Utility knife

A utility knife is a knife used for general or utility purposes.[1] The utility knife was originally a fixed blade knife with a cutting edge suitable for general work such as cutting hides and cordage, scraping hides, butchering animals, cleaning fish, and other tasks. Finnish outdoor utility knife Retractable blade knife with replaceable utility blade Today, the term "utility knife" also includes small folding or retractable-blade knives suited for use in the modern workplace or in the construction industry. The fixed-blade utility knife was developed some 500,000 years ago, when humans began to make knives made of stone.[1] These knives were general-purpose tools, designed for cutting and shaping wooden implements, scraping hides, preparing food, and for other utilitarian purposes.[1] By the 19th century the fixed-blade utility knife had evolved into a steel-bladed outdoors field knife capable of butchering game, cutting wood, and preparing campfires and meals. With the invention of the backspring, pocket-size utility knives were introduced[when?] with folding blades and other folding tools designed to increase the utility of the overall design. The folding pocketknife and utility tool is typified by the Camper or Boy Scout pocketknife, the U.S. folding utility knife, the Swiss Army Knife, and by multi-tools fitted with knife blades. The development of stronger locking blade mechanisms for folding knives—as with the Spanish navaja, the Opinel, and the Buck 110 Folding Hunter[citation needed]—significantly increased the utility of such knives when employed for heavy-duty tasks such as preparing game or cutting through dense or tough materials.

n British, Australian and New Zealand English, along with Dutch and Austrian German, a utility knife frequently used in the construction industry is known as a Stanley knife.[2] This name is a genericised trademark named after Stanley Works, a manufacturer of such knives.[3] In Israel and Switzerland, these knives are known as Japanese knives. In Brazil they are known as estiletes or cortadores Olfa (the latter, being another genericised trademark).[citation needed] In Portugal and Canada they are also known as X-Acto (yet another genericised trademark). In the Philippines, France, Italy, and Egypt, they are simply called cutter.[citation needed] In general Spanish, they are known as cortaplumas (penknife, when it comes to folding blades);[citation needed] in Spain, Mexico, and Costa Rica, they are colloquially known as cutters; and in Uruguay the segmented fixed-blade knives are known as "trinchetas".[citation needed] Other names for the tool are box cutter or boxcutter, razor blade knife, razor knife, carpet knife, pen knife, stationery knife, sheetrock knife, or drywall knife. Some of these names refer to a different kind of knife depending on the region. For example, in the mid-Atlantic US,[citation needed] the X-Acto name is likelier to evoke only a specific subset of these knives (the pencil-shaped hobby knife), which may explain why the "utility knife" name, with its specificity, is more common there for the larger type. Also, in this region, "box cutter" usually evokes only a specific subset of these knives (the simpler type whose body consists only of a flat sleeve stamped from sheet steel), and "pen knife" usually evokes only a folding pocket knife.