Choosing a Guillotine Style Paper Cutter
by Jeff McRitchie
An important piece of equipment to have in your copy room or work area is a guillotine paper cutter. Guillotine paper cutters can help you quickly trim large stacks of paper. For that reason they are a must-have item if you company produces a lot of documents. But how do you know which guillotine paper cutter to get? This article will fill you in on what you need to know to choose the best paper cutter for your trimming needs.
The first thing you need to consider is how many sheets of paper you'd like to cut at once. This is known as "cutting capacity." A cutter with a larger cutting capacity will make it easier to cut a lot of paper at one time. These cutters tend to have the sharpest blades available, so you'll need to be careful when using such a cutter. (More on that in a moment.) Also, keep in mind that you should always cut a little bit less than the cutter's stated capacity. This will prevent wear and tear on the blade.
The next thing to think about is size. What size paper will you be cutting? Guillotine paper cutters have blades in a number of different sizes, all the way up to 36 inches in length. You'll also need to make sure to get a cutter that has a large enough cutting table. Your work will be a lot easier if the table is bigger than what you're cutting. Consider the largest items that you think you might need to cut before you decide on a guillotine cutter. After cutting capacity and size, the most important thing to look for are the cutter's safety features. Guillotine paper cutters can be extremely dangerous and while you must always exercise extreme caution when using one, most cutters have safety features that can help ensure your experience won't end up in injury. First, your guillotine paper cutter should definitely have a tension spring. This prevents the blade from going into free fall when it's raised. A blade lock is also necessary because it will keep the blade in the down position when the cutter isn't being used. High capacity guillotine cutters should also be equipped with a blade guard to prevent users from accidentally running their fingers (or other body parts) along the blade. If your new cutter has these safety features - and if you practice common sense - your cutting experience should be a safe one.
Finally, there are some other things you might want in a guillotine paper cutter. Clamps can help hold your work in place, ensuring an accurate cut. Another thing that can help you cut where needed is an alignment grid. These can be in either standard or metric measurements, although some cutters have both measurement types. You might also want to get a cutter that has an adjustable paper stop. This feature makes it easier to cut large amounts of paper, so definitely look for it when buying your guillotine paper cutter.
While clamps, paper stops, and alignment grids are helpful, the most important cutter characteristics are the product's size, cutting capacity, and, of course, safety features. If you look for those three things when buying your guillotine paper cutter, you'll have an easy time selecting the perfect cutter for your office.