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Paper Trimmers – A Short History

Paper Trimmers
Paper Trimmers – A Short History

Table of Contents

Paper trimmers, similar to the ones in use today, dates back to 1844 when the first paper cutter, or guillotine, was patented by Guillaume Massiquot. Since then, there have been considerable improvements to the original design by the UK, Germany and the United States. Today paper trimmers have become invaluable tools in offices and schools, to cut a perfectly straight edge through a large amount of paper all at once.

What is a paper trimmer?

A paper trimmer is a powerful tool. Who doesn’t remember the first time they were allowed to place a few sheets of paper onto a guillotine, line them up, and bring the powerful steel blade down, resulting in a perfect precision cut through all layers.

The surface of the paper trimmer usually has a grid, in ½-inch increments, which is either inscribed or painted onto the flat surface. A ruler at the top assists the user with measurements when cutting paper to a specific size for projects. A flat edge at the top enables the user to line up paper at right angles, ensuring a straight line, before the blade is passed over the cutting edge. It is important that the paper trimmer remains steady while in use, and therefore they are usually quite heavy and made out of solid metal.


Trimmers for the office or home.

Paper trimmers come in all sizes, depending on whether they are required for heavy-duty or for office and school use. Below are a few examples:

For light duty:

  • SWORDFISH 42013 A4 Paper Trimmer 507s – This A4 paper trimmer by Snopake was designed by the society of artists, for use by all artists.
  • This paper trimmer is ideal for cutting paper as well as card in both directions and is very simple to operate.
  • It has a “ground rotating” circular blade.
  • An all enclosed cutting head provides protection from the blades.
  • The paper clamp is see through
  • It has 2 scale bars in cm graduation which helps to align paper to achieve a straight cut.
  • It has an angle cutting guide.

FELLOWES NEUTRINO ROTARY TRIMMER – This rotary trimmer by Fellowes comes with SafeCut blade technology.

  • It is Ideal for the cutting of printed photos, laminated documents and normal paper cutting
  • It has an extendable arm which supports and measures A4 documents
  • It can handle up to 5 Sheets at a time
  • The cutting strip is replaceable
  • Comes with a one year warranty

REXEL SMARTCUT A100 Rotary Trimmer – Ref 2101961

  • It cuts A4 with a 300mm trim length
  • It has a 5 sheet capacity
  • The cutting knife is enclosed for safety
  • The transparent ruler measures in inches as well as centimetres
  • It is light and mobile with a plastic base.

Whatever your paper trimming or shredding needs, there is a paper cutter that can do the job for you. If you are looking for a paper cutter, be sure that you are clear as to the job you want it to do to prevent purchasing a product that is not ideal for your particular needs.

For further help take a look at our article on choosing a paper trimmer here.