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The Perfect Gift : : Clamshell Plastic Package Opener Tool

Updated on September 17, 2013

Are your holidays ruined by Clamshell plastic packaging that is impossible to open and downright dangerous?

I finally found the perfect tool to open hard plastic packaging safely!

I absolutely hate the heavy clamshell packaging that seems to encapsulate everything these days. It's not just difficult and frustrating, but dangerous as well. Once I finally am able to somehow break into the package, I often get cut on the jagged-edged, razor-sharp heavy plastic left behind. This is especially dangerous for children and the fragile elderly. It's beyond frustrating and impossible for anyone with arthritis.

The good news is that some retailers are listening and attacking this problem with new (shouldn't that be old?) frustration-free packaging. The bad news is that they have a long way to go to really solve the problem.

In the meantime, there are tips and solutions to help you break through that packing bubble in a safe way.

My Favorite Clamshell Tool - The Plastic Surgeon

I discovered this tool last Christmas and quickly went back for 20 of them to give as stocking gifts. The Plastic Surgeon makes it quick and easy to get through that plastic. But you still need to be careful when using it, and you still need to stay clear of any sharp plastic edges left behind.

HOW IT WORKS

The Plastic Surgeon has a very sharp point that is protected with a plastic safety cover. It's sort of like a giant seam ripper, for those of you who sew. You use it by raising the safety cover of the tool with your index finger, and inserting the sharp point to puncture the clamshell/blister/bubble. Then you just push the blade through the plastic to cleanly cut a path around the base of the bubble. This way you completely free the product from the packaging. I was amazed at how well it did the job, and I found many more uses for the tool as well.

Plastic Surgeon 44500 Plastic Package Opener, Red and Black
Plastic Surgeon 44500 Plastic Package Opener, Red and Black

Of all the clamshell / plastic bubble / blister pack tools on the market, this is my favorite and easiest to use solution.

 

Other Clamshell Container Tools Worth Trying

Just What is Wrap Rage?

Wrap rage, also called package rage, is a phrase coined to describe the anger and frustration people experience when confronted with hard-to-remove packaging, particularly heat sealed plastic blister packs and clamshells. Consumers suffer thousands of injuries per year, including cuts and sprains, from trying to open these packages and from a variety of unsafe tools recruited to do the job.

Technology is being invented to make these systems easier to open, such as the one pictured here. The downside is that they're even more expensive. Why make an already expensive package even more expensive? Dump the unsafe and frustrating packaging, go back to uncomplicated packaging, and find other ways to display items at risk for heightened shoplifting. How can this hard plastic packaging be good for the environment, anyway?

Amazon's Campaign for Frustration-Free Packaging

Part of Amazon's Green initiative

Amazon.com has teamed up with Fisher-Price, Mattel and others to offer some best-selling items in Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging, a recyclable, easy-to-open alternative to traditional packaging. A Frustration-Free Package comes without excess packaging materials such as wire ties, hard plastic "clamshell" casings, and plastic bindings. It's designed to be opened without the use of a box cutter or knife and will protect your product just as well as traditional packaging during shipping. The Frustration-Free Packaging on these items saves on 4-color printing and minimizes the use of PVC windows, blister packs, fasteners, and 4-color inserts. Bonus!! These items ship in their own boxes, without the need for an additional shipping box.

The new packaging is less than exciting with the traditional Amazon look.

The new packaging is less than exciting with the traditional Amazon look.
The new packaging is less than exciting with the traditional Amazon look.

You aren't the only one frustrated by packaging!

Articles with suggestions, rants about clamshell packaging

Have you been a victim of wrap rage?

See results

So, what do you think?

There's already been some debate about Amazon's new packaging. (Raging of a different kind. :-) Some don't like that you can't see the toy on the outside of the box; some are willing to give up anything just to make it easier to get the toy out of the box.

What's more important - the look or the ease of opening?

Some Items at Amazon with Frustration-Free Packaging

Below are some examples of partnerships with Amazon for easy-to-open packaging.

Fisher-Price Imaginext Adventures Pirate Ship

Fisher-Price Imaginext Adventures Pirate Ship
Fisher-Price Imaginext Adventures Pirate Ship

# The Imaginext Adventures Pirate Ship Playset comes with two figures, separate helmets and swords, 2 flags, treasure chest with treasure pieces, and a working triple cannon

# Imagine sailing through uncharted waters as the captain of your very own pirate ship

# Place any of the pirate figures on the action points throughout the ship for extra action

# Host a gut-wrenching sword duel, shoot the cannon, drop the anchor, or extend the plank

 

Fisher-Price Amazing Animals Sing and Go Choo-Choo

Fisher-Price Amazing Animals Sing and Go Choo-Choo
Fisher-Price Amazing Animals Sing and Go Choo-Choo

# Musical choo-choo train with baby animals lights up and plays catchy songs

# Animals have movable joints, textured feet, and teethable ears

# Train lights up and each car has unique feature to keep little ones busy

 

Look how much simpler the packaging is!!!

Look how much simpler the packaging is!!!
Look how much simpler the packaging is!!!

Matchbox Mega Rig Space Shuttle

Matchbox Mega Rig Space Shuttle [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]
Matchbox Mega Rig Space Shuttle [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]

# Starts as one gigantic space ship and then becomes into thirty separate super-cool space vehicles

# Provides hours of fun and imaginative interplanetary adventure

# Lots of really cool accessories, like a space arm to grab things, an ATV and a UFO with a space alien inside

 

Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera Blue

Fisher-Price Kid - Tough Digital Camera Blue [Amazon Frustration - Free Packaging]
Fisher-Price Kid - Tough Digital Camera Blue [Amazon Frustration - Free Packaging]

# The award-winning and best-selling kid tough digital camera was the first preschool appropriate digital camera.

# The camera also maintains its easy-to-use format and simple buttons.

# Featuring a 1.5" color LCD preview screen which allows kids to instantly see the picture they have taken.

 

Polly Pocket Ultimate Party Boat Playset

Polly Pocket Ultimate Party Boat Playset [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]
Polly Pocket Ultimate Party Boat Playset [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]

# So Hip Cruise Ship comes with three of Polly Pocket's fab friends: Lila, Lea, and Rick

# It's the biggest Polly Pocket playset ever, with tons of fun-filled activities, including rock climbing and parasailing

# Polly's pals can change up their vacation looks with their color change bathing suits

 

BARBIE Party Cruise

BARBIE Party Cruise
BARBIE Party Cruise

# BARBIE Party Cruise and play on this luxurious getaway

# Folds open the water slide and make a splash in the Poolcuzzi

# Set up the rotating buffet with aquarium and luxurious suite for Barbie doll to relax in

 

Transcend TS4GSDHC6E 4 GB SDHC Card

8 GB and 16 GB sizes also available with frustration-free packaging.

Transcend 4 GB Class 6 SDHC Flash Memory Card TS4GSDHC6E
Transcend 4 GB Class 6 SDHC Flash Memory Card TS4GSDHC6E

# Storage Capacity - 4 GB

# Technology - Secure Digital High-Capacity(SDHC)

# Compatible with all SDHC-labeled host devices (not compatible with standard SD)

# Manufacturer Warranty - 2 Years

 
Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000 - Slate [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]
Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000 - Slate [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]

# High-definition optical technology with 1000 dpi for precise, responsive, and smooth tracking

# Use the snap-in receiver to turn off the mouse and save battery life

# More than 6 months of battery life

# Designed for comfort with soft rubber side grips and finger grooves

 

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