Archive for the ‘Paper Cutters’ Category

Martin Yale 7000E Stack Paper Cutter Review

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
ABC Office Review of the Martin Yale 7000E Stack Paper Cutter

The Retro-Looking Martin Yale 7000E

If you’re looking for an old-style stack paper cutter with tried and tested design and performance, then the Martin Yale 7000E is the ideal cutter for you. The 7000E is commonly found in school copy centers, photography shops, print shops, and small and large businesses.

 

The Martin Yale 7000E is not only simple to use, it’s capable of cutting a full 12-inch length, or depth, of paper. It will also slice through a stack of 1-1/2 inch 20 lb. copy paper (approximately 350 sheets).

 

The unit’s paper stop is fully adjustable. It features a positive paper clamp that securely holds a stack of paper in place. The paper clamp prevents shifting and tearing during the cutting process.

 

The 7000E wears a safety blade latch that prevents cutting until the latch has been released. Its English and Metric rule guides help ensure an accurate cut with every stroke. Be sure to contact ABC Office today for details about the Martin Yale 7000E stack paper cutter.

 

  • Easy to use
  • Includes all heavy-duty features needed to cut large stacks of paper
  • Heavy-duty, durable wood base

 

Specifications

  • Weight: 45 pounds
  • Working width: 12 inches
  • Width: 20 inches
  • Depth: 30 inches
  • Height: 16 inches

 

Looking for a Safe School Arm Paper Cutter?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Quality arm paper cutter that is both safe and accurate

The Dahle 561 Premium Guillotine Paper Cutter


Dahle 561 Premium Guillotine Paper Cutter

If you’ve been searching for a quality arm paper cutter that is both safe and accurate, then we highly recommend the Dahle 561 Premium guillotine paper cutter. Why? Because the Dahle 561 cutter has a unique rotary blade guard that makes it almost impossible to accidentally cut yourself. This cutter’s impressive German engineered design makes sure that the blade is covered throughout the entire cutting process. Older arm paper cutters can be dangerous if not used carefully. That is why we highly recommend the Dahle 561 cutter for use in schools and other places where children are present.

The Dahle 561 paper cutter was designed to deliver a solid, long-lasting machine that also gives you precise, accurate paper trims with every stroke. Speaking from experience, this cutter is both easy to use and simple to set up. The manufacturer lists the Dahle 561’s cutting capacity at 35 sheets and this is no overstatement. We have a demo model on our showroom floor here at ABC Office that we use on a frequent basis. You can view a video demonstration of the Dahle 561 paper cutter in action here.

Cutting thick stacks of paper is indeed possible and quite easy to do. We have been impressed with this cutter’s accurate, no-slip paper trimming thanks to a tight paper clamp that ensures zero paper stack movement while cutting.

The Dahle 561 paper trimmer has ground upper and lower blades, a rotary safety guard, automatic paper clamp, measuring scale bar and adjustable paper backstop. It has a cutting length of 14.5 inches. The 561 comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty against defects, materials and assembly.

The unit boasts a genuine German Solingen steel cutting blade — an impressive feature for a guillotine trimmer in such an affordable price range. You can accurately cut paper, photographs, card stock, small posters and signs, art projects, laminated paper and much more. Be sure to ask ABC Office about the Dahle 561 Premium arm paper cutter today.

Do You Need a Stand with Your Stack Paper Cutter?

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Paper Cutter StandsWhen shopping around for a stack paper cutter (found here), you may have noticed that many of the machines out there have the option of a stand. Some cutters even include one. Many customers ask me if a stand is truly necessary. There are certainly a few things to take into consideration before making the decision to purchase a stand. I would like to cover a few of those points.

Stack paper cutters are used to cut and trim large volumes of paper at a time. While these cutters are sometimes used in the office, they are often used on printing floors, warehouses and more. These cutters are the workhorses of the cutting industry and are the cutters used to cut larger stock down to smaller for retail sale and for trimming prints down to specification. Stack cutters range in size and complexity, depending on what is being cut, the types of cuts required and how often the cutter will be used.

