What is a Carpet Cutter?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2019
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Carpet cutters are devices used in the process of carpet installation. Essentially, the cutter makes it possible to trim and cut the carpeting in order to ensure proper installation. There are a number of different designs for the carpet cutter, ranging from simple devices that employ a single blade to larger carpet tools that make use of multiple blades.

Perhaps the simplest design for a carpet cutter is a handheld unit that resembles a common utility knife. A cutter of this type fits easily in one hand, and sports a single blade that is retractable. When used in a carpeting job, the device is held in the hand with the blade extended. The blade is ran along the body of the carpet where the cut is required. Once the cut is completed, the blade is retracted, thus minimizing the chances of an accident.

More comprehensive versions of the carpet cutter are often employed by professionals when installing wall-to-wall carpet in a home or office. One common design includes a blade that will automatically retract when the cutter is lifted from the carpet surface. Other models make use of a series of blades that help to make sure the cut is clean and even the first time, with no need to go back over the cut in order to complete the slice.


While a carpet cutter was once made exclusively with a metal body, many today use a design that calls for hard plastics combined with stainless steel sections. The blades tend to be composed of high quality steel, and resist dulling. Many models will use replaceable blades, which makes it unnecessary to sharpen the carpet cutter blade after several uses.

The safety features found on most models of the carpet cutter include the retractable blade, a coating on the body of the device that helps to minimize slippage during use, and standard replacement blades that can be purchased at a number of retail outlets. Some models today even include infrared technology that makes it possible to follow a straight beam of light while cutting the carpeting, a feature that helps to ensure a more accurate cut.

It is possible to compare a variety of carpet cutter designs at many retail stores. Most home supply stores will carry at least a few versions, and hardware stores are also good sources for several different types of cutters. Professional grade models can be obtained at most building supply retailers, and will tend to cost more than the models offered at hardware and home supply stores.


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