Paper Trimmers for Printable Planner Inserts

When I first started getting into using printable inserts, I didn't have a big budget to work with. So when it came time to get a paper trimmer, I just went with the cheapest option I could find. Whilst it did get the job done, I knew that I would need an upgrade soon.

So I started looking into the three different types of paper trimmers - blade, rotary and guillotine trimmers - to narrow down the best option for cutting planner inserts. As part of the process, I listed the pros and cons of each one and I figured I would share my findings with in case you're in the market for a trimmer too.

BLADE TRIMMER

Blade trimmers, such as the Fiskars Surecut Paper Trimmer, is great for getting a precise cut for your inserts. Blade trimmers usually features a cutting line guide such as a wire guide where you can line up your trim marks. They also offer a higher degree of control since you don't have to trim all the way to the end. This means that it can work with outward-facing trim marks.

There are a couple of downsides to using a blade trimmer though. One of which is the blades might become blunt pretty quickly, depending on usage. This might cause frayed edges on your inserts. The good news, however, is that the blades are typically replaceable (and often, recyclable too!). A second downside is that you might only be able to trim 1-2 sheets at a time so it can get pretty labourious if you have a lot of sheets to get through.

ROTARY TRIMMER

Rotary trimmers share some advantages and disadvantages with blade trimmers. For example, they also offer a high degree of control, whereby you don't have to cut all the way to the end of the paper. Like blade trimmers also, rotary trimmers have a limited cutting capacity of 1-2 sheets at a time.

Where they differ from blade trimmers is that rotary blades generally lasts longer, so you don't have to worry about replacing them frequently. However, one potential downside to rotary trimmers is that they might not offer as precise of a cut as blade trimmers do. This is because they don’t typically come with a wire cutting guide. However, rotary trimmers might have plastic guards that can also serve as a cutting guide.

If you are looking to get a rotary trimmer, I have heard many suggest the Fiskars ProCision Paper Trimmer.

GUILLOTINE TRIMMER

Guillotine trimmers are pretty much the complete opposite of blade and rotary trimmers. Guillotines are great for heavy duty work, so you can cut multiple sheets at once. Because they are so sharp, they also offer a crisp and clean cut for your inserts.

One disadvantage to guillotine trimmer is they don't usually have a wire guide for you to line up your crop marks (at least, I haven't found one that does). This means that you might not get a precise or consistent cut for your inserts. Unlike blade and rotary trimmers which have sleek or portable designs, guillotine trimmers can be pretty bulky so they might not be a good option if you don't have a lot of storage space.

Check out brands like Dahle if you're interested in guillotine trimmers.

FINAL COMMENTS

So, which trimmer did I go for in the end? Since I have to take product images, I figured that getting a precise cut for my inserts was the most important factor. I also don't have much storage space in my tiny home office, so I needed something that would not take up too much space. So I purchased the Fiskars Surecut Trimmer.

Which paper trimmer do you use to cut your printable inserts? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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