When Liberating Your Sony Headphones From Their Plastic Shell, Be Careful Not To Stab Yourself With An X-Acto Knife


My colleague came to work waving around a new pair of Sony headphone’s he’d bought on the way over, still new in the blister plastic packaging. He was excited because he got such a good deal on them, and tried cutting through the package with a pair of heavy duty scissors. The plastic was unusually strong and was resisting even our most well made scissors (we work in a printing facility, and have lots of types of scissors, all high quality). He switched to the x-acto knife after the scissors were unable to pierce the thick bonded plastic.

We also use these knives regularly and have never had an accident. Well the plastic was so strong he needed to apply a large amount of force to the blade, which caused his hand to slip toward his body and into his abdomen. The cut was deep and he bled through his shirt; we found gauze in the first aid kit and dressed the wound using sterile wipes and pads until he was cleaned up enough to go to the emergency room. I had to use the x-acto knife again to open the package all the way, and it took me nearly ten minutes of precise, careful cuts to get the headphones out, and I use these knives almost every day as part of my various craft hobbies. I literally had to slice all the way around the perimeter of the package, and that was not easy. I doubt somone without a lot of cutting experience could ever have opened this package safely.

This is not a directed complaint toward Sony specifically, but to all manufacturers to make your packaging reasonably easy to open for customers that spent money on your products. More directly, you should be able to open any package with a pair of scissors in a minute or less. If not, your packaging becomes hazardous by causing people to resort to sharper utensils like knives and rasors. My colleage is recovering well and does not plan to pursue a lawsuit.

We are not surprised. Liberating consumer electronics from their protective armor can be a Sisyphean struggle. Fortified enclosures help retailers by deterring theft and making products easier to ship, but rob consumers of their ability to delightedly tear open a present. Retailers should develop a better way to cocoon their products, one that discourages consumers from accidently stabbing themselves.

http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/phonespackage-thumb.jpg?w=478&h=318


http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/knife-thumb.jpg?w=478&h=318


http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/shirtcut-thumb.jpg?w=478&h=318

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. j03m0mma says:

    Are you kidding me? How about don’t be stupid and cut towards yourself with a sharp object, always cut away from yourself. 1st thing my dad taught me when I handled a knife.

  2. acambras says:

    Ouch!

  3. winnabago says:

    Not pursuing a lawsuit? That is remarkable! In the United States???

  4. juri squared says:

    This is why one should always, always cut going away from the body instead of towards it.

    It doesn’t change the fact that I still manage to stab myself with either a sharp piece of the plastic packaging or the knife every time I open one of those blasted things.

  5. hc5duke says:

    While I understand some of these packages are sturdier than necessary, you should never cut towards yourself (or towards your coworker either for that matter). Also, I’m not sure what kind of heavy-duty scissors they used, but most decent pair of scissors would have been better than this flimsy knife. Even if the guy were cutting away from himself, the blade could have easily broken, and things could have gotten a LOT worse. They should have used a box cutter, as this was clearly not what an x-acto knives were meant for

  6. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    You have got to be kidding.

  7. shiny says:

    This is precisely why I support legislation to make it mandatory for all passengers and crew members to encase themselves in blister plastic packaging for the duration of the flight. It would mean being able to take our toenail clippers with us again!

  8. Wormfather says:

    Sometimes, every now and then, someone just feels too stupid to file suit.

    But at the same time, god I hate getting into those plastic pacages. “You want these headphones? Huh? Well you’re going to have to eeeeeaaaarn it.”

  9. CreativeLinks says:

    I believe there is a special place in Hell for people who distribute thier products in Clamshell packages.

  10. ellmar says:

    “Not pursuing a lawsuit? That is remarkable! In the United States???”

    One suspects that someone who spells the word “razor” with an “S” instead of a “Z” is in fact Canadian. No?

  11. amazon says:

    It’s not always best to cut away from your body.
    Better you stab yourself than someone else.

  12. hc5duke says:

    @amazon: What if I’m standing next to the guy who designed the damn thing?

  13. etinterrapax says:

    Consumer Reports did a thing on this not too long ago, as I recall. I’ve yet to find the package that won’t yield to my big EMT scissors (they carry them to cut through seat belts, and they’re also the sort that used to be advertised on TV as being able to cut through a penny), but the sharp edges of the package are just about as deadly. It’s just getting insane, what they’ll do with all the damn packaging. I’d prefer a box.

