The Best Paper Cutter/Trimmer to Buy In 2018

Even though most of you out there use paper cutting machines in an office or at school, some use it at home for their hobby, origami or anything else involving paper.

The handiest way to cut paper is with a pair of scissors, of course. You may also use a sharp knife and slice along the folded edge. But this is rather a last resort option as it leaves behind edges that are not very nice looking.

If you only need to cut a large quantity of paper once a year, you can run to the closest copy store. They should have commercial-grade machines that easily slice paper for a few bucks.

But, if you do need to cut big time, you should invest in a paper cutter. Whether it’s the guillotine type or the razor one, there are some things to take in consideration when on the hunt for the best paper cutter.



Even though it’s not really commercial grade, the ELMERS X-Acto Commercial Grade Wood 24 X 24″ Square Guillotine Trimmer manages to perform almost as one. Here are the pros:

X-ACTO 24x24 Commercial Grade Square Guillotine Trimmer

  • This commercial paper cutter is great for classroom or office, or even home
  • The paper cutter gets through 20 sheets at a time
  • The hardened steel blade is efficient
  • The blade has a self-sharpening blade
  • The safety guard keeps your fingers safe
  • The cutter comes with a metric and inches ruler
  • The cutter may cut through plastic, as long as it’s not very thick
  • The cutter is heavy duty, but not too heavy to move around
  • The lines help you lining the cut
  • The measuring grid is precise
  • The handle is spring-loaded and stays where you put it
  • The blade is very sharp
  • There is a strong built on the paper cutter
  • The safety latch is reliable, easy to engage
  • There are all-metal moving parts and a sturdy wood base
  • The rubber feet are securely screwed on
  • The paper cutter looks good

As for the cons, there are only some things to mention:

  • The paper cutter is a bit pricey
  • The handle could be of better quality
  • The blade doesn’t stand up by itself

If your pack of is 400 sheets of paper thick and you don’t know which paper cutter to get, the HFS 17″ Blade A3 New Heavy Duty Guillotine Paper Cutter would be a good choice. Here are our pros:

HFS 17" Blade A3 New Heavy Duty Guillotine Paper Cutter

  • The paper cutter has a heavy-duty steel base
  • The paper cutter is heavy duty altogether
  • The blade is strong as it’s made of hardened steel
  • The blade is sharp and efficient
  • The adjustable paper clamp is efficient
  • The paper cutter comes pre-assembled and it’s ready to use out of the box
  • The coating from the grid surface is scratch resistant
  • The cutting handlebar is easy to operate
  • When the stock is thick, the clamp wheel holds it for cutting
  • The ruler in inches is useful
  • The backstop is adjustable
  • The backstop has a lock for holding the paper
  • The Blade A3 features a foam pad to prevent the platen leaving a dent in your paper
  • The grid on the base is effective
  • The metal hoop on the outside helps you catch what you cut
  • The guillotine action is smooth
  • Guillotine cutters give machine quality for a manual cut budget

On the other hand, here are the cons for us:

  • The handle for the blade fits loosely, even though this doesn’t affect the cutter performs
  • The paper cutter is huge and heavyweight
  • It’s difficult to move the paper cutter around
  • There are no instructions
  • The blade screw loses after a while
  • The safety latch is not high quality
  • The handle tends to bent
  • The paper cutter needs better quality as it’s not long lasting

For your small jobs like cutting for origami, the Dahle 534 Professional Guillotine is an efficient and well-made paper cutter. Here are the pros on it:

Dahle 534 Professional Guillotine Trimmer

  • The paper cutter is able to cut 15 sheets of paper at a time
  • The blade is very sharp and is made of German Solingen steel
  • The blade is self-sharpening
  • The automatic clamp holds work securely
  • The base is made of metal
  • The base is pretty sturdy
  • There are preprinted guides on the base
  • The protective guard doubles as a paper clamp
  • The guard holds your work in place, and not only protects your fingers
  • The spring system on the blade holds the blade at any angle
  • The spring system also prevents the blade from flying up or falling down by accident
  • The cutter may be used for cutting paper, cardstock, illustration paper and even vinyl
  • The adjustable paper guide is efficient for the repetitive cuts
  • The non-skid rubber feet don’t let the paper cutter slip
  • There are metric and inches scale
  • The paper cutter has a strong build
  • The paper cutter is reliable