These cutters range in weight. On the light end, these cutters are 75 to 100 pounds. In the medium spectrum they can be 200 to 500 pounds. On the heavy end, many of these cutters weight in excess of 1,000 pounds. The lighter cutters are usually manually operating, medium weight cutters are electrically powered and heavy cutters are hydraulic. Most heavy high-end cutters include a stand. The decision on purchasing a stand is usually a factor with manual stack cutters and many electric.

Now that you have a better idea of the weight, you can better understand where a stand may come into play. Some people like to use their stack cutters on a table, workbench or counter. The thing you need to consider is if the table or surface you are using can support the weight of the cutter. On the lighter end, many can. If your table can’t support the weight, a cutting stand is probably going to be a must-have accessory.

Cutting stands are designed specifically for the cutter they are supposed to be used with and thus are designed to provide more than adequate support. They are engineered to also look great and compliment the cutter they are used with. Setting up these stands is usually very easy and they typically ship in a flat box. I have set up these stands in less than 30 minutes.

While weight is certainly a factor to be considered when purchasing a stand, let’s not forget about convenience. A stand takes up the same footprint as the cutter. This means you can easily walk around the cutter and handle it from most angles. A counter or desk can often produce obstacles that make paper cutting more difficult.

Once the stand is set up, you will need to lift and place the cutter on the stand. I recommend this be done by about five people (one on each corner). You can get away with less if it a lighter cutter. Just make sure the paper cutter is properly supported and that someone is able to look from below to see if the points are lining up before the cutter is properly fixed to the base. I don’t recommend the “spotter” be directly under the cutter as this could potentially be dangerous if the cutter is dropped.

If you are dealing with a heavier cutter, and are a little concerned about setting up the stand, please be aware that we have Service Technicians around the country that can help you set up and install your cutter for you. If you are interested in having the cutter set up, please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788.

If for any reason you don’t see a stand for your cutter, chances are that we can still get one for you. If you have questions about cutter stands, paper cutters or finding the right accessory, give us a call. You can find our entire selection of stack paper cutters here.

Dahle 507 & 508 Personal Rotary Paper Trimmers Review

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Dahle 507 & 508 Rolling Paper TrimmersI’ve spoken to a lot of people over the years who are looking for a solid scrapbook or craft paper cutter that can cut through their card stock, photos and is easy to set up. One model I frequently recommend is the Dahle 507 and 508 personal rotary trimmers (found here). These compact rotary paper cutters have been around for years. I have personally used them and would like to share my experience with you.

I hear a lot of complaints from people regarding cheap department store paper cutters. I have heard everything from it just feels cheap to the blade dulls too quickly. I have heard my fair share of complaints. Dahle has been around for decades and is known for their paper cutters. The Dahle 507 and 508 cutters, especially considering the price, do an excellent job.

So what is a rotary paper cutter (aka rolling trimmer)? A rotary cutter is a type of trimmer that uses a round cutting blade. This blade usually sits in some sort of housing that slides along a rail. These types of cutters are especially known for their precision. The are also immensely popular with scrapbookers.

Let me go into just a little more detail on the blade. Many “cheap” rotary cutters, such as those made by a company that rhymes with whiskers, use blades that roll along a rubber or plastic base. This often results in poorly trimmed paper or situations where the bottom sheet doesn’t cut at all. These Dahle cutters use a blade that actually slides up against a metal bar. This produces a very clean cut. This same cutting process also helps to sharpen the rolling blade, thus dramatically extending the lifespan of the trimmer.

Both of these cutters share several things in common. Both of these cutters feature a 7 sheet paper cutting capacity based on 20# bond paper. Both of these cutters are also German engineered. Both of these trimmers feature a plastic clamping mechanism that helps keep the paper in place during the cutting process, which really helps with keeping the cut straight during the entire trimming process. Both of these trimmers also feature a metal base that has a preprinted guide for easy paper alignment.

