Friday, 28 October 2011


Is there a perfect trimmer out there? I'm beginning to doubt it! I've got three, and none of them is perfect.

The first one I bought was a Ryman own brand, and it didn't cut square. The edge where you'd expect to butt against allowed paper to sneak under it, so you couldn't use it as a guide. I've taken it into school where it's fine as long as you're not layering things too precisely.

The second trimmer I bought was a Hobbycraft one, and on the whole, it's been fine. It cuts square and straight, providing the paper is long enough to butt against the guide. It measures in millimetres. The downside of it is that the guide disappears, making it difficult to cut less than 50mm and keep it square - so it's hard to layer up sentiments neatly. And, now that I've had it for several years, the silver measurement grid and ruler has started to fade around the 60 - 80 mm area - just where I'm most often needing to cut. Another downside is that replacement blades can be expensive, although I bought a load of them recently when they were reduced.

In an effort to get the effect I wanted, last year, about this time, I bought a X cut trimmer, but that just mangled paper, so I took it back and got a refund. Next I tried a Woodware trimmer. The guide on this one allows much shorter lengths to be cut, but you have to exert significant downward pressure to cut, and that pushes the paper or card so it's not square to the guide, and it often isn't straight either, tending to curve. It's pretty good as a scorer - so long as you don't mind re-trimming after you've made the folds you need to square up the final result.

I was looking at a Purple Cow trimmer online - it had both a guillotine and a rotary trimmer, but when I looked more closely at the photo, it only measured in inches, so that's no good. (Why would I want to work in fractions of an inch when I can work in whole number millimetres? So much easier!)

If anyone out there knows of a trimmer that has everything I need - cuts straight, square, copes with small sizes (as low as 20mm would be ideal) and has a good millimetre grid that won't rub off with use, I'd be very interested to hear about it! And, if replacement blades aren't too expensive, that'd be a definite bonus.

1 comment:

J said...

I've got a tonic A3 guillotine, and I LOVE it.

The flat base has both inches and centimetres marked top, bottom and centre, there is an extendable arm so you can cut 12 x 12 paper, and etched guide line grooves too. It might be a bit tricky with the 20mm minimum though - I usually cut it from a larger piece of card if I want to get that narrow. I have just tried it, and while the finger plates to hold the card in place help, you still have to have a good eye to really get it straight. :(

Rotary trimmers really don't float my boat - I always cut wonky with them. It might be a bit tricky with the 20mm minimum though - I usually cut it from a larger piece of card if I want to get that narrow.


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