How should I cut my laminated documents?

posted this on Jul 7, 2015

One of the most versatile cutting tools available is the rotary trimmer. It’s the perfect thing to use when you need to cut a perfectly straight line to produce professional-looking work. Here’s a short introduction to rotary trimmers so you can choose one that’s right for you.

  • Rotary trimmers come in a variety of lengths so there are devices for both large and small projects. The cutting length is something you need to think about before getting one. A lot of the available cutters can usually paper that’s 8.5” x 11” and smaller which is fine for a lot of trimming jobs. However,  if you regularly deal with larger sheets of paper (such as ones that are 8.5” x 14” or 11” x 17”), you’re going to need a cutter that can handle them. So be sure to keep length in mind.
  • It’s important to realize that rotary trimmers aren’t really the best tools for cutting a large amount ofpaper at once. If you need to work with dozens – or even hundreds – of sheets at one time, you’re better off with a guillotine or stack cutter. That said, rotary trimmers have cutting capacities that vary quite a bit. Some of them can only slice through a couple of sheets per pass while others can handle up to 30.
  • Some of these cutters have blades that are strong enough to trim materials other than paper. These are trimmers that can handle cardstock, foam board, laminating film, vinyl, and even fabric and leather. Devices that can cut a variety of materials can be very handy but they’re often a bit expensive. However, one can be a good investment if you want a durable, all-in-one cutter.
  • If you’re interested in crafting or other creative endeavors, it might be a good idea to get a cutter with interchangeable blades. There are blades that can create wavy edges as well as ones that can perforate and score your paper. These devices are great to have around for scrapbooking, making greeting cards, and so on.
  • One of the most important things to look for in a rotary trimmer is that it’s safe to use. Luckily, most of the cutters available have been designed with safety in mind so it’s easy to find one that you’ll feel comfortable using. Be sure to look for one that has an encased blade. The casing greatly reduces the chance of inadvertently touching the blade so you’ll stay safe.
  • Finally, whichever trimmer you choose should be well-constructed and have a good warranty so you can get as much use as possible out of it. It should also have a paper clamp to keep your materials in place when you cut them as well as a measurement grid. These features will help you do a great job every time – and save money over the long run.
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