By February 14, 2008

Open-X Dual Bladed EZ Clam Shell knife tool review

As you know, I buy a lot of stuff. Stuff that comes in those damn “blister” packages. You know what I’m talking about: that heat-sealed, “theft-resistant,” hard-as-fuck-to-open packaging that will mangle a good pair of scissors in no time flat. My good man Stilts came to the rescue this holiday, and bought me the Open-X dual bladed EZ clam shell knife.

The Open-X concept is simple, but ingenious. You use your thumb to push a spring-loaded button down, which reveals the point of a small blade. This point pierces the adamantium armor of the blister pack. The front end of the tool looks like a crab claw, with a longer razor blade in the center. Work the bottom of the claw into the point you made with the first blade. Slide the Open-X along the package and WHAMMO, fuck blister packs!

Well, sort of. It works, mostly. But we’ll get into that in a second.

Here’s my niece, employing the first blade against a blister pack of Magic: The Gathering Cards:

The crab-claw part of the tool at work:

The Open-X works wonders on thin-skinned blister packs. It’s scary. Stab, slip, slide. I worked the crab-claw in a U shape, and my goodies fell onto the table. I found the thumb-blade so handy that I kept using it on shipping boxes instead of the more mundane X-blade knife I use for such purposes. I was very happy with the Open-X, and was set to write a review about the middle of January.

Until I tried it out on a thicker plastic shell, and it nearly stopped the Open-X cold.

I don’t remember exactly what the package was. I believe it was a package of bulk high-efficiency outdoor lights from Costco. You know, those little snow-cone looking jobbies everyone is raving about. The Open-X wasn’t sharp enough to open the package at first try. I had to exert more force than I would like to with a cutting implement, and the next thing I knew the Open-X did its thing and I was wrist-deep in extremely sharp, split plastic. Luckily I didn’t get cut, but I did have two nasty scratches down my hand and wrist.

I decided to try the Open-X out more before writing about it. I really wanted to like it, but I couldn’t recommend it if it would encourage unsafe knife handling.

Here we are, about a month later. To be honest, I’ve been reluctant to use the Open-X on really tough packages, and that’s when you need the nifty tool the most. I’ve gone back to using scissors to cut open thicker blister packaging.

I was going to originally write about wearing the Open-X out from too much use. The blades don’t appear to be replaceable, and even if they were I don’t think the piercing blade is a standard size anyway. I don’t think wearing the blades out will really be an issue, because I can’t see using the Open-X on anything but packing tape in the near future.

For $5 before shipping from ThinkGeek, you might want to give it a try, especially if you’re ordering something else from them, such as the wondrous Aerobie AeroPress. You might find the Open-X EZ Clam shell knife handy, but please be careful when you use it.

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1 Comment on "Open-X Dual Bladed EZ Clam Shell knife tool review"

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  1. Bea K says:

    So, is that a ‘thumbs-up’ or ‘thumbs-down’ on buying the product, as I’m getting kind of desperate, trying just about everything that I know of to open this ‘heavy-weight’ plastic. It sure would be nice for the manufacturers to ‘finally’ come up with something that would make it ‘simplier’ for us to ‘get to’ the packages that some spend a pretty good amound of money on. Thanks for the heads-up, but guess this means I might have to keep on looking for that ‘magic bullet’.