Having the best paper cutter makes a huge difference for the home and office. It just makes your life easier and simplifies a lot of the everyday work you do. It’s easy enough to go online and buy paper cutters, but which among them is the best paper trimmer?
You’ve probably spent hours researching, so I’m going to make things easier for you. I’ve compiled here the top paper cutters, and their pros, cons and more. If you want to find out more about paper cutters, you can check out the rest of this guide as I cover the essentials.
- 1 Why need a Paper Cutter
- 2 Advantages of the Paper Cutter
- 3 Common Paper Cutter Features
- 4 Types of Paper Cutter
- 5 Our Pick For Best Paper Cutter
- 6 Short Review Of Best Paper Cutter
- 6.1 1. Swingline Paper Trimmer / Cutter, Guillotine, 15″ Cut Length
- 6.2 2. Rotatrim RC RCM30 30-Inch Cut Professional Paper Cutter/ Trimmer
- 6.3 3. Swingline Paper Trimmer / Cutter, Guillotine, 12″ Cut Length, 1132
- 6.4 4. CARL Heavy Duty Rotary Paper Trimmer 15inch
- 6.5 5. Swingline Paper Trimmer / Cutter, Guillotine, 18″ Cut Length, 1152
- 7 Accessories You May Need
- 8 Paper Cutter Tips
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
- 10 My Recommendations
- 11 Final Words
Why need a Paper Cutter
The best paper cutter has many uses, but basically it’s going to help you cut paper. While paper cutters come in different forms, the best ones provide you with excellent cutting capacity.
Paper Sheet Cutting: Another primary usage is sheet cutting. Doing this by hand is tedious, and that’s why trimmers are used instead.
For Seamless Cutting: Manually cutting paper produces uneven results, so we use paper cutters so the results are more consistent. One of the problems with manual cutting and even old cutters is the cuts look crooked, which is why paper cutters are better.
Used to prevent injury: One of the lesser known uses of paper cutters is to promote safety in the workplace and home. Sharp cutting tools present risks, but modern trimmers have safety features installed. Modern paper trimmers today also have other safety guards built in.
Used to Increase Productivity: Paper cutters are used in offices, schools and homes to prepare reports and presentations. Because of their ability to cut several sheets of paper at once, they have become indispensable for many employees.
For Precision Work: Cutting and trimming paper takes a lot of work and can be frustrating. That is why paper cutters and trimmers are often used to boost productivity.
Advantages of the Paper Cutter
- Boosts Cutting Capacity: Paper cutters can cut through several sheets of paper continuously. If your project requires reports consisting of numerous sheets of paper, a paper cutter will help.
- Accurate Results: No matter how many sheets you cut, the results are always the same. For professional level presentations and projects, consistency is paramount.
- Built to Last: High quality paper cutters are designed for long term use. They’re more expensive than manual cutting tools, but it’s an investment that pays for itself eventually. They’re durable so you don’t have to buy a replacement anytime soon.
- Easy to Use: Paper cutters are easy to figure out. Even if you’ve never used one before, it’s only going to take moments to figure out how the cutter works.
- Portable: Paper cutters are lightweight and easy to carry anywhere you go. If you have to travel and need a paper cutter, this’ll do.
Common Paper Cutter Features
Safety Feature: The best paper cutter has guard rails and latches to protect the user from getting scratched.
Sharp Cutting Blade: Cutters have specially designed blades for cutting paper. These are not your regular blades but constructed for paper sheets. There are many types of blades used in these cutters, and one of the most effective is the rotary since you can insert and remove them easily.
Expandable Lock-in Ruler: The ruler lines up the paper so you’ll be able to cut straight. So what makes a lock-in ruler different from standard rulers? The difference is you can fasten the lock-in ruler in place so the cuts are always the same. Even a slight nudge from an ordinary ruler is enough to misalign the paper.
Measuring Grids: Horizontal and vertical grids are standard in quality paper cutters. These grids are easy to read and use. These grids are not just for paper cutting but also for making scrapbooks.
Self-Healing Cutting Mat: If you’re going to use the paper cutter for scrapbooks and similar projects, you’ll need a good cutting mat. The cutting mat has many purposes, but mainly it’s to keep the paper from being ruined.
Types of Paper Cutter
Guillotine Paper Cutters: These are considered some of the best paper cutter today. You can use this on standard paper, card stock and others. They have a long arm and cutting blade that you pull to cut paper.
