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The Best Exacto Knives for Miniature Crafting: Nerdmire Recommends

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Whether you're crafting miniatures, shaping terrain, or dioramas, Exacto knives shine as the unsung heroes. These tools allow for adding minute details and making paper-thin precise cuts. They're an absolute must-have as a crafter. Exacto knives, also known as "hobby knives," are precision cutting tools that excel at detailed tasks in various creative fields like crafting, modeling, and woodworking. They consist of a slender, sharp blade connected to a handle and are available in different shapes and sizes to suit specific cutting needs.

A notable feature of exacto knives is the ease with which their blades can be swapped out. This allows for uninterrupted precision by replacing dull or damaged blades with fresh ones. This functionality enhances the tool's longevity and ensures consistent cutting performance, making it a valuable asset for intricate projects.

But did you know that different blade sizes have different shapes, strengths, and uses? While we recommend blade No. 11, here's a bit more insight as to what each type of blade can do.

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Types of Exacto Knife Blades

Exacto knives come with a variety of blade sizes, and the choice depends on the task you're on, the material you're cutting, and the level of precision you need. Here's an overview of common blade sizes and their typical uses:

  1. No. 11 Blade: This is one of the most commonly used blade sizes. Its fine point is perfect for delicate and intricate cutting tasks. It's ideal for precision cuts, scoring paper, and cutting thin materials like paper, cardstock, and lightweight fabrics.

  2. No. 10 Blade: Slightly larger than the No. 11 blade, the No. 10 is still suitable for detailed work, but its broader shape makes it a bit more versatile for cutting thicker materials, including balsa wood and medium-weight fabrics.

  3. No. 16 Blade: The No. 16 blade features a curved edge, making it great for cutting curves and circles. It's commonly used for trimming decals, curves in paper, and more complex shapes.

  4. No. 17 Blade: The No. 17 blade has a chisel-like edge, allowing for precise straight cuts. It's often used for tasks that require controlled slicing, such as trimming tape or making shallow cuts in heavier materials.

  5. No. 18 Blade: This blade has a wider, squared-off tip, making it suitable for general cutting tasks. It's commonly used for trimming, shaping, and cutting heavier materials like wood, plastic, and foam.

  6. No. 22 Blade: The No. 22 blade has a larger curved edge, making it ideal for cutting larger curves and intricate shapes. It's commonly used for tasks like cutting mats for framing and other tasks requiring precision curves.

  7. No. 24 Blade: The No. 24 blade features a straight edge with a small notch, making it suitable for cutting thicker materials like leather and heavy fabric.


The Xacto X3001 Razor Knife combines classic design with precision cutting. Its No. 11 blade effortlessly creates intricate details, making it a staple for model-making and fine arts. The ergonomic handle ensures comfortable control, while the pack comes with replacement blades for prolonged use. However, the blade-changing process may require extra care.


The X-Acto #1 Precision Knife from the Z-Series is a testament to craftsmanship. Its fine-point blade caters to delicate tasks, while the safety cap ensures secure storage. This tool excels in providing precision for paper crafting and other intricate projects. On the flip side, the blade replacement process may take a bit of getting used to.


The Nicpro 123 PCS Exacto Knife Set delivers a versatile ensemble for crafting enthusiasts. With three Hobby Knife Pencil #1 handles and a whopping 120 blades, it offers an array of options for diverse projects. The ergonomic handles enhance comfort during extended use.


The X-ACTO X-Life #11 Classic Fine Point Blades come in a bulk pack, ensuring you're equipped for the long haul. These fine point blades handle intricate cuts with ease, making them ideal for various applications.


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