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Tonic Guillotine Paper Cutter … a must have tool

Reported by Julia Stainton

I love papercrafting and I love papercrafting tools and gadgets. If you were to look at my desk…you’d know this for a fact! I use my crafting tools daily and they really get a great work-out! Out of all my wonderful tools, there is one that I really would not want to be without… my Tonic Guillotine Paper Trimmer.

The Tonic Guillotine Paper Trimmer is a fabulous tool and one I use on every design I create. A good paper cutter is an essential tool and I love its clean precise cuts as well as its other wonderful features. I first started looking for new paper trimmer options late last Spring. I was extremely frustrated with the paper trimmer I had. It was a track-type model with blades that needed replacing all the time. This was adding up in cost quite rapidly and I just was not satisfied with cleanness of its cuts and on occasion, there was some play in the track leaving my cut less than perfectly straight. Another problem I had was if I needed to slice off a small fraction of cardstock to make my matting perfectly balanced. I just could not do that with the product I had. The result would be a nasty distressed looking edge if you wanted to trim off less than 1/8th of an inch.

I discovered this Tonic Guillotine Paper Cutter at my local scrapbooking store. It came highly recommended by the owner and I had a coupon discount so I decided to give it a whirl. I have been so thrilled with its performance over the past 8 months and it has more than paid for itself in refill blades. That is because this guillotine trimmer never needs sharpening or its blade replaced. The stainless steel blade sharpens itself with each pass and always gives a perfect cut. This paper trimmer is portable and extremely lightweight but is designed so well. You can cut through 4 or 5 layers of cardstock with ease. Do you like using chipboard…this trimmer also cuts through chipboard, leather, transparencies, burlap…I’ve tried them all.

One of my main concerns when purchasing a guillotine type trimmer was safety. We’ve all heard stories of those big heavy paper cutters that they had in grade school…fabulous but perhaps a little scary. I have five children in the house so safety is quite a concern for me. Now this might sound a little strange but I actually tried to cut myself (with caution of course) with this trimmer. Actually, the blade is not sharp at all. The friction and engineering of this product delivers a sharp clean cut without a sharp blade. There are also safety features built in. For your left hand, there are two clear places where you press down on the safety bar and keep it out of the way. The paper trimmer is designed to trim perfectly when the safety bar is depressed and I love how it is clear and you can see through it for perfect paper positioning.

If this hasn’t already convinced you…here is a list of features that I love…

  • It’s portable…the handle and measuring bar extension can be removed and stored under the trimmer for portability and easy storage.
  • Metric and Imperial measurements on the trimmer
  • 1/2″ increments on a molded grid on the cutter base make it easy to use and line up
  • Self Sharpening blade means no more replacements
  • Extremely light and easy to carry with orange handle at top of cutter
  • Comfortable soft handle when cutting
  • Safety bar is clear and easy to see through
  • non-skid rubber feet on bottom of trimmer
  • sturdy high-impact plastic base
  • 12″+ base allows for easy cutting of 12×12 papers. There is extra room allowed to fit in those patterned papers that are manufactured a little longer
  • extremely well priced
  • no replacement blades to buy


Hints for using the Tonic Paper Cutter

To use the Tonic Guillotine Paper Cutter, simply slide the paper under the safety bar. Press down on oval spots with your left hand and slice with your right to get a precision cut. When you are cutting, you will always get a perfect 90° corner if you make sure your paper is butted right up to the top of the cutter. As there is no measuring device to the right of the blade…if you wish to trim off a certain small amount…simply measure the paper, subtract the amount you wish to trim off and then re-line it back up at the new measurement on the left side. It is very simple to get the hang of after a few tries. The one thing you cannot do with this Tonic Guillotine Paper Trimmer is score your paper. My old paper trimmer had a scoring blade option but I did find that with the play in the track, this was often not a good solution. If you wish to score your paper, I suggest scoring using a bone folder with a ruler or investing in a scoring board.

I’m thrilled with my Tonic Guillotine Paper Cutter and would highly recommend it. When paper crafting, nothing spoils a design quicker than sloppy looking construction and good clean precise cuts are essential. I also allow my older children to use this cutter for school projects etc. They are always thrilled with how great this posters and projects look and it is easy and safe enough for them to use. If you are thinking of purchasing a paper cutter, this Tonic Cutter is well worth the investment and will serve you well for many, many years. This paper cutter is also available in a full 12″ base model and is perfect for paper crafters who use large sheets of paper and do not need the portability option. The Tonic Guillotine Paper Cutters can be found at your local scrapbook store as well as many on-line scrapbooking supply stores.

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6 Responses to Tonic Guillotine Paper Cutter … a must have tool

  1. Deborah January 21, 2008 at 12:23 pm #

    Great info! I too have all the problems you mentioned with my cutter presently. It is constantly moving too! I even tried placing it on a rubber mat for stability, but it still moves! My DH bought me the large Fiskars cutter, which I must say does work well, it is just large and consumes plenty of counter top space! I will keep my eye out for this new cutter. Thanks! Deb

  2. Beverly A January 28, 2008 at 9:44 am #

    I bought the 12″ Tonic guillotine cutter a few months ago based on the input of various crafters. I never seemed to get a perfect right angle cut with my old cutter. I love the Tonic for that reason ans also for the sharpening feature and the safety feature. Thanks for your review; I did learn a few things about this cutter that I didn’t know.

  3. Kim January 31, 2009 at 11:22 pm #

    Julia thank you so VERY much for the wonderful information! I just ordered mine online tonight! I am VERY excited to get this new trimmer!!! I have been searching for over 6 months for a new trimmer as I am not happy with any of the cutters that have replacement blades. I was getting so sick of buying new blades too! Your review totally helped me make my decision for my new trimmer! My hubby even thought it looked like the one to have! 🙂 Your article was awesome! Thanks again!
    Hugs~ Kim

  4. Linda August 15, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    It has been a while since you posted this. I googled paper cutter reviews because I am in need of a new one. Do you still recommend this one?
    Thanks,
    Linda
    http://cardsbylinda.blogspot.com

  5. Julie Ann Shahin September 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    I’ve had mine for years and I still love it!
    September 15, 2010

  6. Anonymous February 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    I doubt you get many guys posting here, but I wanted to give Tonic Guillotine Cutter users a warning. I bought my wife the large 12″ model 4 or 5 years ago and she has loved it. So have I. I am a photographer and scrapbook our outdoor adventures. We are now having trouble with the cutter. The thing is, we may have caused the problem ourselves and I hope others can avoid our mistake.

    When cutting, make sure you always (or at least most of the time) make a full cut. In other words always take the blade all the way down to the closed position, even if you are only cutting a small piece.

    As mentioned in the article, the blade sharpens itself continuously. True, but it does so by gradually shaving the edges of the blade and cutting edge. So if you make repeated cuts in only the first inch or two of the blade’s travel (as we did) you wear the blade and cutting edge unevenly. Now our blade snags on the cutting strip in this area. We can still use it, but we have to place the paper and inch off the backstop to get a good cut.

    Tonic’s website does not show replacement blades. I emailed them today in hopes they may have some, but I have my doubts. As mentioned in the article, one of the benefits of this unit is that it is self-sharpening, so there is no need for replacements. It is a great product. Just thought I’d give everyone a headsup. Good Luck. CL