Marilyn knows how to present the dullest topic in an interesting and easy-to-read way. When she’s not teaching English Literature at a local school or writing for our site, Marylin loves to knit and bake for her two grandchildren.
Julie owns a shop specializing in sewing equipment and accessories. No wonder she knows everything when it comes to technical specifications of practically anything we review. In her free time, Julie loves quilting and scrapbooking.
Last updated: April 16, 2022
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Realizing that there are as many lousy paper guillotines as there are good ones is something people find out too late. By then, they have already bought one or two of these tools hoping for the best paper cutter only to be sourly disappointed. However, coming to this realization means taking responsibility in ensuring you get the purchase right the next time.
If you want to leave no space for error the next time you are looking to buy such a tool, you had better look at all features available in each device. These include the type of paper trimmer, cutting length, and sheet capacity. You will need to correlate these features with your needs. One example is taking the type of papers you will be using as well as the usual workload into account. Additionally, looking at the construction of the tool is wise for longevity reasons. Safety in use is also paramount. In your search for the best paper cutter, you also cannot fail to check out the warranty. These are all features we have looked at while compiling the list of options below.
Other features: carbide blade, adjustable magnetic paper guide, storage compartment
Most of you are probably looking for a paper trimmer for cardstock, scrapbooking, crafts, and other small tasks. In such a case, the CARL 12238 Heavy Duty Rotary Paper Trimmer proves sufficient.
Even if you were a teacher with less than 100 students, the product would still work. You would, however, need to repeat the process of trimming a few times. This is because the sheet capacity is maxed out at 36 pieces of paper.
Looking at the dimensions of the trimmer, then comparing that to the rest of the list leads to the realization that this is a bulky device. However, the size does come in handy in making the cutting length longer.
Also, a locking rail has been provided with the Guillotine. This component’s job, as shown in the picture, is to hold sheets of paper in place while the cutting is being done.
Using the storage compartment for spare blades is as well not against any rules. Remember that you are provided with both a straight blade and a perforating one to get you started. Replacement blades are also available in the market if you are thinking of having extras lying around.
Additionally, the magnetic paper guide is quite useful, especially when there are repetitive cuts to be made. Keen eyes will note that the baseboard features common measurement indicators and an alignment grid. The durable metal construction of the baseboard is also worthy of note.
What are our favorite features?
Replacement spare parts are available
Baseboard comes with an alignment grid and common measurements
Other features: wide hardened carbide steel blade, a safety guard and a safety lock
Depending on your workload, your paper cutting needs may be a lot more than 36 sheets per cut. In this case, the VViViD Heavy-Duty Tabletop Guillotine Stack Paper Cutter is worth considering. With this tool, you can stack up to 300 pieces of paper for cutting, and it would still get the job done.
Remember that for the capacity of this tool to be realized, it needs a durable blade alongside a baseboard that can handle the pressure exerted. It, therefore, isn’t shocking to find out that the blade is made of carbide steel. Below the blade is a steel base.
Another thing to note about this trimmer’s base is that it is coated. This prevents scratches on the surface, which can lead to damage to the papers. Additionally, the papers can slide easily on and off this surface when needed.
Paying closer attention to the base will reveal a printed grid. This helps you align the papers for cutting. Remember that you can combine this with the clamp arm to make sure the cuts you make are even.
Additionally, the manufacturer pays attention to user safety hence has included a safety guard. As a consequence, your fingers will always be protected when using this guillotine paper cutter. Also, remember that for the money and functionality, the tool would be ideal for businesses with a colossal paper trimming workload.
What are its best features?
The base is coated to prevent scratching
The tool can cut up to 300 papers at the same time
A safety guard is included to protect your fingers
Another option available with an 18-inch cutting length is available in the Swingline 1152 Guillotine Paper Cutter. The base of the product is made of maple wood, which can be durable in the right conditions. The limit for paper cutting is 15 sheets for this product. Consequently, it is not ideal for businesses where the workload can be a bit much.
Attached to the base is a die-cast metal arm, which as well holds the blade. Things you should know about the blade is that it is made of steel and that it is self-sharpening. As such, even if you use it to trim papers daily, it should remain as sharp as when you first bought it.
