Best Utility Knife Blades

Best Utility Knife Blades Featured Image

Finding the best utility knife blade isn’t always easy since brands leverage marketing hype to make their products stand out. The result for consumers is difficulty determining separating marketing hype from true performance. This got us thinking. Which blades are the sharpest? Which models are rugged enough to take a beating? Which ones offer the best bang for your buck? We’ve not found a single ranked list online that digs deep enough to answer those questions.

So, we set out to change that by putting some of the most popular utility knife blades through the paces in our in-house sharpness, hardness, and edge durability testing. Read on to find out which select few utility knife blades performed best and get essential buying tips to buy the right utility blade the first time.

Also, check out our guide to the best utility knives to pair your new blades with the right knife.

Best utility knife blades

Top pick
Lenox Gold Titanium Edge
Pros:
  • Exceptional box-cutting performance
  • Good edge durability
Cons:
  • No dispenser included
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At a glance

  • Number of blades: 15
  • Dispenser: No
  • Edge coating/material: Titanium edge

The Lenox Gold Titanium edge blades are the best utility knife blades we’ve tested, and they are surprisingly well-priced for the performance. Before using the Lenox utility blades, we were dubious of the marketing hype surrounding the titanium edges.

But in our testing, the titanium edge effortlessly cut through paper and sliced other dense materials well. The Lenox blades also make easy work of cardboard, earning them the spot as one of the best box-cutter blades.

The stellar cutting performance may be related to the titanium or perhaps there is a sharper edge out-of-the-box. Regardless, the Lenox Gold Titanium blades are the perfect utility knife blade if you want a versatile blade around the home.

To be expected, the cutting performance comes at a price. While picking up enough of any utility knife blade to last a long time won’t cost much, the blades are expensive compared to other picks on this list. Plus, there’s no dispenser included, so you’ll need to find a good storage option if storing the blades out of the packaging.

Alternate top pick
Dewalt Carbide Edge Utility Knife Blade
Pros:
  • Great for box cutting
  • Exceptional edge durability
Cons:
  • No dispenser included
  • Comparatively expensive
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At a glance

  • Number of blades: 10
  • Dispenser: No
  • Edge coating/material: Carbide edge

The Dewalt Carbide Edge utility blades are the best option if you want a blade with a highly-durable edge. The Dewalt’s edge durability performed well in our tests thanks to the inclusion of a carbide edge attached to the carbon steel body. Carbide is much harder than steel, so it’s unsurprising that the edge holds up well when rubbed against rough surfaces like a brick or garage floor.

These Dewalt utility knife blades are also made of a harder metal than the other picks on our list. We couldn’t confirm what specific type of carbon steel is used, but the metal is noticeably harder in our hardness testing.

While the hardness of the non-edge portions of the blade isn’t the end-all for utility knife blades, it provides some confidence that these blades can take a beating and still cut well.

But consider that like the Lenox Gold Titanium Edge, these utility knife blades are comparatively expensive, and there’s no dispenser for easy storage and convenience. But if you’re looking for the best box-cutter blade that is durable for other uses, it’s hard to go wrong with the Dewalt Carbide Edge.

Budget pick
Workpro Utility Knife Blades
Pros:
  • Inexpensive and performs well enough
  • Includes a dispenser
Cons:
  • Dispenser can be finicky
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At a glance

  • Number of blades: 100
  • Dispenser: Yes
  • Edge coating/material: SK5 steel

Workpro Utility Knife Blades are a solid option if you want to save some money and have a bunch of quality utility knife blades at your disposal.

We didn’t expect the Workpro blades to take the podium spot in our tests, which held true. But that’s OK if you want a standard utility knife blade that you won’t worry about beating up since they cost roughly one-tenth the amount per blade compared to our top picks. As you’d expect with any run-of-the-mill utility knife blade, they are sharp and easily cut through various materials. Simply put, they do many jobs well.

The blade edges won’t be as durable as other models. However, including a wall-mountable dispenser is a convenient feature that makes the Workpro blades a good option if you want to buy several and mount a few dispensers around the garage or home for convenience.

One very-overlookable downside of the dispenser is that it can be finicky to dispense a blade while getting used to the sliding mechanism on top. But the blades are easy to remove once you get the hang of it after several attempts.

Serrated edge pick
Rapid Edge Serrated Utility Knife Blades
Pros:
  • Great edge durability
  • Easy-to-use dispenser included
Cons:
  • Serrations aren't ideal for cutting versatility
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At a glance

  • Number of blades: 100
  • Dispenser: Yes
  • Edge coating/material: No edge coating

The Rapid Edge Serrated utility knife blades are an exceptional specialty blade you likely didn’t know you needed, especially if you need to cut through thick and dense materials. The serrations provide several advantages.

