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Best Paper Cutter or Trimmer for the Job

Posted by: James on September 16th, 2011

Rotary Paper CutterIf you’re shopping around for a paper cutter, you may be thinking, “which of these models should I choose?” There are hundreds of different paper cutters out there from literally dozens of different brands. So which paper cutter should you go with? I will explain some of the most common paper cutting projects, the best paper cutters to use and the pros and cons of each style of cutter.

To begin with, there are 3 main types of paper cutters. There are divisions within those categories, but most people categorize paper cutters as:

I’ll go into more detail in this article what each of these paper cutter types are and what they are used for.

The term paper cutter and paper trimmer are often used interchangeably. Most industry experts, however, consider trimmers to be light-volume machines and paper cutters to be medium to higher-volume machines.

What do most people cut? Having spoken to thousands of customers, most people want to cut paper, photographs, card stock, business cards and laminated materials. Here is the paper cutter you may want for each of these projects:

  • Photos / Photographs – If you are cutting photos, I generally like to steer people towards rotary paper trimmers like those made by Rotatrim, Dahle or Carl. They are precise, excellent for alignment and are affordable for photographers and scrapbookers alike. If you are looking for a multi-purpose cutter that can also handle photos, you may want to consider using a guilllotine paper cutter.
  • Card Stock – If you are cutting down dozens to hundreds of sheets of card stock, I recommend using a stack paper cutter. These amazing cutters are capable of cutting entire reams of paper, with some even capable of cutting up to 3″ of card stock at a time. If you are only cutting a few at a time, I recommend to first consider a guillotine paper cutter and then a rotary paper trimmer.
  • Business Cards – I first and foremost recommend using a business card cutter. These cutters are designed to cut standard 3.5″ x 2″ cards. Simply print your cards and run them through one of these handy machines. If you are cutting non-standard size business cads, or need to cut hundreds to thousands of them, I recommend using a stack paper cutter. In a few passes, a stack paper cutter can create thousands of cards.
  • Laminated Paper – If you are cutting out menus, signs, ID badges or other laminated paper, I recommend using a rotary paper cutter like those made by Dahle or Rotatrim. These trimmers are designed for precision, and thanks to self-sharpening blades, the lamination film does not easily dull them. If you also need to cut card stock, chipboard and other material, a guillotine paper trimmer also does a great job.

Now that we have covered some of the most common uses of paper cutters, let me go over the pros and cons of each style of paper cutter.

  • Rotary Paper CuttersRotary Paper Cutters – These cutters are extremely precise, which is why they are so popular for cutting photographs, art prints and artwork in general. They are also great for cutting paper, cover stock, laminated material and much more. The only downside to rotary paper cutters (aka rolling paper trimmers) is that they don’t usually have the cutting capacity of guillotine or stack cutters.
  • Guillotine Paper CuttersGuillotine Paper Cutters – Guillotine paper trimmers are one of the most common style of trimmers used in schools and copy centers. Many of the older guillotine trimmers cut crooked and were a little dangerous. Modern guillotine trimmers have excellent paper clamps, razor sharp blades and are chuck full of safety features. Simply put, guillotine paper cutters are the best rounded machines out there.
  • Stack Paper CuttersStack Paper Cutters – Stack paper cutters are available in manual, electric and hydraulic designs. The are designed for high-capacity and heavy-volume cutting. You will often see these cutters in print shops, copy centers and other locations where hundreds of sheets of paper need to be cut at a time. These workhorses are great for cutting a lot of paper, but are not the best machines for cutting a single sheet or a few sheets of paper.

Hopefully this helps you determine which cutter is best for you. We have over 30 years of experience with paper cutters and trimmers, so feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454 for advice on the right paper cutter for you. You can find Office Zone’s entire selection of paper cutters here.

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Top 10 Best Paper Folding Machines 2011

Posted by: James on September 8th, 2011

Paper Folding MachinesWhen shopping around for a paper folding machine, you want to buy the best one for your money, right? It makes sense. You probably also want a machine that will last for several years. There’s no sense in shopping around for a new machine every few months or year. Having used paper folding machines myself for over 10 years, I have a very good idea which machines you should use.

There are a lot of factors that you should consider before purchasing a paper folding machine. To begin with, you don’t want to purchase a cheap $200 machine for a job that really needs a $2,000 machine. Trust me, you’ll be out of a machine in a few days if you expect a cheap folding machine to do a commercial job.

With that in mind, be aware that while these machines are on my “top 10″ list, that doesn’t mean that each one will do the job you need. You need to consider monthly duty cycle, sheet capacities, fold types and more. I recommend calling 1-800-543-5454 to speak with a folding machine specialist for answers to your specific questions. Also be aware that these are friction-feed style paper folding machines, not air suction machines.

These paper folding machines have a great reputation, an excellent track record with customers and are known to be extremely reliable.

Top 10 Best “Manual Setup” Paper Folding Machines 2011

  1. Intelli-Fold DE-102AF Paper Folding Machine – This machine has been around for years, previously under the name Dynafold DE-102AF. This machine is a great value for the money and is extremely fast. It also creates just about any fold you could want.
  2. Intelli-Fold IF-300 Desktop Folding Machine – This machine isn’t designed for high-volume jobs, but is excellent for occasional desktop runs. For under $300, it is a great deal.
  3. MBM 93M Paper Folding Machine – This is the replacement to the popular MBM  87M. As was the case with the 87M, the MBM 93M is a solid piece of machinery that is a perfect fit between the DE-102AF and the IF-300. It isn’t too expensive, yet is robust enough for medium-volume runs.
  4. Intelli-Fold DE-112AF Folding Machine – This paper folder is almost identical to the above mentioned DE-102AF except the DE-112AF has a powered exit conveyor, which helps keep paper neat and orderly. It is one of the cheapest paper folding machines that features a powered exit conveyor.
  5. Formax FD 312 Paper Folding Machine – Formax makes some of the most solid office equipment around. They are better known for their paper folder inserters and paper shredders, but their line of paper folding machines are is equally as good.
  6. Intelli-Fold DE-172AF Paper Folding Machine – This paper folding machine has it all. It can create most popular folds, handles 11″ x 17″ paper and includes a powered exit conveyor! For the money, few competitors even come close to competing.
  7. Intelli-Fold DE-202AF Paper Folder – Once known as the Dynafold DE-202AF, the Intelli-Fold DE-202AF is a time tested classic. It has been around for years and has proven itself time after time. Its fast, has a 500 sheet feed tray and can handle larger sheets of paper.
  8. Formax FD 320 Paper Folder – This Formax paper folding machine can create all the folds you need, has easy-to-adjust folding plates and of course features Formax quality.
  9. MBM 207M Paper Folding Machine – MBM, the manufacturers of the classic Destroyit line of paper shredders, also make some of the best paper folding machines around. This is the easiest manual setup paper folding machine around. It is fast, accurate and includes a powered exit conveyor.
  10. Tamerica TPF-42 Paper Folding Machine – This paper folder is pretty much a clone of teh MBM 207M, but available to you at a lower cost. We have been selling this machine for a few years now and it has quickly become a hit.

HONORABLE MENTION

Martin Yale 959 Paper Folding Machine – If this had been a top 11 list, the 959 paper folding machine would have been included. While I’m not a big fan of Martin Yale, the 959 is a beast, designed for high-production paper folding jobs. It can be used every day without hesitation. Check it out!

So there you have it. My top 10 best paper folding machines of 2011. While there are some pretty good automatic machines out there as well, these manual setup machines are solid examples of engineering excellence. You can find Office Zone’s entire selection of paper folding machines here.