I would like to cover a few specifications between the two trimmers:

  • Dahle 507 – This trimmer has a 12 ½” cutting length, making it perfect for cutting photos and letter size paper. This is the most popular size for scrapbookers and hobbyists. It is extremely lightweight and very easy to carry around.
  • Dahle 508 – This trimmer has an 18” cutting length, allowing it to easily cut paper larger than letter size. It is excellent for trimming down larger photos, signs and small stuff as well.

Many scrapbookers out there like to use a rotary paper trimmer that has the option of using special cutting blades. You can actually buy the Dahle 507 as the Dahle 507K (kit). This kit includes the standard straight blade as well as a wavy blade, deckle cut blade and a perforating blade. The blades are extremely easy to swap out.

In conclusion, I have to say that both the Dahle 507 and 508 are excellent budget paper trimmers. If you are OK with the 7 sheet capacity, and don’t plan on using them in a print shop for heavy-duty use, I think you will really like these cutters. They are perfect for home or small business use and make great gifts.

If you still have questions, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We would love to help answer your questions. You can find the Dahle 507 and 508 here and our entire selection of rotary paper cutters here.

Solingen Steel vs. High Speed Steel Cutting Blades

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Triumph Stack Paper CutterWe recently had a customer ask us a very good question about some of the cutting blades available for our Triumph stack paper cutters (found here). Many of our Triumph stack cutters are available with either a standard replacement blade or a premium replacement blade. The customer wanted to know the difference. It ends up the standard blade is made from Solingen steel and the premium blade is made from high-speed steel. So what is the difference between these two types of steel and why would you want one over another?

  • Solingen Steel – Solingen steel is a term attributed to steel made in Solingen Germany. It is generally considered to be high quality steel and has an excellent reputation behind it. The blend used to make this steel can vary. There isn’t any specific set of specifications that define a certain type of steel as Solingen. Again, it simply means it is from Solingen Germany. That said, Solingen steel is considered to be some of the best in the world. In the case of Triumph paper cutters, it is a hardened steel that does a very  good job of cutting paper.
  • High-Speed Steel – This is considered to be some of the highest quality steel out there and is sometimes simply referred to as HSS or HS steel. This is the kind of steel you find in tool components such as drill bits and saw blades. It is superior to high-carbon steel. It is capable of withstanding high temperatures that cause other types of steel to lose its temper (aka hardness). HSS typically has a hardness rated above HRC60. Tungsten and vanadium are alloys often used in the production of high-speed steel.

So in a situation where you have the option between a standard blade (Solingen), or a premium blade (HSS), there are a few factors to consider. First off, the premium blades are about 30-40% more money. That said, the premium blades will last longer and hold their edges longer than the standard blades. It seems pretty straight forward, but we wanted a little more information, so we ended up contacting MBM to see what they had to say about the matter. This is what they said:

“A high speed blade has an inlay that makes the blade stiffer than the Solingen steel blade. It is mostly used on hydraulic cutters due to the pressure from the hydraulics.”

Most of our customers, when it comes to standard manual and electric cutters, opt for the standard Solingen steel blade. These blades are steel extremely tough, last a long time and can be re-sharpened 2-3 times. The cutters ship with the standard blade by default. My recommendation would be to use the standard blade unless you are cutting paper on a commercial level or you notice your standard blades wearing out faster than you would like.

If you still have questions about the standard Solingen blades or the HSS premium blades, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We would love to help. Also keep in mind that we are able to provide replacement blades, cutting sticks and other parts for all Triumph, Dahle, Tamerica, Standard, Intelli-Cut and Duplo stack cutters. You can find our entire selection of stack paper cutters here. Thank you for reading and have a great day!

What Makes the Triumph 4305 Paper Cutter so Good?

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Triumph 4305 Stack CutterWhen it comes to manual stack paper cutters, very few even come close to holding a candle next to the MBM Triumph 4305 stack cutter (found here). This cutter is a third generation manual stack cutter, with its roots coming from the Triumph 3905 and Triumph 4205. There are many reasons why this cutter is considered to be one of the best and I would like to cover those features in this article.

First off, I would like to go on record saying that I have personally used this cutter. I have used it to cut stacks of standard 20# copy paper (hundreds at a time) to create notepads and business cards here in the office. While this is a manual paper cutter, I would argue that you can cut paper just as fast using this machine than an electric powered machine.

