Making the cut

Posted on Jan 15 2017 - 10:00am by Editorial

Trimmers and guillotines are useful tools for precise, efficient paper cutting, but do they have a place in the ‘paperless office’ and what are some of the features you should look out for?

Some people might use the names synonymously or get the two mixed up, yet while they perform similar functions, trimmers and guillotines have very different designs and are suitable for different applications.

Kobra super cut guillotine

Kobra super cut guillotine

Clive Humm, Product Manager at Swordfish, Snopake Brands, describes their differences very succinctly: “A guillotine has a long, straight knife blade, which descends vertically, whilst a trimmer blade is circular and passes across the paper horizontally,” he said.

Fiona Mills, Marketing Director at Avery UK, says that these variations give trimmers and guillotines different strengths. “A guillotine allows you to be accurate when cutting through larger amounts of paper. For example, on a task like trimming posters or leaflets, a guillotine will really save time and achieve a great finish. For smaller amounts or for regular use, a trimmer is more suitable,” she said.

Today, businesses of all sizes use trimmers and guillotines to produce signs, notices, flyers and other visual material for both internal and external communications.

Karen Couling, European Product Manager, ACCO Brands, said: “In both business and education environments, staff are often required to trim and size paper in different styles to produce visual communications that stand out for their creative design and finish. With this in mind, a universal tool such as a trimmer or guillotine, that can be used to expertly cut paper into a variety of sizes, remains essential in the workplace.”

She added that the trend for businesses to do more of these types of job in-house on A3 colour MFPs has generated growth in sales of Rexel trimmers and guillotines, particularly in the professional office machines market. “There has been a notable increase in the number of businesses looking to invest in high quality document finishing machines, as they are keen to produce professional looking and high quality documents in-house, for distribution both internally and externally,” she said.

Snopake, too, reports increased sales of trimmers from its Swordfish range. Humm said: “We are very happy to say that even in these uncertain times trimmer sales continue to grow. In many ways, 2015 was a record year and sales year-to-date seem set comfortably to exceed last year’s volumes.”

Not all manufacturers are so positive. Elcoman, which has been selling trimmers and guillotines under the KOBRA brand name since 1996, has seen sales slow. CEO Fabio Colombo said: “Being a mature market, sales of both products are steady and are not going up. Basically only homeworkers working in graphics or advertising businesses are using them. Sales are still good for large format trimmers to cut plotter paper.”

As with other stationery categories, the growth in flexible and homeworking has affected demand for trimmers/guillotines. According to ACCO’s Couling, this is because people now want to be able to access the same tools at home as they can in the office.

“Those who work from home will want to kit out their home office with all the tools needed to help them work productively in their own environment. This has led to a steady increase in the number of trimmers and guillotines sold in the home office market,” she said.

Cutting edge
To meet diverse usage needs, vendors typically offer a range of sizes, from home/small office models to heavy duty ones for larger office environments. Although trimmer/guillotine functionality is fairly straightforward, manufacturers continue to update their ranges to provide users with a better experience, safer operation, more precision and increased productivity in the office.

Kobra rotary trimmer

Kobra rotary trimmer

Avery has relaunched its trimmers and guillotines with a number of new features. Guillotines now have a patented blade cover that moves with the blade, ensuing that it is never exposed, and the cutter heads on Avery trimmers now have a viewing window to improve cutting accuracy.

Rexel is making use of laser light technology to maximise precision on the Rexel ClassicCut CL410 and ClassicCut CL420 Guillotines and is also increasing sheet-cutting capacity so that users can be more productive.

Swordfish has increased sheet capacity on its trimmers. For example, the Ellipse-500, featuring a geared crank-handle that makes it easier to push the blade through more paper, can now cut up to 30 sheets of paper with ease.

On the basis that safety and ergonomics are the most important aspects when buying cutting machines, German office equipment manufacturer HSM has designed the handle and cutting head on its guillotines and trimmers for optimum handling. Stefanie Keller, Public Relations at HSM, said: “We have some clever solutions integrated into our cutting machines, including a solid and stable stand, a safety lock, a foldable protective shield and a cutting blade cover. This hides the cut edge and prevents users getting hurt by the knife when cutting and carrying or moving the machine.”

Elcomann equips all its KOBRA guillotines with SUPER CUT high grade carbon steel blades that provide long lasting cutting.

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