  14. hc5duke says:

    @ellmar: no, most likely a typo. [www.m-w.com]

  15. dancemonkey says:

    Not for nothing, but I second the comments about not cutting towards yourself. That’s blade-handling 101.

    Then we see the blade in question: indeed, it’s an x-acto knife, which is primarily for delicate, deliberate cutting (or “for precision cutting and trimming” according to their website). I would say he’s lucky the blade didn’t snap, except that may have been preferable in this case. Get a damn box cutter.

    That doesn’t excuse the packaging: I shouldn’t NEED a box cutter to open my headphones. At the very least I may cut the cord! But still, he claims to use these knives regularly yet he’s cutting towards himself with a blade unsuited for the job?

  16. pine22 says:

    well geez, i dont think ive ever had to resort to an exacto knife to open one of those plastic containters. usually if i can cut through where the plastic is sealed along the outside, i can just rip the packaging off with my hands.

  17. Ausoleil says:

    Reason that this sort of packaging is used is ostensibly to reduce shrinkage.

    Looks to me like this fellow was a mere 12-15 inches from having another kind of shrinkage. Seriously though, one can do some serious damage to themself or worse someone else, all to (supposedly) deter shoplifting?

    There has to be a better way.

  18. foghat81 says:

    while it was stupidity, i do feel about 95% of those blister packs are WAY too “secure”/hard to open. It should be such an ordeal.

    and yes, NEVER cut towards yourself! geez. they teach that in first grade, don’t they?!

  19. DeeJayQueue says:

    -Isn’t there an annual thing called the Oyster Awards given out to companies whose packaging is notoriously hard to get into?

    -If you work for a printing company, why didn’t you just put the package in the hydraulic paper cutter?

    I’m a fan of the lexan clamshells we use at my Job#2 that we keep the printer ink and flash drives in. We take them off when a customer buys the thing and after that they’re free to open the item however they wish. These work out great because there’s less waste for the consumer and the environment(the bulky plastic boxes get reused over and over instead of getting thrown away) and still gives a sense of security. Plus, though I hate the system immensely, there’s the added benefit of the boxes being fitted with a copper coil so that it trips the alarm every time and can’t be deactivated.

  20. jydesign says:

    I have kids, I have to open a lot of those. I absolutely hate them. Don’t ever use exacto knifes for anything but cutting paper with a metal ruler and even then be super careful. Wire snippers, big arse scissors, or tin snips should be used and then you have to dodge the plastic shards which will cut you too…

  21. LionelEHutz says:

    I hate the plastic packaging on electronics because it just seems like overkill.

  22. cde says:

    Work in a printshop, eh? Why didn’t they just use the big paper slicer that every shop has. You know, the kind that can cut through two reams without a problem?

  23. ptkdude says:

    I’m thinking my new hobby is going to be purchasing products in this sort of packaging, making it obvious I attempted to open the package, then return it to the store because I couldn’t get it open. What fun!

  24. Black Bellamy says:

    HEY PICTURE BOY!! PULL YOUR PANTS UP THAAAAANKS!!!1

    I don’t need to see your hairy nether regions to appreciate that you did in fact stab yourself above the waist.

  25. flackman says:

    Earlier I learned not to get into dark cars with strangers in the middle of the night. Now, I learn how NOT to stab myself with a knife. If only there was a post on how to rid myself of these disfiguring scars…

    You don’t realize how much I hate Christmas.
    Burning or cutting myself on old screw in light bulbs (Do not put them in your bed), setting the kitchen on fire with buttered rum (Do not put the bottle on the stovetop), and the pints of blood I lose opening a game controller or some sort of memory stick (Do not cover your ginsu knife with butter, no matter what you read on the interweb).

    Oh, and don’t get me started on Halloween. That pumpkin is not going to be carved with safety scissors.

    I am reminded of various Japanese electronics manuals. Those pictures are great.

    Hint: Place treasure on a flat, hard surface. Use a box cutter, one with a thumb grip so you can use reasonable pressure. Cut just inside the edge on three sides. The secret is to cut away from your already bleeding/bruised/broken body. Remove treasure.
    4. Profit.

