Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tools for cutting: What do you use?

I have to admit that I can't cut a straight line with scissors, not with a line, not without a line, not with a score line, am just horrid at "cutting." Give me a paper trimmer and life is good and straight (most of the time anyway.) Tonight I thought it would fun to review some neat cutting tools, and also to hear what cutting tool(s) you can't live without.

The one tool I use the most is my Fiskars Personal Paper Trimmer. I LOVE that thing (even though it had to be replaced the other day because somehow all the lines came off, so I could not read any of the measurements...sigh). It is a work horse, and until I got my score pal, I used it for both cutting and scoring. What is really great is how small it is, yet you can cut up to a 12 x 12 sized piece of paper. Office Depot has a cutter that is very similar to the Fiskars, and it is about $5 to 10 cheaper (couldn't find a link online, but I bought one for about $15)

For cutting circles I like the Martha Stewart Circle Cutter, it can cut a circle as small as 1 inch and as large as 5 7/8th (great sizes for cards or scrapbooking). The sizes jump by 1/16th of an inch, so you can do some nice layering with this as well. For small pieces of paper I make sure to tape the paper to my cutting board (with artist tape to protect the paper).

I have used exacto knives, without much luck. When I am cutting out a very small image I can use the knife, but just never get clean cuts. A while ago a bought a new exacto knife by Fiskars called "Fingertip Craft Knife." This knife loops over your index finger and is supposed to give you more control, though I couldn't cut that much better with it either. Sighhhhhhhhhhh

Punches are also great cutting tools, especially for different shapes. I have found the the punches with handles work much better then the ones with a button you push down. I use punches for square shapes, or my trimmer.

And I would never forget that I love my Cuttlebug for cutting as well : ) It does a great job and it is easy to use and there are tons of dies out there to use!

The one product I haven't bought yet are the Nestibilities, and from what I have read and heard they are really great for both embossing and cutting layers of shapes for card making. I think I am going to put them on my list for Christmas : )

I have a few different types of scissors, including the Kia ones which I love. Most of the time I find that the smallest scissors are the ones I use for trimming and cutting out images, though once in a while I pull out the larger ones to cut odd shapes. Make sure that you keep your scissors in good working condidtion, keep them clean and sharp and they will last a lifetime.

What do you use? What tool or tools do you consider a must have? If there is one thing a rubber stamper or scrapbooker uses constantly, it is cutting tools!


Felix said...

I bought a Tonic Guillotine cutter and love it for straight lines and for my 12x12 paper. I also use my Fiskars Personal Cutter but find that after several uses the last inch is crooked. I have to remember to cut from the "top" down in order to avoid this. I also use punches for shapes and Colluzle for oval and round templates for layering.

Elizabeth said...

I'm with you Jacquie. I also have a Fiskars paper trimmer, use it all the time & love that it is lightweight and doesn't take up much space.

I use the ultrasharp CutterBee scissors for cutting out stamped images - I love the sharp tip (even though it has drawn blood!) and sometimes use the Fiskars Shapecutter.

I less frequently use decorative scissors, punches & only very occasionally an exacto knife.

semajrn said...

I have the Martha Stewart paper circle cutter and have a problem cutting out thin rings. When cutting several rings, I find that the first ones move, and therefore obstruct the path of the blade for the rings to follow. It's not feasible to remove each ring as they are cut because it is not possible to realign the cutter exactly! I have tried taping the corners of the paper, and this really does not eliminate the problem. Any solutions, or is this just how Martha's cutter performs?

Jheffner said...

Hi BJames,

I have used the repositionable adhesive on my paper when using the Martha Stewart cutter, with fairly good results. The adhesive works without harming your paper, and also holds the paper.

Make sure you aren't "over pressing" with the blade, I found that lighter pressure gave me a good cut without moving the paper.

Hope that helped.

marcela said...

Hi, Ive been looking and looking for a circle cutter that cuts circles less than 1 inch, do you have any idea where I can find one?

Jheffner said...

Hi Marcela,

I think for circles smaller then an inch you need to use a punch, the Martha Stewart cutter cuts circles as small as an inch.

Hope that helps!

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