26 February 2021

What is the Difference Between a Paper Guillotine and a Trimmer?

People often end up calling a paper guillotine a trimmer or vice versa, getting them confused. However, when purchasing one, it’s important to note that both terms refer to a different type of tool. Which you’ll need will depend on a variety of factors that you’ll need to consider. Therefore, in our latest blog post, we’re going to explain the differences, so that you can make your decision.

What is a Paper Guillotine?

Paper guillotines come in a variety of forms, intended for a variety of environments. However, before exploring these it’s important to consider their purpose, which is to accurately and neatly cut through paper. The amount of paper needing to be cut and the demand that will be applied dictates which guillotine is best suited.

For example, looking at AfterPrint’s range, the Grafcut Paper Guillotines are prepared for continuous use in the toughest of environments. To be able to thrive in this environment, they have been equipped with fully hydraulic operation. Alternatively, Ideal Paper Guillotines are the more suitable option for a small or medium digital printer.

What is a Paper Trimmer?

The paper guillotines that have been mentioned above thrive when challenged with reams upon reams of paper. However, there is an alternative for smaller loads. Ideal Paper Trimmers are the perfect solution for those looking to slice a smaller volume of paper. However, due to needing less power behind them, they tend to be powered manually, rather than with the help of hydraulics.

Paper Trimmers also better suit personal projects such as craft and art projects, small print shops, small offices and school classrooms. Their smaller nature and lack of automated parts brings the price to a level that reflects that. Therefore, they are usually a much cheaper option than the guillotine. However, it is important to note that paper trimmers such as ours are only intended for sheet stacks of up to 60 sheets and sizes up to 1,100mm.

What are the Differences Between a Paper Guillotine and Trimmer?

With the purpose of each tool understood, we can start to explore the main differences to consider when purchasing a guillotine or trimmer. It’s important when purchasing either tool that you know what is right for your project by asking yourself the following three questions:

What is the project size?

When choosing between a guillotine and a trimmer, it’s important to recognise the size of the task ahead. If the tool will be expected to get through reams and reams of paper, regularly, a mechanical guillotine is more likely to be able to handle the pressure. However, if you’re looking for something that can help with art projects, smaller documents, or less regular demands a paper trimmer may be much more handy.

Manual or digital?

One of the most noticeable differences between a paper trimmer and guillotine is the way that it’s used. A paper trimmer is driven manually, either by hand or a foot pedal. Some believe that this is more handy, given that you have direct control over how it cuts.

However, paper guillotines with digital interfaces bring their own benefits. For example, on some machines, the self-diagnostic software can help tell you when there is a problem and how to fix it. Not only that, but certain tasks can be remembered by the machine, to be repeated even quicker in the future.

How much would you like to spend?

As with most products, budget is a vital thing to consider before buying. You have to ask yourself, how much you’re willing to spend to solve your dilemma. Due to the digital nature and level of mechanics involved, paper guillotines tend to be more expensive. However, this can be justified if they will be used regularly to improve efficiency. On the other hand, the more simple design of a paper trimmer makes it more accessible to those with a lower budget.

Paper Guillotines and Paper Trimmers at AfterPrint

With all of this in mind, a lot of the decision making rests on knowing which tool your project requires. If a trimmer can’t handle the work, a guillotine can be a smart investment. There’s no point trying to overwork a trimmer to save money. However, if a project can be handled by a trimmer, why not save your money and opt for the cheaper alternative.

If you have any questions regarding any of our paper guillotines, trimmers or other products, please contact us. Our experienced and friendly team will be happy to assist you with your decision. With over 50 years combined experience in the print finishing field, we pride ourselves in delivering customers with the best possible advice and service. More advice can also be found in our blog, where our guide on ‘choosing the right guillotine’ may be able to help further.

Our knowledge and trusted foundations within the market have also enabled us to secure UK dealerships with a variety of market leading brands, including Grafcut for paper guillotines. When you select AfterPrint, you get the UK’s premier specialist in digital print finishing equipment on your team.