Monday, July 18, 2011

Paper Trimmers

These tutorials/reviews are a product of extensive reading, researching and lots of time spent on making them. Please do not copy, or share on your page (for promoting your items in your shop) unless I give you permission to do so. Please ask nicely....I won't say no...but you need to ask.... You can link it on your blogs if you have used these tutorials...please share the link with me when you do use these tutorials...I would love to stop by and see what you have done! 

Yes, yes...its finally the turn of the paper trimmers...I had to abandon my SIP (stamps ink and paper) post to get to this....You guys are one impatient lot! :)

Firstly there are three types of trimmers - one comes with a straight blade, the other comes with a rotary blade and the third comes with guillotine blade.

The straight blade/V-blade is the most common of the paper trimmers..It has a small blade that will slide in a specially designed track.
 There are many many brands available... There is Fiskars, Tonic, Carl, Cutterpede, Cricut, Martha Stewart etc..

These are just the different brands..but essentially all have the same kinds of blade.
Coming to the pro's and con's.
I personally don't prefer this kind of a trimmer, so far. But there are some who will swear by this kind of a trimmer. So its a choice you will have to make as to what to buy.
  • Most of these are within the price range of 15-25$. 
  • You get different blades for cutting and scoring, and additional zig-zag, waves, postage border, perforating etc (in some models)
  • Clear ruler to see where the paper cuts through.
  • Board sizes are up to 5 1/2 to 6 inches, and some come with a fold-able arm to measure papers up to 12". So if you open the foldaway arm, you can cut a 12x12 sheet of paper, in most.
  • The main advantage with this is, you can start cutting in the middle of the sheet of paper, or add slots, which you can't with the other paper trimmers. 
  • Blade cuts both ways.
  • Highly portable. 
  • The need for replacement blades. All of these will need replacement blades every 6-8 months depending on your usage. Some have used blades for 2-3 yrs, some wear out a blade in 6 months. 
  • There is chance with excessive usage, the carrier strip (the groove where the blade runs) may wear out..again that will need replacing.
  • If you blades have started becoming dull, your paper cuts will feather out. 
  • Since the clear plastic ruler sometimes gets scratched or cut while cutting paper, your groove itself will become crooked...again leading to inconsistent cuts. 
If this is the one that you want, going by the reviews, I would recommend the Fiskars SureCut Deluxe paper trimmer. 
So far, I have read the best reviews of this across all boards. Maybe one of you who owns this can do a review separately.( JK, wink wink..I'm hinting at you!) Here is a video showing this trimmer's short but sweet review

Coming to rotary trimmers..

They have a circular blade housed in a cassette holder.  I don’t know much about them, except that some of them come with a self sharpening tool within the cassette,  so everytime you use that cutter, you sharpen the blade as well…
They do last for a pretty long time. Again, the track in which the blade runs, might need replacing once a year …again depending on y our usage.

This is what the blades look like.

 Costs around 40-50$ on an average.
 There are some who swear by rotatry trimmers and some who would not use it. Here is the video of one such trimmer in action.

Fiskars, Carl, X-acto are some of the companies that have fantastic Rotary trimmers.

Now my favorite trimmers, The guillotine style trimmers.
Pic courtesty - Julia Stainton
Click on over to read the most wonderful review of this trimmer..Warning..I'm a highly biased when it comes to this kind of a I will favor this..form your own opinion on your usage.

  • Self sharpening blade. Never needs replacing. At least not for 4-5 yrs .
  • You can get very thin slivers of paper if needed. I have cut up to 2mm thin slivers and long thin curls for paper bouquet..
  • Impossible to  cut your finger in the guillotine..(I tried once)
  • Comes with a good paper gripper, to keep your paper steady while you’re cutting.