    Consumerist: Saving lives.

  26. Nilt says:

    There has to be a better way.

    There is a better way. My wife’s 95 year old grandfather has one of these. It apparently works quite well. I, personally, still use my pocket knife.

    As others have said, never slice toward yourself with ANY sharp object. That being said, I think this should have a category of “Darwinian”. I’ve done some stupid things in my time but this is just stupid IMO.

  27. Ambience says:

    One day I was checking out at my local Office Depot, and saw this tool called an Open X. It’s got a small retractable razor blade for cutting open DVDs/CDs, and then the top is designed to be used to open the plastic cases by cutting a small opening and then running it along the periphery. It’s better and safer than just regular blades at least, since I’ve also cut my thumb once pretty badly with a knife on a plastic package.

    I just did a search to see if they still make these (got mine a few years back), looked like they do:
    [www.myopenx.com]

  28. Binaryslyder says:

    @j03m0mma: Here here! That’s “cutting things 101″

    I think it’s almost comical that a person who works around extremely sharp objects all day would be stupid enough to handle and an exact-o knife in such a reckless manor.

    “I had to use the x-acto knife again to open the package all the way, and it took me nearly ten minutes of precise, careful cuts to get the headphones out, and I use these knives almost every day as part of my various craft hobbies.”

    If you really knew what you were talking about you’d know that exact-o knives are primarily used for straight edge trimming and small minor object trimming.

    I used to work in retail and dealt with “blister packs” all the time. A box cutter would have easily made short work of it.

  29. zannadu says:

    Ouch, embarrassing accident.

    I usually scrape myself on the packaging itself, after getting frustrated chopping away with scissors for 5 minutes.

  30. Remember those Ginsu Knives they used to sell on infomercials? I had a roommate give me a set (I don’t know why) but they are AWESOME for cutting open clamshell packages.

  31. B says:

    @hc5duke: Then you should stab him or her in the neck. Whomever designed blister packaging deserves to be cut.

  32. DJShay says:

    I’ve actually gotten cuts from the plastic surrounding the product trying to get it of the blister packing. The cuts were bad enough to scar. And I wasn’t using a knife. That material could be deadly if it sliced an artery. I HATE that packaging.

  33. Pelagius says:

    Personally, I use a katana to open these things.

  34. oneswellfoop says:

    Why was he buying sony anyway? He must not keep up to date on all the crap they’ve pulled in respect to DRM and selling purposefully defective devices.

  35. lemur says:

    What characterized Sisyphus’ struggle was the fact that before Sisyphus could reach the top of the hill rolling his boulder, the boulder would roll back down and Sisyphus would have to repeat the whole thing over again. Hence his task was never complete and his struggle was constant and eternal.

    One could argue that we have to open those shells over and over again and thus it constitutes a “Sisyphean struggle”. But I think it weakens the power of the expression because if that is enough then there’s a gazillion things in life which would fall under that category. And there’s the fact that we do not spend all of our time opening shells. We can enjoy ourselves whereas Sisyphus was always involved in the same task.

    “Herculean struggle” would fit very well.

  36. @ellmar: This is true. Canadians don’t sue a whole lot.

  37. waggss says:

    Everytime I have to open one of these kinds of packages I wonder how long it’s going to take before someone sues a company over somekind of packaging related issue.

  38. rockergal says:

    oh geez, every person I know has atleast ONCE in their life cut something with the blade towards themselves. especially with that type of knife.

    and I do hate that type of packaging, there is no reason that you need a tool kit to open headphones.

  39. Shadowman615 says:

    Well, I’m glad he’s going to be OK.

    But this is really very funny to me.

  40. bohemian says:

    We have used tin snips to get into those damn things before. I have a pair of chicago cutlery heavy duty kitchen scissors that work great for opening up these stupid containers. Those scissors will also cut through chicken bones. I still have cut my hands on the plastic before.

    I have seen a few products in clamshells that were only sealed at select points of the container, they were pushed in on both sides and you just have to slice or cut through the fused spot. More places should use these.

  41. miborovsky says:

    I can never understand why blister packaging are so intentionally damn hard to open…

  42. forever_knight says:

    1. Darwin award contestant?
    2. We can do without the happy trail picture shot consumerist. Now I’m not hungry.

  43. SOhp101 says:

    This is what happens to you if you purchase Sony headphones/earphones and expect great sound quality.

