Paper Cutter Guide
Practical Applications of a Paper CutterPaper cutters will save you time and effort by allowing you to trim and alter large amounts of paper in a single job. Paper cutters are used to make precise cuts to shape or divide documents or projects. Paper cutters are a practical tool to use when trimming or cropping large stacks of paper, books, photographs and so forth.
Things to consider before purchasing a cutter.What type of media will you be cutting?
Different styles of paper media require different styles of cutters and trimmers. Make sure the model you choose will be appropriate for trimming photographs, cardstock, thin plastic, foam board, cardboard, particle board or standard copy paper.
How frequently will the cutter be used?
Cutters are available in a manual or automatic format. If you are cutting large amounts of paper on a regular basis you may want to consider an automatic cutter. Automatic cutters are motor/hydraulic/pneumatic-powered and some high-end models will self-adjust to your precise specifications. Manual cutters are a sensible choice for moderate or infrequent cut jobs.
Will you need a high or low capacity cutter?
Some smaller paper trimmers are designed to only cut one to two sheets of paper at a time. Larger, guillotine style cutters are able to slice through a three-inch stack of paper. Be sure to select a cutter or trimmer that will accommodate your present and future cutting needs.
What size of paper will be cut?
Paper cutters are designed in a variety of sizes depending on their function. Obviously large sheets of paper require a broader cutter than standard sheets. You may want a bigger cutter that is compatible with different paper sizes, or a smaller trimmer for lighter projects. Paper cutters generally increase in cost as you increase the paper cutting size, so choose one that best fits your needs.
What are your space/mobility considerations?
Will your cutter be in a stationary location or will it be moved to different areas? Some paper cutters are made for desktop use. They are light and easy to move from spot to spot. Others are large, cumbersome, heavy, and take up a lot of space. If you require a larger cutter but still need mobility then workstation wheels are available to make transportation easy.
What are the different types of cutters?
Several cutters can be used as photo trimmers, but for quality purposes it is recommended to use models specifically designed for cutting photos. Such models include the LiteCut photo trimmer. The LiteCut is a standard arm style cutter that features a built-in light that shines through the photograph to make cuts more precise.
Economy Paper Trimmers
Economy paper trimmers have a traditional arm design and are the most recognized paper trimmers. Economy trimmers are frequently used in schools and churches and are usually built with a metal cutting arm with a wood or plastic base. These cutters are good for occasional paper cutting and can cut approximately four to 10 sheets of paper at a time.
Arm Cutters and Trimmers
Arm cutters while similar in appearance to economy paper trimmers, are designed for higher frequency and volume use. The arm cutters are able to cut between 15-50 sheets of paper at a time, and it features an attached rotary trimmer for cleaner edges.
Rotary Paper Trimmers
Rotary paper trimmers cut paper differently than traditional paper trimmers. A rotary trimmer has a round blade attached in a cutting head that slides along a metal guide bar. The round blade slices as the cutting head slides along the bar. Rotary paper trimmers are widely used by photographers and scrapbook enthusiasts because of their slick, precision cutting.
Foam trimmers operate similar to a rotary paper trimmer. Foam trimmers also use a cutting head that slides along a metal bar cutting the foam sheet as it moves. Foam trimmers are designed to cut through Styrofoam and mounting board.
Manual Stack Cutters / Guillotine Paper Cutters
Guillotine cutters are a high-end cutter that are designed for high-volume slicing. Guillotine cutters cut thick stacks of paper into various sizes. The paper is placed on the cutter and a clamped into place. Pull the handle to bring the blade down through the paper, making straight and clean cuts. Some manual guillotine cutters can cut up to 800 sheets of paper at a time.
Electric Semi-Automatic Stack Paper Cutters
Electric semi-automatic cutters function similarly to the manual guillotine cutters except that the semi-automatic cutters have a power-driven blade, which does not require any manual exertion. Paper is placed on the cutter and manually locked into place by a clamping mechanism. A button is pushed to bring the blade down through the paper.
Electric Fully Automatic Stack Paper Cutters
Fully automatic guillotine cutters are for cutting thick stacks of paper, and many are able to cut a three-inch stack. These cutters have a power-driven clamp and blade. A fully automatic digital cutter is also available. The difference between the fully automatic and the fully automatic digital cutters is the way you adjust the cut. The standard fully automatic cutters are adjusted manually, the fully automatic digital cutters self-adjust after you type the measurements on the keypad.
Electric Fully Automatic Digital Stack Paper Cutters
The fully automatic digital guillotine cutters slice large amounts of paper with one cut. These cutters have a power driven clamp and blade. Fully automatic guillotine cutters are available that cut a three-inch stack of paper. The fully automatic digital cutters self-adjust after you type the measurements on the keypad.