I was not compensated for this post. Although I was sent this paper cutter to review, all opinions expressed are always my own.
The A3 Paper Cutter arrived promptly via UPS. Apart from a small tear in the box, the package weathered the delivery well. The A3 Paper Cutter comes ready to use, no extra parts loose in the box. This also means no instructions, but everyone knows how to use your basic guillotine paper cutter, right? Instructions would just end up in the recycling bin.
The stainless steel blade, which is replaceable, comes lightly greased. The main body of the paper cutter is white and made out of steel. I feel like a steel cutting base will, in the long run, be more durable than wood or ABS, even with frequent use.
The object itself feels sturdy yet weighs only 6 lbs. At first I can’t lift the blade because the arm is locked and I can’t figure out how to unlock it. I finally push the handle out and the blade immediately springs to a ~40 degree angle and stays there, at attention.
This isn’t exactly your typical paper cutter seen in schools. It has some perks that make it safer and more precise.
- Ergonomically designed plastic handle.
- Spring-action stainless steel blade.
- Plastic guard for safety and clamping.
- Adjustable plastic guide ruler.
- Embossed cutting guides for different size documents.
- 4 rubber feet to stabilize steel base.
A little about me: I handcraft perfect bound books. Until now I have used a regular old box cutter, metal ruler, and self-healing cutting mat to make book blocks. The process is arduous but I like it.
Because most of the books I make are much longer than 12 sheets (24 pages), the A3 Paper Cutter isn’t always more efficient than my box cutter, but it’s definitely useful to have around for making our pocket notebooks, which are 25 sheets (50 pages).
To make these pocket notebooks, I have to take an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet and cut it into 4 equal rectangles, and I have to do this to a total of 25 sheets.
Okay, let’s try this paper cutter out!
I make 2 stacks, one with 12 sheets and one with 13 sheets. The A3 Paper Cutter cuts through the first stack beautifully. Although this is its max cutting capacity–12 sheets–the A3 Paper Cutter cuts through the next ream of 13 sheets just as beautifully. However, when I try 25 sheets in one whack, the result isn’t as beautiful; while the blade manages to slice through, it is only after much exertion on my part, and the cut is rough.
The adjustable guide ruler is useful for squaring each stack. I also use it to cut the paper into 4.25 x 5.5 inch stacks. Having said that, while this guide ruler is useful, it isn’t as precise as it could be, and it is my only complaint about the A3 Paper Cutter.
When tightened this plastic guide ruler curves a little bit, angling the stack slightly forward rather than keeping it at a right angle. Normally this minor aberration would be fine for home or office use, but it’s important for my 4.25 x 5.5 inch stacks to be square. To compensate for the way the guide ruler curves when tightened, I leave it loose and hold it in place by pressing down with my free hand, which is easy to do.
In this picture, if you look close enough at the guide ruler, which is fully tightened, you can see the dotted lines at the top of the steel cutting base disappear as it curves forward.
It follows that the only improvement I can think of in the A3 Paper Cutter would be to extend the guide ruler so it reaches all the way to the bottom of the steel cutting base, where it would glide along a second rail to distribute the tension in the guide ruler more evenly, keeping it square.
Other than this small detail only someone like me would notice, I highly recommend the A3 Paper Cutter as a useful addition to any home, office, or even photography studio.