  44. cde says:

    @lemur: I thought the story had to do that He had to balance it at the top, but once he got it up one side, it fell down the other side.

  45. Lula Mae Broadway says:

    @Nilt:
    Looks cool, but seriously WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO BUY MORE JUNK TO OPEN MORE JUNK?

    @CreativeLinks:

    I’m with you – they’re a menace.


    @Everyone:
    Yes, the guys a bit of a doofus, but really those packages are HORRIBLE. They’re anti-environment (I’m guessin’) and the biggest pain in the ass ever. There’s got to be a better way!

  46. Consumer-X says:

    He should sue Sony. Products liability generally follows the legal doctrine of “Strict Liability”. That means that the maker of a product (including its packaging)is liable for injuries caused by their product. The injured person does not have to prove that the manufacturer (Sony)was negligent in any way. The injured person only has to prove that they were injured buy the product.

  47. Buran says:

    @Consumer-X: Agreed. The designers of these things KNOW they are unsafe. I’m not suehappy but this has gone on for so long that only massive punitive damages from a case like this one is going to do anything to change things.

    Even though cardboard is cheap, easily opened, easily recycled, and can be printed to look just fine, these people insist on using impenetrable plastic that itself can be turned into a weapon if it becomes thick pointy shards.

    If they want to show off the product using a clamshell, make it one that can be easily opened that is contained inside a cardboard box that is sealed shut. Cut the seal, open the box, then open the plastic clamshell, then put the plastic and box into the recycle bin. Ta-dah, done. That’s not too heavy, not too dangerous, the boxes are light and can be hung or stacked on shelves as required, and best of all, NOBODY GETS HURT.

    But what do you expect from the company that installed ILLEGAL rootkits on peoples’ computers? I will likely never buy anything from Sony again because of that, and this isn’t helping.

  48. Starfury says:

    I hate this kind of packaging. I haven’t cut myself with the tool I used to open the package (scissors, utility knife, Xacto knife) but HAVE cut myself on the sharp edges of the plastic after opening the package.

    I think the creator of this kind of package should be locked in a room with food/water sealed in this kind of packaging…and no tools to open them.

  49. B says:

    @forever_knight: He didn’t neuter himself, so he doesn’t qualify.

  50. swalve says:

    Kitchen. Shears.

  51. Buran says:

    @Black Bellamy: It’s probably a stock photo. Hey, you could just scroll past it.

  52. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @DeeJayQueue: I have one of those Hydraulic cutters at my work but theres no way they would let us use it for something like this. Envisioning being called stumpy for the rest of my life… I just use a pair of tin snips to open all the clamshells I get.

  53. chrisb says:

    I hate, hate, hate those blister packs. But my issue with them goes beyond just being difficult to open… I am OCD about saving receipts, packaging, etc. so that I can return the product if it doesn’t work. Those packages are impossible to close again once you’ve ripped into them with a knife or whatever.

  54. milty45654 says:

    You use these regularly…I am suprised he hasn’t cut himself worse in the past…anyone knows when using a sharp object NOT to aim it toward yourself.
    Sometimes I do clean my gun with it facing me…CMON…think

  55. linusmines@gmail.com says:

    Related links on packaging:

    Consumer Reports Oyster Awards (Consumerist – Mar 22, 2006)

    Do Not Pry Open Until Christmas (Washington Post – Nov 30, 2006)

  56. TexasScout says:

    You can’t sue someone for your own negligence… oh snap! This is America, I forgot.

  57. cde says:

    @Nemesis_Enforcer: Well, if you don’t amputate yourself when you use it correctly with regular paper, there should be no reason you amputate yourself when you use it correctly with a package. Most of those things require both hands to be under the table away from the blade to activate them anyway.

  58. Landru says:

    I say sue. I’m sure the manufacturers are saying “well, only one in two-hundred get injured. That’s acceptable.”

  59. dwarf74 says:

    I just use a pocketknife, cut away from myself, and cut right inside the sealed part on 3 sides of the package.

    It’s not too tough… I have yet to injure anyone or damage the stuff inside.

    With that said, I think it’s asinine I should have to go through that process just to get at something I bought…

  60. Gloria says:

    @ellmar: Might be, except we don’t spell it “rasor”, since that’s just plain wrong.

