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Old 03-16-2010, 02:56 PM   #1  
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Default Trimmer reviews

Today my new Paper Trimmer arrived and I thought I'd post my initial impressions. With so many paper trimmer threads I thought I might start this one, just for reviews of the trimmers we currently used and have used in the past. That way we can get other perspectives and maybe some tips on using the trimmers we own.

I really wanted a Tonic Guillotine but until my right arm is stronger (which will hopefully be soon) it's not going to be usable. I broke what was my 7th Cutterpede, and decided I really did not want to keep buying them as they break SO easily.

I needed something that was "good enough for right now" until I get the Tonic. I chose the Fiskars Ultimate Paper Trimmer because it was on sale, had easy change blades, and looked like it wouldn't break just from me looking at it

My initial impressions.

Pros:
  • It does look sturdier than my Cutterepedes.
  • It has a swing arm to both the left and right which will make it easy to use with my left hand.
  • There are changeable grids that will help when needing to cut on an angle or use common cuts. I don't know yet how well they will hold up.
  • There is a clear shield that is removable, I can see using it for trimming photos so that they don't get fingerprints all over them.
  • The blade are changeable but the carriage stays on the cutting bar. You snap new blades in and out but since the carriage stays on I can see this would help with straight cuts each time since the carriage won't get messed up.
  • The left swing out arm doesn't look like it will snap off easily.
  • The left swing arm is supposedly self-leveling, making for straight cuts.
  • It DOES cut STRAIGHT and it cuts clean
  • It's rotary.
  • You line it up against the top so I don't have to make sure it's straight just by the grid. This is helpful with shaky hands.
  • There is a scoring blade and it came included with the cutter (not really needed for me since I scor with my Scor-Pal, but it's there if I want it)
  • It only cost me $20!


Cons:
  • In order to get the paper under the bar, it swings to the right instead of lifting UP like the Cutterpede
  • In order to get that bar up, it takes two hands because you have to unsnap it. Already this is annoying me a bit because I like to go fast with cutting and it does take a little longer to use both hands, unsnap it, get the paper under and snap back down.
  • The carriage bar is not clear so I can't see the paper under it and I'm still figuring out how to tell exactly where it is going to cut.
  • While I do line it up against the top, there are no visible measurements there. So I have to just see where the paper is ending to see where I am measuring. It's a little different than the Cutterpede in that way and I'm not loving that. I wish it had the measurements printed along the top in addition to on the grid.
  • To the right of the cutter, there is a grid etched into the plastic with measurements but it's hard to see, whereas to the left it is printed in purple against green, making it easy to see. It would have been nicer if it was that way to the right as well.
  • While the blade does come in an "easy" snap-in to snap in to the carriage, it's not THAT "easy". I had to get help. This would get annoying if I really was wanting to cut then score then cut, etc. Maybe it will loosen up a bit over time and I can get it out myself.
  • It does have that clear plastic guard and is removable, but it got annoying very fast. I can't see using it for anything other than photos.
  • It doesn't cut on a pad like the Cutterepde. It cuts against plastic. Not sure yet if that is a con or pro, I'll let you know when I decide.



All in all, it was worth the $20 I paid. I wouldn't pay the $40 it retails for. And I don't think I'm in love with it, but it will work for right now until I get that arm stronger and get the Tonic.

Ok your turn - Tell me the good, the bad and the ugly about your trimmer.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:42 PM   #2  
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I went through a lot of paper trimmers until I found one that I like A LOT and I will admit I have just purchased this and will wait until I've used if for a year to determine how much I like it A LOT. It is the Tonic 12" table top Guillotine Cutter. It really cuts like butter, very smooth. This is my first purchase of a large Guillotine Cutter and I am upset that I waited this long to buy one. I WAS a huge rotary cutter fan.....but not anymore.

I have a Fiskar similar to the one you just purchased and every Con you listed hits home with me. And this is Fiskar too! A company that should be producing a great cutter for us paper crafters.

