The Best Utility Knife (22 Tested)

If you need to get a job done, get the most effective tool you can. Don’t just pick up whatever is lying around your house. The best utility knife should have an incredibly sharp edge and quality of life features making it ideal for grunt-work involving jobs too difficult for scissors.

By using the best safety knife you wont risk damage to your valuable house keys. Plus, you could break down a box without wrist strain. We put in hours of research and tested over a dozen knives to find that the Pacific Handy Cutter S5 Safety Cutter is as packed with features as it is packed with blades in its integrated storage compartment. Beyond the tool-free blade change, it features a fixed metal guard that doubles as a tape splitter. There’s even more if you keep reading.

Table of Contents

  1. Best Utility Knife : Pacific Handy Cutter S5
  2. Best Box Cutter : Slice Mini Box Cutter
  3. Best Folding Utility Knife : Sheffield Ultimate Folding Utility Knife
  4. Best Cut-Resistant Gloves : HexArmor 9011
  5. Why Should You Trust Us?
  6. Toughest Utility Knife : Slice 10503 [NEW ARRIVAL]
  7. Best Travel Safety Cutter – Slice 00200 [NEW ARRIVAL]

My favorite box knife

I work in a grocery store. This is the box cutter that our store provides for us. I love this box cutter…

– Patrick N. from the United States
July 2, 2018

Pacific Handy Cutter S5 Safety Cutter

The Best Value

The S5 Safety Cutter allows for safe, precise cutting with added convenience features such as an integrated film cutter, tool free black changes, and a compartment to safely store 5 blades.

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The advantages of the Pacific Handy Cutter S5 Safety Cutter Utility Knife is convenience and safety. The S5 has right and left hand versions to make it comfortable for everybody (how thoughtful). It’s unique handle makes sure you can always get a grip without sacrificing security. Unlike other knifes, changing blades is very simple and doesn’t require any tools. Plus, you can store up to 5 blades.

For those that work in grocery stores or warehouses, you might already be familiar with tape cutters, but the S5 has an integrated tape cutter to make your job even easier. And despite all these features, the S5 has a slick and sturdy design with an optional holster and replacement blades to make this your everlasting buddy at work. It’s no wonder employers and managers across the country agree that the S5 is the best utility knife.

Does a great job!

I bought one of these more than 6 months ago, and ended up buying another because it was so great!

– Reviewer from the United States
Dec 29, 2020

Pacific Handy Cutter S4 Safety Cutter

Best Selling Cutter Ever

The S4 is the highest selling safety cutter for a reason – safety, convenience, and price. Unlike the S5, it does not contain an integrated film cutter.

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The S4 Safety Cutter from Pacific Handy Cutter is the younger brother of the S5 and share many of the same features: tool-less blade change, integrated 5 blade storage, and a tape splitter. The S4 also has a comfortable ergonomic design with two models – the S4R is the right-handed version, and the S4L is left-handed variation.

This spring-loaded cutter automatically retracts when not in use, keeping the user, workplace, and merchandise safe from exposed blades. The average cost of a laceration injury is $36,000. An S4 is a small price to pay for safety!

If you’ve ever worked with an s4 or s5 you know they have a tendency to grow legs and walk off if you leave it at work – so we recommend getting the s4 with holster and lanyard keep your friend safe holstered on your hip.

High quality blades for your demanding needs

Yes, this is just what you are looking for – high quality and long-lasting replacement blades for your Pacific Handy Cutter (PHC)…

– Kenn C.
Jan 23, 2018

Pacific Handy Cutter Safety Point Blades

A Great Buy!

Whether you get the S4, S5, or another utility knife, you need good blades. These blades last up to 3x longer than off-brand blades and are made with high grade carbon steel.

as low as 12 cents a blade

These Pacific Handy Cutter SP017 Safety Point Blade for PHC Safety Cutters are an example of PHC’s relentless innovation. If you’ve only ever used a generic box cutter or utility knife, then you’ll immediately notice the ease at which you can slice through boxes with the right blade. Slices should be quick, efficient, and safe. Even if you don’t have the best utility knife, you should get the highest quality blades you can. Many safety hazards arise from dull and worn blades that catch on material rather than making straight cuts.

