QCM stack cutters… who has one and likes it?

Hello! We have recently purchased a QCM 1200E stack cutter, after hearing good things about it via several letterpress blogs etc - seemed like quite a few small letterpress shops had one, so we figured it would be a safe buy (we know it’s not the best cutter out there, but was the best option for our current budget and scale of business operation).

Now that we have it we’re in two minds about it… but wondering who else has one and likes it? Are you getting good results with cutting Lettra on it? (or other cotton paper). What is the maximum number of sheets you cut on it?


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I had one but was very disappointed and sold it after a couple of months of frustration. It had a terrible quality blade/knife, the clamp couldn’t hold the paper for even cutting, and even the measurement scale was off. I now have a used Kutrimmer purchased for $250 for cutting down parent stock. It is a joy to use. I also have a MBM electric stack cutter, but I seldom use it for letterpress paper. It gets used for book trimming and text weight paper jobs.

i know you asked for who likes them, but i’m going to reply anyway. :)

i am on my second 8200M. the first one i had for 3 weeks, and in that time broke 6 roller bearings, just sheared them right off. the first one broke 30 minutes in on the first use.

also an issue with the first machine was that if i did not tighten the clamp a lot, the stack would shift and become dented by the side of the guide. if i did tighten it down a lot, the bearings broke.

after all of these issues, i contacted the company and asked that they replace the machine, which they did.

the new one i have not had any roller bearing problems, adn the clamp mechanism seems to work much better. i found with both cutters that the printed guidelines and side guide are a little off, i try to cut by sight now using the blade imprint on the cutting stick. still, with precise cuts it is not so great. i know these guides can be adjusted, but i have not done it yet.

so, for general cutting where precise measurements are not needed, it’s ok. but when perfection is needed, i don’t use it. hope that helps. i am a member of a stationer’s forum, and those of us who own these all have the same issues, almost without exception.

to answer your other question, i use it to cut stardream and other cardstocks, but have not used lettra yet. i find that the cuts are most accurate at stacks of 1/2” or less. i sandwich the stack between 2 pieces of chipboard so there are no clamp impressions. i do love how the blade slices thru anything like a hot knife thru butter (including one unfortunate time where the media was my thumbnail :/ ), i just wish it was more precise.

I have no problem cutting lettra, though I keep the stacks pretty small. I use scrap paper below and on top and clamp down pretty hard.

My problem, as documented on other threads here, is calibrating the thing. The side wall has to be square to the blade while also being the correct distance from the blade for the measurements on the be accurate and I’ve had a great deal of trouble getting it square.

I’m looking to upgrade to something more solid, like a vintage 19” challenge or larger, now that I have more space.