  61. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @cde: Right I don’t think I said anything about using one of them myself..I don’t and I wouldn’t unless properly trained . I have seen them slice thru reams of paper without even slowing down. I was just stating that its not always possible to use a piece of equipment for your own purposes just because you have it at work..

  62. With all the recent hype about “Chinese Poison Train”, I am surprised to see no one asked if these earphones were made in China. I am sure the Chinese were behind this. Making the package to be extra tough so American consumers can slowly stab themselves to death.

    That dude deserve to be stabbed in the gut, too bad the blade was not long enough to cut off his testicles so he could not reproduce any more “packaging challenged children”.

    Should Consumerist glorify these morons by posting their stories?

    Someone please give him some rope, maybe by this friday, he would hang himself.

    [www.tian.cc]

  63. ord2fra says:

    I wish I lived in a world where I could open and use products I legally purchased without using tools. Too bad the ADA doesn’t cover this kind of thing. Or at least make the retailer accountable and have *them* open the package once purchased (and waive the subsequent “must be in original packaging” if returning).

    I don’t know what’s worse, razor blades or memory cards.

  64. EtherealStrife says:

    Something definitely has to be done about the ridiculous shells. Most of the time you *have* to cut unsafely to get the damned things open, whether it’s applying astronomical force on the blade or cutting in a direction that could lead to blood loss. And then there’s maneuvering around the razor sharp plastic edges. Like others here, the only injuries I’ve incurred while opening these were from the plastic itself and NOT from my cutting implement.

  65. mopar_man says:

    @j03m0mma:

    I’m with you. I think my dad taught me that when I was about 7 when he bought me my first pocket knife. Not once in my 17 years since have I sliced into myself.

  66. @lemur: OMG, are you my sister?!?!

    @Tian: Isn’t Sony in Japan? Therefore no comments about China.

    If you find clamshells easy to open, please share you do so. Most of us find it to be an ordeal.

  67. TehRev says:

    Guy who got injured = stupid jackass.

    They are difficult but not THAT difficult. What are you scissors made of? they must be those crayola safety ones for kindergarten

  68. @Rectilinear Propagation:

    Do you think Sony makes all their products exclusively in Japan? Have you ever checked the labels on them? Just because a company is based in Japan, does not mean they would make all their products in Japan.

  69. @Rectilinear Propagation: Do you think Sony makes all their products exclusively in Japan? Have you read some of their products’ labels?

    If you think since Sony is a Japan based company so they would make all their products in Japan, you are very naive, buddy.

  70. jrdnjstn78 says:

    I think they use this packaging to deter thief and to protect the product somewhat from damage.

    Maybe he should sue X-acto for not having a guard around the blade. I guess that’s the last time he’ll cut something open using his belly as a guard. What a dummy.

    If I was the judge in that lawsuit I’d throw it out. Too many idiots would go out and do the same thing just so they could sue bacause thye think it will be a payday for them.

  71. timmus says:

    But clamshell packaging is popular! Obviously the consumers don’t mind because only a few people are complaining. Nobody seems to be voting with their wallets. Sorry to say that I’m probably not joking.

  72. Skyoodpov says:

    Soldering irons melt through those beautifully. I have a dedicated tip for blister packs. It even leave nice dull rounded, and pleasantly warm edges.

  73. I’m sorry, but using a tiny, standard X-acto after failing with heavy-duty scissors, obviously coupled with unsafe cutting methods, is simply moronic.

    I don’t like the clamshells either, but give me a break!

  74. Peeved Guy says:

    @SOhp101: So if he had bought these expecting crappy quality, he wouldn’t have stabbed himself?

  75. kpfeif says:


    Clamshell packages suck, but the king of packaging suckitude goes to toys. Have you opened a toy lately? All of the Fisher-Price stuff (Little People stuff) we have and lot of other toys come in boxes, but the toy and each and every single part is fastened to a piece of cardboard that lines the back of the box. Sometimes they’re actually screwed to the back, meaning you have to unscrew the toy from it’s package. Crazy. Typically they use these twist ties using weird knots to fasten things to the cardboard.

    Sure, Johnny, we’re glad you’re excited to get this new toy, but it’s going to take dad 30 minutes to get it out of the packaging…then another hour to assemble it.

