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Got this precision knife off eBay a few days back (top image). Sadly, the slender design of this model kept putting a handful of extra effort in gripping it during usage.

Ended up rummaging through the stationery waste our office produces and salvaged parts to end up with quite a decent ergonomic finish (bottom image).

And all this can be done by a simple process of 'reusing the waste' products at home and in office.

Step 1: Ergonomic Grip Reference

I checked online for a cutter with an ergonomic grip.

Xacto had one (X3722) for $6.99 (INR 433.94).

400 bucks for meagre cutter with a half inch usable blade was something my dad was never going to get me. So I set out to make my own.

Step 2: Acquiring a Cutter

Main thing about the cutter is the blade. The blade is what requires to be of a non-tarnishing and rust proof material, so that it does not blunt out or snap off as you work.

Once you get the blade, the next step is the cutter body. You will need an ergonomic grip to use it comfortably and not put too much strain on your hands.

I bought this Xacto (or any cutter with a similar design) off ebay for US $3.17 (INR 197.00), a pretty good buy considering it was composed of an aluminium alloy, much sturdier than the "cheap plastic" head copies.

Step 3: Acquiring/selecting Other Materials and Finish

Now that the cutter was in my hand, I realised the slender design of this model kept putting a handful of extra effort in gripping it during usage.

So I made a visit to the trash that contains the stationery waste and rummaged for the following:

  • Rubber pen grip
  • Plastic pen body

Rubber grip can be made out of old erasers and latex/rexin as well, but since I could find them on the older pens, I decided to save on that effort.

I found a couple of pen bodies, but none of the ergonomic designs were long enough to accommodate the length of the cutter handle inside.

So I picked up the next best alternative in front of me:

  • Plastic Spine from a discarded file.

The spine slid in easily, and provided an added volume to the entire body. I gave half cuts 3mm from each of the open edges of the spine and folded them in to remove any gap, and also so that it doesn't cut back into my hand as i use it.

Step 4: Pocket Utility Pen Clip

To finish the work, I salvaged a clip off an old discarded pen and fixed it to eh end of my Xacto.

Step 5: Finished Product

You have a finished ergonomic design of an Xacto in less that US$ 4...

It's because of its design that I always prefer using a box cutter style razor blade over my Exacto, but this is a great concept. Will have to try something like this.

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Bio: a crazy art lover... a crazy musician (percussions)... and an even crazier sportsman... For the love of the field, i have and will continue to ... More »
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