Form Paper Cutters: Also known as paper slitters, they are used to feed paper automatically and cut them to the appropriate size. Form paper cutters give you the option to perforate, score and slit, making it one of the most effective paper cutters today. Form paper cutters come in different styles and can make several cuts at the same time.
Rotary Paper Cutters: Rotary paper cutters are known for their precision and ideal for cutting pictures. The most basic rotary cutter has a blade in the cutting head and relies on a back and forth motion to cut paper.
Stack Paper Cutters: Stack paper cutters are built for heavy duty use, handy when you’re cutting stacks of paper. These tools are often found in print shops and come in manual, semi and fully automatic variants. They’re often found in commercial and industrial services owing to their capacity.
Corner Paper Cutters: Also known as corner rounders, these are used to cut a paper’s sharp edge and give it a rounded appearance. There are different types of corner paper cutters, and many are capable of cutting up to 100 sheets of paper. There are also various radius sizes to choose from.
Hydraulic Paper Cutters: Hydraulic paper cutters are durable and meant for heavy duty use. The design is similar to a stack cutter, and you can use it to cut paper the entire day. Hydraulic paper cutters are used in paper plants, print shops, factories and can cut thousands of papers.
Photo Paper Cutters: They’re specifically designed to trim pictures. These cutters have a light built in which illuminates the photo, simplifying the cutting process.
Basic Paper Cutters / Trimmers: These are simple cutters used to cut a few sheets of paper at a time. They have a wood base and cutting arm, and they’re often used in schools and homes. These are ideal for light and casual use.
Arm Cutters: These are designed like basic paper cutters, but they’re capable of cutting more paper sheets.
Digital Cutters: These are fully automated guillotine cutters made for cutting a large number of papers. What makes automatic cutters unique is they automate the cutting adjustments.
Our Pick For Best Paper Cutter
We made a short list of 5 best paper cutter for you. Let’s take a look at our best pick.
Short Review Of Best Paper Cutter
Here is the short review of each best paper cutter that we selected for you.
1. Swingline Paper Trimmer / Cutter, Guillotine, 15″ Cut Length
The Swingline is one of the best paper cutter your money can buy. It can cut up to ten sheets of paper with no trouble. It is available in 6″, 12″ and 15″ cut lengths. The paper cutter is easy to use thanks to the sharp blade. I also like the safety feature, allowing you to focus on the cutting. More than anything else, the Swingline is precise.
- Guillotine style.
- Durable plastic construction.
- 5 sheets(6″), 10 sheet capacity(12″,15″).
- Protective guard rail and a blade latch hook.
- Alignment grid.
- Blade latch hook to lock blade.
- Has a protective guard built in.
- Precise cuts.
- 10 years warranty.
- Blade is sharp and accurate.
- lightweight and portable.
- Base is plastic.
- Has a hard time cutting more than ten sheets of paper.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
The reviews have been favorable. One reviewer gave the Swingline 5 stars, saying it’s great for school kids and home use. The reviewer said she was a bit skeptical due to the plastic base. However she quickly realized how good it was after using it. Another customer gave the Swingline 4 stars. In the review the customer said he’s been using the Swingline for months and the blade is still sharp. There are many other four and five star reviews that have been posted online. One of the reviewers said it’s a good guillotine. The reviewer also said it cuts papers fast and quick. Another 5 star review was posted by a long time user of paper cutters. He said the Swingline went beyond his expectations. As these reviews show, the Swingline is well-designed and cuts clean.
2. Rotatrim RC RCM30 30-Inch Cut Professional Paper Cutter/ Trimmer
The price is a bit high, but it’s professional quality. The Rotatrim is also quite simply one of the best paper trimmer today. It’s available in 12, 15, 18, 20, 24, 30, 36, 42 and 54 inch cuts. Its two-way cut is flexible and it’s quite light. The quality is high so you can use this every day. The construction is solid thanks to its Sheffield Steel blades that re-sharpen when they get dull after prolonged use.
- Finest quality Sheffield Steel self-sharpening precision blades.
- Twin chrome steel guide rails.
- Metal end frames and head.
- Comfortably cut materials up to 763mm (30”) in length.
- Chrome Twin Steel Guide Rails.
- All Metal Cutting Head.
- High cutting capacity.
- Solid metal cutting head.
- Built for heavy duty use.
- Easy to use.
- Some have reported it doesn’t work well on fine art paper.
- Deteriorating cut grid reported by one reviewer.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
Based on reviews, the Rotatrim is one of the best paper trimmer available. One reviewer said it’s well-made and precise. He said the cutter is ideal for professional use, and that it is perfect for home and work. Another user said the Rotatrim is an “awesome” cutter.
