Sofstretch Paper

Finding the right paper cutter

Manual Guillotine Paper Trimmers

Guillotine paper trimmers come in either wood or metal base. The base will either have its own clamp to secure the paper, or you will hold the paper in place while cutting. They also have an arm with a blade underneath and handle that you operate to cut the paper. This type of paper cutter is meant for occasional or low volume paper cutting- usually they can handle between 10 and 30 sheets of paper at a time.

A good choice for a smaller guillotine paper trimmer is the Dahle 212 Professional Cutter. Unlike some other low-volume hand trimmers, the blade arm stays open until you make a cut. It prevents injuries and unwanted cuts that can happen with a loose, falling arm. The maximum length of paper you can cut with the Dahle 212 is 12 inches.

This is the easiest to use and least expensive type of paper cutter, and the 212 is only about $80.

Martin Yale also has a line of high-quality guillotine trimmers ranging from small, tabletop models to larger floor models. At the same price and style as the Dahle 212, the Martin Yale W12 will cut up to 15 sheets at a time and features a plastic blade cover for extra-safe cutting.

Going into large floor model paper cutters, you can cut up to 30 sheets of paper at a time, thicker papers, and card stock. Floor models are also well-suited to cutting large drawings, art board, and other materials.

Dahle, again, has a high-quality floor model trimmer for about $1600. The Dahle 585 Guillotine has a maximum cutting length of up to 43 inches, and a foot operated clamp makes it ideal for large format work.

GBC’s Ingento CL570m Classic Maple Series is another option for large floor models. It will only handle paper up to 36 inches wide at 15 sheets a time. However, it is more versatile than the Dahle 585 in that its stand can be removed to convert it to a tabletop model, and less expensive at only about $560.

All manual guillotine trimmers have a maximum length of paper they can cut. If you need to cut larger or varying lengths of paper, a rotary trimmer might be a better option.

Rotary Trimmers

Rotary trimmers are distinct from other trimmers in that they can cut greater lengths of paper and newer models offer a variety of cuts other than just straight lines. You have more control with a rotary trimmer because you slide a small, two sided blade up and down the length of paper to make cuts. High-quality rotary trimmers typically make cleaner cuts than guillotine trimmers, and come in manual or electric models for large volumes of preset cuts.

Keencut makes a sturdy, economical manual rotary model - the 18 inch Keencut Technic Advanced Rotary Cutter. It boasts a well-built aluminum and silver anodized base, but is only good for paper up to .08 inches and not thicker materials. But for just over $200, it’s an economical option.

If you’re looking into electric rotary cutters, Keencut also has some solid offerings, but Kobra, Rotatrim, or Neolt are also good choices. Neolt carries the Electric Trim Series 200 - a good high volume electric rotary cutter. It will cut up to 79 inches wide, and includes a self-sharpening blade. It is foot or switch operated, and a reliable electric drive.

Stack Paper Cutters

Stack paper cutters can cut large stacks of paper or card stock - up to 750 sheets. They are similar to guillotines in that they have an arm that operates to cut the paper. With a manual stack cutter, the arm has a spring mechanism that provides the force to make cuts when you operate it. There are also electric stack paper cutters, which are made for higher volume use. They come either semi-automatic (with manual back gauge and clamp) or fully programmable.

The QCM 1200E Heavy Duty Cutter is a quality manual stack cutter that only costs you about $300. It has a cutting capacity of up to 1.5 inches and blade length (the max width of paper it will cut) is 12 inches. The QCM 1200E is close in price to many guillotine cutters and can handle about 10 times as much paper at once. QCM also has the 1700E, which has the same 1.5 inch capacity as the 1200E, but a blade length of 17 inches. Both are superior stack cutters, and QCM offers lifetime warranties to the original purchaser on all their stack cutters.

As far as electric stack cutters, my choice for automatics is the Standard PC45 Paper Cutter. This cutter is about $6000 and is made for print shops or other offices that need to cut many large piles of paper or card stock every day. Back gauge operation and paper clamp are manual.

If you’re looking into programmable electric stack cutters, they are more expensive than automatic, but can be programmed to save many cutting sequences and save much time and work for the operator. The Standard APC-45 Paper Cutter is about $9500. It can save up to 30 programs of 99 steps each, so you can set it and have it do your bleed trim work and basic cutting for digitally imprinted stocks.

source: http://www.content4reprint.com/

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