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Review | Westcott Extreme Edge Titanium Scissors

Reported by Linda Neff

Disclosure: This site participates in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

I thought I owned all the scissors I needed for my crafting projects but then I received a pair of Westcott Extreme Edge Titanium Scissors to try.  I had lots of projects going on using a variety of products so I put these to the test.

I needed to cut some burlap strips and muslin pieces and was delighted at just how easily these scissors glided through both types of fabrics. They really did cut “like butter” – I felt no pressure at all and both fabrics were cut with nice clean edges.

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The packaging declares these scissors “easily cuts through multiple layers of fabric” and they did! My daughter and I were making new seat covers for some dining room chairs and used the Westcott scissors to cut through the 1″ thick seat padding. These scissors whispered through this project as if they were simply cutting through one layer of fabric.

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I have scissors for heavy projects like cutting chipboard, wire and such and if I try to use them to cut a piece a ribbon they won’t do it. The blades will just chew at the ribbon. So I’ve always had to have both fabric scissors and work scissors. These Westcott Extreme Edge Titanium scissors easily went back and forth from one type of project to another without any problem.

I use a lot of corrugated cardboard in my art projects which can be really tiring on the hands to cut. That’s where I learned to love the fact that the tension on these Westcott Extreme Edge Titanium scissors can be adjusted. The scissors come with a Blade Tension Key – a fabulous idea – so the blades can be easily adjusted for varying cutting materials.

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I loosened the blades just slightly to test the scissors on the corrugated cardboard. What a difference it made! With the tension adjusted for the thicker material it was very easy to cut through quite a lot of chipboard pieces with a whole lot less pain in my hand.

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Overall I have to say for the street price, less than $15, these scissors seem like the perfect little workhorse. The fact that the blade tension can be adjusted also should help the blades stay sharper longer. I’ve been using them on a variety of materials – fabric, paper, chipboard and corrugated cardboard – with ease. The lightweight scissors have very comfortable ergonomic nylon handles. My only worry is that I will put the Blade Tension Key in a safe place and when I need it I won’t remember where that safe place is. I wish it could be attached to the scissor handle somehow.

Pros:

  • Very comfortable to hold and use
  • Easily cuts through a variety of materials – from fabrics to paper products
  • Includes a Blade Tension Key for tension adjustment

Cons:

  • Includes a Blade Tension Key that could be lost

Westcott Extreme Edge 8″ Titanium Scissorsare available from a variety of office supply and crafts retailers, or the Westcott website, for around $12.50.


CHA Winter 2012: Westcott Scissor Mouse

Reported by Sarah Moore, Founding Editor

I must admit, I was concerned when I saw this new product from Westcott.  I love their trimmers and scissors, but I have used “quick cut” tools like this before with great disappointment.  Usually they catch on the paper, don’t cut straight, or only work with a cutting mat.  This tool, on the other hand, does NOT disappoint.
The Scissor Mouse is the size of a computer mouse.  It’s easy to handle and comes in 5 colors.
Cutting paper is a breeze with the Scissor Mouse!  You do not need a cutting mat.  The paper is grabbed by a little tab under the tool that cuts the paper.
The front of the tool has a measuring guide that is very accurate.  Just line your measurement up with the edge of the paper and push straight.  You can cut narrow strips with ease!
Use the Scissor Mouse to cut any lightweight papers.  This would be a perfect tool for the Quiller who needs to cut multiple narrow strips.  Or great for making paper beads.
What do you think?  Would this be a tool you’d like to add to your craft arsenal?
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Vendor Spotlight: Westcott Multi-Purpose Trimmers

Reported by Susan Reidy

In the scrapbooking/papercrafting tool arsenal, probably the most used (besides adhesive) is the paper trimmer. For a crafter, finding the ideal trimmer is like finding the Holy Grail.

My tried and true trimmer was starting to cut wonky, so I was more than willing to try out three of Westcott’s multi-purpose trimmers. I affectionately call them Papa Bear (12 in. trimmer), Mama Bear (9 in. trimmer) and Baby Bear (9 in. trimmer that fits in a 3-ring binder).


All three are a lovely shade of aqua blue and are titanium bonded, which Westcott says adds to the performance of its cutting products. Compared to stainless steel, Westcott says titanium is three times harder, stays sharper longer and resists adhesives better.

Let’s start with Papa Bear (12 in.). First off, I like the size and sturdiness of the trimmer. It has a fold out ruler that extends all the way to 17 inches. The ruler locks in place when folded in so you don’t have to worry that it will swing out at an inconvenient time (say like in your bag on the way to a crop).

I also like that the swing out ruler is equally sturdy and stayed straight. The ruler on my previous trimmer would bend too far back, sometimes leading to uneven cuts and measuring.

Speaking of measuring, you can get rather detailed with the Westcott trimmer. Both the cutting arm and swing out ruler are marked in 1/16th increments. The surface of the trimmer is marked with a 1/2 in. grid.

One minor annoyance — the promo material inside the package was taped to the surface of the trimmer. When I lifted it off, some of the tape residue stayed behind. A quick spray of glass cleaner took care of it.