Also, a ruler is seemingly necessary in these devices. While it’s not as impressive as the one on the base of the VViViD Heavy-Duty Tabletop Guillotine Stack Paper Cutter, the dual scale ruler should help with making accurate cuts.
An additional benefit of the trimmer is the steel tension spring, whose job is to hold the blade in place. As long as this feature is working optimally, cutting yourself with the trimmer is highly unlikely.
Remember that you can secure the blade in a single position with the blade latch hook if you are not using it. It should also dawn on you that the movement of the base may ruin the result you are looking for. This is why non-slip feet have been included in the product.
Last on this paper trimmer’s list of benefits is the 10-year limited warranty.
What are our favorite features?
10-year limited warranty
Safety features include a blade latch hook, a protective guard rail, and a steel tension ring
What could be better?
Measurement guidelines are not optimally placed
The product doesn’t cut straight when dealing with multiple sheets of paper
Other features: Perpetual Edge self-sharpening system, adjustable paper guide, safety guard and latch
Similar to the Swingline 1152 Guillotine Paper Cutter, the X-ACTO 26315 Heavy Duty Wood Guillotine Trimmer can cut a maximum of 15 sheets at once. You can also see a similarity in the base construction of the two products. They are both made of wood.
Unlike other blades that get dull over continued use, this tool has a self-sharpening edge that counters against that. The result is a sharp blade that cuts evenly every time you put it to the task.
On the end of the blade is an oversized rubber grip. The intention of putting this here is so that users can be comfortable cutting papers no matter how long it takes.
In addition to the above, two safety features are included. One helps keep your fingers away from the blade while the other locks the blade in place while it is not being used.
What stands out?
Safety guard keeps fingers protected
Offers a self-sharpening system
What cons did we manage to find?
Users have mentioned the blade is flimsy, and this can lead to cuts which aren’t straight
Other features: automatic clamp, screened guides, non-skid feet, locking handle
If having a metal base lined with guides is one of the things on your checklist, you can look at the Dahle 40018-12568 Vantage Paper Trimmer. These guides should help you align your cuts the way you want them.
Some models require you to hold the papers still so that they don’t get dragged by the motion of the blade. You should know that such a scenario can lead to uneven cuts. Instead, there is an automatic clamp to do the holding for you.
Underneath the base, the product is made sturdier by non-skid feet. As to the limits of the trimmer, you shouldn’t stack more than 15 sheets of paper. Owing to its capacity, construction, and its 18” cutting length, the product would make an ideal paper cutter for teachers and other professionals alike.
Last on this Guillotine’s benefits list is the locking handle put there, so you needn’t worry about blade movement when the cutter is not in use.
What do we love it for?
The product is designed with an automatic clamp for holding papers in place
Guides are added to the metal base of the tool
The handle can be locked when not in use for safety
What were we disappointed with?
Some of the cuts made on this trimmer are not perfect
Blade gets worn out over time
The tool doesn’t offer 1/8 and ¼ inch measurements
If you are going for the 12” version of the Swingline 9312 Guillotine Paper Cutter, you need to pay about 27 dollars to own it. If you are willing to spend 2 dollars more, you can get the 15” cutting length option as well.
The Guillotine comes with a plastic base with grids visible all over the surface. Also, it uses dual scale measurements, so whether you use centimeters or inches, you will be catered to.
At its best, the tool can handle cutting ten papers stacked together. Any more and you risk damaging the product even uneven cuts.
For people worried about the dulling of the blade, the manufacturer hopes to set their minds at ease by making it self-sharpening. Dulling is, therefore, not likely to happen.
Also, most of you will feel safer using the product since it comes with a guard rail for your fingers. If you couple this with the blade latch hook, your safety is almost guaranteed. What’s left is for you to be vigilant during use.
Why are we impressed?
A self-sharpening blade is included
You get a 10-year limited warranty
The base is gridded for better alignment and you are provided a dual scale ruler as well
You get a guard rail for your fingers
What negatives must you be aware of?