  76. Peeved Guy says:

    @kpfeif: I feel your pain, that is why I am armed with wire cutters every Christmas and birthday. I’ve gotten some crazy looks from party goers until I tear through the packaging in record time. I don’t even bother trying to un-twist-tie all that crap. snip,snip,snip and the kids are playing with the toys. As for the screws… yeah, those are the suck.

  77. pestie says:

    I don’t get why these blister packs are so challenging for some people. I use a “utility knife” to open these. I extend the blade just far enough to get through the plastic from various angles (1/4 to 1/2 inch), then cut maybe 3/4 of the way around the “blister.” Don’t bother trying to cut the seals – that’s the toughest, thickest part of the plastic. Just cut around the blister, fold it back, and whatever cheap bit of plastic crap is inside is now yours.

  78. @pestie: So…you don’t get why it’s difficult but you use a utility knife.
    Hmm….

  79. Sockatume says:

    “Don’t cut towards yourself, cut towards your friends.”

    My family’s preferred version of that rule.

  80. Techguy1138 says:

    This may have been a case where the shell was manufactured extra tough to open.

    The scissors used in paper shops aren’t typically good for hard objects. What ever you use to cut the nylon straps off a webroll damn well would have opened the package.

    Xacto blades come in many sizes and styles. the fine tipped thin ones are for the cutting of paper and poserboard.

    I do applaude them for NOT using the hydraulic cutting machine to open a package. it would be akin to using a forklift to jack up the corner of a car.

    Hydraulic cutters are expensive precision pieces of machinery that are typically required for production work. It is the correct tool for cutting a stack of paper. It is NOT the correct tool for cutting scrap wood, opening your junk mail, destroying credit cards, *sigh* trimming the spoiler for your Honda, or any other non-paper related cutting. It’s one thing to explain a shop injury to your boss/client. It’s another thing to explain a broken piece of equipment has delayed a printing job.

  81. etho says:

    Blister Pack Tip: Get a cheap soldering iron with interchangable tips.
    Get a paddle tip. Heat it up and, in a well ventilated area, and
    assuming the product isn’t going to be ruined by the fumes, use the
    soldering iron to cut the packaging. Don’t do it in a place that will
    just melt the plastic back together though. Somewhere where one side of
    the package is “blistered” and thus not next to the other chunk of
    plastic. And for gods sake, don’t melt your headphones/stab
    yourself/burn yourself/whatever. Be careful, (not stupid) and you will
    find this is a much easier way to get into those stupid packages.

    Wire cutters also work, though don’t use expensive ones if you still want them to, y’know, cut wires.

    Also helpful: Hacksaws. Sounds silly that you’d need a hacksaw to open
    these packages, and well, it is silly. Very silly. But then, the
    packages are silly as well, and hacksaws make short work of that stiff
    plastic.

    And cut away from you, not toward. Except when that is incorrect.

  82. Havok154 says:

    The cool thing is that if I manage NOT to stab myself while cutting the package open, there’s still a good 65% chance that I’ll end up being sliced by the sharp plastic edges.

  83. djanes1 says:

    Shoot, either get a bandsaw or stop re-enacting OZ at work.

  84. Kat says:

    This is why I bought an OpenX.

  85. arachnophilia says:

    you know, i keep saying, “one day, someone’s gonna kill themslves openning one of these damned things” followed by lots of grunts and plastic-creaking noises.

    you, sir, got lucky. could have been the femoral artery.

  86. bnissan97 says:

    I have issues with that sort of packaging as well. It is hell to get into. Also I am a “returner” I know that is bad but after I open it there is NOT a easy way to put it back on the shelf and look not tampered with. I pass up the “opened” packages when I make I purchase. I am sure most do. It seems to me it would be wise for merchants to make the plastic easier to open and to seal back up for the times the product does come back, hence making it easier to get off the shelf to another consumer.

  87. hoo_foot says:

    You shouldn’t need a website to tell you to angle the knife AWAY from you. Sheesh, between the parking lot story and this, it must be a slow day in consumer news.

    Blister packs may be a pain to open, but I’d prefer to have my electronics shipped in a sturdy blister pack rather than in cardboard or flimsy plastic. The blister pack offers better protection during the shipping process.

