip would be better
Carving our number three spot into ribbons is an amazing blade with the elegant ability to dance along the page with your hand.
We’re referring of course to the 360-degree swivel function that turns the blade to follow your hand, giving you perfect precision when cutting tricky rounded shapes.
The die-cast aluminum casing makes this knife incredibly sturdy and lightweight, reducing strain during use. In terms of grip, you get a nice long 11mm diameter elastomer section made of 100% recycled plastics, amazing for both the environment and your slippy feelers.
Another thing that makes this product special is the angle of the blade and the non-corrosive zinc cuff. It drags slightly behind the grip to aid the swivel function.
Even though it might take a little bit of getting used to, we really like this delayed drag as it gives you a good visual on the path of the blade.
The blade itself is also quite impressive. It’s made of carbon tool steel refined over the course of a multi-stage process to ensure maximum sharpness and edge retention.
Similar to our number one pick, this knife is designed for use on most soft and thin materials.
- 360 degree swivel function follows the movement of your hand
- Casing and grip are made of recycled materials
- Angled cuff and blade give you good visuals on the path of the blade
- Aluminum casing is durable and lightweight
- Resilient blade
- Great for curved cuts
- Perfect for soft materials
- Elastomer grip
- Not as appropriate for cutting corners
- Not as ergonomic as our number one choice
Slicing its way up to our number four spot is an amazingly rugged knife that won’t ever let you down. This knife has a larger diecast barrel about the size of a Sharpie pen, which makes it incredibly comfortable and pretty much indestructible.
The soft rubber grip provides an excellent touchpoint for controlling the blade while reducing fatigue, so you’ll get some pretty heft sessions out of this one. That’s not the only grip you get here.
It also has a textured middle section that stabilizes the hilt against the side of your first knuckle. We think this is a great touch but worry that it will chafe during extended use.
This knife is meant for use on soft material, but due to its heavy duty construction, we think you could probably push it into slightly tougher territories.
The blade is held by an innovative collet design, which gives it some extra rigidity and makes it feel especially secure.
Some customers claimed that while this system is great, it made it quite difficult to replace the blade.
- Soft touchpoint provides loads of grip
- Heavy duty diecast design makes this pretty much unbreakable
- Thicker hilt adds a nice tactility to the design
- Designed for soft materials but may be suitable for tougher things too
- Innovative blade holding design
- Textured middle section to steady hilt against knuckle
- Textured hilt may rub after a while
- Some say it’s difficult to change the blade
Our final edge of eminence is a more traditional box-cutter design and comes in a pack of three.
You get two 9 mm blades and one 18 mm blade, each with a different sized handle to suit whatever it is you’re working on. They’re also color-coded to help with quick identification when they’re buried amongst your other supplies.
All three knives are totally retractable so you don’t need to worry about caps for safety. They’re a typical Stanley knife construction, perfect for quick and precise use, and they come with replacement blades already loaded up into the handles.
The larger knife will lend itself well to cutting thicker materials like cardboard and making long straight incisions. The smaller knives should provide you with enough precision to execute some pretty complex cuts.
The grip is provided here by ridges in the plastic casing and the shape of the handle promotes a firm closed handed grip.
If you really want to save some money on your crafting knives, these could be the way to go. Despite coming as a pack of three, these are the cheapest knives on our list.
These probably won’t appeal to the hardened crafters out there, but if you’re just starting out, these knives won’t let your down.
- Very affordable
- Comes with three sizes
- Ridged grip pattern
- Traditional design
- Retractable blades
- Knives come with spare blades pre-loaded in the handles
- Good for a novice crafter
- Won’t be as precise as scalpel designs
- May cause earlier fatigue
- Not as sturdy as other designs
Best Craft Knives for Paper Cutting Buying Guide
A knife is a knife to a lot of people, and despite being a crafty master, you yourself might not know exactly what you should be looking for.
You’re not a machirologist. You probably don’t even know what a machirologist is.
We certainly didn’t before writing this article (it means knife collector).
Let’s face it, a crafting knife is never going to bust the bank, but you still might have some reservations about spending however much on a single tool.
Deciding what you think is a reasonable price will help you choose a knife quicker.
