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ZIPit Clamshell Package Opener Review

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I love receiving gadgets in the mail or buying them at the store. But I hate wrestling hard plastic clamshell packages to get to the yummy gadget goodness inside. Last year I reviewed the Zibra Open It! and it was love at first snip. Now the same people (I think) have a new product on the market that takes package opening one step further. It’s the ZIPit battery operated cutter from CSB Commodities. Let’s see if this tool becomes my new best friend.

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The ZIPit is a handheld device made of plastic. A quick glance of the circular blade reminds me of a can opener.

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The other side of the cutters has what looks like a manual crank. At first I thought that maybe you could use these cutters manually without the need of batteries. Nope, not the case…

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The top shell of the handle lifts off to reveal the battery compartment. The ZIPit is powered by 2 AA batteries that are not included with the package.

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On the blade side of the cutters, there is a removable plastic guard. If your plastic package is thin enough, it can fit through the open slot…

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But more than likely, you’ll need to remove the plastic cover in order to use the ZIPit to open the package. The top disk is the blade, while the bottom disk is actually a grooved wheel that the blade sits in. When the trigger is pressed, both the blade and grooved wheel will rotate.

One thing that does concern me is the fact that the ZIPit does not have a safety switch.
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When you grip the handle and press the trigger, the blade will rotate. It can take some effort to get the blade to cut through the edge of a package depending on the shape and thickness of the clamshell. Once you jump over the edge, cutting feels pretty effortless if the package has straight sides. You basically just guide the cutter along the edge. You don’t really don’t need to press it forward as it almost feels self-propelled.

Cutting along straight sides isn’t that difficult, but once you come to a corner, it can be very hard, to turn the corner. If you try to just cut the edges off instead of going around a corner, the cutter can sometimes get hung up and have a tough time cutting through the plastic.

I tested the ZIPits on several different packages and when it is all said and done, I find the Zibra Open It! cutters to be a lot easier for me to use. For one thing, the Open It doesn’t seem to get stuck as easily as the ZIPit does. I found myself wrestling with the ZIPit cutters entirely too often. I also like the fact that the Open It doesn’t require batteries. It would be just my luck to get a fantastic gadget in the mail, need a cutter and the batteries be dead. I think I’ll just stick with the Zibra Open It! cutters.

What do you use to open your clameshell packages?

 

Product Information

Price:$19.95 + $6.95 Shipping
Manufacturer:CSB Commodities, Inc.
Pros:
  • Safer than using a box cutter
  • Self propelled - once it gets going
Cons:
  • No safety switch
  • Can be difficult to through cut edges
  • Requires batteries

{ 14 comments… add one }

  • FubarGuy August 10, 2009, 9:06 pm

    I use an Xacto Knife & sheer manpower! I refuse to succumb to the emasculation of battery-operated assistance. At least until I’m called the Nine Fingered Man anyway, then we’ll talk.

  • Andrew Albinger August 10, 2009, 9:44 pm

    I’m amused that you are opening a package of knives with this tool. After getting them open just use the knives! :P

    -Andrew

  • Rachelle August 10, 2009, 9:49 pm

    I use scissors and a box of bandaids (because I almost ALWAYS cut myself on the stupid plastic).

  • Bryan August 10, 2009, 9:58 pm

    The OpenX is better than either of these gadgets, IMO. I’ve used it for years.

    http://www.myopenx.com/home.htm

  • Ben Udkow August 11, 2009, 12:09 am

    Well, this article got me Amazon searching, and I just bought the Black & Decker SZ360 3.6-Volt Ni-Cad Cordless Power Scissors. We’ll see which package openers reign supreme! :)

  • Donald August 11, 2009, 3:23 am

    $20 for a gadget to open plastic containers. Doesn’t anyone see something wrong here. I can buy a small Swiss Army knife for less money.

    DON

  • turn.self.off August 11, 2009, 4:57 am
  • Julie August 11, 2009, 8:32 am

    @Ben We need to have a throw down ;)

  • Julie August 11, 2009, 8:33 am

    @Andrew Hahaha, The reason why I bought a new package of knives (steak knives) is that I have a bad habit of using them to slice open boxes. So they get dull ;)

  • Andrew Morrow August 11, 2009, 11:29 am

    I LOVE my Open It’s! I have bought them as gifts over and over again and can’t speak highly enough of them!

  • Ben Udkow August 11, 2009, 12:22 pm

    @Donald…you do understand what website this is right? :-) Price is no object when a gadget is involved. :-)

  • Mark Adkins August 12, 2009, 10:18 am

    I have a couple pairs of shop shears, or Fisker’ kitchen shears scattered around the house and shop. I just use them to cut away three of the sides and ‘open the clam’ to get the goodies. My Utilikey or pocket knife works the rest of the time.

    I have this vision of buying one of these opening things, then needing another one for the shop, and another in the kitchen, and then for the times I HAVE to open the package in the car I’ll need one there too, and probably one in the…

  • Sue April 10, 2010, 7:59 pm

    I bought a ZIPit in December of 2008. I was very excited about a product that would make it safer and easier to open the plastic sealed products. I tried it and it worked great. The next time I tried to use it it was DEAD. It would not work at all.

    I tried contacting the company several times regarding returning the product for replacement or a refund with absolutely NO RESPONSE. Do not be a sucker like I was. This company is a very BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. Just another scam!!!!!!!!!!

  • Michelle Adler July 9, 2011, 4:37 pm

    Unlike me, I find many people are reluctant to return merchandise they find they don’t like after opening the mega-plastic packaging. I think that may factor into why companies use such a difficult packaging option. It is especially hard for the elderly and disabled to open this type of packaging, which will likely end up in a dump site for longer than the earth survives. Although I tend to open this type of packaging carefully and neatly in case I have to return an item, I would definitely encourage people who have legitimate gripes with a products to return it regardless of how messed up the packaging is after opening it. I’ve already bought a gadget to use for this (can’t remember name; not mentioned on this site). It broke within 15 uses. I’ll buy the best rated one for my elderly parents and sister who’s had a stroke. I keep all my receipts and warranties in an alphabetical folder so I can return if needed. Sorry if this is off topic, but thought I’d mention this return issue. I don’t know if it’s just my friends/family or if this is a general issue as far as reluctance to return after mangling the packaging. Thanks for your great reviews!

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