Now I have to decide on what to do with my graveyard of paper trimmers, LOL!!
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:07 AM   #3  
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I also have a graveyard of trimmers - it so sad!
My fav today (because it's the only one I can stand) is a Tonic V-602

Pro:
Blades - you can use Fiskars so I can find them local
Cuts straight - so long as you hold your hand on the ruler/paper guide
Lightweight - I'm not fond of large paper cutters
Has line that mark 1/8 & 1/16 for when you need to trim off a bit
Base has 1/4" grid - this is a must for me
Grid is cut into the plastic base so it hold the paper in place
Swing out arm (see cons)


Cons:
Swing out arm falls off - I put a small cork in the hole to keep it in place
Swing out arm - has a slide thingy to mark for repetitive cuts; it gets in the way for small cuts so I took it off
Ruler guide is orange - the original one was clear, really liked the clear better
Ruler guide has a handle so you can lift it but it gets in the way - I cut it off with my button shank remover

This is my second Tonic trimmer and for me it's the best simply because of the grid. It costs under $20.
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:28 PM   #4  
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I really like my Carl cutter
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:47 PM   #5  
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16" Genesis with side-light here. All pros: Cuts straight; blade lasts for years; guide bar for exact multiple cuts; side-light so you can see exactly where you're cutting (great for photos and paper); heavy-duty (this is not a portable trimmer); even the price was not a con, considering I probably spent this much on other trimmers and blades over the years, and none of the others could begin to touch the Genesis. I checked into getting a Genesis a few years back, and decided not to get it because of the long waiting list. Now I know why there was a waiting list! When I found that Bonnie of Bonnie's Best Tools had bought the company, and there was no longer a waiting list, I ordered one immediately. Absolutely no regrets - it's the best money I've ever spent.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:39 AM   #6  
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I have had more crappy trimmers than I even care to think about..just a few are Old Gray Fiskars (at least two), Dark Blue Fiskars, Orange Fiskars (2), Purple Cow, X-Acto Laser, Cutterpede (my current)...now my "siggy" says it all!
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:49 AM   #7  
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I have that very same trimmer and I love mine. I snipped off the little tabs holding the cutting bar down so I wouldn't have to deal with those every time I wanted to cut.

As for the measurements on the right side ruler - why do they stamp them directly into the plastic without highlighting them in some way?? I took some white acrylic paint and smeared it into the grooves, then took a damp paper towel and wiped the excess off of the top. Now I can see them fine.

The only thing I don't like about it is where the left side ruler measurement breaks, right about 4-3/4". The other down side for me is that no one here sells replacements for the cutting mat thing. I did find some on clearance at Archiver's a while back, but that's 2-1/2 hours away from where I live so I don't get up there much.

I think you will get used to knowing where the blade cuts after using it for a little while, but be sure to check your paper alignment with the lines on the cutting grid. Sometimes mine are off a bit by just using the measurements at the top.


Quote:

Originally Posted by cardsbynikkiView Post
Today my new Paper Trimmer arrived and I thought I'd post my initial impressions. With so many paper trimmer threads I thought I might start this one, just for reviews of the trimmers we currently used and have used in the past. That way we can get other perspectives and maybe some tips on using the trimmers we own.

I really wanted a Tonic Guillotine but until my right arm is stronger (which will hopefully be soon) it's not going to be usable. I broke what was my 7th Cutterpede, and decided I really did not want to keep buying them as they break SO easily.

I needed something that was "good enough for right now" until I get the Tonic. I chose the Fiskars Ultimate Paper Trimmer because it was on sale, had easy change blades, and looked like it wouldn't break just from me looking at it

My initial impressions.

Pros:
  • It does look sturdier than my Cutterepedes.
  • It has a swing arm to both the left and right which will make it easy to use with my left hand.
  • There are changeable grids that will help when needing to cut on an angle or use common cuts. I don't know yet how well they will hold up.
  • There is a clear shield that is removable, I can see using it for trimming photos so that they don't get fingerprints all over them.
  • The blade are changeable but the carriage stays on the cutting bar. You snap new blades in and out but since the carriage stays on I can see this would help with straight cuts each time since the carriage won't get messed up.
  • The left swing out arm doesn't look like it will snap off easily.
  • The left swing arm is supposedly self-leveling, making for straight cuts.
  • It DOES cut STRAIGHT and it cuts clean
  • It's rotary.
  • You line it up against the top so I don't have to make sure it's straight just by the grid. This is helpful with shaky hands.
  • There is a scoring blade and it came included with the cutter (not really needed for me since I scor with my Scor-Pal, but it's there if I want it)
  • It only cost me $20!