The shape of the handle or casing is incredibly important as it defines how the knife feels in your hand and how precise you can be with it.
You need something super comfortable so you can focus on your work, and it needs to be high-performance and ergonomic to reduce hand strain.
Here are the three main crafting casing types.
These are the most commonly found paper cutting knife shapes. They’re pen-shaped and provide a lot of flexibility and precision. There’s a reason surgeons use this design for operating.
These will come in a number of different widths. Try writing with different sized pens to find out what feels better in your hand, then search for a knife with the same approximate dimensions.
This is the most modern and ergonomic design available at the minute. The shape encourages the use of your middle finger and emphasizes the role of your wrist during a cut.
Ultimately, this means you have more control over the blade, and the separation of workload between more of your hand and wrist reduces fatigue
This is the traditional box-cutter design. They have a thin, hollow handle that holds a retractable blade.
These shaped knives aren’t ideal for intricate designs as they promote a closed handed, downward hand shape that’s less articulate than an open-handed pen holding position.
Swivel or Fixed
We recommend having a quality swivel and fixed knife at your disposal. They’re both great at different things. A swivel blade is perfect for smooth circular or rounded cutting. Fixed knives are better for angled designs.
If you can only get one for now, it doesn’t really matter which. With a little bit of finesse and effort, both can be used for all your paper cutting needs.
Now for the main event, the blade.
This is obviously an important thing to consider when shopping for an awesome crafting knife.
Most good blades will be made from steel.
Try and find out if any special processes have been used to make it sharper or more durable.
A blade with the right coating can be even more durable than a normal steel blade.
Our number two pick has a very impressive zirconium nitride coating that helps hold an edge for longer.
A crafting knife should have an appropriately angled and incredibly sharp edge.
You should be able to place the whole edge on a surface with minimal wrist movement. This means that tilting further forward for precision use with the point won’t cause too much strain.
Blade Holding Mechanism
Changing the Blade
No matter how immaculate the blade that comes with your knife is, you’re going to have to change it every now and again. Checking up on what holding mechanism a knife uses is a good idea as it will indicate how difficult replacing the blade may be.
You should be looking for one that makes it as easy and quick as possible. The quicker you can change the blade, the quicker you can get cracking with some awesome paper crafts.
A decent holding mechanism is also important to guarantee the safety of a crafting knife.
If the blade keeps coming loose, it should not be used under any circumstances.
Another important safety precaution is a durable and effective grip. The best grips are made out of rubbery materials. They’re comfortable and reduce the chances of injuries caused by slipping.
The next best grips are textured metal. They’re not quite as comfortable as rubber designs, but they provide plenty of grip. As mentioned in the reviews, you can always buy a rubber grip separately and slip it on over the metal grip.
A good grip is also essential for precision cutting. You need the blade to be secure in your hand as you carve out those intricate designs. A quality grip will give you a greater sense of control.
Every knife on our list comes with a custom cap for safe storage apart from our last choice that has a retractable blade. Crafting knives are incredibly sharp and should never be left unsheathed after use.
If your knife doesn’t come with a cap, it’s essential that you source one separately that fits well and isn’t going to pop off easily.
If you only want a knife for paper cutting, you should be looking at soft application knives.
If you mostly cut paper but would enjoy having something with a bit of added versatility, look for heavier duty knives. They’ll still be great for cutting paper.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should you sharpen or replace a crafting knife blade?
You can do either, but it will save you some money if you learn how to sharpen them correctly.
All you need to do is run both sides of the blade at equal angles of a sharpening stone every so often. Some crafters say you can even sharpen them with a bit of sandpaper, although that sounds pretty dangerous to us.
If the blade is damaged in some way, for example, the tip has chipped off, it’s probably better to just replace it.
Does paper dull a knife edge?
Yes, paper can dull a knife quite quickly because it’s a highly abrasive material.
The pressure it takes to cut it with precision also forces the blade into the supporting surface which can also shorten a blade’s lifespan. It’s best to get a proper crafting board to work on.
That’s Not a Knife; This is a Knife
We hope you saw something on our list that suits you. Finding the knife that cuts just right through paper with precision and ease is a must-have for any crafty critter.
You’ll be able to work on more intricate designs, finish projects quicker, and you’ll be more comfortable than ever.