When you remove the top cover to this cutter, and compare the internal workings to other knockoffs, you really see the quality difference. There is a refinement, quality and build in this German paper cutter that you simply don’t find in other cutters. Other cutters appear to have been slapped together and grease slopped in during assembly. I have even seen circlips missing on knockoff cutters. The Triumph cutters are well put together and clearly high-end quality control measures are in place. For whatever reason, German paper cutters are the best…bar none.

What I find most remarkable about the Triumph 4305 is just how easy and how little manual effort you have to put into using this cutter. I have used other cutters where you almost had to hang on the handle and use all of your weight to cut through a stack. The triumph 4305 can cut through 1 ½” of paper in a single pass. This cutter is so beautifully geared that I can cut a stack of paper using a single finger, literally. Trust me, I’ve tried it. Don’t feel intimidated by this cutter.

The manual clamp on this cutter holds paper in place nicely. If you are cutting slick, glossy or coated paper, you may need to go with the Triumph 4705 (found here) as the slick paper may shift a little if the clamp isn’t securely in place. The spinning “hatch” style clamp on the 4705 is pretty much fool proof. That said, I think the Triumph 4305’s clamp is more than adequate for most jobs.

The backstop is very fine, although it is analog. The front hand crank is turned clockwise to bring the backstop forward and counterclockwise (anticlockwise) to take it back. A ruler on the side with an arrow lets you know exactly where the backstop is located. If this isn’t enough refinement for you, it also includes an optical cutting line (laser tool) that shines across the paper to let you know exactly where the blade will come down. Unless you need micrometer level measurements, I really thing this cutter is more than adequate for measuring in a cut. The backstop handcrank can be pulled forward and be disabled to prevent accidental backstop adjustments.

The cutting blade on this cutter is made from heavy duty forged Solingen steel. You can read more about Solingen steel by going here. The blade holds its edge like a razor and can be re-sharpened anywhere from 2-3 times (depending on wear and tear). The blade rests into a cutting stick. With the older models, such as the 3905, you had to fish the cutting stick out. With the new design, the cutting stick conveniently pulls out of the side.

As of this article, the MBM Triumph 4305 (by Ideal) includes the cutting stand. This option comes and goes, but is certainly something to keep your eye open for. In conclusion, I have to say that this is a great cutter. Does it cost more than many other cutters? Yes, but it will outlast those other cutters by years (literally).

Please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788 with any stack cutter questions. You can find the Triumph 4305 here  and our entire selection of stack cutters here.

Top 10 Best Guillotine Paper Cutters

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Best Guillotine Paper CuttersGuillotine paper cutters (found here) have come a long way over the years. These cutters used to be known as sharp blades attached to wood bases and were known for their keen ability to cut you. These same cutters, while you can still purchase the old school models, are now refined pieces of metal engineering with several integrated safety features.

Guillotine cutters are probably some of the most well rounded paper cutters available and can be used for cutting paper, photos, laminated material and more. So which models are considered the “best?” Having a decade of experience with these cutters under my belt, I would like to share with you some models that I like and have a great track record with our customers.

One thing I have found that over the years is that German is closely associated with quality in the paper cutting industry. German engineered and German built paper cutters are amazing. Another high-end feature to look for is Solingen. Solingen steel, again from Germany, is some of the strongest steel available and holds its edge remarkably well for cutting purposes. As a result, I have found Kutrimmer (by Ideal) and Dahle to be two very reputable manufacturers.