Cons:
  • In order to get the paper under the bar, it swings to the right instead of lifting UP like the Cutterpede
  • In order to get that bar up, it takes two hands because you have to unsnap it. Already this is annoying me a bit because I like to go fast with cutting and it does take a little longer to use both hands, unsnap it, get the paper under and snap back down.
  • The carriage bar is not clear so I can't see the paper under it and I'm still figuring out how to tell exactly where it is going to cut.
  • While I do line it up against the top, there are no visible measurements there. So I have to just see where the paper is ending to see where I am measuring. It's a little different than the Cutterpede in that way and I'm not loving that. I wish it had the measurements printed along the top in addition to on the grid.
  • To the right of the cutter, there is a grid etched into the plastic with measurements but it's hard to see, whereas to the left it is printed in purple against green, making it easy to see. It would have been nicer if it was that way to the right as well.
  • While the blade does come in an "easy" snap-in to snap in to the carriage, it's not THAT "easy". I had to get help. This would get annoying if I really was wanting to cut then score then cut, etc. Maybe it will loosen up a bit over time and I can get it out myself.
  • It does have that clear plastic guard and is removable, but it got annoying very fast. I can't see using it for anything other than photos.
  • It doesn't cut on a pad like the Cutterepde. It cuts against plastic. Not sure yet if that is a con or pro, I'll let you know when I decide.



All in all, it was worth the $20 I paid. I wouldn't pay the $40 it retails for. And I don't think I'm in love with it, but it will work for right now until I get that arm stronger and get the Tonic.

Ok your turn - Tell me the good, the bad and the ugly about your trimmer.
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:30 PM   #8  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ShortWizardView Post
I have that very same trimmer and I love mine. I snipped off the little tabs holding the cutting bar down so I wouldn't have to deal with those every time I wanted to cut.

As for the measurements on the right side ruler - why do they stamp them directly into the plastic without highlighting them in some way?? I took some white acrylic paint and smeared it into the grooves, then took a damp paper towel and wiped the excess off of the top. Now I can see them fine.

The only thing I don't like about it is where the left side ruler measurement breaks, right about 4-3/4". The other down side for me is that no one here sells replacements for the cutting mat thing. I did find some on clearance at Archiver's a while back, but that's 2-1/2 hours away from where I live so I don't get up there much.

I think you will get used to knowing where the blade cuts after using it for a little while, but be sure to check your paper alignment with the lines on the cutting grid. Sometimes mine are off a bit by just using the measurements at the top.
So the bar still stays down enough without the little clips on it? If so I will try that, it's annoying me to now end to have to keep using both hands to snap it open, then there's the whole bother of actually getting both hands to work at least a little bit in unison TO get it unsnapped! LOL! I'll give that a try and wiping the paint on the right side.

Oh to have a dream cutter though! I was going to get the Genesis, but then I was told I would know when to stop moving the carriage down because my hand would feel it before it cut me. But I don't have any feeling in my fingers, so it wouldn't feel it, and then I would, I guess, get cut or something. It just doesn't seem that safe for ME, I'm sure it's a really safe cutter for other people though!

Once that arm gets stronger though, the Tonic is coming to live at my house
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:40 PM   #9  
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Yes, the bar stays down just fine. You have to push on the blade to make it cut and that holds the bar down. Snip the little tabs on the cutter body itself instead of the ones on the arm, they're easier to cut off and if you cut the ones on the arm I'm afraid it would make it less stable.

The Genesis is a wonderful trimmer but too overpriced for me, I'm afraid. Between this one and the Tonic I am pretty satisfied.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:20 PM   #10  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ShortWizardView Post
Yes, the bar stays down just fine. You have to push on the blade to make it cut and that holds the bar down. Snip the little tabs on the cutter body itself instead of the ones on the arm, they're easier to cut off and if you cut the ones on the arm I'm afraid it would make it less stable.

The Genesis is a wonderful trimmer but too overpriced for me, I'm afraid. Between this one and the Tonic I am pretty satisfied.
My carriage came off and I can't get it back on. I know someone else said you have to put it on in the middle of the bar but even that isn't working. I was just cutting with it and off it came. Has this happened to you? How exactly does the dang thing go back on?
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