Safety point blades are designed to minimize or entirely eliminate injury such as puncture wounds. They come in a box of 100 and pair with a number of cutters made by Pacific Handy Cutter, including the S4, S4S, S5, S7, S8, EZAR, AR3, EZ2+, EZ4, EZ7, GSC3, RZ3 and EZ. These 0.017″ thick blades as long-lasting, super sharp replacements for worn-down, dulled blades. For best results, replace often.


Level 7 Cut Resistance from a trusted Brand

Great gloves [that] really do protect from cuts.

– Ethan.
Oct 14, 2021


HexArmor 9011 Cut Resistant Gloves

Excellent Protection!


Even the safest knife can benefit from a fail-safe. That’s where HexArmor 9011 Level 7 Cut Resistant Gloves come to the rescue.

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HexArmor’s development team works hand in hand with their customers to create the safest that wont get in the way of your work. HexArmor takes your feedback seriously and their relentless pursuit of their customer’s safety led to new patents and advancements in material sciences. With every passing decade they receive new awards and achievements for their  cut, puncture, needle, impact and abrasion resistant gloves.

The HexArmor 9011 is designed with a bright red cotton shell, a wrinkle rubber palm coating for superior grip, and an interior palm layer of SuperFabric® brand material. This glove is a lightweight combination of comfort and safety. It’s cut resistance is certified ANSI/ISEA A7 cut resistance. The palm coating allows them to work in a variety of temperatures with a sure-grip. They excel working around medium-duty hazards. If you’re unsure, check with your safety manager. If you don’t have a safety manager and make your own decisions, then know these gloves are suitable for mid-level tasks such as breaking down boxes, sorting junk, mechanical and electrical work, general maintenance, sorting recycling and more.

Everything We Recommend


Why Should You Trust Us?

Good question and I’m glad you asked. I have a long history with utility knives and feel a connection to them – like Jiro Dreams of Sushi but with safety cutters. Having only ever used the least expensive box cutter I could find at Home Depot, the S5 was a big step up. According to our tests it is the best utility knife for working in a warehouse or grocery store. For general mucking about at home I use a Slice 10514 Mini Box Cutter that I have stuck on my fridge. 

We sought feedback from warehouse and grocery employees that we have done business with in the past and worked at local companies. Keep in mind that many states don’t allow utility knives to be carried openly so they should be kept at work. Check your state’s laws here


How did we decide on what utility knife it the best? We ranked utility knives based on three criteria:

  • Ease of Use
  • Safety Features
  • Value for Money

    Utility knives are good are cutting open boxes, carpeting, dry wall, rope, and flooring. But no matter the intended application, if you struggle with changing the blade then your utility knife is suddenly an annoyance in your life. We want to lessen the stress in your life, so that’s why we value quality of life features in our tools.

    Ease of Use – Does changing the blade require tools? Is their integrated storage for the blades? Are the ergonomics the same for right and left-handed people? Is the handle large enough to provide a secure grip? This prevents the hand from slipping forwards over the blade and reduces the force required to hold the knife, which helps prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Is the handle designed to reduce excessive wrist bending? The knife should be designed to do the job without undue pressure (which also helps prevent MSDs). We looked for knives that feel safe to operate with one-hand and have a strong track record of success verified by thousands of customer reviews.

    Safety Features – Does the design of the knife impede your ability to do your job safely? Are their integrated features that make the knife safer to use? Have any injuries been reported due to design defects in the knife? Have their been any factory recalls? What is the history of the manufacturer producing the knife and the blades? Where is the factory located? Does the company manufacture their own knifes or contract our manufacturing to a third party? Ideally, we looked for a company intimately involved in the design, production, and sourcing of raw materials for their knives. The best utility knife has to be made by a company that lives and breathes utility knives.

    Value For Money – The best utility knife is always the one your employer gives you for free, until that knife causes you to get injured. Don’t settle for whatever your boss hands you, especially when your safety is in question. If spending $5-$7 ensures your safety, its worth it. We didn’t look at any knife that costs more than $20 because that is frankly ridiculous. Some companies have been attaching their brand to knives that only cost $5 on aliexpress and dropshipping them for $20+ on amazon. We can’t in good conscience recommend anything of that nature. In our experience, the best knife you can find is priced between $6 and $15. We also looked for knives that are built to last – the fast fashion model doesn’t work with tools in our experience.

