Selecting The Right Scrapbooking & Rubber Stamping Cutters

January 5th, 2007

Your scrapbooking, rubber stamping, and cardmaking projects will look perfect when you use the proper cutting, trimming, and scoring tools. Understanding the differences between these tools helps to insure that you are using the right tool for the right job.

The most popular trimming and cutting tools are the guillotine table top trimmer, mini personal paper cutter, and the rotary trimmer. Paper punches, scoring blades, T-squares, and shape cutters are important to have on hand as well before starting your project.

The guillotine trimmer is the traditional paper trimmer you can find any office supply store.  A long sharp blade (often curved) is hinged at the base and is lifted above the paper and down directly on top to make a straight cut. Please keep in mind that not all guillotine trimmers are made well. You’re going to need a solid, sturdy guillotine trimmer with tight fittings. Make sure the handle doesn’t flex at all or you will be consistently frustrated by crooked cuts. Another great feature is a detachable blade which can be sharpened or replaced.

Rubber stamping projects often require simple cuts to mattes and small pieces of stamped card stock. The personal trimmer is the perfect tool for the routine trimming and can fit inside your desk drawer. Small paper trimmers usually have safety features that make them especially suitable for trimming small items held by hand close to the blade. This allows you to crop small pieces of hand stamped card stock, trim tiny wallet photos, and matte stocks. Personal paper trimmers are not suitable for long straight cuts because they are usually made of lightweight plastic.

Rotary trimmers are the newest of the bunch and have become favorites for many different reasons. For rubber stamping and scrapbooking projects, the rotary trimmer excels because you can purchase many different styles of artistic cutting blades. Need to make a straight, curvy edge? Want to perforate a homemade envelope? With the rotary trimmer, this is no problem. You’ll want to find a model that has easily interchangeable blades. In addition to table top trimmers, many rotary trimmer systems also come with handheld trimmers that use interchangeable blades and allow you to cut shapes like circles and flowers. Handheld rotary trimmers use a self-healing cutting mat. You’ll find many different sizes in the craft section of your local department store or fabric store. The unique cutting surface is specifically designed to allow you to cut any shape with your rotary cutter and can be used many times without showing wear.

Shape cutting tools have come a long way and are quickly become a favorite tool for scrapbooking enthusiasts. Because they allow you to cut many different shape styles with one inexpensive tool, they are much more inexpensive than individual paper punches. One thing to look for when purchasing a shape cutter is the quality of the pivoting head. You should be able to cut in one smooth motion without the blade catching on any part of the template.

Paper punches are the easiest way to make sure your shape is perfectly cut every time. Your paper punches should be easy to use and have no trouble cutting through card stocks. If your paper punch becomes difficult to use, it could be a result of glues or adhesives getting into the die mechanism. Usually a spray of a silicone lubricant will solve this problem.

T-squares and the scoring blades are tools that can be very helpful while stamping and scrapbooking. Durable T-squares that will last many years can be purchased at your local hardware store. Cheaper styles can be purchased at a craft store. Buy a quality T-square that has a tooled edge for making perfectly straight lines and cuts. You will be able to line up corners and make perfect mattes. Scoring blades are used to make straight tears and folds along the corner edges of handmade greeting cards. Designer scoring blades allow you make decorative tears on scrapbooking paper and card stock.

You should get at least one version of each of these cutting tools to enjoy all of the benefits. Having the right trimming and cutting tools saves time and makes your finished paper craft project look much better. Buying high quality tools that will last for many years will insure inexpensive overall costs and usually a much better look. Give them a try today and see how they improve your work!

Kathy Williams loves working in Rubber Stamping Fun, her online stamping  store, and enjoys writing informative articles about rubber stamps and scrapbooking.

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