The 10 Best Paper Cutters

Updated May 25, 2018 by Jordan Melcher

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We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Whether you’re binding a book or just creating a few flyers, a paper cutter will make the work both quicker and more accurate. Today's trimmers have a lot of different features, from cutting guides to safety guards, but all will at least be able to slice your items with ease. Remember that these aren’t toys, so they should not be operated by unsupervised children. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best paper cutter on Amazon.

10. Westcott TrimAir Titanium

The Westcott TrimAir Titanium comes from an esteemed scissors manufacturer and provides a sturdy wood base, but the blade just might be its best feature. It’s titanium-bonded and three times harder than steel, so it'll retain its sharpness over time and with extended use.
  • ergonomically designed handle
  • comfortable to operate
  • precision is somewhat lacking
Brand Westcott
Model 15106
Weight 6.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Tonic Studios 808

For those on a tight budget, the Tonic Studios 808 could be the right option. Its features include a soft grip, a convenient carrying handle, and a paper guide with finger tabs to ensure straight cuts. It can be used with sheets up to 8.5 inches wide.
  • eye-catching orange color
  • works with vellum and card stock
  • has a tendency to jam
Model 808
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. X-Acto Plastic Base Laser

For ultimate precision, check out the X-Acto Plastic Base Laser, which has an automatic laser guide that helps you cut accurately down to the micrometer. You’ll get durability, too, since it comes with a self-healing mat and a self-sharpening system.
  • spring-loaded guard for protection
  • good for professional artists
  • lock is prone to breaking
Brand X-Acto
Model 26234
Weight 5.8 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

7. Carl Heavy Duty Rotary

The Carl Heavy Duty Rotary boasts a patented locking rail mechanism that is designed to hold up to 36 sheets securely. Need to make repetitive cuts? Its adjustable magnetic gauge will help you out, keeping the materials fast against the metal baseboard.
  • luminous acrylic paper holder
  • spare straight blade included
  • blade can dull quickly
Brand Carl
Model 12220
Weight 8.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

6. HFS 16150 Guillotine

Good for book-binding projects, the HFS 16150 Guillotine has a heavy-duty base and a hardened precision steel blade, allowing you to efficiently cut up to 400 pages at once. Its non-skid rubber feet will keep it steady on almost any tabletop.
  • comes preassembled and ready to use
  • built-in adjustable backstop
  • doesn't cut perfectly straight
Brand HFS
Model FBA_16150
Weight 36.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Dahle 552

Useful for photographers and office professionals alike, the Dahle 552 is a rolling trimmer with a two-way cutting blade. It can take on a 20-sheet stack with superior exactness while sharpening itself in the process — all without leaving annoying burrs.
  • printed protractor for angled cuts
  • automatic clamp for stability
  • safer than guillotine-type cutters
Brand Dahle
Model 00552-21242
Weight 10.9 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

4. Fiskars 12-Inch Portable

You'll no longer have to suffer from wobbly lines with the Fiskars 12-Inch Portable. Crafted with scrapbookers in mind, this model makes trimming easy with its swing-out arm that extends to accommodate large pages. It's lightweight, as well.
  • aluminum cutting surface
  • attractive leaf design
  • comes with lifetime warranty
Brand Fiskars
Model 196920-1001
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Dahle 18E Vantage Series Trimmer

The Dahle 18E Vantage Series Trimmer offers accuracy for office or domestic projects, thanks to a machine-ground edge that can remove thin slivers, as well as a clamp that prevents paper from shifting. Its spring-action handle guards against unforeseen blade drops.
  • three sizes available
  • works with up to 15 sheets at once
  • base won't warp or crack
Brand Dahle
Model 40018-12568
Weight 11.7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Fiskars Bypass Trimmer

With its everlasting, self-sharpening blades and precision-printed measuring scale and grid, the Fiskars Bypass Trimmer is an at-home solution for making invitations, flyers, handouts, and more. Its base is made from post-consumer recycled resin, so it's eco-friendly, too.
  • manufactured in china
  • sleek and lightweight
  • built-in arm lock for storage
Brand Fiskars
Model 01-005452
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Swingline ClassicCut Lite

Take on cardstock, photos, or construction paper with the Swingline ClassicCut Lite, which has been designed for general home and business purposes. You’ll be able to trim 10 sheets at a time while keeping your digits secure by way of a protective guard rail.
  • blade latch hook
  • alignment grid and scale
  • easy to transport
Brand Swingline
Model 9315
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Good For Fighting Aliens

You probably know the name Jon Stewart as belonging to the former host of The Daily Show, a half-hour satirical news show that airs on Comedy Central. What you might not know about Jon Stewart, though, is that he's a space alien. At least, he played one in a terrible movie from the 1990s called The Faculty. Imagine Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a film in which a parasitic invading alien species takes control of the bodies and minds of human hosts, but have that invasion start exclusively with the faculty of a local high school.