    The Experiment

    In order to determine what is the best utility knive, I put each knife we considered through the ringer. Although I don’t work at a grocery store anymore, I did take a week to work in the warehouse at Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies ( and along with a coworker tried each knife for at least 3 hours. After this week in the warehouse, I tested each blade with the rote task of breaking down cardboard. Because every utility knife has a multitude of blades to choose from, I didn’t base these ratings on blade sharpness. But after a week of heavy use I didn’t have to change any PCH blade, so that must be a good sign for quality.

    For each hour of cutting through cardboard, we noted any inconveniences or potential safety hazards. After a week in the warehouse and many hours cutting through cardboard, I tabulated the results and found the S5 safety cutter to be the winner and the S4 to be the runner-up. Below I write about the S5 in greater detail and also mention the other dozen knifes we experimented wth. One interested discovery we found is that price does not necessarily guarantee quality. The $20 knife you found on amazon might just be overpriced. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below that post and we’ll get back to you.

  • Our Pick for the Best – Pacific Handy Cutter S5 Utility Knife, 3-in-1 Safety Cutter with Integrated Film Cutter and Blade Storage

    My favorite box knife

    I work in a grocery store. This is the box cutter that our store provides for us. I love this box cutter…

    – Patrick N. from the United States
    July 2, 2018

    Pacific Handy Cutter S5 Utility Knife

    The Best Utility Knife

    The S5 Safety Cutter allows for safe, precise cutting with added convenience features such as an integrated film cutter, tool free black changes, and a compartment to safely store 5 blades.

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    We settled on the S5 Safety Cutter as the best utility knife after weeks of testing and countless hours breaking down boxes. The knife offers the best bang for your buck. For those that need a film cutter, it’s a no-brainer. This Pacific Handy Cutter can store five extra blades within the handle. It manually retracts and has a safe thumb guard to reduce workers comp claims. Plus, it includes an integrated tape splitter. The easy to use device has a three position slider to adjust the blade extension.

    Grocery store and warehouse employees especially love the S5 Safety Cutter. It has three locked in blade depths for convenience and multi-functionality. There are no tools required for a quick and easy blade change. Just stow blades in its easily accessible blade storage compartment with up to 5 extra Safety Point Blades. You will literally never be caught out with a dull blade for more than a moment.

    S5 Safety Cutter
    S5R Safety Cutter
    S5R Safety Cutter Features
    S5R Safety Cutter

    The blade stays secure in all three positions. The handle is ergonomic, with right and left handed variations to ease comfort on both sides of the aisle. Its secure grip is especially useful when cutting through drywall and you need a precise line. None of the knives we tested had the grip found on the S4 and S5 safety cutter – clean, convenient, and safe. For those that love keeping their tool belt minimal, you’re in luck

    Both the S4 and S5 have an integrated tape splitter, but importantly the S5 has a pop out film cutter. So instead of spending a couple bucks on a film cutter and hauling that with you everywhere, you can get the benefit of a 3-in-1 for less than half the price of a generic utility knife on amazon. Basically, the S5 Safety Cutter is the packed with value, convenience, and safety features for less than $8 – it’s a no brainer.

    Whether you work in retail, packing, shipping, or stocking shelves, you’ll appreciate having a good safety cutter available to you when needed. An old school box cutter are workhorses, but lack modern safety and quality of life features. For one, Pacific Handy Cutter has been improving on their design for over a decade. If you’ve only ever used a classic box cutter, make the switch the S5 Safety Cutter and be shocked by how great of a value it is.

    The Flaws That Aren’t Important

    Nothing is perfect, but with over 12 years of working with Pacific Handy Cutter, I know that they take customer feedback seriously. I started with an S3 over a decade ago and am thrilled with the improvements they have made to the design through the S4 and S5 utility knives.

    The Current S5 has a few drawbacks. For one, many customers have found the packaging and presentation to be lackluster. Second, the knife only comes with a single blade meaning you have to spend extra to get a box of 100.

