problems with Xacto 12" paper cutter

hello everyone

I think this guillotine cost 44.95 at either Staples of Offic Max, and just unpacked it. Two prolems, one is that the paper guide is too wide by just an nth to slide in the channel made for it. Have to pry it out and reset it when I want to change proportions. Is it supppsed to work that way?

Supposedly this machine will cut 10 pp at a time, but even with four pages, when you get to the end of the cut, the blade no matter how snappyily you bring it down, no matter how slowly, just sort of bends the last inch of pages ... and I have to take it out and cut the last inch sheet by sheet.

Is that normal with a giolltine paper cutter?

Is there a better brand name that is more accurate. Time to 'correct' a tool that doesnt work right, isnt my idea of a fine tool. I'm frugal with money, but not pennurious; want value whatever the rpoice. This Xacto, I dont think, has it

but maybe I'm wrong cause I have no experieince with these matters...

any thoughts?

thank you

archangel

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Guillotines

Hi.

A few years back, I had the privilege of using a guillotine with a 3' blade. It was made of cast iron, I think, back when the machines had hand-painted scrollwork decorations. It didn't bend pages when cutting unless the blade was dull or there was too much paper. When there's too much paper, the blade stops cutting and won't go down, kinda like using a hammer on a treetrunk. You're not gonna get through it that way.

Now, I have the same cutter you have as well as a Carl rotary.

The xacto cutter should not bend the paper--that's probably misalignment. Try 'pulling' the blade toward the table as you bring it down, to make sure the two metal surfaces scrape against one another.

The guide won't slide on mine as well. I assume that this is because friction is the only thing that makes it a paper stop. If it slid in the channel, it could slide while you're cutting, resulting in a crooked cut.

More expensive cutters will have heavier blades that feel less like cheap scissors. They will also have guides with 'locking' mechanisms rather than friction. Really good ones will have an automatic clamp that locks the paper down as you begin to cut, so it doesn't slide.

The xacto is an inexpensive machine, made with certain tradeoffs compared to more expensive ones. You can spend a lot of money on a good, large guillotine. You just have to determine cost/value/use ratios to decide whether it's worth the money. Mine was a gift for Christmas, so I'm going to give it some time before I decide I don't like it. Mine wants to chew the pages a bit and came with some burrs on the blade (manufacturing defects).

I have an old wood model (the kind you see in schools) as well. It's got a more solid feel, but no guide at all, no finger guard, and the measurements are off after all these years. The half-ton iron job I mentioned earlier had a finger guard, a spiffy full-length paper stop with a crank adjustment, a very large steel table, and a wood catch bin for the scraps. It had a counterweight to keep the arm up when you let go, and it had that beautiful scrollwork paintjob as well. *That* was a cutter. I miss it. :) Alas that it was only borrowed. :/

shris

"The half-ton iron job I

"The half-ton iron job I mentioned earlier had a finger guard, a spiffy full-length paper stop with a crank adjustment, a very large steel table, and a wood catch bin for the scraps. It had a counterweight to keep the arm up when you let go, and it had that beautiful scrollwork paintjob as well. *That* was a cutter. I miss it. :) Alas that it was only borrowed. :/»"

That is a truly beautiful description shris!

thank you for telling me about the guide thingie too. I wish I could have seen this old guard iron job you described. Actually I did. In my mind's eye.

archangel

The old one

Hi.

The old iron monster looked something kinda like this: Linkety Link

The modern version looks like this: Linka Dinka Doo

shris

wow

just totally wow, both those links. Thank you!! for taking the time. That was good of you

archangel

Exacto paper trimmer 12"

Unfortunately, I now realize others are having the same trouble with their CHEAP paper cutter. I have tried cutting 5 pieces of copy paper at a time and before the blade has cut 3 inches the paper is pushed down, torn and now useless. My old Boston does a better job even though I need a new blade for it.