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Zibra Open It!

Everybody hates clamshell packaging, and with the holiday season fast approaching we’re going to see a lot of it shortly. Many companies market tools make opening this viscious packaging easier, but Zibra’s Open It! has me intrigued.

The Open it! is more diagonal cutter than scissors, delivering the leverage to cut through those nasty clamshell packages — and to snip strapping, too. Built in to one of its handles is a retractable utility knife for cutting boxes and slicing through DVD packaging. And for opening battery compartments and minor assembly, the other handle hides a built in screwdriver with interchangeable Phillips and slotted heads.

The Open It! sells for about $12 at Amazon, Target, Walgreens, and other stores, so it’s a tempting buy right now. But is this $12 tool the solution to my clamshell woes, or is this a piece of junk that belongs only in As Seen On TV store?

More specifically, have you tried one? And if it sucks, can you recommend a good one? Let us know in comments.

Open It! [Manufacturer]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]


13 Responses to Hot or Not? A Cure For Wrap Rage

  1. scote says:

    I’m going to pass on a pair of sheers that has a knife in the handle that telescopes out towards your hand…

  2. Tom says:

    Actually the knife is pretty safe, we have a pair of these and they are great for opening those sealed plastic packs small electronics come in. For $12 I vote reasonable buy


  3. Chris says:

    The openx one is supposed to be pretty good. Its got a little blade on the bottom that you use to make a starter hole and then you retract it and stick the tip in that hole and just slide it forward, and the recessed blade safely cuts through the plastic. Ive never used either, but it looks easy enough.

    Personally when i have one of those clamshell packs and no scissors i just bend the plastic back and forth a bunch of times and it turns white and eventually breaks open.

  4. I second the OpenX recommendation; I got one for close to nothing on eBay (must have been confiscated in an airport or something) and it works well enough.

    If you want a scissor-y thing and have committed to spending $US10+, though, you might as well go to the discount store and get a pair of Chinese tin snips. Unlike the OpenX, they’ll be able to cut a practically infinite amount of plastic without going blunt.

    I note that OpenX have added a couple of other cutters to their lineup, too, including some pretty funky looking multipurpose scissors:

    Personally, I’m waiting for a knock-off of the Swissors…
    …to turn up. They look pretty fantastic, but cost about as much as a decent oxy-acetylene torch, which I’m pretty sure will cut stuff even better.

  5. Eric Dykstra says:

    I’m a big fan of paramedic type scissors for opening blister packs.

    here’s a pic: http://tinyurl.com/377rxd

    they’ll cut just about anything and i got mine at the MIT Flea for 2 bucks.

  6. Brau says:

    I’ll have to second [scote] as a knife oriented backward in the handle is a recipe for eventual disaster. Not!

  7. Greg! says:

    I have the ‘open-x’ and the ‘Open It!’, and I think the ‘Open It!’ is vastly superior. As to the concerns about the blade, it just looks dangerous in the photos. In reality, you have to push (and hold) the button on the lever as you slide the blade out and it’s spring loaded to automatically retract.

    My only criticism would be the screwdriver, which seems a bit flimsy.

    I really like mine. So much so, in fact, that I bought several more for Christmas gifts.

  8. Zathrus says:

    I just use a box cutter; never had a problem, and haven’t sliced myself yet (knock on wood).

    And yes, I have small kids around the house — we keep the cutters well out of reach.

  9. mac says:

    I have a pair of Fiskars shears/scissors that just glide right through the plastic. The handles are spring loaded so it makes quick work of most clam shells. It is similar to their current softouch line.

    The more functions you try to add to a tool, the less it does any of them well.

  10. Joe says:

    I just use a set of aviation snips.

  11. Yelkeew says:

    I bought a pair from Home Depot around this time last year. They are well worth the $10 I paid. They make short work of clamshell packaging.

  12. scote says:

    “The openx one is supposed to be pretty good. “

    I bought four of them to give out for gifts a few years ago. When they arrived they were too dull to open an envelope let alone a blister pack–and I almost cut myself on the “starter” knife that pops unexpectedly from below. I pictured my relatives trying to use OpenX to open blister packs on their laps with the starter knife and cutting themselves in bad places so I threw all four OpenXs in the trash rather than let someone get cut.

    A big, big Wrath of Khan “Nooooooooooo!” for OpenX.

    I now use a pair of Fiskars spring sheers for blister packs. Way better than OpenX.

  13. Kris says:

    I have the one shown – the Zibra Open-it. It works very well for opening those plastic packages. What makes them superior to scissors or shears is the offset blades – the handle does not get in the way of the cuttings when you take more than one cut.

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