If you're someone who takes pills, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to cut them in halves or quarters. It's not an easy task to handle with a knife -- especially with small or awkwardly shaped pills -- so a pill splitter is an essential tool for every medicine cabinet. Pill splitters are a safe, reliable way to achieve an accurate cut every time.
Find an easy-to-use pill splitter with our buying guide. Our recommendations at the end of this article include our top choice by Equadose, which offers impressive precision.
Considerations when choosing pill splitters
Before you do anything related to your medication, consult your doctor. When it comes to splitting pills, not all have the capability of being split. Some medications require precise dosage -- these pills have to be swallowed whole.
Only split pills after receiving approval. You need a definitive answer whether splitting affects the active ingredients, release time, or compromises its efficacy.
With some medications, you can save money by filling a higher dosage pill. You can halve or quarter it to achieve your correct dosage and spend a fraction of the price.
It's easier to take large hard-to-swallow pills with the help of a pill splitter. Simply cut them into smaller pieces and take them one after another.
When you split a pill, it fragments into smaller pieces that may have a bitter, unpleasant taste that lingers until you rinse your mouth.
Certain pills come in unique shapes and, if they're not flat or symmetrical, you won't be able to cut them. At that point, splitting the pill can't split it into equal halves, so it may compromise your medication's efficacy.
Single-pill splitters have simple blade mechanisms that are operated with a push or squeeze. They usually have a little platform that nestles your pill in preparation for precise cuts.
Multi-pill splitters are uniquely engineered to split several pills at once with extreme accuracy. In this style, your pills are arranged within a canal, resulting in an even cut to every pill.
Consider who's doing the splitting
When choosing a pill splitter, consider who's using it. If it's for the average person, any mechanism or style will do, so it's more a matter of preference. For someone with dexterity issues, certain pill splitters may be hard to operate. In this case, larger pill splitters may be easier to manipulate.
The blades of pill splitters are somewhat exposed in most models, though they're equipped with blade guards. They come in the form of strategically placed plastic barriers that are flush with the blade. The small but effective perimeter reduces the risk of injury while splitting pills.
Some pill splitters feature small compartments for storage. It's a handy feature for travelers who want to pack light by foregoing the bulk of a full-size bottle.
Multifunction pill splitters
Some pill splitters come with more than one function to suit your splitting needs. They may have different blade attachments to grind, crush, or divide pills.
Pill splitter prices
Pill splitters range in price between $6 and $30. At the low end of the scale you find single-pill splitters with simple mechanisms. Premium pill splitters are engineered for precision and often feature ergonomic design and sharper blades, so you get what you pay for with these.
Q. I have very large pills. Can I cut them with a pill splitter to take them in two swallows?
A. Yes, but if and only if they aren't extended-release pills or are medications that you are advised to take whole. To play it safe, make sure you clear it with your doctor before splitting your pills.
Q. Can I bring my pill splitter in my carry-on luggage?
A. According to current TSA regulations, yes. However, they're subject to final approval by a TSA agent. If you don't need your pill splitter on the flight, you can simply put it inside your checked baggage, where it is also allowed to be kept.
Pill splitters we recommend
Best of the best: Equadose Pill Splitter
Our take: Modern design with aircraft-grade aluminum, so quality and precision are apparent.
What we like: Opposing blade mechanism keeps splitter versatile enough to handle pills of all sizes.
What we dislike: Splitting mechanism could be difficult for those with neuropathy or issues with fine motor skills.
Best bang for your buck: ACU-Life Pill Splitter
Our take: A faithful splitter design that has been around for years. Simple and affordable.
What we like: Easy to use and can double as pill storage. Quality construction with medical-grade plastic.
What we dislike: Off-center cuts and somewhat exposed blade. Pills could kick out during splitting if not pressed against edges completely.
Our take: Nifty little pill cutter if your tablets are one of the compatible shapes.
What we like: Optimizes pill cutting to handle seven at a time. Blade guard feature is impressive.
What we dislike: A lot of money to spend on a device that doesn't work with all shapes and sizes of pills.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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