The blade latch hook is difficult to open
The markings on the ruler are not very visible
Sliding papers under the blade can be hard since it doesn’t lift high enough
Other features: scratch-resistant coating, adjustable paper clamp
If you want a heavy-duty paper cutter that can even make slight work of books, you can pick out the HFS (R) Heavy Duty Guillotine Paper Cutter. As mentioned, the tool does have a sheet capacity of 400 papers. This implies that every part of the device is made of high-quality and durable materials meant for handling massive workloads.
Noteworthy is that the cutting length is 12,” which is a bit limited compared to what you get with some of the other top products. To make sure that all the papers are evenly cut, there is as well the inclusion of a heavy-duty clamp. Remember, the purpose of the clamp is to hold the papers in place while the cutting is being done.
Also, if you were to rely on your strength to cut the whole stack of papers, it would probably prove impossible. This is where the hinge system of the tool comes in. It is capable of multiplying the leverage on the handle. As such, you won’t even have to break a sweat when cutting books or multiple papers.
The base is as well lined with ruler measurements so you can make the necessary adjustments to your cut surface. Another thing the manufacturer does well is put in a blade that can be re-sharpened time and time again.
The maker also accounts for the fact that at some point, re-sharpening may not be an option. You thus have the option of purchasing replacement blades.
Considering the effectiveness of the cutting blade, there are also numerous safety features included. They are a removable guard for the blade and a safety pin that holds the arm and blade up.
Also, the positioning of the blade allows you to place your papers in the optimal position without fear of being cut.
Why did it make our list?
Lots of safety features are included
The blade can be re-sharpened or replaced
Hinge system makes cutting relatively easy
For the value, you get the product is relatively inexpensive
What is not ideal about it?
The design doesn’t allow you to see what you are cutting during the act
Some users have mentioned the trimmer cuts at an angle
Other features: self-sharpening steel blade, guard rail, 0.5” x 0.5” gridlines, printed ruler (in inches and cm)
The AmazonBasics DHG-C-001 Paper Trimmer as well is another high-quality plastic-base tool to make it onto the list. As you can see, gridlines are apparent all over the surface of the base. These measure 0.5” x 0.5”. Also, on the ruler, you get the common dual-scale that uses inches and centimeter measurements.
As to the maximum length of papers you can cut with this paper trimmer, it is 12”. Remember this as you are planning for your crafting projects.
Also, the AmazonBasics manufacturer seems intent on keeping your fingers and hands away from the blade to prevent potential cutting accidents. This is done using the guard rail.
On top of that, the blade is self-sharpening. Nonetheless, the manufacturer knows it can be dangerous. As such, it can be locked in place in a way that ensures no accidents happen when the product is not in use.
What makes it special?
The design incorporates a self-sharpening blade
A dual-scale ruler is included
Gridlines for alignment are availed on the surface of the base
What cons did we find?
The product isn’t durable
The accuracy of some of the cuts made by the Guillotine has also been questioned
Other features: built-in safety clamp, integrated safety lock, printed scale and grid
For the Aurora PC100V2 Paper Trimmer, a stack of 10 papers is where you need to draw the line. You would do even better for the longevity of the product by using even smaller stacks.
The construction is plastic, so you shouldn’t expect high levels of durability. Nevertheless, with its 12” cutting length, scrapbooking and crafting will be a cinch. This product should as well be able to handle some of the thicker materials such as cardstock.
Before we forget, the surface of the base is lined with an integrated scale and grid. Extra features include an integrated safety lock for the blade and a safety clamp that is built-in.
Why are we impressed?
Built-in safety clamp and safety lock
Comes with a printed scale and grid on the base surface
Other features: spring action blade, non-skid feet, automatic clamp
Except for the markings on the baseboard of the tools, the Befacai A4 Guillotine Paper Cutter and the Elifine A2-B7 Paper Trimmer look quite similar. This is in the design of the blade, base, and even the clamp.
You may also have noted a difference in size. It may not be as evident from the images we have provided, but the maximum cutting length for this product is 12.4”. Contrasting that with the Elifine A2-B7 reveals a disparity of more than 5”.
Also, this Guillotine comes with a wooden base. Further, the function of the clamp is to protect your fingers.
What stands out?
Durable components are used in construction
Non-skid feet are added for stability
What cons did we manage to find?