As for the cons, here they are:

  • The moveable guide doesn’t work as good as you’d want
  • The adjustable backstop with red button release moves no matter if the red button is pressed or not
  • The clamp could be of better quality

A sharp, very well made guillotine paper cutter is the Swingline Paper Trimmer / CutterHere are the parts that we like and we take it as pros:

Swingline Paper Trimmer, Guillotine Paper Cutter

  • The paper cutter gives good guillotine cutting of up to 15 sheets of paper at once
  • There is a 15-inch cutting length
  • You get precise measuring with the cutter thanks to the alignment grid
  • The dual scale gives you more accurate cutting
  • The cutter is a good choice for your daily trimming needs
  • The Swingline Paper Trimmer has a wooden cutting surface and metal cutting arm
  • The cutter has a good weight
  • The cutting machine has a sturdy, solid built
  • The paper cutter is well made
  • The Swingline is a heavy-duty cutting machine
  • The cutter gives nice, clean cuts
  • The blade is self-sharpening
  • There is protective guard rail safety
  • The blade latch hook to lock blade makes it safe to use the cutter
  • There is a 10-year warranty on the Swingline Paper Trimmer

As for the cons, here are ours:

  • After some time of using, the paper cutter gets a bit squeaky
  • The cutter is not for the small jobs
  • The cutter could have better performance if it had more weight

But, for the money you pay, this is a good buy and a good paper cutting machine.

In case you’re not exactly looking for a heavy duty paper cutter, but still want good performance for it, the X-ACTO Heavy Duty 15″ Paper trimmer is a good buy. Here are the pros:

X-ACTO Heavy Duty Wood Guillotine Trimmer

  • The paper cutter comes with the helpful inch and metric scales
  • The X-Acto hardened steel blade is sharp and efficient
  • The safety lock secures blade when not in use
  • The paper cutter cuts up to 15 sheets of paper at a time
  • The paper cutter keeps the stock tight when cutting
  • The blade is reliable and long lasting
  • The cutting is nice and clean
  • The paper cutter runs smoothly
  • The price is great for the quality you get

There are some issues to be mentioned so here are the cons:

  • There is a lot of plastic in the construction of the cutter
  • There is high density fiber board and not wood
  • It’s difficult to move from one position to another the stationary measuring guide
  • The instruction guide is not very helpful

But for the money you pay, you get a reliable, efficient paper cutter for your small jobs at the office.


A great performing heavy duty guillotine type paper cutter is the SMTHouse A3 Paper Cutter/ Trimmer GuillotineHere are the good parts:

Mophorn Electric Paper Cutter 450mm 17.7 Inch Paper Cutter Guillotine Numerical Control Automatic Digital

  • The cutter comes with a ruler in inches for accuracy in cutting
  • There is a clear embossed grid for precise cutting
  • The paper cutter is easy to use
  • The guillotine paper cutter is a great choice for offices, schools, businesses, printing houses and for the professional individual users just as well
  • The metal paper clamp handle is efficient and useful
  • The blade is sharp
  • The blade is also replaceable
  • You may cut up to 400 sheets of paper high
  • The adjustable side gauge helps you get a clean cut
  • The firm clamping system provides accuracy for the cutting
  • There are nonskid pads for easier tabletop use
  • There is a scratch resistant coating on the surface
  • The easy-lock safety lever protects you from cutting
  • The base is made of heavy-duty steel
  • The paper clamp handle is made of metal
  • There is a computer generated grid in inches for accurate cuts
  • The extra-long cutting handlebar raises leverage
  • The assembly on the machine is sturdy
  • The adjustable paper clamp locks down paper firmly in place
  • The cutter works well
  • There are nice, clean cuts with the cutter
  • The cutter comes with 2-years free warranty

As for the cons, here are ours:

  • The cut is not straight all the time
  • There is no instruction manual
  • The clamp comes off track from time to time 

One of the best paper guillotines for the heavy-duty jobs around your classroom or at your office is the HFS New Heavy Duty Guillotine Paper CutterThere are many good things to say about it, so here are the pros:

