X-Acto knives with #11 blades are an art, crafting, and modeling staple. But is the brand name worth it? Will a pack of Excel blades do just as well, or should you just buy the no-name brand from eBay if you want to save money?
To start off with, the Excel brand 5-pack that you buy in hobby stores has a tube to store the blades in. It’s nothing special, but it gets the job done, is clear so you can see your supply, and is flexible so it doesn’t shatter.
The blades fit securely in all hobby knife and scalpel handles that I tested, and should fit in all (unless there’s a proprietary system I don’t know about). The blades come sharp enough to cut paper, and hold their edge through cutting plastic. They dull and bend at about the same rate as X-Acto blades and can easily make it through several projects before dulling or being nicked. I’ve had no rusting yet (they come oiled), but I do keep them fairly moisture-free. The tip is “flexible” in that it doesn’t shatter and has some play (bouncing back when bent), but the point and the blade are hard enough that a single blade could take weeks of daily use (depending on the use, as plastic and metal are obviously harder than paper and cardstock).
Overall, these blades are less expensive and at least as good, if not better, than the name brand competition. They cut well, hold an edge, and resist breaking. They’re a reliable blade that is at least worth a look.