    As opposed to metal framed knives, the s5 has a plastic shell. Some may find it disappointing, but at ths price point a metal utility knife with this many features does not exist. No matter what knife you buy you’ll need to maintain it and replace the blades. PCH made a choice to be as cost effective as possible and we pass those savings onto you. When it comes to using your knife, you wont be disappointed with an S5.

    You could end up spending well over $20 for a metal knife that has less features than this one, and wont cut any better. Some people may get too focused on the aesthetics of a knife rather than focusing on how it works. Will that shiny new toy outperform the industry workhorse? Probably not. In our warehouse everybody has a dozen knives to choose from and every one of them depend on the S5 Safety Cutter everyday to get the job done.

    Our Pick for the Best Pocket Utility Knife – Slice 10514 Mini Box Cutter



    Very convenient tool and I love that cutting doesn’t require much effort. No more frustration- I keep one of these and I can quickly and quietly open any package or cut any string I encounter.

    – Robert P. from the United States
    Nov 9, 2021

    Slice 10514 Mini Box Cutter

    The Best Pocket Utility Knife

    Slice 10514 Mini Box Cutter allows for frustration-free cutting with a ceramic blade that is sharper, safer, and lasts up to 10x longer than steel.

    get the best pocket utility knife

    The Slice 10514 Mini Box Cutter is our pick for best pocket utility knife for several reasons. 

    First, this utility knife has advantages over classic folding knives that are not ready to go immediately. If you need a quick and convenient tool to cut open cardboard, there is nothing better. The integrated magnet allows you to stow the cutter on your fridge or metal surface, and the key hole allows it to be stored on a keychain or lanyard. This slice cutter will be there for you when you need it, and its blade will automatically retract when not in use.

    Second, the ceramic blade on this pocket knife makes it safer and more inexpensive to operate in the long term. To keep the blade at its best simply ensure that it doesn’t come into contact with rough surfaces like concrete that dull its blade quickly. If all you’re doing is opening amazon boxes then this is the tool for you. There is no pocket clip or extra blade storage, but these features are not necessary. The design requires no flat head screwdriver because it has a 100% tool-free blade change. Slice excels at making the safest cutters on the market for those that prefer ceramic blades.


    Third, this pocket knife can be used with different blade types: pointed or rounded tip blades. Slice 10404 replacement blades are recommended because the rounded tip offers additional protections against accidents. Not all accidents can be avoided, but in Slice’s testing they found the majority of workplace laceration accidents could be avoided by using rounded tip ceramic blades. And better yet the rounded ceramic blade are still stronger than steel. Some specific tasks may not be suitable for ceramic blades as many people who cut carpet still recommend stainless steel. 

    Rest assured that the professionals at Slice want you to be safe at work and home. Whether you are working on a job site or on your personal home improvement project, Slice cutters are ideal for general use and are the best option for most people who value safety and convenience. Ceramic blades allow you to cut materials without much force and can be done in a one handed operation. For those with sore joints or have suffered an accident in their hands, ceramic blade knives are the way to go even if they don’t have the same features as an s5.

    One downside is that the cutter is small (obviously) but this makes it less ideal for heavy industrial use cases and people that need to make quick work of thousands of boxes. Although the blade may still last many years, our customers tell us that an s5 utility knife still prevails when working on the job site because stainless steel razor blades can function well across the spectrum of materials it would face. And this mini box cutter has no integrated blade storage meaning if you would have to stop work to get a new blade. But these downsides do not detract from the convenience, safety, and cost effective Slice 10514 mini box cutter.

    Our Pick for the Best Folding Utility Knife – Sheffield 12113 Ultimate Lock Back Folding Utility Knife


    The knife i’ve always wanted

    I’ve spent a couple of years looking for the perfect pocket-carry utility knife and, finally, I think I’ve found it… 

    – Chris D. from the United States
    Oct 27, 2021

    Sheffield 12113 Ultimate Lock Back Folding Utility Knife

    The Best Folding Utility Knife

    Sheffield 12113 Ultimate Folding Utility Knife offers rugged cutting powder with a safe and convenient folding design. 

    get the best folding utility knife

    The Sheffield 12113 ultimate lock back folding utility knife is our pick for the best folding utility knife due to its sturdy metal body design and heavy duty cutting power for the job site and home improvement projects. Many of the folding utility knives we tested were not suitable for extended use but not Sheffield. Even the removable razor blade that comes with the knife is sharper than generic’s found on Amazon and Walmart and will impress you with its cutting edge. The stainless steel body is sturdy but also is a trade-off because there is no internal blade storage.