It is not easy to see where you’re cutting when using this tool
Warranty: lifetime limited (blades and mats excluded)
Other features: 11 cutting blade patterns, even pressure rail mechanism, storage compartment
The Carl 12200 Bidex Professional 10-Sheet Rotary Trimmer adds to the ranks of rotary paper cutters on our list. Also, at less than $35 at the time of this purchase, a lot of you can still buy it if you’re trying to save some money.
The basic configuration of the trimmer comes with a carbide blade, which should be durable and sharp enough to cut even mat board. If you instead are only interested in cutting paper, you can stack a few thin sheets, and the rotary paper cutter will still run through them.
Also, an even pressure rail mechanism works in conjunction with the rotary blades to ensure your cuts come out as planned. A bit of keenness will reveal measurements and rulers inscribed on the surface of the baseboard. People who have used paper cutters before know how essential this can be.
If you focus more on crafts rather than office work, you should know there is an option of purchasing extra blade options. You can have as many as eleven of them, all of which offer different cutting patterns.
Another component where you will appreciate having extras is the cutting mat. Of course, extra cutting mats are as well available for sale.
Why are we impressed?
Optional cutting mat and rotary blades are available
Limited lifetime warranty
Rulers are provided to allow you to make precise cuts
What negatives must you be aware of?
The blades can get dull quickly prompting replacement
The product struggles with thicker materials such as cardstock
Other features: SureCut wire cut-line, patented triple track system, a self-leveling swing-out arm
Crafters and other people looking for the best paper cutter for scrapbooking may find the Fiskars 152490-1004 SureCut Deluxe Paper Trimmer ideal.
This tool offers users the ability to see where the blade will cut. Consequently, even cuts are all but guaranteed. Also helping you achieve even cutting results is the Triple Track System.
Most of the trimmer is made out of plastic, and hence this cutter may not be the most durable one available. More care is thus required if you want to use the Guillotine for longer.
Another unique feature is the self-leveling arm. This extends the measuring deck so you can use larger pieces of paper. Last on the impressive attributes list for this trimmer is the limited lifetime warranty.
Other features: TripleTrack System, swing-out arm, rubberized feet, self-leveling base
Looking at the design of the Fiskars 196920-1001 Portable Scrapbooking Trimmer alongside that of the Fiskars 152490-1004 SureCut Deluxe Paper Trimmer, it is easy to note similarities. They are from the same manufacturer, and you can see that even in the design.
The 196920-1001 also seems to make use of the triple track system to ensure you cut in a straight line. Let us not forget the inclusion of a swing-out arm whose purpose is to extend the measuring surface.
Most of the tool features aluminum construction, while rubberized feet help keep the product steady. Also, like the other Fiskars product listed, a limited lifetime warranty is given to buyers of this paper cutter.
Why is it special?
Large measuring surface
Triple Track System ensures straight cuts
What are the flaws?
It is not the best Guillotine for thick materials such as cardstock
Other features: hardened steel rotary blade, storage drawer, bright LED backlight, integrated ruler
As a product made from the combination of ABS, steel, and rubber, the Cutterpillar Pro CPP-ABS Professional Paper and Photo Trimmer is quite impressive. It is similar to the CARL 12238 Heavy Duty Rotary Paper Trimmer in that it uses a rotary blade to make its cuts.
Noteworthy is that the rotary blade is made from hardened steel. This is also one of the best paper cutters for crafts. Remember that you have storage space so you can place the pieces of paper you have already cut.
The storage drawer is 12” wide. This is similar to the cutting length despite the full length of the integrated ruler being 13”.
Some might assume that because the base is made of ABS material, it is not durable. They would be wrong. However, be careful as to the number of papers you try to cut as overloading the tool may shorten its lifespan.
The rubber component is mostly used in the making of the feet for non-slip stability. Also, it doesn’t matter if you prefer to use centimeters or inches for your measurements. Both of these metrics are included in the ruler.
A welcome surprise that you may not find in other trimmers is the LED backlight, which functions to light up the cutting line. However, do remember that you need to purchase four AA batteries if you are to use this feature.
What stands out?
Included in the design are non-slip rubber feet
You get an integrated ruler
There is storage space on the device
What cons did we manage to find?
