We spent over 25 hours researching and testing 15 different kinds of paper cutters and found that performance, cutting thickness capability, and durability were most important. The Swingline Guillotine Paper Cutter scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick. This paper cutter is perfect for classrooms and home use if you have a lot of paper to cut. The safety rail prevents users from endangering their fingers during cutting. The sharp cutting knife can cut up to 15 sheets of paper at once. It is long lasting, durable, and easy to use.
Introduction to the Paper Cutter
Although perhaps not to the same degree as paper itself, the paper cutter is a useful tool for classrooms and home offices alike. With the sheer volume of vastly different units on the market; however, finding the right product to suit your needs can be a little tricky. This review will take a look at three of the best paper cutters on the market and then go on to find out just what separates one from the other, ensuring you get the best one for your needs.
Top Ranked Paper Cutters
Swingline Guillotine Trimmer ClassicCut Pro
The ClassicCut Pro belongs to the category of paper cutters known as guillotines. As you can likely imagine, these paper cutters have one blade which you manually push down on, causing the paper underneath to be cut in one fell swoop. Outside of its status as a guillotine paper cutter, the ClassicCut Pro has a few features of its own which serve to set it apart from similar products on the market. For example, it comes with a safety rail. Long story short, this ensures you’ll never find yourself in a situation where your fingers happen to make their way under the blade. While this may sound like a standard feature if you have yet to use a variety of different paper cutters, you’d be surprised to know that there are, in fact, models out there without this essential safety feature.
Aside from its safety rail, the ClassicCut Pro further sets itself apart from the bunch through its extremely sharp knife which is advertised as being able to cut up to fifteen sheets of paper at once (of course, this may change over time as the blade needs a good sharpening). Perhaps what most makes this product stand out; however, is its sheer level of durability. When it comes to products with sharp blades built into them, you really want something which ensures you won’t have to fidget around with your unit to get it working. This aside, a high level of durability also translates to savings in both money and headaches later on down the road.
Westcott TrimAir Titanium Wood Guillotine Paper Trimmer
The Westcott TrimAir is the best product for you if you’re looking for the paper cutter that has it all when it comes to raw power. In fact, with the use of this paper cutter, you’ll be able to cut thirty sheets of paper simultaneously. To put this in perspective, it’s generally accepted that the average paper cutter can take on roughly ten sheets of paper at a time. While the extra twenty sheets this product can tackle may not sound like a huge deal, it may allow you to get three times as much work done over any given amount of time. As such, this paper cutter should be considered essential for use in high-traffic areas where you know it’s going to see a whole lot of action.
Of course, no quality paper cutter would be complete without a safety rail. As it turns out, the Westcott TrimAir has you covered there as well. It also comes at twelve inches long, allowing you to cut letter paper from any angle without taking up too much room. On the other hand, you won’t be able to handle larger sizes of paper (such as legal paper). Though, if you know you’ll only be dealing with small sheets, or even larger sheets from a certain angle, the Westcott TrimAir’s smaller stature will likely prove to be more of a convenience than anything.
Swingline Guillotine Trimmer ClassicCut Lite
As its name might suggest, the ClassicCut Lite is identical to the ClassicCut Pro nearly every way other than its size. However, smaller definitely does not translate to less useful in this context. The ClassicCut Lite will be able to take on ten sheets of paper at once.
Although this may be fifty percent lower than its larger counterpart, it’s worth noting that the unit itself is actually only half of the Pro’s weight. As such, you can bet you’re getting the most power you could possibly hope for in this paper cutter on a per-pound basis. If it’s a large degree of efficiency you’re after, the ClassicCut Lite is an excellent choice.
And, as with the other two paper cutters on this list, this particular product comes with a safety rail, ensuring your risk of blade-related mishaps is next to nothing. Depending on their maturity level and age, you may even allow children around the paper cutter. Of course, this should be done at your own discretion and under strict supervision.
Top Rated Paper Cutters Summary
It goes without saying that all of the three above models serve the exact same purpose – cutting paper. Of course, any of the three will be able to take on any jobs you need, being that they’re easily the best three on the market. However, knowing which one is more likely to suit your needs can save you some time and hassle later on down the road. For example, if you know you’ll be working with small amount of letter papers, the ClassicCut Lite is an obvious choice. Not only will going with this model save you time and hassle, it will save you a bit of cash as well.
On the other hand, the Westcott TrimAir will prove to be even more of a time saver if you know it will be coming in contact with a large volume of paper over the course of its life. And then there’s the ClassicCut Pro. When the Westcott TrimAir seems to big and the ClassicCut Lite seems to small, the ClassicCut Pro offers something right in the middle, ensuring your unit is neither to big nor too small. The fact that it can cut legal paper lengthwise is also a huge plus which many paper cutters don’t have.