Another customer gave the cutter 5 stars, saying that it’s precise and cuts well each time. This statement is shared by another customer who said it’s the best paper cutter he’s tried. There is also a 5 star review from a customer who uses one at home and one for professionals. Another reviewer said simply the Rotatrim offers “supreme performance”.
There are a few negative reviews, but most of them are very happy with how it cuts papers.
3. Swingline Paper Trimmer / Cutter, Guillotine, 12″ Cut Length, 1132
The Swingline Cutter ranks as one of the best paper cutter the company has produced. There’s a lot to like here. One of them is the steel blade as it’s sharp and reliable. The alignment grid ruler also measures reliably. You will also like the fact that the blade re-sharpens on its own.
- ClassicCut Ingento solid maple 15-sheet guillotine paper trimmer with steel blade.
- Alignment grid and dual scale ruler for precise measuring.
- 12″ cutting length.
- Self-sharpening steel blade cuts everything from tissue to heavy mat board.
- Steel tension spring keeps guillotine blade arm in place during active use.
- Safety spring washers secure handle in any position to prevent accidental falling.
- Protective guard rail safety feature plus blade latch hook to lock blade while in storage.
- Limited ten-year warranty.
- You can change the blade.
- Cuts paper sheets smoothly.
- The blade has self-sharpening capabilities.
- Safety spring built-in.
- Lightweight and easy to use.
- One reviewer said he had to adjust the sheet to get the angle right.
- The ruler doesn’t reach the cutting edge.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
Judging from the reviews, this is one of the best paper trimmer Swingline has made. Most of the reviews have spoken positively about its versatility. I have to agree as the Swingline cuts paper, tissue and even thick paper. One reviewer said the Swingline works as well as advertised and worth buying.
Another reviewer gave this paper cutter 5 stars, saying it’s just like the ones he used in school, only higher quality. The reviewer said he is very happy with the purchase. At the end of the, he said you can purchase the Swingline confidently. Another customer said the Swingline cuts well and he recommends it.
I also have to add one more review. According to the customer, he’s been using the cutter for a year and it’s still going strong. For me this only goes to show how good the Swingline is.
4. CARL Heavy Duty Rotary Paper Trimmer 15inch
The CARL can cut up to 36 sheets of paper, and it’s clearly for heavy duty use. One of the reasons I consider this one of the best paper cutter is its sharp carbide blade. You’ll find this useful for cutting different types of paper. I also like the locking rail mechanism as it secures the paper as you cut. This paper cutter is also eco-friendly so that’s another plus.
- Carbide blade, patented rail system.
- Calibrated metal base.
- Patented locking rail mechanism.
- Cuts up to 36 sheets.
- Adjustable magnetic paper gauge is great for making repetitive cuts.
- Green-friendly paper trimmer.
- Adjustable magnetic paper guide hold materials on a calibrated sturdy metal base board.
- Limited lifetime warranty.
- The blade is sharp.
- Easy to switch between the perforating and cutting blade.
- Storage space for extra blades.
- Cuts paper, foam board and plastic sheets.
- Magnetic paper gauge is adjustable.
- One customer said the CARL lost its sharpness after a few months.
- Rule marks could have been better designed.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
The reviews for the CARL are favorable. One customer gave the cutter 5 stars. The customer said he was tired of using cheap paper cutters as they didn’t last. The CARL, the reviewer says, is accurate, well-designed and consistent.
A customer called the CARL the best paper trimmer, pointing out he was able to use it to cut 17,000 1×1 squares. He wasn’t sure the CARL could do it, but it was able to handle the task well. Another five star review said this is one of the best paper trimmers he has tried. As these reviews show, the CARL is an effective, all-around paper trimmer and cutter, powerful and easy to use.
5. Swingline Paper Trimmer / Cutter, Guillotine, 18″ Cut Length, 1152
Another Swingline makes it in my list of the best paper cutter. You can cut up to 15 sheets on this one, and the 18 inch blade is very sharp. It’s available in a 24″ cut, and all are capable of cutting paper consistently. The steel tension spring also keeps the arm steady as you cut. I’ve tried a lot of these paper cutters, and this is one of the best.
- Self-sharpening 18-inch long steel blade.
- Alignment grid and ruler.
- Cuts everything from tissue to heavy mat board.
- Die-cast metal cutting arm.
- Blade latch hook lock.
- Steel tension spring keeps cutting arm in place while in any position.
- Paper cutter has finger-guard rail and blade latch hook lock help prevent accidents.
