Time to Retire the Dangerous Dinosaur

May 20, 2019

Why You Need to Upgrade Your Paper Cutter

Old-Fashioned Vintage Rustic Guillotine Paper Cutter

Does your school, office, or studio still use one of those old wooden guillotine paper cutters? Maybe even they are old enough to be called "rustic" or "vintage". But once a machine deserves those labels, it deserves retirement. These powerful workhorse machines have lasted you decades, but let's be honest...they are, in no way, up to proper safety standards of 2019. And while these beasts are still in hundreds of thousands of businesses world-wide, they also open the businesses up to pretty severe risk to users, visitors, and kids. The blades are likely rusted or corroded in some way, and they were likely built before safety precautions were worked into the manufacturing process.

So let's admit it to ourselves...it is time to retire the dangerous dinosaur of a cutter that we have been using for so many years, and hire a replacement that has the proper strength, safety, and longevity to fill all of your changing business needs.

What Kind of Cutter to Upgrade With

There are many different kinds of paper cutters you can buy to replace the dinosaur, so don't just look straight to another guillotine-style without examining the options available. There are still guillotine cutters out there, and they are much safer and more precise than the older models. But in addition, there are rotary-style trimmers for extra-precise cutting, stack cutters (straight-blade guillotine cutters) for manual higher capacity cutting, and electric or pneumatic-powered cutters for larger volume needs. Look at the materials that you cut, the stack thickness that you want to cut at once, and the volume you cut on a weekly or monthly basis.

Let's chat a bit about these different cutters, their functions, applications, and other tips so you can pick which kind of cutter will be best for you.

Kind of CutterGuillotineRotaryStackElectric
Starting Price$60$87$1,000$4,400
Safe (Some Models)
High Capacity
Very Accurate
Very Safe
Very High Capacity
Very Safe
Very Accurate
DownfallsLower Cut Capacity
Less Safe than Alternatives
Low Cut CapacityManualExpensive
Large (Some Models)
Popular ForArtists
Classrooms/ Schools
Print Shop Offices
Print Shops
Print Shops
School Print Rooms
Manufacturing Plants

Below we are going to talk in more detail about the different kinds of cutters, so you can get more details and information. That will help you better choose.

Guillotine Cutters

Professional Guillotine Paper Cutters

Ok, so you have had a guillotine cutter for a very long time. and you like it, so you want to stick with the same kind of cutter for your replacement - I completely understand! Because while these manual blade cutters are a bit old-fashioned, there is still a demand for them in many situations, which is why they are still available. But, there are not a ton of options to choose from, and they are not the most accurate, nor the most efficient, nor the most safe. That being said, there are some great guillotine cutter options for those who want to stick with this design!

My personal favorite is the Dahle Professional Guillotine. It comes in two sizes (13 ⅜" & 18") with clear safety guides to make visualization of the exact cut location easy, but also provide assured safety for your users. Customers who have bought these cutters rated it 5 stars and commented, "a quality product with nice safety features" (Charlie, SD, USA) and "Excellent paper cutter..." (Susan, FL, USA). Check out this overview video of the Dahle Professional guillotine-style and see for yourself:

Rotary Cutters

Professional Rotary Trimmers

When it comes to rotary trimmers, you will find a TON of options to choose from. everything from small craft models to industrial-level precision models for print shops. Brands like Carl, Akiles, MBM, Keencut, and Dahle are just a few of the most popular brand rotary cutters. Rolling cutters are a common choice because they are incredibly accurate. You can see the blade as it cuts but rolling across your page, and there are clean finished cut lines. Sometimes the blades are changeable, too, which means you might also be able to cut wiggly lines, perforate, and more.

It is hard to choose a favorite rotary cutter because of the various volumes and intended users, but my preference is usually the Keencut brand, specifically the ARC Advanced Rotary Cutters and Sabre-2 Trimmers. Both are incredibly precise and have 5-start ratings from customers as well. These trimmers come in several lengths for different needs and really are the best of the best for a premium cut.

Stack Cutters

Professional Guillotine Paper Cutters

Stack cutters are a great solution for high volume cutting where the budget or frequency may not require an electric solution. They are manual with a lever, however, have the strength to cut through extra thick stacks of pages without too much effort from the user. They are equipped with numerous safety features to guarantee any user total safety, including safety shields on both ends of the blade, blade locks, cutting lines, and more. They can cut up to 700 sheets of paper (or about a 3" thick stack) depending on the model and paper stock...which is unheard of with any other manual cutting machine out there. Affordable for most offices and schools of all sizes, these cutters quickly pay for themselves with their capacity.

When it comes to stack cutters, I like the Dahle Professional stack cutters. They offer precision with professional quality, strength to last for years and years and years, and safety to ensure your user (or users) are entirely protected (which, in turn, protects you from potential medical or legal concerns). The Dahle Professional stack cutters come in two cut width sizes, as well as various capacity options, so you can more easily stay within budget and only buy what your office needs as far as capabilities. Check out this video that looks at these features more closely:

Electric Cutter

Electric + Pneumatic Paper Cutter Machines

If your volume and budget allow, an electric cutter is the best way to quickly and efficiently cut thick stacks and large quantities of paper for your office, school, or print-environment. They some in tabletop formats or larger floor-standing alternatives. Electric paper cutters may have a manual clamp, an electric clamp, or a pneumatic clamp mechanism...but the blade itself will always be powered in some way, so there is no manual action needed except to place your stack of sheets into the cutter and press star. Electric cutting machines have more extensive safety features than any other; in fact, the cutting cannot physically be activated if anything is in the cutting field (except the paper).

For the ultimate in high volume cutting, electric paper cutters are the way to go. My preferred brands of electric cutters are MBM Triumph, Challenge Titan, and Challenge Spartan. Here is a video of one of the most popular choices, the Spartan 185 series cutters.

For more information or a quote, call us at (866) 537-2244 (866) 537-2244 or email info@buy101.com

Mallory Morsa, Binding101 Product Expert About the Author • Mallory Morsa has been a part of Binding101 since 2008 and has experience in several departments within the company. She began in customer service and sales where she honed in her skills to provide the customer with professional, fast, and accurate information. Shortly after, she was promoted to sales supervisor and also took on the role of product expert, training the team on new products. Throughout this time, she also wrote content for the site, as well as contributed stock photography and videography. As the team grew, she moved to an official position as the content specialist and social media manager. Her skills in these variety of areas give her the unique expertise to not just create content for the web, but to create content for you, the customer. She has a Bachelor's degree in business management and marketing, was on the Dean's List each year, and graduated Summa Cum Laude. In her free time, Mallory's favorite things to do include volunteering at the animal shelter by bottle feeding neonatal kittens, reading at the park, cooking plant-based meals, playing board games, and binge streaming TV shows with her 3 furbabies and family beside her.

Posted in: Cutting 101