Paper Cutter Upgrade Imminent

I’d love to have a conversation about paper cutters and when it’s a good time to upgrade.

I’m sure many of us have old manual guillotine cutters that are great for small letterpress shops. I have a trusty 26” Chandler & Price cutter from the 1920s. It certainly gets the job done.

In the last year I’ve been doing a lot more business through my small shop and have thought about upgrading my cutter to an electric model with more precise cutting capabilities. I figure it could save some time and add more accuracy to my products.

Can anybody share there experience with “newish” cutters? Specifically electric cutters that clamp and cut by themselves? I’m particularly nervous about clamping pressure and making good cuts on thick cotton stock. Also, I run a small shop as a side business, so I don’t have 5k+ to spend on a nice new shiny cutter.

Suggestions? Advice? Thanks so much!


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there is nothing like a 30-1/2” challenge cutter. most of the small electric cutters are best used for boat anchors. its well worth getting a good cutter, a job don’t look good when the thing is cut crooked.

Dick - I see what you’re saying. I’m guessing by ‘small electric cutter’ you are speaking about cutters in the lower price range. It probably takes a large financial investment to get a newer electric cutter that is actually worth something.

I’d love to hear from anybody who has had good experiences with electric cutters.

For example, I see many of these types of cutters come and go on Craigslist:

How do these electric Trimuph cutters do?

evan, i used to have a copy center and had the same triumph cutter you show there. if you were not careful it would draw the sheets, you need a lot of clamp pressure and need to keep the blade sharp. had that cutter for 5 years and it did pretty good, i only cut half a ream at a time. But i had another shop at the same time that had the challenge where i cut most of my paper.

Dick - That is very good to know. That was my number one concern - whether the clamp pressure would be strong enough to not draw the sheets.