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Little Know-How on Paper Cutting Machines

Paper Cutting Machines - Guillotine

Paper cutting machines are used the most in offices, classrooms and are made to help you cat a large set of paper at once, with a very straight edge.

You can find various sizes on paper cutting machines, ranging from 1ft in length on each side for office work and 33.1 in a design workshop.

A typical paper cutting machine has a grid painted or inscribed on it and may even come with a ruler across the top. It really has to have a flat edge against so that you may line up the paper at right-angles before putting it under the blade. Good guillotines and trimmers need to be heavy weight in order to remain steady while using them.

The details

A paper cutting machine has a knife (a curved steel blade) on the right-hand edge, at the base at one corner. A larger model features strong compression coil spring that pulls the knife against the stationary edge when the knife is pulled down to cut the paper.

At the other end of the knife unit you find the handle that needs to give a good grip.

You may also use the paper cutting machine for cutting thin sheet metal, plastic and cardboard. As the blade of the paper cutter is made of steel, it’s basically also impossible to break.

You may also find a more special design on the paper cutter, which comes with a wheel-shaped blade placed on a sliding shuttle, attached to a rail. This is known as the rotary paper cutter and it helps you have wavy cuts, perforations or simply score the paper without cutting it. It’s safe to use this type of paper cutter at home and the high-end models give great accuracy on cutting and are the no.1 choice of photographs.

The simple model of paper cutters is using double-edged blades that don’t rotate and cut like a penknife. They are low priced but not that reliable for a heavy duty job as they do tear paper, especially if it’s thick.

For the industrial work, there are also large paper cutting machines that operate like a guillotine as the blade moves straight up and down, with no rotation around a fulcrum, just like a smaller paper cutter.

The supplies

You can’t have a paper cutter around the house without a good cutting mat. This is not only protecting your table, but the larger it is, the bigger your work space is.

The metal ruler is also a useful tool as it helps you get a nice straight cut every time, whereas a pencil gives you the certitude you will cut precisely what you want.

You also need to use a scalpel for your paper cutter and there are many models of scalpel out there. You may work better with a rounded handle (that gives you soft grip) than with a flat metal scalpel, that might need some masking tape around the handle for a more comfortable grip.

Check up the blades on your scalpel as you always want to rely on it. Go for the strong, fine pointed blade that is also flexible and gives you more detailed papercutting.

You can’t get clean cuts without tracing paper that helps you create your designs. You either use copier paper for a flat piece or some watercolor paper for the three dimension cuts as it’s strong enough.

Think ahead to the frame of your paper cut design and get backing materials, like fabric, contrasting colored paper or…whatever you want!

The Safety

Whenever you use a paper cutter, you need to handle it carefully. Some paper cutters come with a finger guard but this is not covering you entirely from the risks of injuries.

Lay out carefully each sheet before you cut and always keep your blade sharp as it is the dull blade that is more dangerous. Use the proper pressure for each type of paper and mark the gripper edge.

And, when you get to the narrow strips, place lifts of same height on opposite sides of the table in order to avoid wear of the clamp guides.

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