What should I know about Stack Cutters?

Cutting large documents or large amounts of paper can be difficult. Traditional guillotine cutters are only capable of cutting a few sheets at a time, up to 30 at the most. Rotary trimmers have the same problem. They can only cut ten or less pages at a time. If you need to cut a whole stack of sheets, face trim a perfect bound book or even slice a whole ream of paper in half, you will need a stack cutter (also called a ream cutter). Here are a few things to consider when choosing a stack cutter. 

  1. Cutting Capacity: Although sometimes called ream cutters, not all stack cutters are capable of cutting a full ream. Depending on the model that you are looking at, the cutting capacity might be rated based on a specific number of pages or a thickness in inches. Some models are able to cut 500 sheets (a ream) while others can cut slightly more or less. For most people cutting an entire ream of paper is not essential. The higher the cutting capacity, the better the productivity that is offered.
  2. Blade Width: Different models offer different cutting widths. Some blade widths are as small as 12” for letter sized paper. Others offer blades that are seventeen inches wide for 11” x 17” paper, eighteen inches wide for 12” x 18” press sheets. Some cutters even have the ability to cut master sheets of paper that are between twenty-three and twenty-six inches wide.
  3. Paper Stop: One of the most important things to consider when choosing a stack cutter is the paper stop. If the paper stop is not perfectly square and solid, the quality of the cut will suffer. One of the things that sets high quality cutters apart from cheaper ones is the quality of the paper stop. The best ream cutters have perfectly square steel paper stops that are always square and do not flex or move during cutting. This type of paper stop will also have a handle that will allow it to be adjusted precisely to the correct size.
  4. Cutting Table: In addition to the width of the blade, there are two other measurements that are important to consider when looking at a stack cutter. The first is the maximum distance in front of the blade on the cutting table. The second is the maximum distance behind the blade. These two measurements help to determine the maximum length of paper that can be cut.
  5. Safety Features: When looking for a ream cutter, it is essential for it to have a number of safety features. With the ability to cut through hundreds of sheets of paper, a ream cutter can easily slice off a finger or hand. With this in mind, it is essential to find a cutter that requires two handed operation and that has guards to prevent anyone from getting near the blade during the cutting process. Any cutter that does not have these features should be avoided.
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