Reported by Lexi Daly
We’ve had a few requests for a review on the Paper Trimming Buddy by Marvy Uchida. I won it in a blog give-away a while back and I feel like I’ve finally played with it enough to let you know what I think. First, let me start with the descriptions and specs as written by Marvy Uchida. It is listed on their website for $29.99, with additional blades for $5.99 each and here’s what they have to say:
The Ultimate Safety Trimming Equipment. It’s easy to use and has 8 decorative blade styles. The Paper Trimming Buddy comes with 1 straight blade, 1 complimentary free-style handle and the Paper Trimming Buddy unit. All blades are sold separately.
- No exposed blade while handling.
- Patented Interchangeable finger guard safety system.
- Trims up to 10 sheets of 20 lb. print paper or 5 sheets of card stock. Also trims construction, mulberry and other specialty papers.
- 12 inch cut length
- Light weight and portable
- Swing out ruler for easy, measuring
- Replacement mat for the RPT900 are available.
- Cutting blade styles: straight, wave, scoring, scallop, pinking, victorian, perforating and rhythm.
The Paper Trimming Buddy is a very durable trimmer and includes a swing arm for flexibility and portability. In addition to the swing arm that extends the ruler measurements, the face of the trimmer includes a lined section divided into 1/8 inch increments and a 1/2 inch grid section, both of which are helpful for lining up the paper. The ruler measurements are also repeated at the bottom of the cutting section. The “tracking guide bar” lifts completely up, hinged at the top. The blade “casettes” pop in and out of the “tracking guide knob” in order to change the cutting style. Overall, Marvy Uchida has included some very helpful features.
I tested the Paper Trimming Buddy against the specs listed by the company and I found that I could in fact cut multiple sheets of card stock and paper, with both the straight and scallop blades. This is a definite plus, especially for the scallop blade–my other trimmer that has interchangeable blades only cuts through one piece of card stock at a time with the decorative blades. On the negative side, the arm opens somewhere around 5.5 inches, so it is not marked–frustrating for a card maker. While you can figure it out, I would prefer to have that line clearly marked since it is one I use often. Also not all of my cuts were straight, even though I thought they were lined up properly. The more firmly downward I pushed, the straighter the cuts seemed to be, so this could be remedied at least a little with practice and proper use. For smaller pieces, I lined up my papers very carefully with the grid–which I have to do with my other trimmers as well. Another positive is that the trimmer is very safe, with the blade nicely tucked away. This also impacts the storage and changing of the blades. Rather than loose blades, they are presented in “casettes” as shown here. In my opinion, this is one of the coolest things about the Paper Trimming Buddy.
Each casette is labeled with name and picture and has it’s own color, and the blade is completely contained while not in use. The picture shows each casette with a strip of coordinating card stock cut with the blade. It is very easy to change from one blade to the next while working, without worrying about cutting yourself. The casette snaps into the blade cover, which then snaps into the tracking guide knob. With a quarter turn it is then locked into place, the blade pushed out and ready to cut. The casettes also work with the same blade cover on the free-style handle that comes with the trimmer, so you can make curved cuts, too.
It’s a very easy system. As I mentioned earlier, I do have another paper trimmer that has interchangeable, decorative blades, but it is not nearly as user-friendly. The blades are completely exposed and it is also not portable. For this reason, I tend to reach for this one when I want decorative edges that are more difficult to do by hand. However, as the owner of a lot of trimmers, I have to say that the Paper Trimming Buddy is not my go-to trimmer for every job. For these cards, I did use it for every cut, straight and decorative, with nice results…
So, would I have purchased it if I hadn’t won it? Possibly. I wish my cuts were consistently straight and I would love a deeper, more rounded scallop. But overall, I think it really is a cool tool and I do reach for it quite a bit!
edited to add: NanaBeth asked, “What is your go to?” I have two other “go to” trimmers, both by Fiskars–the 12 inch purple portable trimmer (next to my desk) and the 12 inch home/office rotary trimmer (on a work counter, for bigger jobs). In all honesty, I go to them most simply because I’ve been using them the longest. There are many times that I wish I had better, but I just haven’t yet felt it necessary to invest the time and money into making a change. I do like how the paper trimming buddy fits into my set up and keep it at the ready with the scallop casette, my current favorite blade.