How To Sharpen A Paper Cutter Blade & It’s Safety Guide!

Papers are still an inseparable part of our daily life, no matter how electrically powered the equipment we use. And cutting and trimming the papers in a variety of ratios is also a daily task for many of us, especially those who work in design or graphics studios.

What do you think is the easiest and most effective way of cutting papers?

Well, the answer is obviously a ‘paper cutter.’ But accidents related to paper cutters happen all the time. So you have to learn the safety precautions of paper cutter also.

Paper cutters are tools that will let you cut a stack of paper edges straight in one go in the minimum time possible. So let us introduce you to this amazing tool and safety precautions if you haven’t used this one before.

What is a paper cutter?

A paper cutter or a paper trimmer, also known as a guillotine, is a cutting machine. The function of a paper cutting tool is to trim a larger set of paper with a straight edge at once.

There are a variety of sizes of paper cutters available in the market to suit every kind of need. You can find the one you can use at home as well as the industrial paper cutter.

Types of paper cutters:

There are a variety of paper cutters available in the market. So you can choose from many options as per your need. Such as:

Rotary trimmer:

These are more preferred by graphic designers and photographers. A rotary cutter has round blades. A rotary blade is good for a precise cut, scoring, and perforating.

Guillotine cutter:

These are for the more professional result. They can cut more paper sheets with higher efficiency.

Stack cutter:

As the name suggests, this type of paper cutting machine can cut a big stack of paper in one go.

Electric paper cutter:

These are heavy-duty industrial paper cutters. A fully automatic one and semi-automatic electric trimmers are available in the market.

Foam board cutter:

You can cut any type of sheet material with this box cutter. This is more perfect for the design and graphics studios.

Safety precautions when using a Paper Cutter:

If you use a paper cutter incorrectly, It can cause serious harm to your body. That’s why we will let you know some of the safety precautions while using a paper cutter.

Here’s how to use a paper cutter safely

  1. First of all, you need to place the cutter on a flat and stable surface and restrain any kind of unwanted movement of the cutter.
  2. Put the safety blade guard or blade latch hook on when you are not using the cutter.
  3. While using the cutter, keep your fingers out of the guardrail. Don’t ever remove the guardrail. 
  4. Clean the dull blade in between each session for an accurate cut.
  5. Look in the instruction how many papers you can cut at once in your cutter. Never exceed the limit.
  6. You don’t need to lubricate the cutting blade for a sharp blade. Just sharpen the steel blade or ask for professional help if the blade becomes dull.
  7. Don’t wear loose clothing while using the cutter. This can lead to unpleasant accidents.
  8. Don’t try to catch the falling parts of the paper while you are using the trimmer. 
  9. Beware of any unusual noise your cutter is making while you are working. 
  10. After you have finished cutting, place the blade downward and put the safety latch on. 
  11. In the case of fully automatic or semi-automatic cutters, you need to look for the ‘two-hand operation’ feature on them. This feature is a great way to keep your hands away from the blade and keep them safe. 
  12. Don’t try to carry the cutter by holding it onto the blade. 
  13. Keep these away from your kids if you keep the cutter inside your house.

How to use a guillotine paper cutter:

A guillotine cutter is the one you need to trim all your official documents with a clean straight edge.

But try to find a guillotine cutter that has a better safety feature to guard your fingers. Now let’s start the cutting process:

  1. Pay attention to your cutter capable of cutting at a time. Each model has a different capacity and never loads more paper than that. Cutting more paper than the capacity will dull the blade faster, and you won’t even get the clean-cut edges you want.
  2. Now, it is time to place the paper on the base. The base is basically a platform with a grid and measurements on it. So you can measure the paper and cut them in angle when simply following the grids.
  3. Some models come with a clamp. Use it to stick the paper onto the place for a better cutting experience.
  4. Now, position the papers and take a good look at where you want to cut the papers. Slowly bring the blade down and cut the paper. 
  5. Don’t try to catch the scraps while cutting the papers. Just let them fall.
  6. After you have completed it, just keep the blade in a down position.
  7. Repeat the process and make the paper cutting job easier. Don’t compromise your safety at any cost.

Industrial paper cutter

If you are looking for the best paper cutter with more professional features and high efficiency, then you should go for an industrial cutter.

These have a higher capacity of cutting with the cleanest and straightest edges. You can cut more papers with these than your regular paper cutter.

Industrial cutters are similar to the guillotine, electric, or stack cutters type paper cutter but with better safety measures than the regular one.

How to Sharpen a Paper Cutter Blade

Can’t get the same sharp straight edges of the papers as before by using the paper cutter? 

Then it is time your paper cutting blade needs sharpening. There are ways to do so. You can hone the blade or sharpen it depending on the condition of the blade.


Honing is basically a process of straightening your blade edges. All you need is a honing rod. Remove the blade from the main body.

Then just rub the straight side to the honing rod a couple of times on the honing rod. This process is useful if the trimmer blade is still new and in good condition.


You will need:

  • Sharpening stone;
  • Lubricating oil;

Now let’s start.

  1. First, you need to separate the blade from the cutter by losing the arm fastening nut from the body. 
  2. Identify the cutting edge of the blade, which is cut at an angle.
  3. You need to know the angle your blade is to be sharpened by. Search for this in the manual or ask the manufacturer to know the angle.
  4. Place the blade on the sharpening stone vertically and adjust it to the angle you want to sharpen the blade by. 
  5. Lubricate the stone first with some oil. This will prevent the metal scraps from getting into the stone pores and clogging the stone. You can add the oil in between processes as well if you feel the need.
  6. Start swinging the blade around the stone in an arc, maintaining the proper cutting angle. Try to keep the pressure even on the stone while sharpening the blade.
  7. Keep swinging the blade until you get the desired result.


  • What is the first safety rule of using a knife?

The most important thing to remember is to keep the cutter away from your body and others. The blade may cause an accident by slipping or sticking.

Do the same while sharpening the blades of your cutter. Never forget to cut away from your body.

  • What class of lever is a paper cutter?

In the case of a nutcracker, paper cutter, and wheelbarrow, the load is between the fulcrum and effort. So, they have been classified as class 2 levers.

  • Can a guillotine cut card?

You can cut your paper using a craft knife and a ruler. But it’s best to use a guillotine or a paper trimmer for card stock trimming. Guillotines can cut card stock that’s 12 inches long.

  • What are the safety rules when using a guillotine?

Be careful at the time of initial feeding. Hold the cutter adequately far back from the edge of the paper. Ensure the safety of limbs and fingers before operating.

To prevent inaccurate cutting, hold the material firmly.

  • How long do paper cutters last?

You should replace standard steel knife blades after 8 hours of operation. You can use the high-speed steel inlaid for about 16 hours straight. The carbide knives will need replacement after 160 hours of operation.

  • What is the risk of a knife?

The most common accidents in the catering industry involve knives. Most of the accidents involve cuts to the fingers and non-knife hands. Serious injuries might happen to the upper arm and torso due to a utility knife and scissors.

Final words:

We hope that now you know how a paper cutter works and the safety rules of using a paper cutter. Trimming the huge pile of papers has been made easy and fast, thanks to the paper cutter. 

You need to be extremely careful while using these; otherwise, you can end up being injured severely. Always remember the safety precautions of a paper cutter.

In case of industrial use, train your staff properly before assigning them to this task. Maintaining safety precautions is the first and foremost rule for using paper cutters.