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My Nifty Xacto Knife Set Works in my Art Studio

Updated on November 10, 2013

Give me a tool and I'll do something with it!

First of all I'm ripe and ready for sets of useful tools - screwdrivers, of course, and also sewing machine feet like my Bernina Walking Foot, hammer-style punches, ceramic tools, and scads of Xacto blades.

My Xacto Knife Set has a prominent spot in my art studio, and that's because it's packed up in that super handy wooden case. The compact case is easy to stick in a tool drawer or to open on top of one of my worktables.

I bought the Basic Set because

it's easily portable, I picked up one at the college store. Back then the set was often a resident in my backpack, moving easily from my university home to my graduate student art studio.

Often I work in mixed media collage and find several of the blades indispensable in trimming and cutting small bits of paper, foam core, or even fabric pieces.

First off I used the super slanted tip because the fine point so easily lifts a very flat sheet of paper without crumpling it. And poking a tiny hole through which to thread a silk thread is simple. Of course I have special hole punches that I love, but if I'm just doing an occasional hole I'll use an Xacto blade.

I often tear collage papers, but when

I want a tight fine line I grab the Xacto. I find the curved blades handy for making curved and swerving lines. They also make useful slicing and scraping tools. If a drop of glue hardens on a special paper I may be able to lift it without splitting the surface.

Many times I've cut out a precise shape

from a piece of lightweight fabric, to fit a special spot on a collage, using Xacto. And to cut a stencil from a piece of wide tape is a snap.

Since I also use found objects like

electrical wire in my artworks it's not unusual for me to use an Xacto blade to slit the colored insulation on the individual electrical wires inside 110 volt housing electric cables.

Yes, when I wired the new house, I had a special wire-stripping tool and another plier designed to do the whole cutting and stripping job, but for my artwork I grab one of the blades.

My Basic Set is not my only Xacto set, but it's been with me the longest!

OLFA 24" x 36" Double-Sided, Self-Healing Rotary Mat
OLFA 24" x 36" Double-Sided, Self-Healing Rotary Mat

This is one of my craft mats I bought for sewing but it's actually used most often in my art studio. It's been faithfully serving me for over a decade.

X-acto X602 Blades 100 Pack
X-acto X602 Blades 100 Pack

This is the blade I find most versatile and it's a savings to buy in bulk.

Collage Detail Leslie Sinclair
Collage Detail Leslie Sinclair

Do you have or use or want an Xacto Knife Set like mine?

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    • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @sousababy: Yes, I find the cutting mats to be remarkably useful to extend the lives of the blades and save the table and countertops.

    • sousababy profile image


      5 years ago

      These knives are useful for so many things - and I'm glad you included some cutting mats (makes a world of difference for someone like me).


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