The packaging used on many products like electronics is the work of purest evil. This is often called clamshell packaging, but that can be a misnomer; true clamshells are designed to be opened, like the kind berries come in at the supermarket. The kind I mean are often welded shut around all their edges. For the sake of clarity, for the purposes of this discussion let’s say a clamshell is the kind of package your smartphone comes in. I’ve seen it done right on some occasions, where breaking a few perforations releases the contents, or the sides are merely held together by tension and can be popped open with proper stress. Some manufacturers have responded to public outcry by making their products easier to open. But most clamshells are lazily designed, so that all sides are molded together.
You can’t cut a clamshell with ordinary tools. If you try it with scissors you will fail, badly. With a pocket knife, you’ll just dull the knife—I know this from experience—and run a risk of cutting yourself. I believe most of these things are made with HDPE, high density polyethylene, the same stuff your soda bottle is made from but apparently much thicker and reinforced with Kevlar and the tears of orphans.
A few years ago I took a recommendation from another blog and put a package opener on my wish list. I got it as a birthday present, which was just over a month before Christmas, so I had it handy on Christmas morning. Do yourself a favor this year and order the Zibra universal package opener. (Mine is orange and yellow, but this looks identical otherwise.) If you have Amazon Prime you can get it before Christmas. Then keep it around in the morning, and bring it to all your gatherings with friends and family where gifts are a possibility. You will save Christmas and be a hero.
In the future of course I plan to obviate the problem of ridiculous clamshells by outlawing any form of it that can’t be easily opened by hand or with simple scissors. I have much worse ideas in mind for dealing with the serial shoplifters that clamshells are intended to thwart in the first place.