Paper Cutter Buying 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.