Plastic Razor Blades
I don’t recall where I first heard about them. It feels like something I’d get from Kevin Kelly or Mark Fraunfelder. (edit: They’ve been mentioned a number of times on Cool Tools, so that’s almost certainly the source.)
Scraperite plastic razor blades are one of those things that initially seem dumb, but have turned out to be fantastically useful to have on hand.
What are they?
They’re the same shape and overall dimensions as a typical steel single-edge razor blade and made of plastic. They’re not sharp, but have a thin stiff edge. Great for scraping without risking gouges you might get with an actual razor.
Why are they?
If you’re trying to get a sticker or label off of something like a plastic jar or coated glass, a metal scraper or blade wants to scratch. These are unlikely to do any damage.
When I mop our floors I carry one of these to convince any tenacious little bits to come up off the floor. Our floors have a factory-applied, tough-as-hell UV-cured finish, but I’d still hesitate to use a metal scraper or blade on them. At least not as casually as I do these plastic blades.
A key feature – which is obvious, but didn’t occur to me at first – is that they fit into most tools or holders made for a regular razor blade.
Three other colors are available, each made from a slightly different compound for a range of characteristics. The blue ones are more resistant to edge wear and supossed to be more resistant to bleach/chlorinated chemicals. The yellow blades are less flexible, but also more brittle. The black blades are similar to the orange blades, but are marketed as a verison for “trade professionals.”
The general purpose, orange blades will put up with pretty agressive solvents. I’ve used them with acetone and the like without issue.
They’re plastic, but not necessarily single-use
I recommend finding the smallest package you can. Being made of plastic sounds like single-use, but the useful lifetime of these is often longer than I get from a metal blade. Even with regular use, I go through no more than a handful in a year.
I try to buy the largest reasonable amount of things in the interest of value and efficiency. It seems I bought a box of 100, so I’ll probably have these on hand until I die.
Related meta recommendations: Cool Tools and Recommendo
Cool Tools has turned me on to so many neat things over the years and deserves a mention regardless. Go subscribe to Recommendo if it looks like your thing. It’s one of my favorite regular weekly newslettery things.