Saturday, April 14, 2007

best cutters on the block

a paper trimmer is probably one the most basic tools in the scrapper's arsenal. i had my old blue Carl trimmer for years and it was very serviceable to me until recently, when new and improved paper trimmers debuted into the scrapbooking market made me want to throw out the old one. i was suddenly noticing all its imperfections like not cutting a perfectly straight edge and the hand pressure needed to make a good cut.

after much online research and some hands-on usage of these new trimmers, here is my review of 3 of the best ones around.

the PURPLE COWS 2 in 1 Combo Trimmer
this is one of the most expensive trimmers available these days and is touted as "the ultimate trimmer for scrapbooking, photos, and paper projects". it has 2 segments, the guillotine side and the rotary cutter side which are joined together to make a comfortable large surface for cutting. it may be separated if you want to carry a smaller cutter (the rotary).

what i like most about it:
* nice and light, pleasant to carry to your next crop party. so light you can carry the whole thing if you don't mind the bulk
* guillotine part is sharp and well constructed. strong and sharp enough to cut chipboard cleanly yet the guillotine blade is safe because it does not have a sharp edge.
* already comes with 2 other blades for the rotary side: a perforating blade and a wave edger blade
* the versatility of having 2 cutters. if you are doing a lot of cutting, 2 people may work at it.
* cuts very straight. easy to use alignment guides.

my gripes:
* its lightness initially made me doubt if it is sturdy. but analysis shows that it is because the surface is all aluminum
* the color: this may be a personal and highly subjective opinion but the white and purple is not attractive to me.
* the price : this baby retails for $ 69.95 or about P3500.00 locally. but remember, you do get TWO cutters for this price


the Making Memories Precision trimmer
from the moment i laid eyes on this one, it already have a lusting for it. the initial come-on was its sleek good looks! it had rounded edges and is a sexy black and silver color. however, when i picked it up, it was NOT very light. although it folds to a comfortably smaller size, it might not be one i would be happy to bring on the road especially if i were to do a public commute. however, the crisp way it cuts paper still suitably impressed me to make me want to keep it. upon close inspection, i notice it delivers ultra precise cuts not because of a very sharp blade but because it cuts by "shearing" (same principle that a guillotine cutter does its job). this is why MM calls it self-sharpening. being a shearing tool, it does not NEED sharpening for as long as it is edges are well aligned. local price is around PHP 2700.00

what i like most about it:
* easily folds and unfolds. cool magnetic snap to keep it folded.
* i looove the effortless cutting. no hand pressure needed to slide the cutting carriage.
* super straight and precise cuts. i am very impressed that i can cut even a very thin hairline's width off my paper - super straight and oh-so-easily.
* black and silver and well rounded. very aesthetically pleasing.
* feels very solid and sturdy

my gripes:
* its biggest setback is its weight although this same feature also makes it feel solid and durable. (perhaps they should have made it out of some space age material like titanium though i wonder how much that would cost already!)
* no easily visible alignment guide. (if only MM had colored the alignment edge white or red or some other visible color instead of leaving it black...)

* no decorative edger blades available...yet. since the edges are for shearing, it cannot even DO decorative blades. however, there is a depression beyond the cutting edge with two little posts on both edges where a matt might fit. the blade carriage is also notably very wide. this makes me suspect that MM is planning to eventually come up with add-ons to this cutter for decorative blades. if this materializes, there is an even brighter future for owners of this excellent trimmer.


the EKSuccess Cutterpede
this, in my humble opinion, is THE best trimmer for people on a budget and/or scrappers on-the-go. Provo's cutesy pink and green cutter does not even come close to this one (although it tried to do a simulation). the Cutterpede does a great job of straight trimming. paper is easily loaded thanks to the hinged cutter carriage that swings up and latches down with a magnet to clip the paper. It also has a swing out arm paper guide with measurements. I found it nice that this arm also has an elbow hinge, that nicely guides the paper at t
he 6" cut mark. there are 4 optional decorative blade shuttles you can add-on to this one: scallop, wave, deckle and zigzag, plus 2 more utilitarian shuttles: the perforator and scorer. local price is around PHP 1200.00

what i like most about it:
* light but seemingly durable construction.
* flat profile that would fit a scrapper's bag easily
* magnetic swing up blade railing that lightly grips the paper to be cut
* elbowed swing out arm does not stick out too far if not needed
* the optional decorative blade carriages

my gripes:
* i wish there were more designs for the blade shuttles because my carl cutter has lots more
* considering the lower price compared to the other preceding trimmers, i really cannot ask for much more

after using and trying out each one, my friend sheryl asked me which trimmer i would rate the best. i would be hard-pressed to pick one because each has a different price and different specialties. i initially intended to keep the Purple Cows combo but because the 2 units that landed at my store almost immediately got snatched up by two good friends, i am left with the MM trimmer on my shelf. of course, i couldn't resist opening one especially since i waited so long for these cutters to arrive. i cannot say though that i am not happy with it. as a matter of fact, i am quite as ecstatic with it and do intend to keep it already. because of its smooth action cutting carriage that one needs only to PUSH instead of PRESS DOWN to make a cut, it actually makes cutting paper an enjoyable experience in itself for me. i do not have intentions of lugging it around though (considering its size and weight) but since the experience with this magnificent trimmers has already spoiled me, i think i would also have to keep a Cutterpede at my disposal as well.

ahhh...a scrapper's endless list of things she wants is indeed amazing.

Simply Scrappy ScrapArts store carries the above trimmers:
Purple Cows Combo 2-in-1 available on pre-order basis. Making Memories Precision trimmer and Cutterpede are currently in stock.

1 comment:

jennifer said...

thanks for this review, au. truth be told, i don't own a paper trimmer, kaya i am actually scouting for one. may bad reviews ang Provo Craft, so siguro by now doon muna ako sa Carl, less than 1thousand lang kasi. =)

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