Last updated: August 13, 2021

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Although technology is becoming more advanced every day, handwritten letters or physical mail do not cease to exist, that is why letter openers are objects that, although they seem very simple, perform a task that has been fundamental for some hundreds of years, which basically consists of opening envelopes without damaging the paper inside.

Nowadays, letter openers can be commonly seen in offices, offices and even at home, as well as they can be found with quite curious designs, such as swords referring to TV series or with original carvings. Also, these utensils can be made of different types of resistant materials.

Acquiring this type of objects does not usually require a lot of previous knowledge, as their purpose is very clear, however, in order to acquire the best letter opener, you should think about certain details that can help you to facilitate the purchasing process, such as the preferred size, the material or the design you would like.




The most important

  • Practically, a letter opener is a tool that works as a specific knife to open letter envelopes, avoiding breaking the leaf inside or to cut sheets of books without tearing the page.
  • Letter openers can be found in different materials, however, the most common ones are plastic and metal. Both have metal tips and perform the same task, however, they have advantages and disadvantages over each other.
  • Choosing the letter opener that best suits your tastes and needs can be more complicated than it seems. You will need to consider important factors such as size, weight and design in order to make the best purchasing decision.

The Best Letter Opener: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about letter openers

Opening envelopes without damaging the paper inside is nowadays a very easy task. Thanks to the famous "letter openers", we have the possibility to make fine and precise cuts. Below, we will show you some sections with key information about these tools.

Achieve a precise cut with the best letter opener. Photo: Dmitry Baevskiy /123rf.com)

What is a letter opener and what are its advantages?

Basically, a letter opener is a tool that functions as a knife specifically for opening letter envelopes, avoiding tearing the blade inside, or for cutting book pages without tearing out the page.

Although physical mail is not as popular as it was a few years ago, these items are still useful. There are different types of letter openers, some have very simple or minimalist designs, while others are more elaborate or make reference to a film, sword or other popular object.

Also, letter openers can be found in different materials, the most popular being metal, wood, plastic and finer materials such as ivory. These tools have many advantages, but there is also a downside to be considered.

Advantages
  • They open envelopes without tearing the paper inside
  • They are easy to store
  • They are easy to use
  • They are easy to find
Disadvantages
  • If not used correctly, they can harm the user
  • They may not be fully ergonomic
  • Their prices can vary widely

Plastic Letter Opener + Metal Letter Opener - What should you pay attention to?

As explained above, letter openers can be found in different materials, however, the most common are plastic and metal. Both have metal tips and perform the same task, however, they have advantages and disadvantages over each other.

Plastic letter opener. A letter opener of this nature usually contains plastic only in the handle, so it tends to be quite light, economical and functional. They can be used anywhere, such as at home or at school. Moreover, their designs are usually very simple.

Metal letter opener. A metal letter opener, due to the material, tends to weigh a few grams more than one made of plastic. Its durability is much greater, as well as demonstrating elegance. The designs of these utensils tend to be more elaborate. They are ideal for the office or desk.

Plastic letter opener Metal letter opener
Materials Plastic and metal at the tip Stainless steel, aluminium, copper, silver, gold, etc.
Approximate weight 40 grams 120 grams
Approximate durability 2 years More than 10 years (sharpening the tip)
Ideal places School and home Office and office

How much does a letter opener cost?

The price of a letter opener will depend on a number of factors, including its size, the material it is made of and the brand that makes it. In other words, a high-end letter opener made of ivory or silver will cost from 1,000 MXN to 3,000 MXN, while one made of stainless steel or nickel plate will cost around 300 MXN.

Also, a low-end but no less useful letter opener made entirely of wood or plastic will cost between 80 MXN and 150 MXN, however, a wooden handle with a metal tip will probably cost around 250 MXN.

Where to buy a letter opener?

Letter openers have been widely used for hundreds of years, that's why they are well known tools all over the world. You can easily find them on different online sales sites, such as Ebay, Mercado Libre or Amazon, where you will see many models accompanied by their descriptions and prices.

You can also buy them quickly in stationery shops or shops that sell school or office products, such as Office Depot or Office Max. You can also go to a stationery store near you and they will probably have some models of letter openers.

In addition, in some department stores, such as Liverpool, Sears and Palacio de Hierro, you will be able to find these utensils, however, the variety will be reduced and the cost will most likely be higher due to the quality and authenticity of the products.

Purchasing criteria

Choosing the right letter opener to suit your tastes and needs can be more complicated than it sounds. You will need to consider important factors such as size, weight and design in order to make the best purchasing decision.

  • Size
  • Weight
  • Design

Size

The size of a letter opener will depend on the tastes and needs of the user, i.e. a person with large hands will probably need a letter opener larger than 20 centimetres in length, while a person with small hands may be better off with one that is 15 centimetres in length.

Wide letter opener. These are usually between 20 and 25 centimetres long, while the width is around 2 centimetres. These utensils are ideal for people with large hands or thick fingers. They tend to take up more space, but are not cumbersome.

Medium letter opener. This type of letter opener is ideal for people who are looking for more control over the tool. They tend to measure between 14 and 20 centimetres long by 1.5 centimetres wide. They are the most common on the market.

Reduced letter opener. Although they are less common, they are still preferred by many users because of the practicality of storage. They have an even shorter length of approximately 5 centimetres, however, their width tends to be more than 2 centimetres for a good grip.

Weight

The weight of a letter opener will be closely related to the size and material it is made of. We recommend that the weight you choose should be as light as possible, as this will make the task of opening cards quicker and easier.

Silver letter opener. As this material is a type of metal, then its weight is going to be noticeable. Normally they tend to weigh around 150 grams, however, this will vary depending on whether it is solid silver or just silver plated.

Wooden letter openers. Wood is not very heavy, so a letter opener made entirely of wood will weigh between 20 and 45 grams, while one with a metal tip and a metal handle will weigh around 140 grams.

Plastic letter opener. On the other hand, a metal-tipped letter opener with a plastic handle, which are the most common, will weigh between 40 and 80 grams. These are the least cumbersome and therefore the best sellers on the market. There are also all-plastic letter openers, which can be between 10 and 30 grams.

Ivory letter openers. Finally, a letter opener made of ivory will be even heavier than the ones discussed above. As ivory is a rather hard element, then these utensils will weigh between 130 and 200 grams depending on their size.

Design

There are many specific designs of letter openers, so we recommend that you check before you buy one, among all the existing variety. The most common letter openers are the plain ones, that is to say, their colours are usually no more than two and they do not have any kind of pattern or drawing.

There are also letter openers with very particular designs carved in ivory, which have about 3 colours or you can also find letter openers referring to series such as

Game of Thrones or popular swords in the history of mankind, which, although they may not have many colours, carry a great meaning.

(Featured image photo: pakete / pixabay.com)

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