Firstly, the blade retains sharpness better than a standard utility knife blade when rubbed against hard surfaces. There is improved edge sharpness since the protruded parts of the edge get dinged, but the cutout parts of the serrations remain unscathed. This performance was evident with the Rapid Edge Serrated utility knife blades still cutting smoothly through paper after our sandpaper and brick abrasion tests.

Rapid Edge Serrated Edge Durability Closeup
Closeup of the worn-down protruding serrations of the Rapid Edge Serrated but unscathed inner serrations that keep the edge sharp. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

Secondly, serrated edges are great for cutting through tougher materials and wood since the blades can be used like a saw for more cutting power.

However, the Rapid Edge Serrated utility knife blades aren’t perfect. Even the sharpest serrated blades don’t cut as smoothly through materials, including boxes. The serrations grab more material and don’t glide like a common utility knife blade.

But I am a convert after our testing. I now have two utility knife blades set up in the dedicated box-cutting section of my garage, where Amazon boxes come to meet their demise. I keep a utility knife with a standard blade for most needs and a knife with the Rapid Edge Serrated blade for thicker boxes and other tough materials.

Hook-style pick
Berkling Hook Utility Knife Blades
Pros:
  • Cuts well through thick materials
  • Includes an easy-to-use dispenser
Cons:
  • Not ideal for box cutting
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At a glance

  • Number of blades: 50
  • Dispenser: Yes
  • Edge coating/material: SK2H steel

The Berkling Hook Utility Knife Blade is the best utility blade for tasks like cutting shingles, carpet, rubber, linoleum, and other dense materials.

We don’t recommend this utility knife blade type for boxes or any other material you lay flat against a hard surface to cut. While the blade is extremely sharp, the lack of a sharp point makes it hard to cut through the full thickness in one try.

But hook utility blades aren’t designed for cutting boxes on the floor or paper on a table. They shine at latching onto the material you’re cutting and pulling the hook through for more cutting pressure, especially when holding the material to be cut off the ground and ripping toward your body. This design makes hook blades like the Berkling model great for breaking down heavy materials that require a good amount of force.

Snap-off pick
Olfa 25mm Snap-Off
Pros:
  • Super sharp edge out of the box
  • Snap-off feature always leaves you with a fresh edge
  • Great for cuts that require a long blade
Cons:
  • Not ideal for cutting boxes
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At a glance

  • Number of blades: 5
  • Dispenser: Yes
  • Edge coating/material: SK2H steel

The Olfa 25mm Snap-Off utility knife blades are versatile, sharp, smooth, and convenient. There are better options to cut through cardboard since the Olfa 25mm blades are thicker than most utility knife blades. That increased thickness adds resistance when cutting, making the blades harder to control along an intended path.

Olfa Utility Knife Blade Length
The Olfa 25mm Snap-Off can make deep cuts with its long blade length in a snap-off utility knife. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

But this highly-durable utility knife blade excels at most other tasks, especially jobs where a long blade is required, or durability is important. The Olfa 25mm Snap-Off blades are buttery-smooth cutting most materials, partly due to their bigger size and weight and razor-sharp edge.

Plus, there’s the convenience of not needing to change blades when they dull. Just break off the end, and you instantly have a fresh blade.

Alternate snap-off pick
Heikio 18mm Snap-Off
Pros:
  • Super sharp out of the box
  • Snap-off feature always leaves you with a fresh edge
  • Great for crafts and cuts that require a long blade
Cons:
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty tasks and cutting boxes
Check Price

At a glance

  • Number of blades: 5
  • Dispenser: Yes
  • Edge coating/material: Carbon steel, no edge coating

The Heikio 18mm Snap-Off utility knife blades are a great option if you want a capable blade for minimally detailed cuts without sacrificing much in terms of versatility. The Heikio blades have extra heft compared to a standard trapezoid-shaped utility knife blade, so they cut seamlessly through most materials. The smooth performance was noticeable in our out-of-the-box sharpness tests where the blade glided effortlessly through cardboard.

How to pick the right utility blade

Our buying tips below can help you figure out the best utility knife blade for your needs when considering a few essentials.

Blade type

The most important factor determining the type of utility knife blade to buy is what you’ll be cutting most frequently. Standard straight utility knife blades are the most versatile for cutting boxes and breaking down other materials such as drywall.

Utility Knife Blades Laid Out
The primary types of utility knife blades, including a standard shape, serrated edge, hook-style, and snap-off. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

Serrated utility knife blades have more durable edges than standard straight ones but aren’t as versatile. Serrated blades perform best in tasks that use saw-like cuts to break down thicker materials.

Hook-style utility blades are ideal for heavy-duty tasks such as cutting through shingles, linoleum, and carpet.

Snap-off utility knife blades come in several widths; the most common are 18mm and 25mm.