Doesn’t include anything to hold the paper in place
It might be challenging to see the measurements on the ruler
Things to Consider
The list above shows you that you can get guillotines made up of different materials and at various price points. Also, there are variations as to the capacities and benefits of each. This just means that each guillotine model is not made for everybody. The guide our team curated below shows you how to find the perfect paper cutter for your budget and needs.
Why should you buy a paper cutter?
You may be in situations where a perfect edge for the papers you handle is ideal. This will likely happen in offices and schools and even at home when you are scrapbooking or making crafts that require papers to have straight edges.
If you try using scissors to achieve these straight edges, you will quickly notice that the work is tedious and worse, you are not accurate with your cuts. A specialized tool such as a paper trimmer makes this kind of work easier for you, and further, you get more standardized cutting results.
Remember, these are not the only types available. You have others such as stack paper cutters, form paper caters, and corner paper cutters, all of which we have explained below.
Guillotine paper cutters
These devices all have a handle attached to a blade. They also require manual input in that you need to pull down the handle to cut any stack of papers you have placed on the baseboard. Typically, these cutters allow for the cutting of between 10-20 sheets of paper at the same time.
Form paper cutters
If you want a machine where you feed the papers and they are automatically cut to size, form paper cutters are the way to go. Some high-end form paper cutters can also perforate your papers if you want them to.
Rotary paper cutters
Rotary paper cutters can be differentiated from the competition by a rail on which a cutting head can be moved back and forth. A round blade attached to this cutting head is also a telling factor. These cutters are limited in the stack sizes they can handle. However, if you want precision on small stacks of paper, they are among the best.
Stack paper cutters
Stack paper cutters may sometimes look a lot like guillotine cutters. However, some of them work manually. Others are semi-automatic, while the most advanced ones are fully automatic. Also, like the VViViD Heavy-Duty Tabletop Guillotine Stack Paper Cutter, they are capable of cutting sheets of paper in their hundreds at a time.
Corner paper cutters
Lastly, some of you may want to get rid of sharp corners and replace them with round ones. In this case, you get a corner paper cutter. Like stack paper trimmers, these devices are sometimes capable of handling a hundred papers at a time.
Features to consider when choosing a paper cutter
The ideal paper cutter is one that will allow you to do precisely what you intend to do, whether it is to craft some artwork, ensure straight edges in books or something else. The only way to know if this is possible without owning the product is to look at the features, as explained below.
The size can affect certain aspects of how you use the trimmer. For instance, if you want to move the item from the office to your home and back the next day, there is no way you can choose something as bulky as HFS Heavy Duty Guillotine Paper Cutter. Remember, the size will as well affect other aspects such as the maximum cutting length.
When looking for a paper cutter, you have likely already thought about how to use the device. Also, among the things you will have thought about is the size of the papers you will be using. Getting the most extended cutting length you can find and afford is ideal for most people. This is because you can use a product capable of cutting 18” with a 12” paper but not the vice versa.
Measurements and grids
Most of the guillotine trimmers mentioned above with the example of the Dahle 40018-12568 Vantage Paper Trimmer offer both grids and rulers with various measurements. The purpose of the former is to have everything correctly set up to allow you to cut in a straight line.
The measurements allow you to dictate the size of the final product after cutting. Additionally, ensure the product uses measurements that you are comfortable with. The most common options are inches and centimeters. Occasionally you will find a trimmer that incorporates millimeter measurements as well.
Some consider the blade to be the most critical part of the paper cutter. It can, however, be tricky to pick and choose from the blade types available. That being said, there is a checklist for the ideal blade. It should be durable is the first item on that checklist.
Also, ensure the blade is sharp enough to cut the paper stacks you will be using it on. Some paper cutters have spare blades that you can purchase if yours stops being useful. Others will require that you re-sharpen the blade every time it gets dull. At some point, you may have to replace the whole trimmer if the blade can no longer be sharpened.
Additionally, self-sharpening blades like the one on the AmazonBasics DHG-C-001 Paper Trimmer may eliminate needing to detach the blade for re-sharpening. This does make it safer since you never handle the naked blade with your bare hands.
If you have 100 sheets of paper to cut and your guillotine paper cutter can only handle ten at a time, you are going to repeat the cutting process ten times. If, on the other hand, your cutter can handle 400 sheets, you only need to cut once to finish the same job.
