Many times, a paper cutter is required in offices as well as classrooms to cut a large set of paper at once. Also known as paper trimmer, paper guillotine or a guillotine, the cutter is quite handy for cutting other materials such as foam board, cardboard, thin plastic and textiles. Due to the availability of several types of cutters, it becomes quite difficult to choose the right type.

SMO2-09-Apr-2014

Before we embark on the process of choosing the right cutter, let’s understand the basic types of cutters.

  •  Guillotine paper cutter: This cutter features a large blade that can cut several sheets of paper simultaneously. They are also useful for cutting cardboard, textiles, and other materials. Available in different sizes, the guillotine cutter usually comes with a guide, a ruler, and a grid pattern for easy use.
  • Rotary cutter: Rotary paper cutters use a round cutting blade, which slides along a rail. Usually graphic designers or photographers prefer these cutters as they offer clean and accurate cut without any fuss. The rotary trimmers, which work well for paper, photographs, and other materials, feature blades that can cut in either direction. Due to its high popularity, electric rotary trimmers can be easily found in leading stationary or supplies store.

Once you understand the types of cutters you can have, the next question is which one is the best for you. While deciding upon the cutter, you need to consider:

  •  Purpose: Different materials require different types of cutters/trimmers. For foam board, different type of cutter is needed, while for cardboard, a different one. So the first factor to consider is the material for which you need the cutter. Once you know the purpose, you can narrow down on the type of cutter/trimmer.
  •  Frequency: How frequently would you need to use the cutter/trimmer? If the use is infrequent, borrowing or renting out cutters might be a better option than buying. However, if you have the need for them day in and day out, look for the brand that offers durability with functionality. If the cutters are good only for few months, buying them  ̶ no matter how cheap they are  ̶ doesn’t make sense. Better opt for durable ones even if they are bit on the expensive side. At least, it will save you the trouble of poor performance and the task of buying repeatedly.
  • Size and number of sheets: Small trimmers are good for cutting one or two paper sheets at a time. If you need to cut several sheets at a time, choose a bigger one. Also, consider the size of sheets you need to cut. If the sheets are thick, generally guillotine cutters are appropriate as they can cut up to a three-inch stack of papers.
  •  Automatic or manual: Manual cutters requires one or two pair of hands for cutting, while the automatic cutters are run by motors and they can adjust the materials themselves without the interference of human hands. If you are looking for cutting documents in large volume, it’s advisable to opt for the latter one as it will help you save cost of extra resources.
  • Portability: Large guillotine cutters can be heavy and immobile, taking up lot of space. So if you are planning to use a single cutter/trimmer at various locations, better opt for light cutters.

While purchasing a cutter, you may choose reliable brands such as MBM, Martin Yale, GBC, HSM, DocuGem, Fellowes, Premier, Swingline and Dahle.