Challenge Champion 305MC (1982?)


So I recently went and picked up, placed and had my electrician wire a Challenge Champion 305MC cutter that we believe is from 1982 (the only date is a piece of tape near the serial number plate that says 1982) She’s a beauty despite the speckled mustard yellow color the was in vogue at the time. The company that had her inherited her and wanted to sell her so as not to pay to throw her away so we got her at a ridiculous price so everybody won.

My 1st job as a teenager was in a bindery (Allied Printing in CT) as a cutters assistant so I am familiar with them and a high volume cutter workflow. That being said she’s my 1st cutter and I have some questions:

1.) does anyone know where I can find an original owner’s manual? Those are always super handy.

2.) What oil should I use in the 4,000 red oil points all over her and how often 

Question 2 is the main reason I want the manual.

3.)The tape measure was fitted with a new spring and is now 1/4” off on the short side does anyone know how to go about recalibrating that or, better yet:

4.) Does anyone have any advice on fitting a cutter like this with a digital measure?

These are my main questions. I’m sure I’ll have more.

A nearby industrial grinding company has a pick up/delivery service and picked up my spare knife so on Thursday I should be razor sharp. Then I need to be pin-point accurate and lubed for action.

Any help you can give would rule!

~ Josh

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I have the same cutter, except my cutter was in a bad fire, those firefighters like to squirt things with their hoses, had so much rust i thought it would never work, been using it now for 20 years, there is a man who fixes cutters in Bridgewater, MA, Don Sullivan, he’s very good i will look for his information, i’ve only had to have him once. He gave me a copy of the owners manual, i can send you a copy if you want. Dick G.

Some Champions of that era were equipped with a power back gauge, but I don’t think that an after market digital read out would work. On the 30.5 Challenge you could for some models buy a retrofit Microcut system that works great. Another issue might we the cost of installing such a system on a 30 year old cutter, kind of like installing $2500 dollars worth of tires and wheels on a $800 car. If you plan on doing a huge amount of cutting daily, a digital readout may not be the answer, a trade up might be the solution.

I’m not talking about a programmable microcut system just a simple digital distance measure to replace the tapemeasure and spring that isn’t very useful for accuracy

I found this device but it’s a bit pricey out of the box.

They did offer to sell me a demo model for a bit cheaper which was very nice of them. The sales guy was really nice to me coming to him as a small family business start-up.

Anybody have any idea of a similar product or way to get an accurate digital measure that won’t be too pricey?

My cutter was in a bed fire, i bought a tape for a carpenters tape measure, my only problem is the tape falls off every once in a while. I mostly stick a ruler under the blade and measure that way. Dick G.

I often cut business cards 4 and 8 up on a page so a digital read would be a big time saver.

Talked to the folks at Challenge and my serial number is from 1976. This cutter is older than my wife!

How cool. Now the color makes much more sense.

I have scanned the manual for the Challenge Champion Cutters. It covers the MC model as well as the MB model. Send me your email address and I will reply back with the pdf file. It doesn’t have an oil chart but It does show how to do many of the adjustments.

great. I sent you my email.

I really appreciate it!

I’ve got that same cutter (305MC - ugly yellow), and now i’m looking for the manual. It would be much appreciated if someone could point me in the direction of finding one. Thanks in advance.

I too have the same cutter and I am badly in need of the manual. Please send me the manual on [email protected]. I will be most thankfull to you.

surprised it wasn’t mentioned here, but all of Challenge’s manuals are on their own website:

most of them at least.

I have a manual model with the ruler carved into the table, but the hatch marks are so thick I don’t even know where to set the back gauge. So I bought a 3 dollar acrylic ruler and had a friend cut it at exactly 0, so now I just push the ruler to the gauge on the bed and can see where it hits the mark left in the cutting stick, and is much more accurate.

The trimming of the ruler was actually a little too far, so I bulked it up with tape.

Josh, I know it’s been a while, but do you have a ballpark amount for what that backgauge device cost?

The micro cut system is the only system I’ve seen added to older cutters. I have a challenge 420 that has this. It was originally a manual backguage but has a conversion to motorized it that came with the micro cut.