  • You cannot cut into the middle of paper, to cut windows or slits.
  • It takes a while to judge where the cut will be exactly.
  • Bigger trimmers mean bigger can get a little bulky. (12x6, or 12x12)
  • Since the blade is self sharpening, over time, it tends to shave very tiny bits of metal off the cutting edge..after 4-5 yrs, the lower edge may give you inconsistent cuts.
  • There are no replacement blades, if your blade cuts wonky, its time to get a new one.
This is what I own.
My personal experience: 

I’ve had my Fiskars 8.5 x 5 trimmer for 5 yrs now. Never ever had a problem..Recently, I do find that my mats are inconsistent by 1-2 mm or so…you could never see in the cards, unless I tell you.
But other than that, no problem at all…I got the hang of judging my cut, within 3-5 days of using it.

It is always recommended to cut all the way through to the end of the blade in this type of a cutter, to keep the blade sharp.
Best ones in this category are Fiskars, Tonic. Would recommend this without hesitation.

And now to the ones that are available in our market...
Morn Sun is one company from Taiwan...they're in the range of 800-1000. Very small base, but does come with multiple blades. 

I am hesitant to recommend this because of its small base. I don't know how steady it will hold the paper while you cut it. Anyone who has it, please share the review.
I haven't used it, but seen in my stationery superstore in Mumbai. Ananda Stationery in Chennai also stocks it. I think you could get it around in stationery stores that stores exclusive items..maybe Venus in pune, Anupam Stationery in Mumbai.

The other is Deli brand. They have 3 guillotine style trimmers. Plastic base, wooden base and metal base. The plastic is the most portable, and all are 12x12. So you need a place big enough to keep it. 
The last I inquired they were in the range of 1500-2000 Rs. 
 I have had a lot of problems getting the plastic one..and 6 months down the road, still haven't found it.

These are the only ones I know of. Keep updating me with what you know and I'll keep updating over here. 

P.S. I'm making a separate page for all the tutorials and basics info that I've done. Easy to locate, right under the header.


  1. this is great Tejal! Thanks for doing this early! You are an angel!

  2. This is great great comprehensive post :) Loved one could have done it better than you :)

  3. Super post, girl!! I have paper trimmer on my wishlist now, tired of using Xacto knife :D

    Lets see when will I be able to get it but whenever I will I am sure gonna come back to this post before making my decision :D

  4. Thank You so much Tejal for this wonderful post! Much awaited and much appreciated! Love you!

  5. thanks tejal you have explained things very well and definitely given us all different choices too,i for one am surely going to use your post as a guide while buying the trimmer which is also in my wish list.

  6. Wonderful post Tejal. Just another info. to add, that this one(
    got Titanium blades which last for longer time.( Really a good one for card makers and scrapbookers.

  7. What a nice 'n' useful thing to do Tejal! Great idea to share your thoughts on basic crafting tools & techniques. On that note, I've been using the Fiskars Personal Paper Trimmer for years now and would highly recommend it. It's easy to use, it works great, it cuts & scores and it has all the painful 1/8 and 1/16 measurements :-) It does need blade replacements as & when, but the replacements are not overly expensive, in my opinion. Oh and it's 12x12 which is great as well...
    Good job with these posts, keep it going :-)

  8. Great post Tejal...thanks for sharing such wonderful information.

  9. thanks for the info tejal !! I am infact i was searching for a trimmer the whole of today... I posted in tradeindia to see if any Indian guys are dealing with these so that getting replacements is easy..

    following are some ppl dealing with trimmers:

    Am not sure of how good they r...waiting for them to send their specs

  10. Great Post..
    Totally admire your all comprehensive review on paper trimmer..I know which one to get ..thanks to you ..
    As for the shopping ..honestly I was just talking about a paper trimmer which I somehow missed while placing an order to Karuna... :(
    So its just the trimmer or guillotine I need ..may be I will look for it in the local market ..
    Needless to say I am done for a year !!
    No more shopping !
    I have been promising this to myself and others too :D

  11. Where do I get it in Mumbai? Where does one get good stationery in Mumbai ?


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