HFS (R) New Heavy Duty Guillotine Paper Cutter

  • The cutter comes with a heavy-duty steel base
  • The hard steel of the cutting blade gives a long lifespan and power to the cutter
  • The cutter is pre-assembled and ready-to-use out of the box
  • The grid surface has a scratch resistance coating
  • The adjustable paper clamp is efficient
  • The cutter features a clamping wheel for better holding thicker paper
  • You may cut up to 250 sheets of paper at a time
  • The paper cutter is pretty to use
  • The ruler is in inches
  • The clear embossed grid gives a precise cutting
  • It’s easy to use the cutter thanks to the cutting handlebar
  • There is an adjustable backstop for an easier use
  • The cutter is sturdy
  • The blade is long lasting
  • The cutter is a heavy-duty one
  • The non-skid rubber feet give stability
  • The package contains 400 sheets of paper and 1 blade splint

As for the parts we don’t like so much, here are the cons:

  • You need to carefully tuck the pile if you want a good, straight cut.
  • It’s better to not rush the cut
  • The cutter is not for the simple jobs, but for the thick stocks
  • The screws holding the blade tend to loosen over time
  • The cutting handle has no screws and slips over

But, whenever in need of a reliable, sturdy, heavy-duty paper cutter that works great on thick stocks and repetitive actions, the HFS Heavy-duty is a great option.


A commercial grade rotary paper cutter is the Swingline Paper Trimmer / Cutter, Rotary, CommercialHeavy duty and ready to take on the challenging jobs, these are the pros when it comes to the Swingline:

Swingline Paper Trimmer, Rotary Paper Cutter

  • You may cut up to 30 sheets of paper at once with this cutter
  • The manual clamp holds papers in place to get the accurate cutting
  • The alignment grid and dual scale ruler give you precise cuts
  • The conceal blade edges make the cutter safe when in use
  • The cutting rails completely cover the cutting line
  • The blade is replaceable
  • The blade is strong, long lasting and sharp
  • The cutting mat is also replaceable
  • For a safer use, the blade doesn’t cut if the paper is not locked down
  • You always have to click the slider down for the blade to cut
  • This rotary cutter is lightweight but efficient

As for the cons, here are ours:

  • There is no guide and lining up the paper to the alignment table gives slanted cuts
  • You need to put the lever down to hold the paper in order to make the cutting every time

A truly heavy duty rotary paper cutter is the Carl Heavy Duty Rotary Paper TrimmerThere are many nice features to it so here are the pros:

CARL Heavy Duty Rotary Paper Trimmer 18inch

  • The rotary paper trimmer comes with a carbide blade
  • The carbide blade gives you a clean cut every time
  • There is a patented rail system on the cutter
  • The rails system holds paper firmly in place
  • The base is made of metal and well calibrated
  • The paper gauge is magnetic and adjustable
  • The paper gauge is useful for the repetitive cuts
  • The rotary cutter gets through 36 sheets at a time
  • The paper guide is adjustable and magnetic
  • The paper guide holds materials
  • You also get a spare cutting mat with the paper cutter
  • The 4 rubber pads on the bottom keep the cutter in place while you work
  • There is an efficient storage compartment for the spare blades and cutting mats
  • The paper cutter comes with an alignment grid, a ruler and preset measurements for common-sized items
  • The cutter can get through leather
  • There is good, solid build on it
  • The paper cutter is for the heavier use, even though is rather lightweight
  • The paper trimmer is green-friendly
  • There is a lifetime warranty for the cutter, excluding the blade and cutting mat

As for the things that count as cons, here are ours:

  • The included fence has too much play in it
  • The price might be something to consider for some


Using a paper cutter daily for your cardstock might mean you need a long lasting, heavy duty paper cutter. The QCM 8200M Heavy Duty Desktop Stack Paper Cutter meets the highest expectations when it comes to durability and performance, and here are its strong points:

QCM 8200M Heavy Duty Desktop Stack Paper Cutter

  • The cutter has a portable size
  • The cutter gets through 360 sheets
  • The steel blade carriers have needle bearing joints
  • The blade is made of high-speed steel
  • The cast steel blade has measuring grids
  • There is a precise steel side gauge with a measuring scale
  • The back gauge is made of aluminum
  • There is a nylon tip brass locking knob
  • The automatic safety blade lock protects from accidents
  • There is a metal positive paper clamp
  • It’s easy to replace the blade
  • The non-skid feet give stability to the cutter when in use
  • The cutter is great for thick cards, cardstock, illustration/mat board
  • It’s better to use a heavy terry cloth for wiping down the whole unit prior to using it for the first time

Even though these are not deal-breakers, we do need to mention the cons which are:

  • The wide the paper, the less performance from the cutter. You need a careful adjustment on the blade
  • Don’t ever touch the blade…as it’s so sharp.