Here are what I consider to be the top 10 best guillotine paper cutters available (sorted lowest to highest price):

  1. MBM Kutrimmer 1134 (found here) – This is a 13 ¾” paper cutter that is perfect for trimming letter-size paper. It includes all the necessary safety guards and features a razor-sharp Solingen steel blade.
  2. MBM Kutrimmer 1135 (found here) – This cutter is similar to the 1134, but includes an automatic clamp with an Easy Lift release lever.
  3. Dahle 561 Premium Guillotine (found here) – This quality cutter comes from Dahle and is 14 ½” long. Unlike the Kutrimmer cutters that use a Lexan safety guard, this cutter has a corkscrew plastic guard that projects the blade during the cutting process.
  4. MBM Kutrimmer 1046 (found here) – This cutter features a nice 18″ cutting length. It includes an adjustable back gauge and a cutting line indicator. This is a nice cutter for trimming a wide range of paper sizes.
  5. MBM Kutrimmer 1035 (found here) – If you need to cut up to 50 sheets of standard paper at a time in a single pass, this 14 ¾” guillotine cutter is a great option. It features a very sturdy paper clamp to help keep those 50 sheets in place during the cutting process.
  6. Dahle 565 Premium Guillotine (found here) – The Dahle 565 premium guillotine has a 15 ½” cutting length and a 35 sheet trimming capacity. It includes a scale bar, an adjustable backstop and all the bells and whistles you would expect in a premium cutter.
  7. MBM Kutrimmer 1058 (found here) – This guillotine trimmer has a long 23″ cutting length while still being able to cut up to 40 sheets of paper at a time. As with all Kutrimmer paper cutters, this one includes a nice Solingen steel blade.
  8. MBM Kutrimmer 1071 (found here) – The 1071 ups the ante with a nice 28 ½” cutting length. It includes a nice paper clamp, an adjustable back stop and is still capable of cutting up to 40 sheets at this nice length. This is excellent for trimming a wide range of material.
  9. Dahle 567 Premium Guillotine (found here) – The Dahle 567 features a 21 ½” cutting length and a 30 sheet cutting capacity as well as a limited lifetime warranty. It ships equipped with a hand clamp, a lockable blade and an adjustable back stop.
  10. Dahle 569 Premium Guillotine (found here) – This is the largest premium guillotine Dahle offers, with a 27 ½” cutting length and a 30 sheet cutting capacity. As with the 567, this cutter includes a limited lifetime warranty.

There are some larger Kutrimmer trimmers available that would probably make this list other than the fact that they are extremely big and typically only used by print shops and businesses that deal with larger paper. You can find those larger cutters and our entire selection of guillotine paper cutters here.

If you have questions about any of the above-mentioned models, please feel free to give us at call at 1-800-658-8788. We have a lot of experience with these cutters and would love to help you out. We are also able to help with replacement blades and parts for all Kutrimmer and Dahle cutters.

Christmas Scrapbooking Paper Trimmer Gift Ideas

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Carl RT-200 Scrapbooking Rotary Paper TrimmerIf you are looking for a great gift idea for your mother, sister, wife or good friend, you may want to consider a rotary paper trimmer or cutter (found here). These devices are perfect for people that love to scrapbook and can be used to cut down photographs, scrapbook paper, card stock, regular paper and more. At ABC Office, we offer a huge lineup of rotary trimmers and I would like to recommend a few favorites that you may want to consider as a Christmas gift.

Keep in mind that these recommendations are for “good” rotary paper trimmers and not for cheap models that will easily break.

