Cool Tool: Swingline Guillotine Trimmer


#1

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#2

Maybe the ones we had in my school were poor quality, but the blades used to dull and it would jam pretty easily after a while. They were great when they worked properly though.


#3

I think paper is really tough on blades. It dulls them really easily. I was really hoping for a larger guillotine. Something suitable for bankers.


#4

Guillotine trimmers have tendency to pull on the lower sheets of paper or card stock in a stack, so that those lower sheets wind up with misregistered cuts. Don't try to cut too many at once.


#5

Good point. I have an old one and I find that rather than cutting straight down, pulling the blade in toward the body (of the tool) seems to adjust that.


#6

I have both a "blade" type and a "disc" type cutter. Of the two, the disc cutter is easily more deserving of the "Cool Tool" title. It has a series of LED lights built into the translucent base, and uses a few batteries (or you can plug in a 6v adapter). When the lights are turned on, the cutting line, normally obscured by whatever you're cutting, appears as a shadow on the paper, letting you perfectly align your cut. Disc cutter are geared more to for "craft" usage, and as such, they're not intended for cutting more than a few sheets at a time. Oh, and my blade cutter can actually be locked closed, with a small luggage-type lock.


#7

When I worked for a French company the Sales and Marketing department were always losing their guillotine and broadcasting demands for its return over the PA system. Personally I felt safer with the S&M department not having their favourite toy.


#8

I've had the misfortune of using these plastic bodied paper cutters before. The cutting arm has a tendency to wobble, warp, and snap. I also remember the blade of one of them coming loose at one end, and swinging freely. You might assume them to be a "home appropriate" version, but they're just a cheaper, far less durable version of the metal bodied ones you grew up with.


#9

The paper cutter scene from "Twisted Brain" (also "Horror High") is at 1:15.


#10

Where I work, those are called paper trimmers. Guilotines looks like this.

https://www.google.com/search?q=paper+guilottine&oq=paper+guilottine&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l3.5794j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=paper+guillotine&tbm=shop&spd=14448429907097648963

Actually, the ones in my office are a bit bigger than that. They easily cut entire reams of paper (500s, 80g A4). And possibly fingers and hands, they certainly look sharp enough.


#11

This type of paper cutter demands precision. There can't be any play between the blade and the cutting edge. For $29 I don't think you're going to find that level of precision. You're going to find a lot of plastic, a lot of wobbliness and a lot of frustration.

I worked in a print shop for 10 years, and copy centers of various office supply stores for about the same amount of time *(sometimes simultaneously). I know about cutting paper.

This is the one you want if you're going to go for a lever-style trimmer. Though, even with one of these I find that anything more than 3 sheets of any kind of paper tends to make for a sloppy, imprecise cut.

The rotary trimmers are an order of magnitude more precise, easier to maintain, and safer.

The best advice I have if you have a project that involves a lot of paper cutting is this: Patience. If you need to do it yourself, don't try to cram as much paper into the thing as it can hold. 2-3 sheets at a time is all you're realistically going to get. Just understand that it's going to take a while to get the job done and settle into it. OR if you really have a large project, take it to a print shop and they'll use one of These Babies to get the job done.


#12

I have a really old version of the first one you linked to, as a hand me down. I'm glad I kept it.


#13

My dad is a book publisher and used to work over a book binder. A lot of this guy's stuff was antique, including a manually operated guillotine. When my dad's business was starting we had an even older one in the shed that looked like this:

I'm sure modern ones are a bit safer, but even at a very young age I could tell that not much was going to stop that blade once it started going down. It was still an endless source of fascination and I had a go a few times with (and without ) supervision.


#14

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