    Sheffield has been manufacturing knives for over a century and they designed the first utility knife, so they know what they’re doing. The 3.5″ texture rubber grip ensure a firm hand without any side to side wiggle. This folding knife has many of the same features as the PHC S5 but it does not have any integrated blade storage. There is also no storage for your old blades meaning they will need to be disposed of elsewhere.


    Folding utility knives are ideal for pockets but with the Sheffield it can also be clipped onto your belt. The integrated pocket clip means you wont need an extra holster. Another feature is the patented tool-free blade change. No screwdriver is needed. The entire blade can be changed in less than a minute. The blade you receive with the knife is a pointed tip stainless steel blade. 

    The safety release button is located near the bottom of the blade handle so you wont accidentally release the mechanism. However some have found the location to be inconvenient for work. Also the lack of blade storage is another chief complaint. Lastly, the button makes it hard for the knife to be operated in one hand. These three shortfalls may not be enough to deter you from the excellent Sheffield 12114 ultimate folding utility knife. 

    Sheffield has over a century of experience making knives and still produces them in their factory in the United Kingdom. They also have a manufacturing center in the United States. This knife takes standard utility blades and can even use the blades made by Pacific Handy Cutter.

    Our Pick For the Toughest Utility Knife

    If you’ve been let down by flimsy utility knives before, then you may benefit from getting rugged utility knife that can withstand all the drops and damage from work while still effectively functioning as a cutter.

    Out of dozens of options, we narrowed it down to two options:

    1. CERAMIC BLADE – Slice 10503 Auto Retracting Box Cutter Utility Knife, Ceramic Blade Cutter
    2. STEEL BLADE – Pacific Handy Cutter SN-195 Retractable Utility Knife, High-Quality Carbon Steel

    Keep reading to find out which is the best pick for you. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out.

    What is the toughest utility knife?

    Utility Knives already are versatile tools and can be depended upon for opening boxes and cutting drywall regardless of the cutter you choose. As opposed to normal knives, you can swap out the blade of a utility knife in seconds and be back on the job in no time.

    But many utility knives are made with flimsy plastic and can’t be relied on to stay together if they get dropped or thrown across the warehouse by a coworker. That’s why we set out to find the toughest utility knife.

    What qualities are we looking for a rugged utility knife?

    First and foremost, the utility knife must pass a drop test in which we drop the cutter from 10 feet. This mimics someone whose cutter fell out of their holster whilst on a ladder. We then dropped the cutter from a distance of 3 feet to mimic someone whose cutter fell out of their holster whilst on the ground. In both cases the cutters fell onto the cold, hard concrete of a warehouse.

    We are in effect looking for three qualities:

    • Durable construction
    • Easy blade change
    • Easily cuts through a wide variety of materials

    These three qualities are how we judged the “toughness” of a utility knife. We won’t waste your time listing all the cutters we tested, but needless to say we don’t sell any cutter that didn’t pass our basic drop test.


    ✅ Excellent Tool

    It’s one of the best purchases I’ve made, the ceramic blade cuts cardboard easily. The box cutter is worth the money.

    – Parker from the United States
    Featured Review

    Slice 10503 Box Cutter Utility Knife

    The Toughest Ceramic Blade Cutter

    The Slice 10503 is an award-winning box cutter design with a patented j-hook design that avoids injuries

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    The Slice 10503 Auto-Retractable Box Cutter takes toughness to a new level. It’s ergonomic design is comfortable to use at a variety of angles and easily cuts through materials without potential for injury. The J-hook handle is easy to get a grip that wont slip.

    The auto retracting blade is known for safety as you don’t have to worry about accidentally leaving the blade exposed. Your fingers will thank you! 

    This Slice 10503 Box Cutter uses Slice’s patent-pending safety blades made from 100% zirconium oxide (i.e. Ceramic). The blades are non-sparking, non-magnetic, chemically inert and safe up to 1600 degrees. Plus, they never rust. You’ll only end up changing them a few times a year for a heavy user, or once every few years if this just stays in a cabinet at your house.