For the small office that uses a cutter for cardstock frequently, the STACK S12 Professional Guillotine Desktop Paper Cutter is a dilemma-solving choice every time. Here’s why:

STACK S12 Professional Guillotine DeskTop Paper Cutter

  • The Stack S12 is high quality
  • There is good precision for the cutter
  • The easy lock safety lever is useful and efficient
  • The cutter has a side paper catch
  • The grid is in inches
  • The Stack S12 comes with heavy-duty steel cutting bar
  • The blade is made of hardened steel
  • The blade is very sharp
  • The blade is long lasting and heavy duty
  • In case you need, you may easily replace the blade
  • The cutter gets easily through 400sheets
  • The safety features are efficient
  • The auto-locking lever is useful
  • The paper-holder is very secure
  • The base is very sturdy

As for the cons, here they are:

  • The instruction manual is a bit confusing as the cutter is made in China
  • The cutter has no metric measurements on the base plate
  • The cutter is for low volume use, not for the heavy duty jobs


When your scrapbooking takes you a lot of your free time it’s clear that you are determined to get the very best when it comes to materials and machines. A good paper cutter for your scrapbooking is the Flexzion Guillotine Paper Cutter 17″ and here are the pros that got us to vouch for it:

Guillotine Paper Cutter 17" A3 Professional Industrial Heavy Duty Scrapbooking Metal Base Trimmer Machine

  • The extra-long cutting handlebar increases leverage
  • You may cut up to 400 sheets of paper at a time
  • The paper cutter is easy to operate
  • The Flexzion has a solid built and is strong
  • The cutter is well balanced
  • The stand is sturdy
  • The cutter is professionally machined and assembled
  • There is sturdy blade assembly also
  • The cutter is efficient for cutting the A3 paper and card into half or smaller sizes
  • The adjustable side and firm clamping system give you a clean cut every single time
  • You may use the cutter as a desktop cutter
  • The blade is made of hardened steel
  • The blade is razor sharp
  • You may easily replace the blade
  • The blade splint is easy to use
  • There is a computer generated grid in inches
  • The coating is scratch resistant
  • There is a floating side gauge
  • The cutting pad is long lasting
  • The easy-lock safety lever protects you from cutting
  • The cutter gets pre-assembled and is easy to use
  • The cutter is great for schools, business, offices, and home use

As for the cons, here are ours:

  • Some didn’t receive the model from the picture
  • The knob at the top is rather flimsy

When you want precise cuts from your paper cutter but don’t want to go over $100, the Fiskars 12 Inch ProCision Rotary Bypass Trimmer is a good, reliable option. Here are its pros from our point of view:

iskars 100580-1002 Procision Rotary Bypass Trimmer

  • You may cut accurately several sheets of cardstock, chipboards and grunge board
  • You may also the Fiskars when cutting paper and vellum
  • The dual-rail system eliminates blade wiggle for straight, accurate cuts
  • The spring-action rotary bypass blade remains sharp
  • You don’t need to replace the blade
  • The blade is sharp and precise
  • The blade is self-sharpening
  • There is a folding design on the cutter for easier storage and carrying
  • The built-in smudge guard is efficient
  • The grid line measurements on the top and bottom are helpful
  • The work surface is high quality for longer performance
  • The cutter is self-explanatory
  • There is a lifetime warranty for the cutter
  • The price is great

We need to mention the cons, even though they are not deal breakers:

  • The cutter is a bit heavy
  • The cutter performs better for the larger stocks


When it comes to looks and performance, there’s no better choice than the Swingline Guillotine Paper TrimmerThere are many good things to tell about it, so here are the pros:

Swingline Paper Trimmer, Guillotine Paper Cutter, 18"