The latter is more convenient. However, most of you will rarely need to cut 100 sheets. Most cutting workloads can even be less than five sheets unless you are doing it for a large commercial organization.
Materials it can cut
Since these devices are paper cutters, it seems obvious that they will cut regular sheets of paper. However, some can also be used for cardboard, thin sheet metal, and in some cases, plastic. If you want one for cutting plastic, ensure the blade is compatible and durable enough before purchase.
If you’ve taken in all the data on the above paper cutters, you will have noticed disparities in construction. Some options are made of steel. Others are made of aluminum, wood and even plastic.
If you were to compare the long-lasting nature of these materials, it would be quite different. The goal should be to buy a cutter that lasts as long as possible. If you work with a few sheets of paper, you don’t need the most durable construction.
Even plastic paper trimmers will last a lifetime under such conditions. Contrastingly, a person using the product daily for large stacks of paper will need something that won’t wear down quickly. Metal bases and the highest-quality blades should suffice.
Users should not forget that they are working with a blade, as that might lead to the loss of a finger or worse. However, even as people are taking take not to injure themselves, some manufacturers elect to help them out.
You can see this help in the form of guards that protect the user’s fingers, coverings for the blades when not in use, and even latch locks to ensure the blade isn’t swinging about unnecessarily. These features help put some of your minds at ease when you are using the devices.
With each warranty, the terms may be different. As such, we urge all of you to look at each paper cutter and its warranty individually. You may find terms like limited warranty, which often means that not all components of the trimmer are protected under warranty.
Some warranties are unlimited. Also, the duration of most guarantees will differ. The range is quite extensive from one year to the lifetime of the first buyer. Lastly, a product without a warranty is as well not uncommon.
The Carl 12200 Bidex Professional 10-Sheet Rotary Trimmer carves out a unique niche for itself in the market by allowing for 11 blade patterns. This is not something a lot of the competition will offer. Also, this is not a one-off scenario. You get to see some unique trimming features with a few of the paper cutters you encounter. You may even benefit majorly from such a feature; hence it’s always better to pay attention as you’re considering your options.
How to use a paper cutter
If you look at most paper cutters, they will feature a measuring tool that can often be used with an incorporated grid as well. Remember that your papers need to be facing up when you start preparing to use the cutter.
Before positioning your paper, unlatch your safety lock. Remember to lock this again when you are done. The measuring tool will help you align your paper for a precise cut. Another component that can help with alignment is the fence. This can help with holding the papers in place while they are being cut.
For the first round of cutting use scrap paper and that will show you how your cuts will come out. In a rotary trimmer, you will drag the cutting head from one side of the cutter to the other along the rail provided. For guillotine paper cutters, you use the arm to bring down the blade on the surface that needs cutting.
Lastly, with electronic paper cutters, you press a button, and the machine cuts off the part of the paper you want to get rid of.
For scrapbooking and other DIY home projects, there are many options to choose from, especially on the list above. Stock cutters, however, may prove surplus to your needs. Whether it is a rotary cutter or Guillotine, if it can handle the size and thickness of the papers you intend to use, it should be an excellent option. Most of the other features and properties you look at will likely be preferential.
Some of the blades in these devices never seem to have dull edges. This is because, in the same motion that cuts, they also rub the edge of the blade on another metal strip on the device. This ends up re-sharpening the blade.
At first, it may look challenging. However, most of the paper trimmers come with instructions on how to do this. Also, there are instructional videos that you can find on YouTube on how to carry out the same task. After replacing the head a few times, it should be easy as pie.
After the reviews, we have three favorite products with the CARL 12238 Heavy Duty Rotary Paper Trimmer being the most preferable. Whether in a professional capacity or for making art, the product should be an excellent everyday trimmer.
The Swingline 1152 Guillotine Paper Cutter is another tool for everyday use that is also made of durable materials. As for extra value, you have a self-sharpening blade, safety features, and an excellent warranty. As it stands, we feel we have imparted all the information we can provide you with. It is now your responsibility to use it in making the perfect paper trimmer selection and purchase.
What is a Paper Cutter?
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