How to Use a Letter Opener. Using a letter opener can make the not-so-exciting task of opening the mail a tad more tolerable. Letter openers come in a variety of shapes and styles, ranging from utilitarian tools to elegant replicas to electronic machines. Regardless of style, learning to use a letter opener is a basic skill that can help you quickly zip through the mail.

Shop for a letter opener that meets your needs. Letter openers are sharp, knife-like tools that allow you to slice through an envelope. Unless you're opening a massive amount of letters, a manual letter opener works fine. Choose an electronic letter opener if you go through stacks of mail each day.

Narrow down your choices. Letter openers can be made of wood, metal, plastic or a combination of materials. Some modern openers have a hidden razor blade inside a plastic handle. Select a style that feels comfortable in your hands, satisfies you aesthetically and opens envelopes quickly and smoothly.

Keep your letter opener in a convenient place where you're most likely to use it, such as where you normally sort and open your mail.

Pick up each envelope one at a time and slide the letter opener through the top crease. Insert the sharp side of the letter opener inside the crease, not the handle. Letter openers can be especially sharp, so be careful with the blade.

Retrieve the letter inside by widening the envelope flaps and pulling out the contents.