Self Sharpening Paper CuttersIf you have ever shopped around for a paper cutter (found here), you may have seen the terminology “self sharpening blade” touted as a selling feature. This sounds almost too good to be true, right? How can a paper cutter blade possibly be self-sharpening? Is this a gimmick or is it the real deal? I would like to answer a few of these questions and more in this article.

The first thing you should know is that the term self-sharpening is almost entirely coined by the rotary paper cutting business. Rotary paper cutters are those trimmers that have the round pizza cutter-like blade that rolls across the paper. Rotary cutters come in all shapes and sizes. Some have blades that rest into a plastic strip (typically cheaper cutters) and then there are those that slide against a metal base blade.

The cutters that slide against the metal base blade are known as a self-sharpening cutter. The idea is that the rotary cutting wheel is positioned in such a way that it rubs against the base blade in such a way that it is constantly sharpening the rotary cutting wheel. This means as you are cutting your paper or photos, you are also simultaneously sharpening the cutting wheel. Here is a picture showing what I am talking about:

Self Sharpening Paper Cutting Blade

So is this “self-sharpening” system real or is it simply a gimmick? I can attest to the fact that a self-sharpening cutter will hold its edge longer than those rotary cutters that simply roll along a plastic strip. Will a self-sharpening blade eventually dull? Yes, it will eventually dull with time. While the self-sharpening system isn’t magic, it does accomplish what the engineers set out to do. It does in fact extend the life of the blade and maintain an edge for a longer period of time.

Some guillotine cutters, especially those from Dahle, also claim to be self-sharpening. As the arm blade slides against the base, it rubs against a base blade much like a pair of scissors. This friction action acts like a knife on a whetstone, which helps keep the blade sharp. This also helps the guillotine maintain a decent edge over a long period of time.

When it comes to rotary paper cutters and trimmers, I find Rotatrim, Akiles, Dahle and Foster Keencut to be great cutters that utilize high quality blades that are designed to hold up with continued use. These cutters (found here) are excellent for photography use, scrapbooking use, copy shop use and more.

If you are looking for a decent rotary paper cutter or a guillotine, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. We would love to help you out!

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