25mm snap-off utility blades always have a sharp edge since you can break off the dull blade and seamlessly return to cutting. These blades perform well across most heavy-duty tasks, including ones requiring a long blade.

Most 25mm blades are thicker than a standard straight one, so 25mm blades are not ideal for detailed cuts. The greater width also adds resistance when cutting boxes. It’s best to skip a 25mm snap-off blade if that’s your primary use case.

18mm snap-off utility blades are great for crafts projects and lighter-duty tasks with their narrow width.

Edge material

All of our picks are made of carbon steel, though some have edges made of titanium or carbide. Carbide edges retain their sharpness better than titanium and standard utility knife blades without any special edge material. But carbide edge utility knife blades are more expensive than most standard utility knife blades.

Also, consider that utility knife blades are intended to be disposable and quickly swapped out once dulled. So, the added cost of a carbide edge may not be worth it for some people, especially anyone who swaps out blades at the drop of a hat.

The number of blades needed

It’s best always to have more utility knife blades than you think you’ll need. This way, you can quickly swap out blades as they dull, and you don’t have to worry about preserving the edge sharpness by avoiding tasks you know will beat up the edge. Just cut away and replace the blade if it gets beat up.

For added convenience at home, I keep several utility knives and blades strategically placed to always have one in close reach.

Blade storage

We like the convenience of utility knife blades that come with dispensers. Some dispensers also include screw holes for easy mounting on your garage wall for easy access.

Utility Knife Blade Dispensers and Holders
Dispensers and blade holders are more convenient for storage than loose packs. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

Blade storage is also important since the blades aren’t left loose around the house or in your garage, presenting a potential hazard as you search around in a drawer for the blades and for children.

Test results

You may think that all utility knife blades are the same. But our testing highlighted that there are differences to consider. Read on below to see the results from our tests of cutting performance, edge durability, and blade hardness.

Cutting performance

Utility Knife BladePerformance
Lenox GoldGood
Dewalt CarbideBest
WorkproGood
Rapid Edge SerratedBest
Berkling HookRoom for improvement
Olfa 25mmRoom for improvement
Heikio 18mmGood

We tested the cutting performance by reviewing the cutting performance on a piece of paper out-of-the-box and by cutting a box 10 times on each blade. The Dewalt Carbide Edge and Rapid Edge Serrated utility knife blades performed best in this testing but for different reasons.

The Dewalt’s carbide edge remained sharp to the last cut and felt buttery smooth cutting through thick cardboard. The Rapid Edge Serrated easily cut through the thickest cardboard using saw-like motions.

Dewalt Utility Knife Blade Cutting Through Cardboard
The Dewalt Carbide Edge makes quick work of breaking down boxes. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

As a result, I now keep both Dewalt Carbide Edge and the Rapid Edge Serrated blades at the dedicated box-cutting station previously set up in my garage. The two blade options simplify breaking down the endless number of Amazon boxes and their different thicknesses.

The Lenox Gold Titanium Edge cut through boxes well and was among the best performers cutting through a piece of paper with a fresh edge. The Olfa 25mm Snap-Off and the Heikio 18mm Snap-Off performed equally as well when cutting paper.

Olfa 25mm Cutting Through Paper
The Olfa 25mm Snap-Off is scary sharp cutting through paper. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The Berkling Hook Utility Knife Blade is sharp, but hook blades don’t cut through boxes efficiently. Notably, the hook design makes cutting through the full box thickness hard when laid flat on the ground. The performance isn’t a flaw of the Berkling’s quality, more an overall flaw of hook-style utility blades.

The Olfa 25mm Snap-Off has a sharp edge, but its blade is thicker than the other models we tested. The added thickness led to stray cuts that went off the desired path when moving the blade quickly through a long piece of cardboard.

Edge durability

Utility Knife BladePerformance
Lenox GoldGood
Dewalt CarbideBest
WorkproRoom for improvement
Rapid Edge SerratedBest
Berkling HookGood
Olfa 25mmGood
Heikio 18mmGood

We tested the edge durability of each utility knife blade by separately rubbing the blade edges against 80-grit sandpaper and brick and then attempted to cut a piece of paper. We also tested the durability of each blade point by hitting the point with a hammer into a brick.

All models performed well with solid edge durability, though the Workpro Utility Knife Blades were chewed up more than the others. Losing an edge quicker is somewhat expected based on the cost per blade.

The Dewalt Carbide Edge, Lenox Gold Titanium Edge, and Rapid Edge Serrated have the most durable edges. The carbide edge on the Dewalt model appears to be more than just a marketing gimmick. While the tip was the only one that chipped in our hammer durability test, the edge held up well in our brick abrasion test. The Lenox model also held up well in our brick edge abrasion test.