- Non-slip rubber feet keep the trimmer in place.
- Sharp blade.
- Ideal for crafts.
- The feet are nonskid.
- The cutting arm is solidly built.
- Blade is self-sharpening.
- One customer said the cutter is not as accurate as she wanted.
- A reviewer said the cutter has trouble cutting squares.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
The Swingline is one of the best paper trimmer, and reviewers agree. One customer said this was the kind of trimmer he really needed. The reviewer said it’s worth the purchase. He also said the cuts are consistent and it’s beautifully designed too. Another 5 star review came from a customer who said it is sharp and precise.
One of those who bought the Swingline said it saves him a lot of effort and time. The reviewer also said he would recommend this to anyone who needs a paper cutter. Another reviewer remarked that this was a good cutter and that it is “excellent”. Though there are a few complaints, majority of Amazon customers like its performance.
Accessories You May Need
Long Reach Stapler
Also known as a booklet stapler, you use these to create booklets and various documents. They cost more than the typical stapler, but long reach staplers are also more versatile. Most of these also come with a ruler so you can replicate the results accurately. Our recommendation is Sparco Long Reach Stapler
A hole punch is used to produce holes in paper, usually to bind the sheets like in a notebook, binder or folder. Some hole punch tools are designed for use on aluminum and other metals, and there is also a hole punch for plastic. Our recommendation is Swingline Desktop Hole Punch, Precision Pro, 2 – 3 Holes, Adjustable Centers, 10 Sheets
A corner cutter is used to cut sharp paper edges and round them off. This tool is often used to round off photographs, business cards, catalogs, presentation folders, postcards and more. Since a lot of the cards we use have rounded corners, this is one tool you’ll find handy. Our recommendation is Sunstar Kadomaru Pro, Corner Cutter
Paper Cutter Tips
- Lay down every sheet you’re going to cut, and look for the most appropriate cut pattern that will give you the most pieces. If you’re going to fold the paper, make certain the paper grain and the fold is in the same direction, otherwise the fold will have a rough edge.
- Only a sharp blade guarantees an accurate cut. A dull blade leads to uneven cuts, and ramping up the clamp pressure won’t help.
- The “proper” clamping pressure varies from paper cutter to paper cutter. One rule you may follow is to apply sufficient pressure to keep the paper in place, but not too much the surface gets marked. Avoid putting too much pressure because it’ll lead to crooked cuts.
- If you are cutting narrow strips of paper, put lifts on either side of the table to reduce wear and tear on the clamps.
- Keep in mind that printed paper can expand or shrink due to humidity. Avoid this as much possible, but if it happens, you may have to ignore the printed cut lines and create new ones.
- Use the appropriate paper cutter. Refer to the Types of Paper Cutters section for the one that works best for your stacks of paper.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What paper cutter should I use?
Answer: It depends on the length and thickness of the paper stacks. For 10-15 sheets, basic paper cutters and guillotine cutters will do. For hundreds or thousands of papers, use stack paper cutters.
2. What is the most precise paper cutter?
Answer: Guillotine cutters are the most accurate for cutting low volumes of paper. For high volume, use an arm or high end guillotine paper cutter.
3. What paper cutter should I use for scrapbooks?
Answer: Rotary paper cutters are the most effective for scrapbooks owing to their efficiency.
4. Can I re-sharpen the blade on my paper cutter?
Answer: Arm, rotary and guillotine paper cutters have self-sharpening blades, but over time you have to get a replacement for the blade as it will get dull.
5. Can you get replacement parts for a paper cutter?
Answer: With some paper cutters you can order replacement parts.
For the best value I pick the Swingline Paper Trimmer / Cutter, Guillotine, 15″ Cut Length and for the premium quality, I choose the Rotatrim RC RCM30 30-Inch Cut Professional Paper Cutter/ Trimmer.
These two get my vote as the best paper cutter because they’re quick and reliable. The Swingline is for budget users but offers excellent functionality and ideal for home and office use. The Rotatrim Paper Cutter, as I’ve noted, costs more than the typical paper cutter. But if you’re looking for a high quality premium paper cutter, there’s no better choice.
We use paper in a variety of ways, and we don’t think about it much unless we need something specific done with it. That’s the advantage of having the right paper cutters as they’re versatile and easy to use. Cutting paper seems like the easiest thing in the world until you have to do it in bunches or accurately.
That’s what this best paper cutter is for. I know how hard it can be to find a quality paper cutter, and it can be frustrating. That’s why I took the time to do this review guide, so take your pick!