Paper is found in every aspect of our lives, from packaging in the supermarkets to the magazines and newspapers we read. Often paper just makes its way into the rubbish bins, even though there are many things you can do with paper.
Changing paper into other things involves folding and cutting. By mastering the art of this you can create some wonderful designs and three-dimensional images.
There are many different tools which you can make use of to cut your paper. These range from scissors of all sizes to professional guillotines.
What’s a Paper Guillotine Cutter?
These are trimmers which do the work for you. The paper is placed on the base of the cutter. There is often a plastic strip to hold the paper in place.
The cutter has a blade attached to it with a handle, so when you are satisfied with the cutting line, all you need to do is slowly bring the bald down and the paper will be sliced off in a neat straight line.
Guillotines are very easy to use although care should be taken as it is possible to cut a finger. Children should be supervised when they use them.
Why Use a Guillotine Paper Cutter?
Although it is possible to cut straight using scissors, you may find that you do not get a perfectly straight line. You may also not get a sharp edge by using scissors.
Paper cutters may be safer for kids to use. They should still be supervised but there is less chance of them cutting themselves with a good quality cutter.
Scissors get blunt depending on what you use them for, but a paper cutter cannot be used for cutting anything other than pieces of paper. You may not even be able to cut very thick card, but the cuts you make will be clean and crisp.
What to Look for in a Guillotine Cutter
Not all cutters are made of good quality, although most of them will do the job. Some cutters will give you a neater and sharper edge than others.
There are some points to consider when buying your guillotine paper cutter:
- Durability: The blade should be of high-quality steel as with most cutters there is no way of replacing the blade if it becomes blunt. Neither should the cutter lift at one side when you press the blade down to cut your paper. The cutter base should feel solid and stable and not ‘plastic’.
- Sharpness: The blade should be sharp enough to cut through the number of paper sheets it is designed for. The last thing you want is a blade which does not cut cleanly and leaves your paper looking as if it has been torn. A sharp blade will mean that the paper does not move when you cut it, and a good cutter should be able to cut through up to 10 sheets.
- Line Indicators: Most people cannot draw in a straight line and neither will they be able to cut a straight line. The best guillotine paper cutter will have straight lines and squares already marked so than when you pace your piece of paper on it you can see right away that it will be a straight cut. The base of the cutter should have a graph design set out on it so you can see exactly where the straight line is.
- Safety Feature: A good cutter will have some inbuilt safety features. There needs to be a guard over the paper while you cut it. It should be virtually impossible to get your fingers in the way of the blade. The blade should also settle in a safe position when you are not using it. It should ideally be tucked safely away next to the side of the cutter, so the blade is never exposed.
- Price: While a guillotine paper cutter may not be on your list of essential gadgets, it is something that you would like to last for many years without falling apart after a few usages. Buying cheap is never a good idea, but you can find some excellent products in the mid-price range which will suit what you need it to do and not break the bank.
Before You Start Cutting
It is a good idea to know the paper capacity of the cutter. Don’t be tempted to use more paper than the maximum amount the cutter can handle. If you do you will find that some sheets are roughly cut and have no straight lines. Rather cut fewer sheets if you are unsure as to how many the cutter can handle.
If possible, look for a cutter which has suctions on the base so that the cutter stays firmly in place while you cut.
Make sure that you line the edge of the paper up with the lines on the graph base, so you know you are going to get an exact straight line.
Make sure that you choose a cutter which has a paper clamp. You should place the paper under the clamp to keep it from moving as you cut it.
Making the Cuts
Never use more paper than the cutter can handle.
Use the paper clamp to keep paper in place.
Bring the blade down slowly and smoothly. This is the best way of getting a clean cut. Bringing it down too fast will cause the blade to tear the paper and give a rough edge.
To Sum Up
It is best to buy a mid-range cutter than a ‘bargain basement’ cutter. You do not have to pay a fortune for a good quality cutter but stay away from the very cheapest, which will not last as long.
After you have used the cutter, be sure to bring the blade down to its resting place which should be next to the base and safely out of the way. This will ensure that you are not accidentally cut because the blade is sticking up.
Keep your guillotine paper cutter away from children and make sure that you supervise them if they want to use it.