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#11 Blades
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Author:  ridetheory [ Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:17 pm ]
Post subject:  #11 Blades

I've quit buying X-Acto brand #11 blades. I'd like to remain brand loyal after decades of card modelling, but I just can't buy them anymore. Five or more years ago, the tips started snapping off as I cut, and I seriously doubt it's due to some flaw in my technique. It's got to be a manufacturing flaw. Nothing is more frustrating than having a tiny bit of metal go "P'TWANG!" and fly off who knows where. And if they didn't fly off, the X-acto tips used to break off and get stuck in the line I was cutting, which was really annoying.

I hunted online and in hobby shops for an alternative, which I knew existed, but could not, for the longest time, find. Ages ago, I had some off-brand #11 blades that were just about perfect. What I wanted was essentially a #11 blade with just a bit removed from the back of the tip, which gives it extra strength. (It's a bit like crooking your finger.)

Finally found #11 Revell brand blades with that feature at Michael's, and they're great! The tips NEVER break off, and when they get dull, I just sharpen them with a little fishhook sharpener. I bought two packs of 15 blades last August, and another pack this month when I was running low. So 30 blades lasted me about half a year, and that's pretty good compared to the rate I used to go through 'em due to breakage. I probably used a pack of 15 X-Acto blades every month.

Author:  willygoat [ Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: #11 Blades

I bought a 100 pack of Excel blades from Mark Twain hobbies on ebay 2-3 years ago. I think it was only $12. I had the same problem with X-Acto blades breaking. I have broken a few Excel blades, but only when cutting through REALLY heavy or dense cardboard with way to much force on much too sharp of a curve and angle. For normal cutting, I can usually get at least two models done without needing to sharpen them.

Author:  ridetheory [ Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: #11 Blades

willygoat wrote:
For normal cutting, I can usually get at least two models done without needing to sharpen them.


I tend to build really elaborate models of buildings, and I guess I sharpen three or four times per building. Depends if I start out with a new blade or not.

I learned that having a little strip of scrap leather nearby helps, because I can strop the blade two or three times after sharpening, and that brings the edge back nicely.

Still, they eventually die, and I'm okay with that. Knife sharpening is a whole separate hobby for some guys, and I'm just not all that into it for what's supposed to be a disposable blade anyway. I'm just cheap and I like getting some extra mileage out of the blades.

Here's a link on the Revell site to the blades I like.

Author:  Wad_Cutter [ Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: #11 Blades

Have you ever tried OLFA blades?
Olfa Blades – Replacement Snap-off - # A1160B
OLFA KB4-S/5 Replacement Blade 5 Pack
These cut for a long time and yes I have sharpened mine too but it doesn't last as long and is never as good as a fresh blade. But, to each there own. wc

Author:  ridetheory [ Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: #11 Blades

Wad_Cutter wrote:
Have you ever tried OLFA blades?


I have one tool with snap-off blades -- an OLFA circle cutter. The replacement blades all come in one long strip, and you have to snap them apart. It makes me nervous every single time I do it. I have a phobia of shards of metal flying through the air. It's never happened, but I worry it will. I'm about ten times more fearful of that than I am when I change my double-edged razor blade when I shave, and I've actually cut myself with that.

Author:  Wad_Cutter [ Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: #11 Blades

Use a pair of pliers your comfortable with that keeps your hand far away and free. That's what I do.

Author:  ridetheory [ Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: #11 Blades

Wad_Cutter wrote:
Use a pair of pliers your comfortable with that keeps your hand far away and free. That's what I do.


Oh, I use plyers, safety glasses... the lot.

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