Why is everyone cutting so much cardboard?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by MBG, May 22, 2020.

Why do you cut cardboard?

  1. It's fun

    28 vote(s)
  2. I enjoy sharpening my knives

    4 vote(s)
  3. To justify buying a super steel

    10 vote(s)
  4. Some box designs are difficult to break down

    27 vote(s)
  5. I rarely cut cardboard

    88 vote(s)
  1. Pàdruig

    Pàdruig Live and Let Die Platinum Member

    Dec 1, 2016
    Though there is a practical element when referencing cardboard cutting (i.e. cutting into smaller pieces for ease of disposal, etc.), I largely just find it to be a trendy benchmark these days. "After cutting cardboard for a couple hours, my edge was in this shape or this shape..." How anyone has the time to cut as much cardboard as they say they do is quite beyond me but everyone has their own priorities and I see no reason to judge.

    I cut the tape and fold the boxes down - I keep some for reuse and the others go into the recycle bin. The tape residue cleans right off and I carry on with my day. If I had to process a lot of cardboard in the manner suggested by the edge retention testers/enthusiasts, I would simply use a box cutter. But again, different strokes and all...
    JD Bear and Prester John like this.
  2. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
  3. James Y

    James Y

    Feb 18, 1999
    I don’t always have to cut up much cardboard, but in the past I used different knives for it, just to see how they performed. One favorite of mine was a CE Spyderco Endura 3 with VG10 steel. But nowadays, if I have much cardboard to cut up, I use a Stanley utility knife/box cutter. Not because it’s fun, but because if the boxes are large/long enough to stick out of the recycle bin, they will not take it. I’ve seen guys get out of recycle collection trucks and throw cardboard onto the sidewalk if it doesn’t fit neatly down into the bin.

    As to why cardboard is such a popular testing subject, it’s because it is easy to acquire, and it can be hard on knife edges, pure and simple.

  4. fonedork

    fonedork Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Cutting cardboard seems like a contrived task to me. I rip it apart with my hands and toss it outside, then once a week I stomp it into a soggy pile and then stuff the pile into an unmolested box for the cardboard guys to collect.
  5. BitingSarcasm


    Feb 25, 2014
    With the speed that cardboard reproduces, cardboard boxes would easily out-compete humanity for habitat. It wasn't such a big problem before cardboard evolved into a symbiotic relationship with Amazon, piggybacking on its parasitic relationship with humanity's wallets. Without legions of knife-wielders to keep the cardboard in check, the days of human primacy would be truly in jeopardy.
  6. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    I usually chop with my knives. My EDC knives cut mostly tape and food in styrofoam boxes or fruits.
  7. Roy Batty

    Roy Batty Y'all can sling load DEEZ NUTS Platinum Member

    May 25, 2016
    Most people have cut cardboard at some point in their day to day tasks.. and so cardboard is a fitting test for comparing how long various steels last... its also rough and fibrous enough to wear an edge out quickly.

    I guess we could always gauge edge retention with opening envelopes and cutting steak, but that would take a very long time.

    I won’t use my anecdotes to speculate as to the needs of others... some people never have to cut a box, and some have to cut it up into little pieces, and everything in between.

    I for one value tests that use cardboard linear feet as the standard for edge retention, as it tells me what I can reasonably expect from a steel type in my normal EDC tasks... which do involve cardboard cutting, and not so much batoning through 2x4s or cutting thick rope.
    MayHemAndHaw likes this.
  8. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    :) I like to slash, stab , and throw sharp things at cardboard . o_O
  9. l1ranger

    l1ranger Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 27, 2017
    1 - I hate cardboard and want it to feel pain
    2- my wife has an amazon problem
    3 - cardboard has to be a certain size to fit in the bin
    4 - the right sized cardboard peice makes a good puzzle backer
    5 - my kid has a puzzle problem and it is enabled by my wife (see 2, above)
  10. jideta

    jideta Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 8, 2020
    you know this got me thinking...the only stuff I cut up is shrink wrap and cardboard
  11. abcdef


    Oct 28, 2005
    Cut tape, stomp box.
  12. Karl H

    Karl H

    Apr 24, 2020
    I don’t recall ever intentionally cutting cardboard.

    I cut the tape on card board boxes. In the rare event that it is not sufficient, I tear cardboard with my bare hands. Good upper body workout and saves the edges of my knives. If I did cut a lot of cardboard, I would probably get a box cutter, with disposable blades.

    I think the moral of story is that if you don’t cut a lot of hard / abrasive materials, there probably is no tangible benefit to buying high wear resistance steels. However, I think most people would appreciate high hardness, high toughness steels that can be ground thinner without chipping or rolling the edge.
    Roy Batty likes this.
  13. Roy Batty

    Roy Batty Y'all can sling load DEEZ NUTS Platinum Member

    May 25, 2016
    I look at high end steels the same way people approach cars: I’ll never drive a Porsche as fast as it can go around turns, but it’s just nice to know you can.
    ...and I guess that’s why I have s110v, M4, and maxamet.
  14. GB940Rookie

    GB940Rookie Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2016
    I cut up cardboard with a box cutter to make it smaller and fit in the trash can better. Same as crushing the milk carton or water bottles. Saves on trash bags.
    Unfortunately my town does not recycle.

    The poll needs about a half dozen other reasons.
  15. Mitchell Knives

    Mitchell Knives Knifemaker Moderator

    May 21, 2000
    I cut a decent amount of cardboard each week due to all the packages we get from Amazon.

    I use the proper tool though. :D

    Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 6.03.31 PM.png
    midnight flyer and SW-EDC like this.
  16. SW-EDC

    SW-EDC Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    Because I want to use my knife :cool:
    But yeah, I normally just cut the tape unless my blue can is really full.
    WValtakis likes this.
  17. Black Oak Bladeworks

    Black Oak Bladeworks KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 5, 2019
    I am just going to take a guess and say for most people its not that frequent of a task. I think people use it more as a benchmark for testing edge retention.
  18. Mr.Wizard


    Feb 28, 2015
    I am an Olfa convert. If like me you tend to wear the point the most a snap knife is more efficient, and faster.
    Mitchell Knives and jideta like this.
  19. jideta

    jideta Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 8, 2020
    this thread made me buy another utility knife
    oh yeah and a hundred refills
  20. colin.p


    Feb 4, 2017
    Up until recently, I used my knives to cut the sides out of heavy beef boxes. It was one of the only times I could justify carrying a $200 knife. It quickly demonstrated to me how much more important the edge geometry was, than how "super" a steel is. I have a couple of cheap Buck Vantage Selects that were great at stabbing and slicing through that double layer crap, when nice fancy ZT would just bind the cardboard up, no matter how friggin sharp it was.

    Now that I have retired from 46 years of retail store meat cutting lunacy, I find my poor knives are reduced to "toy" level and rarely cut much of anything, let alone cardboard. However, I am definitely tending to lighter knives as it is hard to carry three knives in jammie pants. Might check Walmart for suspenders.....
    marcus52AR and Mr.Wizard like this.

Share This Page