In a pivotal scene, just as Stewart's character reveals itself to be an alien, a young Josh Hartnett somehow manages to pull the arm off of a nearby paper cutter in a smooth, effortless motion, and use the bladed stick as a weapon against funnyman Stewart. The layers of absurdity here are thick, but the ease with which Harnett tears the arm off the paper cutter has always stayed with me.

For the record, most of the paper cutters on our list are tough enough to withstand the likes of Josh Hartnett's wet noodle arms, but, in theory, their blades are strong enough to fight aliens, should the need arise. Fortunately, for the time being, we can confine our examination of the devices to the act of cutting paper.

If you have the kind of skill I have with a pair of scissors, then you know what it's like to try to cut a straight line and to end up feeling like Jack the Ripper. I butcher paper with scissors. I shouldn't be allowed to own them. A paper cutter, on the other hand, I can operate with ease and accuracy.

That's because paper cutters make it easy for you to hold pages firmly against a lip set perpendicularly to the cutting blade. They have measurements in inches and centimeters printed on their surfaces and on the run of the lip, so you can accurately recreate cuts as you work your way through as many pages as you need to slice.

Even when used carelessly, this combination of pinpoint measurement and sharp, sturdy cutting edges will give you straight, uniform cuts through thick paper, stacks of pages, and other materials.

Cut Through The Hoopla

Don't let the similarities in body design fool you; just because a lot of these paper cutters look alike, that doesn't mean they perform alike. Sure, they all cut paper along straight lines with accuracy and durability, but beyond those facts the differences abound.

Take, for example, the weight of a paper cutter. A lighter paper cutter won't sit as firmly on a table or counter top, which means you have to apply more pressure to the cutter itself to counter the pressure you apply to the paper with its cutting arm. If the paper cutter is too light, or is poorly balanced, the whole unit could shift, resulting in a sloppy cut.

For that reason, you should look for a cutter that's as heavy as your budget will allow. It might inhibit your mobility if you're a some kind of itinerant paper artist, but you'll be grateful for its accuracy over the lighter models.

Another important factor to consider is the quantity each paper cutter can handle per slice. Some paper cutters can handle hundreds of pages at a time, whereas others shouldn't see more than half a dozen sheets stacked on them. If you cut high quantities of paper and you need quality to boot, you'll have to spend a little more on a higher capacity cutter.

Finally, there's your purpose to consider. More mathematically complex cuts require more visually detailed cutting surfaces, and a few of the paper cutters on our list look worthy of a Fields Medal, where others haven't quite mastered their multiplication tables yet.

Once you've figured out the complexity of the cuts you need, the quantity of pages you need to cut, and the mobility you require of you paper cutter, you'll be able to narrow down this list to one or two stellar options.

A Blade From Above

The paper cutter as we know it today saw its first iteration at the hands of French inventor Guillaume Massiquot in the 1830s. He patented the machine in 1844, with an updated patent in 1852, and improvements continued through the years.

It isn't unfair, perhaps, to say that the true predecessor to the paper cutter was the guillotine, that lovely and specific device employed in the removal of human heads. Invented in the 1500s by a pair of very intelligent and equally cruel Europeans (it was a French/German collaboration), the guillotine very accurately sliced people's necks instead of reams of paper.

It's terrifying to think of such a barbaric tool actively being used in the modern age, but the very last guillotining in France took place as recently as 1939, when the French government executed a man convicted of six murders.

Using the technology to increase efficiency in paper cutting instead of people cutting, industries from newspapers to publishing houses found an easy and efficient way to slice through mountains of pages in less time than ever before.

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Last updated on May 25, 2018 by Jordan Melcher

Born in California, Jordan moved all over the country before deciding that maybe he should just come back to the Golden State and stay for a bit. He’s a writer and musician who holds strong opinions about most things.

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