  88. hop says:

    it’s also easy to damage the article that you are trying to get outta one of those packages…..i haven’t heard anyone ever say they liked this way of packing…..

  89. aikoto says:

    Alright, listen people. I worked at Circuit City and Best Buy for years and here’s how you open these things: use your house key (you know that Master lock key with the sharpish point at the tip). Push down hard into the surface of the plastic close to item and pull. It slices it right open. No knives, no scissors.

    I should post this on lifehacker…

  90. vrtclsmile says:

    This thing works 99% of the time – every once in a while a package is shaped too oddly for it to work:

    [www.packageshark.com]

  91. CaptainRoin says:

    @vrtclsmile: I prefer to use a chainsaw like the lady in the video on that site.

  92. kbarrett says:

    Use the rocket powered chainsaw.

    [tinyurl.com]

  93. MalichiDemonos says:

    Wow… seriously if you don’t know how to use a knife then don’t use it. It’s always been general practice to cut away from yourself not towards yourself.

  94. evilhapposai says:

    If he were a Boy-Scout I would have just cut a corner off his Totin’ Chip. Really people cut AWAY from yourself and on something sturdy at ALL TIMES unless you want to end up like this retard. Blister packs are fine. They prevent theft and companies should not be held accountable for a consumer being to stupid to use proper knife handling skills when opening it.

  95. nakedinlb says:

    we can fucking sending people into outerspace, but we can’t design packaging that’s safe and easy to open? manufacturer’s are just fucking lazy in their design and have no concern for their customers. i like to buy items in clam shells that have to obliterated to get the item out and then return them saying it was the wrong item. when asked why i was returning it, i always say, it was too fucking hard to get the item out.

  96. shades_of_blue says:

    wow…next time put the package on the floor, rest one knee on the package and apply pressure on the blade. NEVER try to open one of those packages in the air, that was an accident waiting to happen.

    BTW I found the best tool to open these packages is a pair of scissors that came from a KitchenAid knife set. It’ll cut almost everything, including packages a fresh utility knife can’t easily slice.

  97. yetiwisdom says:

    On the props side, I bought a Brother PT-80 labeler last night in plastic packaging like that discussed here and prepared for the unboxing ordeal only to then notice a tab on the back that said “Easy Open – Press Here.” I pressed and it collapsed a cleverly perforated border that released the labeler immediately and with little effort.

    Mad props to Brother for seeing the need and implementing the solution so well. More manufacturers should follow this example so I can take the boxcutter out of my desk drawer.

  98. pestie says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: OK, maybe I should rephrase. I do get why they make blister packs so hard to open. It’s to help deter shoplifting. I don’t get why, knowing that they’re hard to open, people don’t just use the right tool for the job.

  99. HeartBurnKid says:

    I’ve got a 2-dollar utility knife that makes short work of these things. Visit your local hardware store, people.

    And always, always keep your knives sharp. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the sharper your knives are, the less likely you are to seriously injure yourself, the reason being that, with a dull knife, you have to put more force behind it. More force = more difficult to control.

    Frankly, Exacto knives aren’t all that sharp in the first place, and tend to have a flexible blade. Put any real degree of force behind that, and you’re asking for disaster.

  100. Trackback says:

    Welcome to the first edition of bits & bytes. This weekend series will provide you with brief summary of the weeks tech products and happenings. We will gladly consider any products or suggestions to review via tech at gothamist dot com.

  101. theycallmetak says:

    First off, the packages are DESIGNED to keep people out, namely thieves in the retail establishments. The fact that you need a decent pair of scissors and/or a good utility knife means that the store can keep the shrinkage down and probably the prices as well. Does that always happen? No. That’s the reason for it though. Second – When you get home and find yourself without a pair of decent scissors and/or a good utility knife and decide to open the package up anyway using a soldering iron, Ginsu knife, commercial hydraulic paper cutter, etc. you DESERVE whatever happens to your item. If you’re too lazy to buy a pair of scissors (Yes, some work better than others) you live with the consequences. To all those complaining about getting cut on the resulting sharp edges: How about using some of those little used fine motor skills to avoid running your hand down the razor edge of the packaging and to also avoid impaling yourself on any resulting point? When this type of packaging became popular, I didn’t care for it but I dealt with it. Buy some scissors and stop whining.