Are You a Normal Person or Do You Have a Favorite Way to Open an Envelope?

The other day I realized that I didn’t know how to open the envelope.

I mean, I can open the envelope – it’s not like there’s a whole mail piled in the corner and I look at it like “someday”. But I always just opened the envelopes, tore them up like some caveman, until eventually they ended up with a roofing company ad.

There must be a better way, I thought to myself as I looked at the scattered envelopes in front of me. Well, there is a better way. Opening an envelope is a skill that can be mastered in minutes and will give you pleasure and enjoyment for a lifetime.

Two ways to open emails without tools

You can open the envelope effectively without tools. The bottom line is the design of the envelope flaps. I didn’t know about this before (because I didn’t seem to pay attention to the physical world around me), but the glue on the flaps of most envelopes doesn’t reach the outer edge of the triangle. This design ingenuity is at the heart of all letter opening techniques.

Method one: the crossed fingers method

  • Tear the corner of the flap upward.
  • Insert your finger under the valve.
  • Pull horizontally to break the envelope.

Method two: vertical break

  • Tear the corner of the flap up
  • Pull down to open the envelope.

As you can see, both of these methods are effective, but barbaric and can even lead to paper cuts; The second method in particular risks damaging whatever is inside. You may be saying, “If my finger were some kind of metal blade, it wouldn’t leave such an unsightly sheath.” You’re right. This is where a letter opener comes in handy.

Tools for opening letters: blades and scissors.

I don’t want to be a classic, but the best people, even Hollywood celebrities, use letter openers to access their mail content. These dagger-like single-purpose tools look extravagant, but as their name suggests, they are good for opening letters. It’s their business.

Method One: Traditional Letter Opener

  • Tear the corner of the envelope flap upward.
  • Insert the blade into the valve and fully insert it horizontally.
  • Rush up in one motion.

Most letter openers recommend not sharpening your letter opener. You don’t cut the envelope; you tear it, but with a tool. This way you won’t leave any sharp edges that could cut you on the paper. (Anyway, that’swhat this guy on YouTube says , and he’s really in his letter opener. I mean, what’s really in it.)

There are industrial-style stationery knives like these from Office Depot , but they can’t be styled like miniature sword replicas from The Lord of the Rings or souvenirs from Divinity II , so they’re useless for our purposes.

Opening letter with scissors

If you’ve been shipwrecked on a desert island and left your golden letter opener in your cabin, but managed to grab the scissors and you’re still getting mail delivered somehow, you can use the scissors to open the letter in two ways.

The first is to use the blade of the scissors as if it were a letter opener. But don’t use the sharp part – keep the scissors closed. Remember: tear, not cut. In extreme cases, a butter knife will do. Get creative!

The second is to cut off the very edge of the envelope, but this will leave a small strip of the envelope that will need to be cleaned, and you can cut the letter, so this is not recommended.

Ultimately, you can open your mail however you want. There is no postal police. Oh wait, there’s a postal police .

Secretly open the envelope so no one will know

If you are interested in opening a sealed envelope so that it doesn’t look like it has been previously opened because you are rummaging through someone else’s mail, I will not help you with this behind-the-scenes endeavor. But there are many steam and freeze methods you can find online.

Happy letter opening!


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