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I currently have to cut a small piece of carpet and I wondered if I should get a carpet cutter. It seems to me that probably any solid, sharp knife (or scissors) would be suited similar well.

So my question is: What is special about carpet cutters? Should I get one or simply try it with other knives?

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Carpet edgers are designed to trim a carpet to the right fit against a wall and under baseboard trim by sliding along the trim.

If you're referring to the basic utility knife, they're designed with an appropriate angle to reduce hand fatigue, but any utility knife will do fine.

A typical scissor won't have the leverage needed to shear the very heavy backing fabric (jute) that carpet is built upon. Specialty shears may, but they'll be slow and are only suitable for small fitment work.

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You can get a carpet cutter blade that fits in a standard razor blade utility knife handle, for a couple bucks for a package of them. So it's cheap enough for single/occasional use.

It's thicker than a razor blade, and has the hook shape.

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A carpet blade has 4 extremely sharp and durable edges as opposed to 2 on a utility knife. Also as someone already mentioned, it has a distinct bend on the knife allow a more powerful and accurate cutting angle. But it all depends on what you need to cut the carpet for, you didn't say why.

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