  • The paper cutter is made of solid maple
  • There is a self-sharpening 18-inch long steel blade
  • The alignment grid and ruler are efficient and helpful
  • The cutter gets through anything from tissue to heavy mat board
  • The steel tension spring maintains the cutting arm in place while in any position
  • There is a finger-guard rail
  • The blade latch hook lock protects you from accidents
  • The non-slip rubber feet keep the trimmer steady when cutting
  • The cutter is sturdy, solid and has a strong built
  • The blade is made of heavy-duty steel
  • The blade is very sharp and cuts a perfect 90degree angle
  • The cutter is very big
  • The Swingline is made of solid wood
  • The handle is made of metal
  • There are many easy-to-see lines for measuring
  • The cutter is a heavy duty one
  • The look of the cutter is elegant and fancy

Some things count as cons, though:

  • The safety hook goes from the left side and across the top of the handle and it’s not very comfortable
  • The safety fence may be too easily removed
  • The cutter is very large so unless you want it that way, you need to think of a place for storing it
  • The cutter is heavyweight

When you are looking for efficiency in card making at your office, the Cardmate 10-Up Business Card Cutter & Slitter gets the job done every time. Here are its pros:

Cardmate 10-Up Business Card Cutter & Slitter

  • The cutter makes precise and nice cuts
  • The cutter cuts 60+ cards in 60 seconds
  • The Cardmate 10-Up is lightweight and economical
  • The cutter is manual and there’s no need for power
  • You may choose a various color for your cutter
  • The cutter cuts letter-size paper using a 10-up business card pattern
  • The hand crank on the side of the machine is useful and efficient
  • You need two passes to complete the business card cutting process
  • The cuts are nice and precise
  • The cutting is fast and easy to get

There are some issues related, even though they are not deal breakers:

  • The cutter doesn’t work with glossy or slick paper
  • The cutter doesn’t round the corners of the cards
  • You need to pay attention when detailing
  • There is no instructional video for the cutter
  • The inside blades are not adjustable for cutting various sizes on the cards


Know the basics

The guillotine paper cutter “chops” the paper thanks to the lever that you press downwards. They are good for some time, but the lever may become loose and not give the best performances after a while. Once the lever it loose, you need to push the lever by hand close to the cutting edge before you actually chop it.

The sharp blade of the razor cutting machine slices paper as you move the blade up and down. In time, the blade may also become dull and you may end up buying a replacement blade.

If none of the above satisfies your needs, you may get a self-healing cutting mat frequently use in quilting. The mats are made of composite materials and take well the cutting knives. You need a ruler and a hobby knife to make the cut. These mats often have 1” and ¼” grid lines.

What makes a good paper cutter

No matter how cheap, how long-lasting, how easy to use your paper cutting machine may be, it’s worthless if it’s not sharp. A dull blade only bends the paper or cuts halfway through. Or, in the worst case scenario, it tears the papers and ruins the whole stack. A sharp blade makes the difference, especially when you want to cut at least 10 sheets at once.

Cutting is nice, but cutting only once, it’s useless. So your paper cutting machine needs to be also long-lasting. Your paper cutter also needs to have some weight as a lightweight one moves around too easily. A wood paper cutter means a longer lifespan for your cutting machine, whereas plastic needs to be high quality and not to leave a cheap feel.

No matter how heavyweight your paper cutter is, it still needs to be easy to use. This means you get to cut straight lines without breaking your shoulder…

This is not impossible, but a good price for your paper cutting machine is also something you want to have. You don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on it, but the less you pay…the less chance for it to be any good.


Paper cutters can be dangerous especially around children. The razor-type cutter is safer than the guillotine one, but they still can penetrate sensitive skin. Keep the exacto knives away as they are as dangerous as any kind of knife.

Keep in mind that the price always says something about what you’re getting. A small, personal paper cutter may cut only 3 sheets at a time but it’s portable and does a good job. While the larger cutters can use a bit of educated choosing and shopping around.

If you’re looking for a machine that can cut elaborate patterns, check out our die cutter page, or the vinyl cutter reviews page. Or the Cricut Explore reviews, or the Cricut model comparisons page.

You may also want to see the paper cutting machines page, for commercial grade machines.

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