But, it’s a trimmer you say, so how does it cut?

Well, I ran into some difficulty there. I found the blade does not glide smoothly down the track. After a few cuts, I noticed that where there hadn’t been paper while trimming, the blade had actually cut the plastic of the bottom track.

This happened repeatedly, so I have several cuts, and even a few slivers of plastic, out of the track. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to have impacted the trimmer’s ability to cut a straight line. However, I do believe it is part of the reason the blade is a little hesitant going down the track.

I tried the trimmer on several different weights and brands of cardstock including Georgia Pacific, Stampin Up! and Papertrey Ink. It does equally well with all three, making a clean, straight cut.


I like that it cuts accurately, meaning that it cuts where it is supposed to cut. Sounds basic, I know, but I have had other trimmers that cut just a tiny bit left or right of where it looked like it was going to cut. I think it helps that the cutting blade is on the far edge of the cutting arm instead of running down the middle.

Accuracy is especially important for trimming photos. I have piles of school/professional photos that have to be cut apart. The cutting arm holds the slick paper firmly so the blade cuts exactly where I want it to.


The Papa Bear trimmer made it easy to measure and cut these 2.5 in. x 3.5 in. elements and photos for the page above from my Week-in-the-Life scrapbook.


Let’s move onto Mama Bear. It’s appropriate I designated this as the female trimmer, since I think it works best of all. The cutting surface is 9 in. long with a swing out ruler (which also locks in place) that extends to 12 in. Measurements are also in 1/16th increments.

Unlike Papa, the blade glides very smoothly and doesn’t take cuts out of the bottom track. She can slice her way quite nicely through the various types of cardstock and photo paper, just like Papa. Although the cutting arm is smaller, it still holds paper in place so my cuts are accurate.

However, it can’t handle 12 in. x 12 in. paper, a standard scrapbooking size, nor is she big enough to cut an 8.5 in. x 11 in. sheet of paper lengthwise.

Both Mama and Papa come with a scoring blade, which is conveniently labeled as such. It’s also the same shade of blue as the rest of the trimmer, while the cutting blade is green, for instant identification.

Scoring on both sized trimmers works well — both make deep enough indentations for a good fold for card making without cutting through the cardstock. Here’s a card I made, utilizing both the Mama and Papa trimmers.

I found there is enough room to keep the scoring and cutting blades on the trimmers at the same time. However, it is easy to remove the blades and snap them back on, if you’re afraid you’ll cut when you want to score and vice versa.

After a few cuts, I did notice that both Papa and Mama created a tiny lip of paper at the cut line on the back side of the paper (the side that touches the trimmer surface). It’s not big enough to cause me any issues, but it is there.

Last but not least is Baby Bear. This little guy measures 9 in. long and has no swing out ruler. It does have holes so that it can be added to a 3-ring binder for maximum portability.

Baby comes with two cutting blades (bonus!) The cutting arm only lifts about a quarter of the way, which seems odd, but doesn’t make it any more difficult to use. You wouldn’t want to do any significant, detailed measuring on this one because the ruler on the cutting arm is only marked in 1/4 in. increments.

I like that it is big enough to handle an 8.5 in. x 11 in. piece of paper width-wise, which means it can still cut apart those aforementioned piles of professional photos. It also does a nice job cutting some 4 in. x 6 in. photos into wallets.

Don’t let its compact size fool you — this little guy cuts smoothly and is just as accurate as his parents. I like the small size so I can keep it handy in my junk drawer (we all have one, right?) for cutting photos and other quick household stuff (coupons, anyone?).

Overall, I like the Westcott trimmers. In the three plus weeks I used them, the blades didn’t dull, cutting just the same as they did fresh out of the package.

For crafting purposes, I find myself reaching more often for the Mama Bear (9 in.) trimmer. It is big enough to suit my purposes, can handle whatever cardstock I throw at it and cuts smoothly.

Pros:

  • Accurate cutting; sharp blade that lasts
  • Cuts through several weights of cardstock, photo paper and patterned paper.
  • Smooth cutting on the two 9 in. trimmers.
  • Sturdy swing out ruler that locks in place when not in use.
  • Scoring blade included with the 12 in. and 9 in. Two cutting blades with the 9 in., 3-ring binder option.

Cons:

  • The 12 in. trimmer’s blade did not move smoothly and actually cut the blade track.
  • The 9 in. trimmer isn’t large enough to cut an 8.5 in. x 11 in. sheet of paper lengthwise.
  • All trimmers left a tiny lip of paper at the cut on the backside of the paper (the side of paper that touches the trimmer surface).
Westcott’s multi-purpose trimmers are available at major retailers such as Costco and Target.

GIVEAWAY!
Westcott is giving away a prize pack filled with $150 in products to two lucky readers.

To Enter
Leave a comment on this post or any Vendor Spotlight: Wescott and answer one or all of these questions…

What trimmer are you currently using? What do you love or hate about it?

You have until Sunday, May 16th 6pm CST to enter. One entry per person, please.

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