Trimmer Knife Lifespan For Guillotine Paper Cutters

The quality of a print booklet is often determined by the quality of the paper used and the smoothness of its edges. For paper edges that are seamless and exact, guillotine paper cutters are high-performing machines that can cut paper of many stocks at a relatively high speed. While these cutting machines are powerful and efficient, many of those who operate guillotine cutters do not maintain them enough to keep them at their best. For precise paper cutting, make sure your trimmer knives are sharp and correctly used. Below are a few things to keep in mind when operating guillotine paper cutters. 

  1. Keep your trimmer knives sharp
    More often than not, operators of guillotine cutters are only replacing blades once they are getting dull. If your machine has been cutting to the point where the blades are dull, it’s usually already past the point at which the knives need replacing. Once a paper trimmer knife is dull, it requires more clamping pressure for cutting, which can cause damage to the machine. The hydraulic cylinders within the machine can become damaged if dull knives are repeatedly used. Trimmer knives should be replaced often enough so that they are always sharp.

  2. Know when it's time to replace the blades
    So how long does a sharp knife last and how often should you be sharpening or replacing the blades? We’ve come up with a general rule of thumb to follow based on the type of blade that is being used.

    Standard steel knife blade: Replace after 8 hours of operation.
    High speed steel inlaid: Replace after 16 hours of operation.
    Carbide knife: Replace after about 160 hours of operation.

    Depending on the type of trimmer knife used, this should give you a better idea on how often your blades need replacing before they go dull.

  3. Use the correct knife angle depending on the operation and project needs
    Each type of paper stock requires a different type of blade, with thinner stocks requiring less of an angled blade and thicker stocks requiring a more angled blade. Here is a guide that shows the type of trimmer blade that is needed depending on the thickness of the paper being cut.

    Soft paper: 19-20 degree angle with low clamp pressure.
    Regular paper: 23-24 degree angle with medium clamp pressure.
    Hard paper: 30-degree angle with higher clamp pressure.

    By following these three guidelines when operating a guillotine paper cutter, you’ll be set for success and your paper edges will be cut to perfection. Not only will your paper cutting become easier, but your machine will be healthier and set to last longer.

    Do your trimmer knives need replacing? We carry a variety of paper knives and other paper cutter replacement parts for optimal performance!