Multi-Purposeness of a Utility Knife: Where to Use and How to Use It


A utility or pocket knife is a great little multi-purpose tool to have at your disposal and can be used in various places. You can buy a pocket knife to keep one around the home, in the car or garage, and possibly even at your workplace is just an all-around good idea. Here are some creative ways to utilize the utility or pocket knife just about anywhere life takes you. 

On the Job

Kitchen with white kitchen cabinet and flowers on kitchen table
Used with permission of Andrea West Design

If you work in a warehouse or distribution facility, you likely already know how valuable having a utility knife at work can be. However, utility knives are not just for people within these specific industries. Here are some ideas for how this tool can be used in a variety of ways in several other professions:

  • General construction: Removing old calk or grout; trimming carpet or vinyl sheet flooring; scoring vinyl tile, sheetrock, or foam insulation board; marking wood for cuts or notches; and opening material packaging.
  • Automotive shop: Scraping corrosion off battery terminals; cutting out old or worn hoses; stripping wires; removing outdated oil change or inspection stickers; trimming fabric or plastic components for a custom fit; and opening parts packaging.
  • Grocery or retail: Opening cartons or boxes when restocking items;  removing old price stickers from products or shelving; scraping glue and other residue from display cases; trimming signage; and breaking down boxes.
  • Electrician: Stripping electrical wires; cutting sheetrock openings to fit electrical boxes; removing paint or caulk to access wall plates or electrical access panels; cutting excess wiring; and opening product or parts packaging.
  • Lawn care or landscaping: Cutting sod; trimming landscape fabric; stripping low voltage landscape lighting wires; opening bags of mulch, seed, fertilizer, or lime; cutting trimmer string; and pruning of small shrubs or bushes.
  • HVAC and plumbing: Cutting sheet metal pieces or insulation boards; trimming and stripping wires; deburring PVC pipes; sharpening marking pencils; cutting holes in sheetrock; and opening equipment and parts packaging.
  • Roofing: Trimming shingles; cutting roof underlayments or ice barrier sheeting; removing old tar, calk, or other sealants; and opening material and supply packaging.

Around the Home

Kitchen with table an bar chairs
Used with permission of Jenny Keenan

A utility knife should be considered a must-have gadget to keep in the home toolkit. Whether you own your home or just rent it, a utility knife will come in handy in so many ways. Even if you are not a do-it-yourself (DIY) person, you still might be surprised at how often you will reach for a utility knife. Here are some everyday tasks where having a tool like these utility knives can be quite beneficial:

  • Living Room: Trimming photos to fit frame sizes; marking the wall for hanging decor; removing stickers from hard surfaces; cutting loose strings from upholstery or curtains; removing debris that is wrapped around a vacuum cleaner roller; removing gun from rugs or carpeting; and cleaning trash from crevices.
  • Kitchen: Cutting fruits and vegetables; slicing hard cheeses; trimming fat or bone from meat; opening food packaging or boxes; removing seals or straps from food items; and cutting shelf paper to fit cabinets.
  • Home Office: Opening mailer packages and boxes; trimming LED accent strip lighting to size; cleaning trash from the crevices of your computer keyboard or mouse; and cutting off the mail back portions of invoices or other papers.
  • Garage: Cleanly opening bags of pet food and grilling charcoal; trimming to size weather stripping for windows and doors or replacement screens; cutting shop rags from old T-shirts; and trimming patches for repairing bicycle tires.
  • Swimming Pool: Trimming patches for vinyl pool liners and plastic inflatable toys; opening containers of pool chemicals and maintenance products; cutting plumbers tape for sealing around connections; and cutting tangled trash from pool filters or cleaning devices.
  • Craft Room: Cutting out sewing patterns; embossing rubber stamps; carving wood, soap, or candles; creating inlay designs in leather; sharpening colored pencils; trimming papers and stickers for scrapbooking; and creating distressing marks for furniture.

On the Go

Kitchen cabinet and island
Used with permission of Lisa Furey Interiors

The utility knife also makes a great everyday carry (EDC) item because it is so versatile. From outdoor activities and sports to emergencies, here are some places and ways you might use a utility knife outside of the home or workplace:

  • In the car: Cutting off a seatbelt in case of an auto accident; opening packaging before you get home; wedging a dead battery out of your car’s key fob to replace it; stripping wires to repair a faulty trailer brake; and (carefully) scratching off a lottery ticket.
  • Enjoying the outdoors: Cutting tangled fishing line; whittling a stick; adding a drainage hole to gear; descaling a fish; shaving off small pieces of kindling for a fire; trimming a rope to size; and cutting out a patch for a tent, hammock, or backpack.

No matter where life takes you, it is highly likely that you will find a use for a utility knife there. This multi-purpose tool is offered in a variety of sizes, shapes, styles, and colors. As affordable as they are, you may want to buy a few—one for each room. Thanks to for consulting on this post.


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