The OpenX is advertised as a tool for opening those annoying plastic packages, but I’ve found that its useful for opening just about anything. The tool is just about 7″ long and 1.5″ wide at its head. Its hard, yellow plastic case fits well in my hand, and there’s a handy keyhole on the back so you can hang it up somewhere.

There’s a hidden “piercing” blade embedded in the tool, which is exposed by pushing the retractable button. This tool is meant to pierce the plastic you’re cutting into, while the front blade, which is sandwiched between two pieces of plastic, is used to slice down the length of a package once a hole is made. Although this is the intended use, I’ve found that it’s sometimes easier to simply use the piercing blade for all cutting operations instead of switching to the “slide blade”. Both are extremely sharp, so you’ll be able to get your package or box open, no matter which blade you use. The slide blade is removable, although I’ve never felt the need to replace it even after years of use.

When it comes to safety, this tool receives top marks, since it’s nearly impossible to cut yourself, or someone else, with it. The slide blade is completely covered on both sides by the hard plastic, and recessed deep enough into the handle that it will never get close enough to cut you. The piercing blade is a bit more daunting, but the internal spring immediately retracts when no other forces oppose it, meaning that it won’t pose any threat to you after bring dropped or while being handed off to someone else.

My only complaint about the OpenX is the lack of other useful features. There’s so much space behind the blades that’s only used as a handle, and could provide a home for so much more. I imagine a small compartment for replacement blades or other accessories could be fit into the handle, and an X-acto blade meant for extended cutting would fit nicely as well.

You can purchase an OpenX on their website, or for even cheaper on Amazon.