Christmas Paper Trimmer Gift Ideas

  • Carl RT-200 (found here) – I would like to start off with this cutter as it is one that I purchased my own wife for her scrapbooking projects. It is one that many people love to use because it features interchangeable trimming blades. Pattern examples include the B-03 deckle cut, the B-04 shorwave blade, the B-06 scallop blade, the B-08 Victorian blade and several others. Counting the straight blade, there are 10 different blades available. As far as the cutter itself goes, it works well and is excellent for individual use.
  • Carl RT-200N Rotary Paper TrimmerCarl RT-200N (found here) – For the environmentally conscious family member, we have the Carl RT-200N. It is very similar to the standard RT-200, but is made entirely of recycled materials and includes a light gathering clamp that makes it easier to see what you are cutting. This is excellent for scrapbooking, however, unique patterned blades are not available.
  • Carl DC-95N (found here) – This is an affordable rotary cutter and makes a great stocking stuffer. This tiny cutter is designed for cutting smaller material (up to 6″ long) and is ideal for its portability. This cutter is also made entirely out of recycled materials.
  • Carl DC-300N (found here) – This rotary trimmer is the answer to a scrapbooker’s dreams. It includes a built in handle, can cut up to 20 sheets of paper at a time up to 12″ long and has a small compartment where replacement blades can be stored. It features an easy-to-use cutting guide, an ergonomic cutting handle and a light-enhancing clamp. It is also made from recycled materials.
  • Carl DC-210N Personal Rotary TrimmerCarl DC-210N (found here) – Do you need a trimmer that is a little tougher than the other stuff out there? The DC-210N has a 12″ cutting length and can cut up to 36 sheets of 20# bond paper at a time! This tough little cutter features a grid and pattern on the base that makes it easy to do “common” cutting patterns. The DC-210N is totally green (not literally) being made entirely out of recycled materials.
  • Rotatrim Mastercut (found here) – This paper cutter, made by Rotatrim, is a great low to medium-volume cutter. It is designed to create straight and seamless cuts and features a self-sharpening blade design that helps keep the round blade razor-sharp for a long time. This is ideal if you are cutting material that typically dulls the blades on most other cutters. This is still a great gift idea and is excellent for trimming a wide range of paper, photos and other material.
  • Carl DC-238N (found here) – If you are looking for a heavy-duty rotary cutter as a Christmas gift, the DC-238N is one of the most affordable we offer. This cutter can cut a sheet of paper up to 18″ long and has a 36 sheet cutting capacity. The DC-238N is made from recycled materials and also includes a handy adjustable side guide and illuminating paper clamp. Because of its capacity, this cutter is excellent for cutting thicker coverstock, laminated materials and more.
  • Rotatrim Professimal M Series Rotary TrimmerRotatrim Professional (found here) – If you are looking for the Crème de la Crème cutter that is the envy of every scrapbooker and even photographer, the Rotatrim Professional is your best choice. This cutter is made in England, features a dual rail system for supporting the cutting head, has a solid wood base and uses a self-sharpening cutting blade. This cutter can handle a wide range of material and is designed to last for literally years. This is the rotary cutter the professionals use.

Hopefully this list has helped you find a few good rotary trimmer Christmas gift ideas for that loved one. We have been selling scrapbooking paper cutters and trimmers for years, so feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of rotary paper cutters and trimmers here.

Shopping for 18″ Rotary Paper Cutters – Q&A

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Rotary Paper CuttersI recently had a conversation with a customer that was looking for an 18″ rotary paper cutter (found here). They had several good questions. Upon passing a few questions and answers back and forth, I was able to come up with some great options for the customer. I would like to share some of those questions and answers in an effort to try and help you find the right paper cutter for your applications.

  • Customer: We do a lot of our own printing and cutting in house, and I mean a lot. We need a new paper cutter and need something that can trim down anything from cardstock to labels. What type of paper cutter do you recommend?
  • Me: You mention you cut a lot of paper. Just how much do you cut at a time?
  • Customer: We need something that can cut multiple sheets of paper, but the most important feature we need is to be able to see exactly where the cut will be made. Many of the cutters we use make it difficult if not next to impossible to see where the cut will be made.
  • Me: If you need to see exactly where the cut will be made, you may want to consider one of our MBM Kutrimmer paper cutters (found here). Many of them now feature an optical cutting line, making it easy to see where the cut will be made.
  • Customer: Thank you for the suggestion, but I am more interested in a rotary paper cutter. I like how compact the rotary cutters are and need something that won’t get in the way. I need something that has an 18″ cutting length.
  • Me: When it comes to rotary paper cutters, the Rotatrim Professional Series (found here) are considered to be the best. The cutting head slides along two rails for added stability and you can get a good idea on where the cut will be made thanks to the included clamping mechanism. It also comes in an 18″ version.
  • Customer: I really like that cutter, but am not sure if I will be able to fit it into my budget. Do you have a couple of additional recommendations? I need 3 different models in order to make a decision.
  • Me: While the Rotatrim Professional is my first choice, Dahle makes some great rotary cutters. Their Model 552 Professional Rotary Cutter (found here) is 20 1/8″ long. While it is slightly longer than 18″, it is still a great option that is both affordable and currently features free shipping.  Another affordable option is the Rotatrim Mastercut (found here). There is an 18″ Mastercut available and it is also extremely affordable. While it isn’t quite as heavy-duty as the Rotatrim Professional Series, it does use a square rail that provides a lot of support to the cutting head.
  • Customer: You have been a great help. I will hand this list off to my Purchasing Manger and let him choose from there.

