X-Acto is a brand name for a variety of cutting tools and office products owned by Elmer's Products, Inc. Cutting tools include hobby and utility knives, saws, carving tools and many small-scale precision knives used for crafts and other applications.
An X-Acto knife may be called a utility knife, precision knife or hobby knife. It is a blade mounted on a pen-like aluminium body, used for crafting and hobbies, such as modelmaking. Before the availability of digital image- and text-processing tools, preparing camera-ready art for use in printing (literal cut and paste or paste up) depended heavily on the use of knives like the X-Acto for trimming and manipulating slips of paper.
There are numerous other knives on the market with very similar designs. Blades are typically interchangeable between different brands.
The original knife was invented in the 1930s by Sundel Doniger, a Jewish Polish immigrant to the United States. He had planned to sell it to surgeons as a scalpel but it was not acceptable, because it could not be cleaned. His brother-in-law, Daniel Glück (father of poet Louise Glück), suggested that it might be a good craft tool.
In addition to knives, blades and tools, X-Acto produces office supplies including pencil sharpeners, paper trimmers, staplers and hole punches. X-Acto sharpeners are electric, battery or manual. X-Acto has three types of trimmers: razor, rotary, and guillotine.