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Industrial paper cutter sales, parts, service, retrofitting, paper handling, all-in-one solutions, sheeters, and three-knife trimmers for commercial printers and print shops.

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Industrial Paper Cutter Buying Guide:

Everything You Need to Know

Heavy duty paper cutters may be fairly simple machines in their design but choosing one that will last for years is not always simple.

You’ve decided to buy a new industrial paper cutter and have done all your homework, reviewed proposals, read literature and learned some key terms. But if you’re like most, you’re still a bit confused about features, various options (how do you decide?) and the extensive terminology.

In this two-part series, we'll start with basic considerations when buying a paper cutter: size of material to be cut, type of material, time you’ll spend cutting, available machine support (and parts), and finally safety features.

Paper Cutters Buying Basics:
How to Choose the Right Paper Cutter for Your Needs

Guillotine paper cutters can be found in nearly every print shop. While safety and performance have improved in recent years, paper cutters still contain the same basic components—a knife, clamp, table and backgauge—that they’ve had for the past century. As a result, most industrial paper cutters will have a long usable life.

Unlike other equipment, such as pre-press, that have seen radical changes in technology, the most important factors to consider when purchasing a paper cutter are not the brand or computer system. It is more important to consider the following:

  1. What size material will you be cutting?
  2. What types of material will you be cutting?
  3. How much time will be spent cutting?
  4. Is the machine supported with service and spare parts?
  5. Does it meet current safety standards?

Ignoring these basic considerations can make any paper cutter the wrong cutter for your needs.

1. Size of material to be cut

Size of the material being cut is an important factor when choosing a paper cutter. All paper cutters have a fixed cutting width. If your material fits in the machine, it can be cut.

How to choose the right paper cutter

However, there are other factors to be considered:

  • Is there enough room to properly align the material against the side guides?
  • Is there enough room to reposition and turn the material if necessary?

Determining whether material will align against guides

Sheets have two dimensions, length and width. If the cutter is larger then those dimensions, the material to be cut will fit. But an additional consideration, one that is often missed, is what happens to the material during the cutting process.

For print shops looking to split larger sheets, a cutter that will handle the short size and allow for splitting of the longer size may be acceptable. However, when sheets need to be trimmed on all four sides, the cutter size must be larger than the longest dimension to allow for turning and alignment on the cutter table. The longest dimension on a sheet is measured on a diagonal corner to corner. The calculation for determining the diagonal of a sheet is A2 + B2 = C2.

Continue reading this article.


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Paper Cutter Service & Repair

Industrial Paper Cutter Parts

We offer an extensive inventory of paper cutter parts and paper handling machine parts.

Learn more about our parts & supplies.

Paper Cutter and Handling Machine Service & Repairs

We have over 85 years of experience servicing industrial cutters and paper handling equipment.

Need paper cutter service? We can help.

Colter & Peterson Refurbishes Paper Cutters
Colter & Peterson Refurbishes Paper Cutters

Reconditioning a used guillotine cutter or paper handling equipment is the best way to get reliability, value, and peace of mind.

See how we recondition a paper cutting machine.