So there you have it! These are some great questions and answers you may even want to ask yourself when shopping around for a paper cutter. If you have questions that need answers, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of rotary paper cutters here.

Seven Features to Look for in a Guillotine / Tabletop Paper Trimmer

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Tabletop Paper TrimmersIf you are shopping around for a tabletop paper trimmer, sometimes referred to as a guillotine paper cutter, you may be in need of a little guidance. There are several manufacturers out there and many different models. Having used many of these trimmers myself (found here), I have come up with seven features that you need to have if you are going to purchase a good paper trimmer.

I have compiled this list of features into seven must-have features and three optional features. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it.

Seven Features To Look For in a Guillotine / Tabletop Paper Trimmer

  1. Solingen Steel Blade – German Solingen steel is considered to be some of the most resilient and durable steel on the planet. That is why it is so popular with kitchen knives. Paper cutters that use Solingen steel typically stay sharp for longer and get the job done faster.
  2. German Engineering – Paper cutters are made all over the world, but those made in Germany have the best reputation. Whether it is the precision engineering or the high quality manufacturing process, German tabletop and guillotine paper cutters & trimmers are known for holding up through some of the toughest jobs. They also have a reputation of lasting for years.
  3. Safety Guard – When cutting paper, you want to make sure your fingers are out of the way of the cutting blade. Most reputable and modern tabletop cutter manufactures have plastic shields installed that prevent you from chopping off a limb. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be careful, but cutters with safety shields are far safer to use than the old wood base trimmers.
  4. Metal Base – A durable metal base helps add to the overall stability of the cutter and the overall lifespan of the cutter. I personally recommend metal base guillotine trimmers over wood base trimmers.
  5. Back Gauge – An adjustable back gauge makes it easy to make repetitive cuts. Simply slide the back gauge to the necessary position, lock it down and your ready to go. A back gauge also helps ensure a straighter cut and is excellent for trimming down photos, paper, card stock, laminated material and more.
  6. Cutting Guides – Cutting guides are diagrams printed on the base of the cutter. These guides typically show common cutting patterns and make it easy to quickly set up a cutter for common cuts. Some paper cutter manufacturers even include a grid for additional alignment support.
  7. Clamping Mechanism – A clamping mechanism may be one of the most important features you’ll want in a tabletop paper trimmer. This helps keep the paper in place during the cutting process and eliminates annoying crooked cuts that are found in older wood base cutters that don’t have a clamp. Some cutters feature basic clamps that activate as the cutting arm is brought down. Other cutters have independent heavier-duty clamps that require one hand to keep in place while the other hand cuts the paper. Never get a tabletop cutter without a clamp!

These are features that are optional, but nice to have:

  1. Line guide – Many modern cutters now include an optical cutting guide or line guide. This is usually a red light or laser that shines on the paper, letting the operator know exactly where the paper will be cut.
  2. Front Gauge – Some tabletop trimmers feature a front gage to help assist in paper alignment, which is usually adjustable via a knob on the front of the trimmer.
  3. Fold Away Paper Support – Some tabletop cutters feature paper supports that are designed to help keep lighter weight and thin paper from flopping over the edge of the cutter. This helps ensure paper lays flat against the cutter’s base and ensures more accurate cuts. This isn’t as big a deal with photos, card stock and other thick material.

Hopefully these tips help you find a solid tabletop paper trimmer. I have used dozens of tabletop cutters over the years and have to say that I personally recommend all of MBM’s Kutrimmer line of tabletop trimmers and most of Dahle’s lineup of guillotines. You can find our entire selection of paper cutters here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with your questions.

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