Lennox, Dewalt, Rapid Edge Serrated Layout
The Lenox, Dewalt, and Rapid Edge models have durable edges. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The Rapid Edge model also has a highly durable edge. But this is more due to the design with its serrations than anything else. In our abrasion tests, the part of the edge that came into contact with the sandpaper and the brick was dinged up like many other models. However, the inner serrations remained untouched, so parts of the blade remained sharp.

Hardness

Utility Knife BladePerformance
Lenox GoldRoom for improvement
Dewalt CarbideBest
WorkproGood
Rapid Edge SerratedGood
Berkling HookGood
Olfa 25mmRoom for improvement
Heikio 18mmGood

Our hardness test consisted of hitting each utility knife blade three times with a spring-loaded center punch to see if indentations appeared or the blade was compromised. These tests weren’t run on the blade edge since the intent of the tests was to understand the ruggedness of the overall blade. The Dewalt Carbide Edge performed best with no noticeable indentations.

The Lenox Gold Titanium Edge and the Olfa 25mm Snap-Off have room for improvement. The Lenox model had a comparatively deep gouge from the center punch, though the blade wasn’t compromised in any manner to the point of cracking.

Lennox Utility Blade Indentation Hardness Test
Closeup of the small center punch indentation on the Lennox model. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The Olfa utility knife blade fully cracked on the third center punch in our first test, not along one of the snap-off points. We tested the Olfa model again to see if our results were abnormal, but we had a similar outcome.

Olfa 25mm Utility Blade Hairline Crack
Closeup of the hairline crack on the Olfa 25mm model. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

While the Olfa 25mm Snap-Off was compromised in our hardness test, we don’t see this as a sign of quality. In practical use, the Olfa model is durable with its added thickness, but highly concentrated blows to the blade could potentially break it. We don’t see many scenarios like this happening for DIYers around the home, and the most likely outcome with a concentrated blow is the blade breaking along one of the snap-off lines.

Honorable mentions

The Craftsman Utlity Knife Blade 100-Pack is a good budget option that is ever-so-slightly more expensive than our Workpro Utility Knife Blade pick with 100 blades and a dispenser.

The Hautmec 25mm Snap-Off is thinner than our 25mm Olfa pick and is cheaper. But we think the thicker Olfa 25mm Snap-Off is a better option since the focus here is performance on heavy-duty tasks.

The Workpro 18mm Snap-Off includes a ton of blades that are cheap, but the Heikio 18mm Snap-Off is a better choice for edge durability.

FAQ

  • Which utility blades are most durable?

    The Dewalt Carbide Edge utility knife blade has the most durable edge and performed best in our edge durability tests. It is also extremely sharp out-of-the-box.

  • What’s the best steel for utility blades?

    Most utility blades are made of different hardnesses of carbon steel. SK2H steel is used in some higher-quality utility blades, whereas SK5 steel is used in cheaper options.

  • What’s the best utility blade for drywall?

    The Lenox Gold Titanium and the Dewalt Carbide Edge models are the best utility blades for drywall. Both retain an edge well and cut seamlessly through drywall.

  • Will any utility blade fit my utility knife?

    Standard straight, hook, and serrated utility knife blades have notches on top that will fit most utility knives. Snap-off blades are specifically designed for snap-off retractable utility knives. Most snap-off utility knife blades are universal and fit all snap-off utility knives.

Methodology

We picked the best utility knife blades by first reviewing 14 models online. This analysis included analyzing user reviews, the cost per blade, and material composition. After this analysis, we narrowed it down to a shortlist of picks purchased for in-house testing. Models were tested for sharpness, edge durability, performance, and hardness with the following tests.

  • Out-of-the-box sharpness: Cutting through a single sheet of paper.
  • Box-cutting performance: Cutting through various box thicknesses 10 times for each utility knife blade.
  • Sandpaper edge durability: Each utility knife blade was rubbed against 80-grit sandpaper. The sharpness was then tested by attempting to cut a sheet of paper.
  • Brick edge durability: Each utility knife blade was rubbed against a brick. The sharpness was then tested by attempting to cut a sheet of paper.
  • Hammer point durability: Each blade was placed vertically on a brick and hit twice with a metal hammer on the tip. We then examined each tip for chips and deformations.
  • Hardness: Each blade was hit with a spring-loaded nail set three times in the middle of the blade, not the edge. We then examined each blade for indentations and cracks.
Picture of Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton is the founder of DIY Gear Reviews and a recognized expert in the home and DIY space. He has over 200 bylines covering topics such as power tools, hand tools, and woodworking. Nathan is the strategic director for DIY Gear Reviews, deciding everything from the content covered to designing the testing methodologies for lab-tested reviews. He can be emailed at nhamilton@diygearreviews.com.

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