Paper Cutter Buyers Guide
What is a Paper Cutter?
As you can see, finding the right paper cutter for you all comes down to understanding what your needs are. And, while the above three paper cutters are easily the best in the business, I know that the entire population’s paper-cutting needs can’t be satiated through only three different units. As such, you may even find it beneficial to shop for yourself. As it turns out, I can help you there as well. If you plan on doing some paper cutter shopping any time soon, try keeping the following considerations in mind to make sure you walk away with the perfect product for your needs.
How long is the paper you’ll be cutting?
It’s important you don’t just look at the unit you have your eyes on and take a blind guess at whether or not it can deal with longer pieces of paper (such as legal paper). Any worthwhile unit will have measurements which are either printed on the pack or can be found easily online. No matter how good a unit looks, if you can’t find its measurements, you’re best getting something else.
How thick is the paper you’ll be cutting?
In the above list of paper cutters, I told you how many pieces of paper each unit can cut simultaneously. Of course, this refers to paper of a standard thickness. If you plan on using construction paper of any sort, your best bet is assuming one piece of construction paper is the equivalent to three pieces of printer paper. So, if you’re planning on cutting construction paper, the unit that says it can cut ten pieces at once will really only be able to cut three. Get a more heavy-duty unit if you need to.
Types of Paper Cutters
More so than the vast majority of products on today’s market, the sheer amount of variation found between paper cutters is huge. Here are the major types of paper cutters. Do you know which one you need?
- Guillotine Paper Cutters – The three paper cutters we covered earlier all fit into this category. You’ll likely come across more of these than all other paper cutters combined. This is likely due to their great cost-to-effect ratio. They are also seen as being the most convenient type of paper cutter on the market due to their quick operation and near non-existent setup time. They’re excellent for at home or in the classroom where low to moderate amounts of paper needs to be cut.
- Form Paper Cutters – These paper cutters allow you to continuously slip pieces of paper into an electronic unit. They act similar to paper shredders, though you’ll be able to change the settings to have the paper cut to your liking, as opposed to the paper being mindlessly shredded. These are great for extremely large amounts of paper, though are rather inconvenient in other situations.
- Rotary Paper Cutters – Rotary paper cutters can deal with roughly the same volume as guillotine paper cutters. These cutters are typically seen as being the most precise, though are also seen as being rather inconvenient in that it may take a while to set them up before each cut in the first place. These are only to be used in situations where a millimeter of precision actually makes a huge difference.
- Stack Paper Cutters – Stack paper cutters operate through nearly the exact same means as guillotine cutters. However, they operate on a much larger scale and can even cut up to several hundred pieces of paper at one time. On the other hand, these take up a huge amount of space and are usually unnecessary outside of industrial or commercial settings. You may see one of these units at a very large school, though this is even unlikely.
- Corner Paper Cutters – These paper cutters operate similar to guillotine cutters, though on a much smaller scale. As such, they are only meant to be used for smoothing over the corners of paper. These are used purely for aesthetic reasons and are never seen as necessary piece of equipment outside of artistic settings.
Common Paper Cutter Features
Each of the types of paper cutters on the gigantic list above can be anywhere from lifesaving to completely useless depending on who buys them. The name of the game is getting the best one to suit your needs. However, no matter what your needs are, there are always a few things to look out for when buying a paper cutter.
- A Safety Feature – Each type of paper cutter has its own designated safety feature, such as the guillotine cutter’s safety rail. Whenever a unit has any exposed blades, make sure it has a safety feature installed to prevent incident. A finger or two isn’t worth saving five minutes of shopping.
- A Sharp Blade – Sounds obvious, right? Apparently not to some manufacturers. While you can’t very well judge the sharpness of a blade by looking at it, you can judge it by looking at any given unit’s product reviews online. Simply see what other people have to say about it. Just because a unit looks like it has all of the features you’re looking for, doesn’t mean it will function optimally.
Outside of the two above features, whether or not a blade is good for you is truly a very subjective ordeal. In terms of the features you need, it mostly comes down to how much paper you plan on cutting at any one time and how big the paper in question may happen to be. On the other hand, the type of paper cutter you choose to go with depends on the above two factors as well as where you plan on storing the unit and how much space you have to do so. Keeping all of the above information in mind, getting the right paper cutter for you doesn’t have to be a tricky ordeal in the slightest. Simply know where your priorities lie and pick the unit which most caters to them.