CNCing An X-Acto Knife Holder

X-acto knives are popular as the scalpel of the craft world. Obviously, holders for the blades are available off-the-shelf, but you needn’t settle for store bought. [Ariel Yahni] set about making an X-acto handle of their own, and it shows just how quick and easy making your own tools can be.

The blades are first measured to determine the appropriate dimensions for the holder. With this done, the basic shape of the handle is drawn up in CAD software using simple primitive shapes and lines. Then it’s just a simple matter of jigging up a piece of aluminium stock in the CNC machine, and letting it do its thing.

The final result needs minimal finishing – primarily just an inspection of the parts, minor deburring and the drilling and tapping of the mount holes. With a couple of socket head cap screws and an X-acto blade installed, it’s ready for work.

We see a lot of interesting tool builds around these parts. You might consider making your own ultrasonic cutter if you’re regularly finishing 3D printed parts. Video after the break.


22 thoughts on “CNCing An X-Acto Knife Holder

      1. I shaped it for cutting leather. It feels much more precise and comfortable as i apply pressure with my index and thumb when cutting curves or arcs specifically. Scalpels are to thing and round holders did not provide the same experience for me :)

    1. Given the etymology of the original (ergon (“work”) + economic) the best antonym might be apotynomic (apotyncháno (“fail”) + economic), but “economy airline seat” will do.

  1. All the x-acto handles I have are the kind that loosen if you apply a twisting motion, so one of the first things I printed with PLA was a holder like this…it’s just a cylinder that slides over the end of a bit of rigid copper tubing (super glued). one of the most valuable things i’ve ever printed! and i do find it pretty ergonomic even though it looks kind of funny.

    can we do links here?

  2. Round handles can be held at any angle. Ever deburr a round hole rotating as you go without that freedom? Clumsy. That is the word needed here. The absolute junk is the plastic thread collets from China. Tighten one and it breaks off, trash. The good ones rarely come loose on me. A gentle tightening with a curved jaw pliers does it. Hands alone, meh.

    I turned an oval head machine screw of the right thread size in to a collet by cutting the slot deep enough to take a blade with a thin hacksaw blade. Works great and has for years. There is your repair if one of those blue plastic things fail.

    If X-acto ever does this it will be like the Weller soldering gun hollow tip nuts vs. the Allen screw junk on the end of their guns now. Dysfunctional is another word, as well as the now educator poisoned word which is the opposite of advanced.

    1. Look at scalpels that are designed for the same basic purpose and are used by professionals doing important, sensitive, work on living humans/animals. Are round handles the standard? No. Are there round handles? Yes.
      Almost like what’s clumsy depends on the task.

    2. “Dysfunctional is another word, as well as the now educator poisoned word which is the opposite of advanced.”

      Can you elaborate on this sentence? how do you feel the world is poisoned by educators? Which educators specifically are you talking about?

      I mean aside from the worst possible generalization possible, you fail to explain the ideology that your generalization is using to poison the world. It is statements like that which ruin any other point that you may have had as it comes across as if you are a grumpy old person yelling at people to get off your lawn.

      1. “word” not “world”

        The opposite of “advanced” is “retarded.”
        I believe the point was that the word “retarded” now carries a social stigma that makes the word troublesome for lots of applications that have nothing to do with a person’s mental development.

        Not that I’m claiming to agree with the point, I just see the misunderstanding. :-)

  3. I’ve got some nice and very cheap round metal holders. Never had a problem with them coming loose. Not the most ergonomic though, and sometimes their ability to rotate in your had is a pain.

  4. Has anyone modified their CNC to perform like a CriCut or made an open source equivalent?

    Seems like a great option to have if you cut vinyl, leather, fabric, stencils and even looks like some cut thin metal too.

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