    Hang the 10503 on a pocket (keeping the blade outside and away from your body) or use the lanyard hole to keep your tool handy.

    ✅ All Good

    – Dave
    Verified Review

    Pacific Handy Cutter SN-195 Utility Knife

    The Toughest Stainless Steel Blade Cutter

    This Deluxe Retractable Utility Knife by Pacific Handy Cutter is an all-purpose workhorse made from high-quality carbon steel.

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    The Pacific Handy Cutter SN-195 Utility Knife pairs a classic, old-school design with the highest quality carbon steel.

    The die cast metal body can last a lifetime if properly cared for. The overlock nose provides added blade stability for 3 variable cutting positions.

    In our tests the rugged carbon steel body got no more than a little banged up and was able to function just as it did off the factory floor. 

    Pacific Handy Cutter has decades of experience manufacturing the highets qualitity safety cutters and this knife is no different.

    The Best Travel Safety Cutter

    The Slice 00200 Mini Safety Cutter is one of the most popular Slice safety cutters for household use, but also finds use in industrial settings due to its convenient size and extra strong, rugged ceramic blade. 

    Its convenient size makes it ideal for travelers needing to keep a small, highly functional cutter in their luggage or carry-on.

    The Slice 00200 Mini Safety Cutter is an exceptional pocket-sized cutter for general and household tasks. The key ring hole allows it to easily be stored on your keychain and its there when you need it. Even cutting through rugged plastic packaging is easy with the extra strong ceramic blade that excels at cutting a variety of materials while keeping your fingers safe.

    Lightweight and compact, you wont find a smaller safety cutter that can do everything the Slice 00200 Mini Safety Cutter can do.

    Slice 00200 Mini Safety Cutter

    Convenient, Pocket-Sized Design with Finger-Friendly Ceramic Blade


    Alright so I keep this in my pocket at work and when working around the house and its incredibly helpful. The blade can basically cut through everything I throw at it.

    Earl – Nov 23, 2021


    Does the Slice 00200 Cut Through Cardboard?

    The micro-ceramic blade of the Slice 02000 Mini Safety Cutter is not ideal for cardboard due to the length of its blade which has a cutting depth of 2.0mm. Therefore the Slice 00200 will only cut materials with a thickness of 2.00mm or below.

    This tool works well for cutting the tape off cardboard, however cutting through the cardboard we suggest using the Slice 10503 Box Cutter with a longer ceramic blade suitable for heavy duty cutting requirements. 

    The blade on the Slice 00200 is not replaceable but will last up to 10x longer than stainless steel blades. For household use, arts and crafts, and light duty industrial work we have found the blade to last 6 to 12 months before the blade dulls. 

    We Tested 22 Utility Knives & Safety Cutters

    We tested 22 before we settled on the best utility knife. It should be noted that we tested box cutters, safety cutters, and utility knives. You might be surprised to know that there is a difference. It’s mostly marketing but safety cutters have additional safety and quality of life features not found on standard utility knives. Many utility knives have more rugged, metal designs and require tools to change blades. Safety Cutters are designed for ease of use without sacrificing safety. Box cutters are the old school razor blade knives you’re familiar with. 

    We discovered the best utility knife after testing 8 brands of knives. The brands we tested include the following: Pacific Handy Cutter, OLFA, Spellbound, Klever Innovations, ADCO Industries, Slice, along with several generic brands featured on Amazon and Walmart.

    We found that for light work, a classic box cutter with a sharp blade is good most of the time. If you only ever cut open a package once in a blue moon, it’s fine. But if cutting boxes has to do with your work, then definitely invest the extra $5 into a good knife. The best utility knife is one you feel comfortable working with over long stretches without any safety hazards.

    Many knifes on marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, and Aliexpress have design flaws that can lead to injury.Because the marketplaces aren’t liable for the products sold by third parties, it’s best not to put your safety in the hand’s of somebody you don’t know. That’s why you can trust – we test the integrity of our products and only sell quality. With competitive pricing, U.S. based customer support, and fast shipping you can count on