Departing Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on 25 April 1945, Cutlassarrived at Pearl Harbor on 15 July and put out on her maiden war patrol two days later. Assigned to patrol in the vicinity of the Kurile Islands, she entered the area one day after the Japanese surrender, remained on observation patrol until 24 August, then returned to Pearl Harbor. She sailed on 2 September for New York, arriving 24 September to receive visitors through Navy Day.
Cutlass left the Panama Canal Zone 6 January 1948 for local operations at Key West, Florida, then entered Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in March for overhaul and modernization. Arriving at Key West 7 February 1949 she served as test submarine for Operation "Rainbow" evaluating color schemes to enhance livability, a serious problem in new submarines with long submergence capability. She continued to sail out of Key West until the summer of 1952 when her home port was changed to Norfolk, Virginia.
In the first half of 1959, Cutlass joined in the antisubmarine warfare development work of Task Force "Alfa" off the Virginia Capes, and in September sailed for the Mediterranean. In November she passed through the Suez Canal to join ships of the Pakistani Navy in exercises off Karachi, returning to Norfolk in December. After continued operations with TF "Alfa," she entered Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in February 1960 for an overhaul which continued until August. Cutlasswas decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 April 1973.